Beef Ribs Vs Pork Ribs: Here Is The Basic Cooking Guide For Each

You might think that it’s hard to distinguish beef ribs from pork ribs – but it’s actually not. So, if you want to know how to tell beef from pork ribs, you’ve come to the right place.

This article will make it easy for you to tell beef ribs and pork ribs apart. I will show you many simple ways on how to know if you’re dealing with beef or pork ribs easily – whether they’re raw or cooked.

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Know the Source

Keep these things in mind if you want to know where beef ribs and pork ribs come from:

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    Beef ribs are sourced from cows (cattle).
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    Pork ribs come from pigs (hogs).

Understanding Rib Cuts

Beef Ribs

Beef Ribs

To understand the different types of cut for beef and pork ribs, consider the points listed below.

Beef

Beef Ribs

Beef Ribs

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    Back ribs – The side of a cow is the rib section of said animal and the source of back ribs. Its location is very similar to the location of back ribs in pigs. This type of rib is not very meaty, but is rather quite bony.
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    Short ribsShort ribs are sourced from the lower part of a cattle (around the chest area and below). This part is also called the plate part of a cow and is a very meaty part.

Pork

Grilled Pork Ribs

Grilled Pork Ribs

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    Back ribs – This cut is sourced from the back part of a pig (the loin section). Back ribs are trimmed of loin meat to get close to the bones.
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    Spare ribsSpare ribs are triangular in shape. Coming from the bottom part of pigs (belly part), these ribs are longer than back ribs.
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    St. Louis ribs – Rectangular in shape, St. Louis ribs are trimmed of meat to reveal the bones.

Cooking Beef Ribs Vs. Pork Ribs

When cooking beef ribs and pork ribs, remember these things:

Beef

Beef Ribs

Beef Ribs

You can use the following cooking techniques for beef ribs:

  • BBQ (grill)
  • Roast (oven)
  • Braise (Dutch oven)
  • Smoke (smoker)
  • Casserole (slow cooker)

Cooking time

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    Beef ribs take about 1 to 2 hours to cook.
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    When roasted or grilled, beef ribs can seem tougher than pork ribs.
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    Short ribs take some time to cook and are best cooked at low, steady heat for long hours (slow cooker).

Pork

Pork Ribs

Pork Ribs

As a versatile part of a pig, you can use the following cooking methods for pork ribs:

  • Roast (oven)
  • BBQ (grill)
  • Smoke (smoker)
  • Casserole (Slow cooker)

Cooking time

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    Pork ribs can be fully cooked in about 1 to 2 hours.
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    Pork ribs get more tender as the dish cooks.
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    When cooking pork ribs (especially without sauce), overcooking the meat can make it dry and tough.
Beef Ribs

Beef Ribs

Taste of Beef Vs. Pork

Beef and pork have different tastes. Refer to the points I listed below with regards to this.

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    Beef – Beef ribs, like cow meat (steaks) carry that familiar red meat flavor. Compared to pork, beef is more flavorful – and putting seasonings on a dish will further enhance its taste.
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    Pork – Pork ribs (like pork meat, in general) carry a mildly sweet flavor that can be enhanced with seasoning. Just rubbing pork ribs with salt and pepper will bring out its natural flavor.

Size of Beef Ribs Vs. Pork Ribs

You can easily distinguish beef ribs from pork ribs by just looking at the size. Consider these things:

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    Beef – Beef ribs, coming from bigger animals, are bigger than pork ribs.

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    Pork – pork ribs are smaller than beef ribs.

Fat Content of Beef Ribs Vs. Pork Ribs

If you are conscious about the fat content of beef ribs and pork ribs, remember the following:

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    Beef – The fat content of pork ribs helps in adding more flavor to a dish. It is not necessary to remove the fatty layers from the meat.
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    Pork – The fat content of pork ribs is high in cholesterol. It’s advisable to remove some of the fatty layers before cooking the dish.

FAQs

Grilled Pork Ribs

Grilled Pork Ribs

Q: Which is healthier, beef or pork ribs?

Q: How can I tell if ribs are beef or pork?

Q: How can I tell the difference between beef ribs and pork ribs?

Q: How do you compare the cooking time of pork ribs vs. beef ribs?

Q: What are beef ribs called?

Q: Are spare ribs pork or beef?

