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What are the 3 types of ribs?

Ribs are an integral part of the human skeletal system and play a crucial role in protecting our vital organs. There are three types of ribs found in the human body: true ribs, false ribs, and floating ribs.

True Ribs

True ribs, also known as vertebrosternal ribs, are the first seven pairs of ribs that directly connect to the sternum, forming a bony cage around the chest cavity. They are called “true” because they have a direct attachment to the sternum via costal cartilage.

Did you know? The term “costal” refers to anything related to the ribs, while “cartilage” is a dense connective tissue that provides flexibility to the rib cage.

False Ribs

False ribs are the next three pairs of ribs (8th, 9th, and 10th) that do not directly attach to the sternum. Instead, they connect to the rib above them through shared cartilage, giving them an indirect attachment to the sternum.

Note: False ribs can be further divided into two subcategories: vertebrochondral ribs and vertebral ribs. The vertebrochondral ribs (8th, 9th, and 10th) attach to the sternum via shared cartilage, while the vertebral ribs (11th and 12th) have no attachment to the sternum at all.

Floating Ribs

Floating ribs are the last two pairs of ribs (11th and 12th) and they are so named because they do not have any attachment to the sternum or the ribs above. Instead, they are only connected to the vertebrae in the back and float freely in the lower chest region.

Fun fact: The term “floating” does not mean that these ribs are not important. They provide protection to the lower organs and contribute to the flexibility of the rib cage.

In summary, the three types of ribs found in the human body are true ribs, false ribs, and floating ribs. Each type has its own unique characteristics and plays an essential role in safeguarding our vital organs while allowing for movement and flexibility in the chest area.

What is the Difference Between the 3 Types of Ribs?

Ribs are a beloved dish enjoyed by many across the UK. While most people are familiar with the succulent taste and flavorful aroma of ribs, not everyone knows that there are actually three different types of ribs commonly found on menus – baby back ribs, spare ribs, and St. Louis style ribs. Each type has its own unique characteristics and cooking techniques that contribute to its distinct flavor and texture.

Baby Back Ribs

Baby back ribs, also known as back ribs or loin ribs, are cut from the top of the ribcage and are typically smaller in size compared to other rib types. These ribs are leaner and have less fat, making them a popular choice for those who prefer a tender and meaty experience. Baby back ribs are known for their delicate, almost sweet flavor and are often cooked using dry rubs or marinades to enhance the taste.

Spare Ribs

Spare ribs, also referred to as side ribs or spareribs, come from the lower portion of the ribcage and are larger and meatier than baby back ribs. They contain more fat and connective tissue, which gives them a rich flavor and results in a moist and juicy texture when cooked. Spare ribs are commonly prepared by slow cooking or smoking to achieve that fall-off-the-bone tenderness.

St. Louis Style Ribs

St. Louis style ribs are a variation of spare ribs where the sternum bone, cartilage, and rib tips have been trimmed away to create a more rectangular shape. This cut provides a higher meat-to-bone ratio and a consistent thickness, allowing for even cooking. St. Louis style ribs are often seasoned with dry rubs or sauces and can be grilled, smoked, or baked to achieve a caramelized and flavorful crust.

Overall, whether you prefer the lean and tender baby back ribs, the rich and meaty spare ribs, or the well-trimmed and consistent St. Louis style ribs, there is no denying that each type offers a unique and delicious experience.

To help visualize the differences between the three types of ribs, here’s a comparison table:

Type of Rib Location Characteristics Cooking Techniques
Baby Back Ribs Top of the ribcage Leaner, smaller, tender, sweet flavor Dry rubs, marinades
Spare Ribs Lower portion of the ribcage Larger, meatier, rich flavor, moist texture Slow cooking, smoking
St. Louis Style Ribs Trimmed spare ribs Rectangular shape, higher meat-to-bone ratio Dry rubs, sauces, grilling, smoking, baking

In conclusion, understanding the difference between baby back ribs, spare ribs, and St. Louis style ribs can help you choose the perfect type for your next barbecue or dining experience. Whether you crave tenderness, meatiness, or consistency, there is a rib type suited to satisfy your taste buds.

Is it better to cut ribs before cooking?

When it comes to cooking ribs, there is some debate on whether it is better to cut them before or after the cooking process. Both methods have their advantages and can produce delicious results, so it ultimately comes down to personal preference. Let’s explore the pros and cons of each approach.

Cutting Ribs Before Cooking

If you prefer your ribs to be easier to handle and faster to cook, cutting them before cooking may be the way to go. By cutting the rack into individual ribs, you have more control over the cooking time and can ensure that all pieces are evenly cooked. Additionally, cutting the ribs before cooking allows for more surface area, resulting in a greater amount of flavorful crust.


  • Easier to handle and faster cooking time.
  • Ensures even cooking.
  • More surface area for flavor development.

