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What are Baby Back Ribs?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 16, 2024
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Baby back ribs are a popular offering in many restaurants that are considered fun to eat. Often served with a healthy helping of barbecue sauce, they are eaten with the fingers rather than with any utensils. Sometimes referred to as Canadian back ribs or pork loin back ribs, this dish has become a staple offering in many family restaurants around the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

Usually classified as finger meat, the ribs are cut to be very thin and are consumed by picking them up with the hands. Extracting a cut from the center and blade sections of the pork loin creates the baby back ribs. The cut is performed in a manner that creates a slab of ribs, and usually will weigh less than 2 pounds (0.9 kg). The meat that is located between each of the ribs is very lean and tasty, especially when smoked and prepared with a tangy sauce. Since the pork loin is a relatively tender cut of meat, the ribs are often cooked to the point that the meat is ready to fall off the bone. This attribute makes eating baby back ribs messy and a lot of fun.

Some restaurants choose to offer baby back ribs as an appetizer, while others will offer single and double orders as an entree. Frozen ribs are also available for preparation at home, making it possible to use a favorite barbecue sauce as a coating or a side condiment with the ribs. Considered an excellent choice of food for casual occasions, they are also popular choices for backyard grilling and as one of the finger foods that are served at sports bars and parties.

When served in restaurants, baby back ribs are often accompanied with French fries, fried cheese sticks, onion rings and other quick and easy finger foods. As a simple comfort food that is ideal for a casual dining experience at home or at a local eatery, these ribs are often an excellent choice.

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Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including DelightedCooking, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
Discussion Comments
By mutsy — On Jul 23, 2010

Comfyshoes- I have a neighbor that makes the best smoked baby back ribs. She tells me that she marinates the ribs the night before in a Vidalia onion barbeque sauce.

However, her secret weapon is the beer. She pours beer on top of the ribs when they start cooking which makes them even tenderer.

By comfyshoes — On Jul 23, 2010

I just want to add that I love the baby back ribs at Shorty’s.

They actually have a platter that has a set of baby back ribs along with a chicken breast, corn on the cob, a side order of fries, and a side order of coleslaw along with garlic bread.

I order this entree whenever I go,and I only go there when I am really hungry because the amount of food is really too much for one person unless you are starving.

I was use the smoked barbeque sauce which tastes really tangy.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
Learn more
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