Q: What animals do ribs come from?

Top 5 Beef Ribs and Pork Ribs Recipes

Top 1 – Slow Cooked Beef Short Ribs

This beef ribs recipe uses cheap ingredients (even the rib cuts are cheap), but the final result is delicious. Try it out as the steps to preparing it are really simple:

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    Brown the pieces of beef ribs in a pan.
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    Cook the ribs in a mixture of red wine, tomato puree, stock, and whole garlic (cut in half).
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    Finish in the oven by cooking for about 2 hours (at 350 degrees Fahrenheit).
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    Top with fried bacon and mushrooms.

Top 2 – Beef Rib Soup

While this beef rib soup is not that easy to prepare (it takes a lot of time and a lot of ingredients), it’s actually worth all the trouble. See if you can manage these steps:

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    Boil the beef short ribs.

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    Strain the stock.
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    Add the vegetables (this particular recipe uses potatoes, carrots, cabbage, green beans, squash, corn, etc.).
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    Add seasonings.

As you can see, just preparing the vegetables can take a lot of time. It’s a lot, and you need to cut them all for the soup (so please be patient and just think of it as making healthy food, ok?). Boiling the ribs also requires at least 2 hours – so, again, be prepared for the task.

Top 3 – Smoked Beef Back Ribs

If you want a simple beef ribs recipe that’s really to die for, you should try smoking it. This recipe involves the following steps:

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    Season the slabs of beef back ribs. Allow the seasoning to get absorbed by the meat for at least an hour – but allowing it to marinate in the seasoning overnight is even better.

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    Cook in the smoker (Amazon) at low heat (about 250 degrees Fahrenheit) for about 2 hours (or until done).
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    Wrap the beef rib slabs in a foil and place over direct heat (about 400 degrees Fahrenheit).
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    Grill each side for about 5 minutes each.
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    Remove from foil and serve with side dish (mashed potatoes would be a good idea).

Remember, you want to cook the ribs well so that it’s not chewy. Also, the success of this recipe will depend greatly on how long you let it soak in seasoning – so, I really suggest marinating it overnight.

Top 4 – Sweet Stir-Fried Pork Spare Ribs

For a quick but yummy pork spare ribs recipe, I really urge you to try this one. It’s not that hard to cook, as you will see in the steps below.

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    Put some oil in a frying pan (Amazon) and brown the spare ribs. Remove from pan and set aside.

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    In the same pan, fry some garlic and ginger before adding back the ribs.
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    Add oyster sauce and sugar.
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    Add some water and let it simmer for about 15 minutes.
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    When almost done, add green onions.

If you like your ribs sweet and salty, you should really try this recipe. It’s best served with rice and soup (for a complete meal).

Top 5 – Baked Baby Back Ribs

If you’re like me, you want your baby back ribs to be fall-off-the-bone tender – and that’s what this recipe is. You have the option of cooking this dish on the grill or in the oven – but for now, it’s done in the oven. The steps to making this recipe are simple to follow, as you will see below.

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    Prepare the baby back ribs by removing the thin membrane near the bones and cutting the whole slab into pieces (1 rib per piece).

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    Drizzle and rub with lemon juice (for tenderizing).
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    Press and coat the ribs with the rubbing mixture.
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    Arrange in a baking pan (Amazon) and cook at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for about 2 ½ hours.
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    Coat the ribs with sauce and cook each side for about 5 minutes each. Use the Broil function in your oven for this step.

The Truth: Beef Ribs Vs. Pork Ribs

Well, now you know how to tell beef ribs and pork ribs apart, right? As you can see, they are very different not only in appearance but in taste as well.

Pork Ribs

Pork Ribs

Personally, I enjoy eating both beef and pork and can appreciate the taste of different types of ribs. If you love cooking, I suggest trying the recipes I included in this post. This way, you will appreciate beef ribs and pork ribs even more.

If you found this article useful, feel free to share it with your friends. Any feedback from you will also be highly appreciated.

Lita Watson
 

Hi there! I’m Lita, and I’m absolutely in love with cooking blogs. I’m a beginner in cooking and i try my best to make it quick and easy. Even though, it’s not always quick and easy to keep up with fancy dinners… so i keep learning and blogging about quick and easy ways to create delicious and yummy foods for my two kids and a wonderful husband.

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