Cutting Ribs After Cooking

On the other hand, some argue that cutting the ribs after cooking preserves the juiciness and tenderness of the meat. By keeping the rack intact during cooking, the juices are sealed within the meat, resulting in a more succulent end result. Cutting the ribs after cooking also allows for more impressive presentation, with a beautiful rack of ribs being served at the table.


  • Preserves juiciness and tenderness.
  • Impressive presentation with a whole rack of ribs.

“Cutting the ribs before cooking allows for more surface area, resulting in a greater amount of flavorful crust.”

Ultimately, whether you choose to cut the ribs before or after cooking is a matter of personal preference. Consider your desired cooking time, tenderness, and presentation when making your decision. If you’re unsure, why not try both methods and see which one you prefer? No matter how you choose to do it, with the right technique and seasoning, you can’t go wrong with a delicious plate of ribs!

Which is Better: Beef or Pork Spare Ribs?

When it comes to indulging in some mouthwatering ribs, the eternal debate arises – beef or pork? Both cuts offer their own unique flavors and textures that make them incredibly delicious, but which one is truly better? Let’s dive into the beef vs. pork spare ribs showdown.

Beef Spare Ribs:

Beef spare ribs are known for their rich and robust flavor. These meaty ribs come from the lower portion of the cow’s ribcage and have a higher fat content compared to pork spare ribs. The marbling of the fat gives beef ribs their distinct tenderness and juiciness, making each bite a succulent experience. The beefy flavor combined with the smoky char from grilling or smoking creates a memorable dining experience.

Pork Spare Ribs:

Pork spare ribs, on the other hand, are renowned for their sweet and juicy meat. These ribs come from the belly area of the pig and have a higher meat-to-bone ratio compared to beef spare ribs. The tender meat, with its delicate flavor and natural sweetness, is a crowd-pleaser. Pork spare ribs are often seasoned with savory rubs or glazed with tangy barbecue sauce, enhancing their taste even further.

The Verdict:

So, which type of spare ribs reigns supreme? Well, it ultimately comes down to personal preference and what flavor profile you fancy. If you’re after a bold and beefy taste with tender meat, beef spare ribs might be your go-to choice. On the other hand, if you enjoy a sweeter and juicier experience with slightly less fat, opt for pork spare ribs.

Why Not Try Both?

If you’re still undecided, why not have the best of both worlds? Host a rib cook-off or visit your favorite BBQ joint to savor the deliciousness of both beef and pork spare ribs. Compare the textures, flavors, and accompaniments and decide for yourself which one wins your taste buds’ approval.

“There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing between beef and pork spare ribs. It’s all about personal preference and savoring the unique qualities of each cut.”

No matter which type of spare ribs you choose, the key to a perfect rib feast lies in the preparation and cooking technique. Whether you’re slow-smoking, grilling, or oven-baking, take the time to create a flavorful rub, sauce, or marinade to complement the meat. Pair your ribs with classic side dishes such as coleslaw, cornbread, or baked beans, and enjoy a finger-licking good meal.

Are back or side ribs better for BBQ?

When it comes to BBQ, ribs are always a crowd-pleaser. The tender, juicy meat and smoky flavor make them a favorite at any outdoor gathering. But when choosing the type of ribs to cook, should you go for back ribs or side ribs? Let’s take a closer look at both options.

Back Ribs

Back ribs, also known as baby back ribs, are cut from the top of the rib cage between the spine and the spare ribs. They are shorter and more curved compared to side ribs. Back ribs are known for their tenderness and leaner meat. They have less fat marbling than side ribs, resulting in a slightly lighter taste.

Side Ribs

Side ribs, also called spare ribs, are cut from the lower portion of the rib cage. They are longer and flatter compared to back ribs. Side ribs have more fat marbling throughout the meat, making them juicier and more flavorful. The extra fat gives them a rich, succulent taste that is hard to resist.

When it comes to cooking, both back ribs and side ribs can be delicious if prepared correctly. Back ribs are often grilled or smoked to perfection, allowing their natural tenderness to shine through. Side ribs, on the other hand, benefit from low and slow cooking methods like smoking or braising to break down the connective tissue and render the fat, resulting in mouthwatering, fall-off-the-bone ribs.

Ultimately, the choice between back ribs and side ribs depends on personal preference. If you prefer leaner, slightly milder flavors, back ribs are an excellent option. On the other hand, if you enjoy rich, fatty cuts with intense flavors, side ribs might be more to your liking.

To help you make an informed decision, here is a comparison between back ribs and side ribs:

Back Ribs Side Ribs
Tenderness Very tender Tender with connective tissue
Meat Flavor Lighter taste Rich, succulent taste
Fat Content Less fat marbling More fat marbling

In conclusion, both back ribs and side ribs have their own unique qualities and can be enjoyed by BBQ enthusiasts. Whether you prefer the tenderness of back ribs or the richness of side ribs, one thing is for certain – a perfectly cooked rack of ribs will always be a BBQ favorite.