Rib Basics

Tips and tricks for cooking perfect ribs.

Sweet, Spicy & Smoky Spareribs

Use these tips and tricks for juicy and tasty ribs every time.

Courtesy National Pork Board

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Need a rundown on ribs? The National Pork Board has the tips and tricks you need to know to take your grilling game to the next level:

  • Back ribs originate from the blade and center section of the pork loin, which is known for the “finger meat” between the bones. Back ribs also are referred to as “baby” back ribs because they are smaller than spareribs.
  • Spareribs, usually larger and heavier than back ribs, are known for their delicious, meaty pork flavor.
  • Dry rubs are a mixture of herbs and spices applied to ribs just before barbecuing to create an intensely flavorful, smoky crust.
  • Ribs are often basted with sauces during the barbecuing process to enhance flavor and to create a sweet and savory glaze. For best results, brush ribs generously during the last 30 minutes of cooking.
  • Always use tongs, not a fork, to turn ribs as they cook – piercing the meat causes juices to escape.
  • When grilling ribs, adding aromatic wood chips like hickory, apple or oak to the preheated coals infuses the meat with the distinctive smoky flavor prized in authentic barbecue.