Baby Back Ribs vs Spare Ribs

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Pork ribs are one of the best meats to smoke for beginners. There are many different types of ribs, but today we’ll compare baby back ribs vs spare ribs.

In the following paragraphs, you’ll discover more about the similarities and differences between these two cuts.

Baby Back Ribs vs Spare Ribs: Quick Summary

Baby back ribs are more tender and leaner than spare ribs, but they are more expensive. Half of which is bone, approximately 1.5 to 2 pounds, and a single meat rack feeds about one to two people.

Spare ribs are cut from the baby’s back ribs’ ends and extend to the pig’s breast bone. There is more meat between the bones and less meat on top of spare ribs than baby back ribs, and that meat is generally more marbled and has more flavor.

There are longer and flatter bones than baby backs, and a rack (2.5 to 3.5 pounds, half of which is bone and cartilage) usually feeds three to four adults.

What Are the Differences Between Baby Back Ribs and Spare Ribs?

Use the following differences to help you pick the right rib for your next barbecue.


The size of the racks is the most apparent difference between them.

While a rack of baby back ribs has 11-13 individual ribs, which is enough for one to two persons, spare ribs can feed three to four people simultaneously. It is common for the baby back rack to have ribs that measure up to six inches in length at one end and taper down to three inches at the other.

As a rule of thumb, a baby back rib is 1.5 to 2 pounds, whereas spare ribs range from 2.5 to 3.5 pounds. Bone and cartilage make up about half of the total weight of both.


Curved racks are a key distinguishing feature of baby back ribs in terms of shape.

Instead of a curved, short rack, spare pork ribs are more like a flat rectangle. Additionally, they have longer, flatter bones and more marblings.


The flavor and texture will differ depending on where the meat is taken from the pig. Instead of being positioned on the bone, spare ribs have more meat tucked in between the two bones. 

It looks like it has more marbling than little back racks do most of the time. For both flavor and quality, this is a game-changer.

The term “marbling” refers to the fat found in lean red meat that enhances the meat’s tenderness and juiciness. So, spare ribs have more flavor than baby back ribs.

The tenderness of the pork is what keeps the price of baby back ribs so high. It’s lean and tender.


The cost of a baby back rib is more expensive than a spare rib. There is a lot of demand for this tender and lean pork rib.

Spare racks have more taste but don’t have the same tenderness.

Cooking Time

Low and slow is the best way to cook spare ribs.

At 300 degrees Fahrenheit, it takes about 1.5 to 2 hours to cook baby back ribs. Spare ribs can take 2.5 to 3 hours.

You’ll need more time to cook spare ribs than baby back ribs because they are larger and have more bone.

Baby back ribs cook faster than spare ribs since they are smaller. If you’re going to cook baby back ribs, you’ll need to watch them make sure they don’t dry out.

What Are Baby Back Ribs?

Loin ribs, back ribs, and loin back ribs are all names for the same cut of meat as baby back ribs.

The term “baby back” refers to the rack’s small size, not its age. Compared to other pork cuts, such as spare ribs, this one cooks faster due to its smaller size.

What Are Spare Ribs?

Spare ribs are cuts from the part of the rib cage that is below the baby back ribs. They are also called side ribs or spares.

The USDA specifies that a spare rib slab contains a minimum of 11 bones in it. Compared to a baby back, they have less meat on the top, but they contain more meat between the bones and flap meat.

Spare ribs are more significant and flatter than baby backs, averaging three pounds per slab. As a result of the extra bones and connective tissue, the meat is more flavorful and richer in taste.


While both baby back ribs and spare ribs are tasty, it’s essential to know the differences.

Baby backs are more tender and smaller. Spare ribs have a larger rack and more excellent flavor, but they also have more bone and fat.