If you’ve ever looked for St. Louis-style ribs at your supermarket or grocery store, then you’ve probably learned the hard way that buying a rack of these ribs means paying more for less — St. Louis-style ribs are simply spareribs that have been trimmed.
St. Louis-style ribs are spareribs, which means they are cut from the area of the rib cage that is closest to the breastbone. As a result of their location, spareribs can have a lot of tough cartilage. A rack of spareribs that is cut in a St. Louis style has these tough-to-chew pieces removed.
There are two pieces of the sparerib that need to be removed to create a St. Louis-style cut. First, remove the thin, narrow flap of meat at the end of the rack of ribs (it will overcook if it remains attached) and then make a cut along the side of the rack (with your knife perpendicular to the rib bones) to remove the attached breast bone. After you make these two cuts you’ll have a rectangular rack of ribs that will be easy to cook and eat.
Then, prepare your ribs for the grill by removing the papery membrane from the back side of the rack and seasoning them with salt and your favorite dry rub. Cook them according to the instructions in your recipe.
Looking for a few great St. Louis-style rib recipes? Here are some of our favorites.
Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal’s Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.