In America, today marks the day of National Barbecued Spareribs Day, but who’s to say we can’t celebrate it here in the UK too! Whenever there is a barbecue event, we believe everyone should get involved, no matter where you come from!
Not only is it National Barbecued Spareribs Day but it is also Independence Day, so it only makes sense to celebrate them together and host an ultimate barbecue event. As a chef, caterer, or event planner, now is the time to introduce a signature BBQ dish to your menu - as a starter, main, or even just a snack, barbecued spareribs are an ultimate addition.
Pork spareribs are made to be barbecued, cooked over a charcoal or gas grill to create a tender and extremely flavoursome dish. They are generally cut from the lower section of the hog’s rib cage and can be served short and long, both of which are packed with flavour. Rib dishes are popular in both American and Asian cuisine – it’s up to you what flavours you want to pair with your meats. Below we have listed the different cuts of ribs you can find and how you can cook them, providing you with an array of BBQ rib dishes for you to choose from. Some might tickle your fancy more than others, so let’s get into it!
Type of Rib Cuts
There are 4 main types of rib cuts, which each produce their own unique flavour. The majority are best cooked slow and at a low temperature, making the pork soft to the touch. For seasoning, we suggest a dry rub of mustard, cayenne, sugar, pepper, garlic, and onion powder for an American style dish. Or for an Asian twist, swap out the mustard, cayenne, and onion powder for cumin, five-spice, and ginger.
It is important to note that some of these ribs are harder to come by in the UK, but don’t worry, we have provided you with some suppliers and alternatives, so you can still enjoy the flavours!
First off is the classic barbecue sparerib dish. Spareribs are long and flat, with a larger bone to meat ratio due to them being cut from the lower belly of the hog. Despite the lack of meat, they are marbled in fat so when correctly cooked the fat melts into the meat and enriches the flavour, creating a succulent and tender rack of ribs. Slow cook your spareribs over low heat on the barbecue until the meat falls off the bone – everyone will be wanting to try some! A full rack of spareribs consists of 11 to 13 ribs and can be 6 to 8 inches wide, perfect for gatherings or someone that is hungry for ribs! In the UK market, you can find spareribs as a rack or individually cut. Add a dry rub before cooking or serve with your favourite barbecue sauce, whichever you prefer.
Baby Back Ribs
Baby back ribs are another popular choice for the barbecue because of their leaner and meatier qualities. Unlike spareribs, these are found on the back of the hog, where the ribs wrap around the loin. Baby back ribs are slightly smaller than spareribs as they are curved and taper at one end. They are usually between 3 and 6 inches wide and include 8 to 13 ribs. We suggest smoking your baby back ribs on a barbecue and serving them with a sweet or savoury BBQ sauce. Unlike the other ribs you can cook baby backs at a higher temperature, so if you require a last-minute idea for National Barbecue Spareribs Day, these will be a great and quick option for you to whip out.
Take a look at Walter Rose & Son for spareribs and baby back ribs. An award winning, catering and retail butcher, that supply to the catering industry and chefs!
St. Louis Ribs
If you or your guests want the taste of spareribs but don’t want a full rack, St. Louis ribs might be the one for you! St. Louis ribs are cut from the meatier portion of spareribs, they are trimmed down to remove the brisket bones, sternum, and the connecting fat tissue. They tend to be 5 to 6 inches wide from end to end, making them square, flat, and uniform in shape. As the bones are flatter, the outside browns easily which leaves you with a beautiful, charred flavour. These are more visually pleasing than other racks of ribs, so if you’re looking for a showstopping menu dish, these might appeal to many people! St. Louis ribs have a strong pork flavour due to their high-fat content, producing a sweet and savoury flavour without the need of too much seasoning.
St. Louis Ribs are harder to find on the UK market, but if you’re willing to spend a little more, we recommend having a look at purchasing ribs from Tom Hixon.
Now, if you’re not a fan of ribs but still want to celebrate National Barbecued Sparerib Day these will be right up your street! This type of cut is not readily available in the UK, but they are basically a pork rib chop, so your average pork chop will do! Pork chops are slabs of thick pork, marbled in fat, which makes them juicy and very delicious. Cook them slowly at a low temperature, to create soft and tender pork goodness. To add a little more flavour, cover country-style ribs (or your pork chops) in apple cider vinegar or a sweet, spicy, or sticky BBQ sauce.
The Catering Butcher is another fantastic catering and hospitality service that you can take a look at, supplying both pork chops and ribs.
Happy National Barbecued Spareribs Day!
Barbecue Equipment from Cinders
Here at Cinders, we manufacture dependable and versatile outdoor barbecues for commercial and personal use. Take a look at our website to find the best fit product for you, whether you’re a chef, event planner, or someone who wants to cook up a barbecue in the sun, we have a range of professional barbecue equipment available. If you’re not looking to purchase right now, we offer a local search for barbecue rental services which will be ideal if you’re just wanting to celebrate National Barbecued Spareribs Day!