Pork Side Primal Cut – Pork Bellies and Spareribs (St. Louis Spareribs)

The pork side contains the belly of the animal, and this is where spareribs, pork belllies, salt pork, and bacon reside.

Pork Bellies, Bacon, and Salt Pork

Pork bellies come from the “belly” part and are bone-in or boneless. It is the cut of meat that is turned into bacon. While popularly cured, fresh pork bellies are a delicacy. Pork bellies are a fatty cut, for sure, but they also have great flavor. They barbecue and smoke up nicely. Salt pork is like bacon just not smoked. Salt pork is a bit more saltier than bacon, and is often added to dishes to give flavor and used for the fat that is rendered out of it.

Spareribs, St. Louis Spareribs, and Rib Tips

Spareribs are from the top front side of this primal, and are identified as IMPS Item No. 416. Spareribs are larger, heavier, and have less meat between the ribs than the back ribs. They are flatter in overall look. Spareribs are sometimes called side ribs. St. Louis ribs (Item No. 416A) are spareribs with the sternum bone, cartilage, and the rib tips removed from the flank portion. The have a more rectangular look to them because the rib tips, the brisket bones, have been removed. The rib tips (Item No. 416B) (brisket bones) are just the small section that is cut away from the spareribs, and contains of part of the sternum and cartilage.

Renee’s love for tri tip almost surpasses her love for cake. Almost. Really, it’s a tough call here. When she’s not tasting BBQ and dipping in the sauce, Renee can be found at PastrySampler.com.

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