At The Organic Butcher, we are often asked about our preference between Baby Back Ribs or St. Louis Ribs, so we decided to go around and ask our staff about their opinion. Check out what everyone said and let us know what you think!

But first, let us discuss the differences:

Baby Back Ribs -

These come from the top of the ribcage between the spine and the spare ribs of the pig. They have meat between the bones and on top of the bones, and are shorter, curved, and usually meatier and leaner than St. Louis ribs.

St Louis Ribs - 

These come from the belly side of the rib cage, below the section of back ribs and above the breast bone. They contain more bone than meat, but they also have more fat content which can make them more tender then the Baby Backs.


The Organic Butcher Staff Rib Showdown! St Louis vs. Baby Back Ribs: 

Don - "If I'm cooking for a few people I'd pick the St. Louis Ribs because there is more fat and marbling in them which renders out into great flavor and tender meat, but if I'm cooking for a larger group I'd pick the Baby Backs because there is just more meat on the bones."

Wendell - "I like doing the St. Louis Ribs on the smoker because they have a higher fat content and it gives them a great flavor"


German - "I like the St. Louis Ribs because you can chew on the bone and have more flavor."

Carson - "I prefer Baby Back Ribs.  Off the bat there is more meat and any way you season them they turn out pretty awesome.  More meat, great flavor, more happy people."

Elyse - "I don't have a grill so I tend to go for The St. Louis Ribs because they are best for cooking indoors as they are flatter and can be easily used in recipes that require being browned on the stove top." 


Turns out we are split right down the middle!  Bottom line? You can't go wrong with either!   

One thing all of us agree on?  The cooking method.

Step 1 - Pick up your rack of ribs from The Organic Butcher.

Step 2 - With membrane removed, rub with EVOO and liberally season with The Organic Butcher BBQ Rub or any of our other great dry rubs.

Step 3 - Big Green Egg or Smoker...fill with BGE Organic Lump Charcoal and mix in wood chunks or chips of choice.  We like to use applewood chips.  Heat smoker to 250 degrees and place ribs bone side down on grill grate.  If using the Big Green Egg use the rib rack to stand the vertically to fit more (up to 5 on the large Big Green Egg).  Cook at 250-275 degrees for 3 hours flipping once half way through (omit this step if using the rib rack). Make sure the meat pulls away from the bone easily to ensure that they are done.  This way you will know they are tender and ready to go. 

Cooking your ribs in the oven.  Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.  Wrap ribs loosely with aluminum foil and place on baking sheet or in a roasting pan. Cook for 2.5-3 hours.  Optional - remove ribs from oven and pour or brush on bbq sauce. We have some great options at the shop. Turn your oven to broil and cook an additional 4-5 minutes.  



8 Responses

Brian Sumner
Brian Sumner

May 28, 2018

Just bought a smoker. Cooking a slab of each with the same rub then sauce I am curious to see which we will like better


May 06, 2018

Thank you for explaining the difference on the two types of ribs. My fiancé wants me to prepare him some ribs so I plan on using a rub and cooking them in the crock pot. I will add the BBQ sauce after they are done ! I can’t wait to see him enjoy his meal!


April 21, 2018

I have been experimenting with baby backs in the instant pot. Roughly 20 minutes in the pressure cooker, then I finish them slathered in sauce under the broiler or on planks/indirect heat in my gas Weber. Either way is good. Still learning still experimenting with times, sauces, rubs, and woods.

David Jones
David Jones

March 26, 2018

I am probably just a blasphemer to the purist, because I cook my baby back ribs in a slow cooker. 3-4 hrs on high with a full pot and they are falling off the bone tender. I treat them just as I would if I were grilling. After I take them out of the pot, I brush them with sauce and place in oven for 3 min to caramelize. Less work. Great taste and always tender.
I also do them Eastern NC style by cooking them in vinegar-based BBQ sauce like our pork pull pork BBQ shoulders. If you haven’t tried it, you should. Do not mask the taste with tomato sauce xxxxx


January 05, 2018

I love ribs, but I’m picky. I love tender fall of the bone ribs, most St Louis I’ve had are rather tough and I feel I have to fight to get any meat from them. I prefer baby backs

gina savage
gina savage

July 31, 2016

Thanks for explaining the different type ribs & how to cook them on the grill. I have never cooked them and this will be the first time I will cook on my gas grill.


October 11, 2015

I have a high standard I abide by for choosing reading material, especially online. Your article met my standards then flew right by them. You’ve written a great article with loads of great informational content.


October 10, 2015

Have you considered adding several social bookmarking links to these sites. At least for youtube.

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