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How many ribs in a rack?

I've been finding no consistancy in BBQ joints so that term seems meaningless.

A lot of combo plates will say half a rack of ribs which can translate from 3 - 6 ribs of various sizes.

What is it supposed to mean?

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  1. I believe a rack has 13 ribs (like all mammals). They usually rate them by weight per rack : 2 down, 3 down, etc (meaning: 2 lbs or less, 3 lbs or less). It's pretty standard.

    8 Replies
    1. re: coll

      this is wrong. Just had a full rack today. It was 7. It took up the whole plate and they were beef ribs.

      1. re: rweich

        I'm fairly certain the rworange was referring to pork ribs. There are usually about a dozen ribs in a rack of pork ribs.

        1. re: rweich

          LoL

          That must have been one screwed up cow!

          A cow has the same 13 ribs per side just like anything else.

          If someone sold you a "full rack" and you got 7 ribs...you need to go back and get your money back cause you got had! LoL

          1. re: JayL

            Well it was on special at the restaurant. Normally 18.95 and on sale today for 9.95. The plate was huge. Dang was it good. Do a search though and you'll see most cow ribs are 7-8.

            1. re: rweich

              They are cut that way yes. Most steer ribs are ribs 2 through 10.

              1. re: John E.

                So ribs 1 and 11-13 are removed because of their size? Maybe too small or not meaty enough?

                1. re: rweich

                  They remove and market the smaller ribs for other purposes, for example precooked "riblet" appetizers.

                  But yes all cattle and pigs have 13 ribs. This is a biological fact. Beef ribs are so big that if they gave you the whole rack of spare ribs, the plate wouldn't be big enough, so they cut them up.
                  I had a customer who used to buy cases of whole racks and he called them "Dinosaur bones" which was an appropriate description.
                  I found this if you want further info
                  http://amazingribs.com/recipes/beef/z...

            2. re: JayL

              A Restaurant can sell one any kind of "rack" they choose. Three, Four, Five, Six, etc. bones per "rack" ~ These are called "Cheater Racks" where I come from...because a full rack of ribs consist of 13 ribs....just like God made them. Anything else is cheatin!! Also where I come from you rarely hear the word "rack" unless and maybe you're in some kind of (chain?) restaurant. ~~ Hear it's called a 'slab' of ribs. July 4th I will cook several 'slabs' of ribs. ~~ Regional name difference I'd guess.

              Fun!

        2. When you trim that little pos bone off the end a rack will have 12 bones.

          2 Replies
            1. re: rweich

              What do Point Of Sale systems have to do with this? ;-)

            1. Just ran into this problem at Rainin' Ribs in Seattle.
              Ordered carryout from their menu, "full rack of ribs."
              Got home, 5 ribs.
              WTF?
              Called and was told that's a full rack.

              IT'S A FULL RACK OF SOMETHING BUT NOT A FULL RACK OF RIBS.

              Just got off the phone with the owner who swears the rib count is different if you are talking about baby back ribs or spare ribs.
              Huh!?!
              I told her, "google rack of ribs, look at the picture, count the ribs."
              She said her computer was broken.
              I don't even know why I care because I won't be going back anyway.

              But really. It's the biggest pile of BS I've come across lately in the restaurant world.

              Thought you all would get a kick out of it.

              2 Replies
              1. re: JayDK

                Right up there with: "Well, that's the way WE make ________" when you get a completely different and inferior rendition.

                1. re: JayDK

                  I have learned to ask how many ribs in the serving - The last place I went into the server said 4 or 5 _ I ask if it was the half rack on the menu -Nope - 1/2 rack is 3 - so, I said I will take the chopped beef sandwich -but- how big is it / the answer was "Regular size" - I left - At least I did not get totalyhustled

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