Why Baby Back Ribs Are So Popular

Baby back ribs are saucy, messy, and worthy of all the napkins in the world. They're a popular meaty meal loved by many, but why all the fuss over these babies? There are many reasons.

While baby back ribs generally steal the show, the range of sides often amps up the crowd's excitement as well. Pure Wow lists various side dishes that might accompany ribs, and there's sure to be something everyone will love. Coleslaw, pasta salad, potato salad, and cornbread top the list of recipe favs. Whip up a few of these and fire up the grill, and your summer meal time gets even more delicious.

Baby back ribs make an appearance at outdoor barbecues and restaurants alike. They're a popular meal and can be cooked in a variety of sauces to enhance their flavor. The fact that baby back ribs are popular is obvious, but just what makes them so popular? 

Baby back ribs are lean and tender

According to Smoked BBQ Source, baby back ribs are lean, tender, and cook faster than other rib types such as spare ribs. Although they actually weigh less than other rib types, many butchers intentionally leave a little loin meat attached to the top of the ribs, which is a definite bonus as loin meat is traditionally more expensive.

However, according to Smoking Meat Forum, a few users express frustration over the added loin meat. Their complaint is that it cooks more quickly and becomes dry before the rest of the ribs are fully cooked. In contrast, one rib lover commented that the extra meat above the ribs can be filleted and saved for later. They recommend frying it up for breakfast — thus creating two meals from one rack of ribs.

While baby back ribs are smaller (hence the name baby,) Seven Sons explains that due to high demand, they tend to be more costly than other rib types. So, you may want to keep this in mind when feeding a crowd.  What's The Diff explains that baby back ribs generally weigh about two pounds per rack, but, half of that two pounds is bone — meaning one rack may only feed one hungry adult!