are beef back ribs the same as short ribs

Short ribs are shorter and flatter while the back ribs are longer and curved. The other difference is in the amount of meat that is on each type of rib. Short ribs will have less meat because they come from the chuck primal which is a tougher section of the cow.

When you go to a restaurant, ordering ribs is easy. When you make ribs at home, it gets a little more complicated. There are different types of ribs, and their differences usually boil down to the type of meat (such as beef or pork ribs), the part of the animal they come from and the preparation method.

Two types of ribs that are very common but often confused are beef spare ribs and short ribs. Though they come from the same animal — a cow — they come from different parts of the cow and need to be cooked differently.

Heres what sets them apart so you can identify them correctly in the grocery store and know how to prepare them when you get home.

What’s the difference between beef ribs and pork ribs?

The initial distinguishing feature between pork ribs and beef ribs is the size, especially if you compare the pork back ribs to beef back ribs. Cattle are massively larger than hogs which of course results in bigger ribs. Beef ribs found at the butcher counter can be up to 8 – 12 inches long! This is why you might hear some people refer to some beef ribs as dinosaur ribs (remember Fred Flintstone & his Dino ribs at the drive-in?). Pork ribs (top) and beef ribs (bottom) are pictured above.

Of course the length of ribs vary depending on the style of cut, which we will get into shortly. In comparison, pork ribs tend to be only a few inches long.

Besides the size, beef ribs tend to have more meat on them, particularly when looking at the short ribs. Beef short ribs have a generous 1-2 inch portion of meat on top of the rib bone.

Should you leave the membrane on beef ribs?

The membrane is a thin, smooth layer of tissue covering the underside of the rib bones. Since the membrane acts like a barrier, it could prevent the flavour of smoke, rubs, and sauces from directly contacting the meat (there is conflicting evidence on this topic, so more research is needed). In terms of texture, some report that the membrane can be tough while others report no noticeable difference.

Many people prefer to remove it before cooking beef ribs to ensure they have the best flavour and texture possible.

Short Ribs vs. Spare Ribs Nutrition

Both beef spare ribs and short ribs are high in calories, fat and protein. Their vitamin and mineral contents differ slightly.

‌Per 3 oz., cooked‌

Spare ribs

Short ribs

Calories

205

152

Total fat

15.2 g

9.1 g

Saturated fat

6.1 g

3.8 g

Protein

15.9 g

16.7 g

Iron

1.5 mg, 8% Daily Value

2.27 mg, 12% DV

Short ribs are shorter and flatter while the back ribs are longer and curved. The other difference is in the amount of meat that is on each type of rib. Short ribs will have less meat because they come from the chuck primal which is a tougher section of the cow.

FAQ

What is the difference between beef back ribs and short ribs?

Cut: The back ribs are cut from the upper back of the cow. Short ribs are cut from the lower portion of the rib cage in the front section of the cow. Short ribs are directly beneath the back ribs.

Can I substitute back ribs for short ribs?

You can substitute short ribs and back ribs in these recipes so long as for back ribs you use a big enough pan! Another trick with back ribs is to cut a long rack in half to fit it more easily in your slow cooker.

What is another name for beef short ribs?

Cuts of Beef Short Ribs We also know flanken short ribs as crosscut ribs, kosher ribs, and Korean-style ribs. Chefs may refer to English cut short ribs as braising ribs, barbeque ribs, or fancy cut ribs because of the dense slab of meat perched atop their bones.

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