Ever come across ribs that have been labeled as ‘Danish Baby Back Ribs’ at the supermarket and wondered what they were?
If you assumed that these were from Denmark. Then you’d be right.
However, these racks of ribs aren’t known as ‘Danish Baby Back Ribs’ in Denmark — they’re only known as this in America.
These are pork ribs that have been imported from Denmark.
In fact, they’re from the meatpackers or butchers who had the meat cut leftover after obtaining the Danish Ham cut.
In a way, these ribs could be considered scrap cuts of meat. That is also why they are less expensive than other types of pork ribs.
What Exactly Are Danish Ribs?
Now, before you go out and grab these more affordable pork ribs, you should know a few things about them first.
While they are less expensive, they are also smaller in size and have fewer ribs meat compared to others on the market.
If you’re keen to know their exact measurements, these slabs of baby backs average around 4 to 5 inches wide. And they’re also about 14 to 15 inches in length.
In terms of weight, they can weigh anywhere from one to one and a half pounds.
Of course, if you’re preparing ribs for a gathering you’ll most likely also be curious about the amount of meat per rack. So, we’ve found that Danish ribs usually come with 13 ribs per slab.
A full rack of ribs usually amounts to 12 ribs — so some people might appreciate the extra one!
What Are Baby Back Ribs?
While a lot of us are quite familiar with spare ribs. What exactly are ‘baby back ribs? Do they come from piglets?
The good news is that the answer is an absolute ‘no’. Baby backs do not come from baby pigs. They refer to the ribs that meet up with the animal’s backbone.
These are located just south of the loin muscle and are slightly curved because that’s where the ribs join up with the spine.
The only reason why they’ve been labeled as ‘baby’ is that they are significantly smaller in size. These ribs can range in length from three to six inches.
Now, what about the meat quality? Well, normal baby back ribs are usually preferred over spare ones when people are trying to make ‘fall off the bone ribs. This is because baby backs have meat that’s more tender and meatier.
Since the overall meat texture is not as tough, they’re more desirable than spare ribs. Hence, the price of baby backs is also a little bit higher. However, if you’re looking for ribs that are larger and have a higher fat content, then spare ribs are the way to go.
While we do love eating both kinds of ribs. Something is satisfying about eating meat off a larger bone.
So, What’s the Difference Between the Danish Baby Backs and the Normal Ones?
Many smoking enthusiasts will often advise you against buying Danish baby backs. This is because they’re even smaller than the normal ones, which means that they have even lesser meat and fat.
As such, sticking them in the smoker for hours will leave you with tiny pieces of dry ribs that lack meat and flavor. And nobody wants that. For example, many pitmasters in the Smoking Meat Forum claim that these ribs aren’t worth the cheaper price at all.
Try Baking Them Instead!
But that does not mean that you should completely avoid this type of ribs. While they certainly aren’t great for smoking, they are good for baking.
In fact, we’d like to share one of our favorite Oven-Baked Baby Backs recipe that works great for Danish baby backs too!
Here’s what you will need:
- a rack of Danish pork ribs
- A cup of barbecue sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground-up dried chipotle pepper
- A teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- A teaspoon of dried mustard powder
- A tablespoon of ground cumin powder
- 2 tablespoons of freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup of salt
- 1/4 cup of brown sugar
- 1/4 cup of white sugar
- 1/2 cup of ancho chile powder (if you don’t have this, you can always use normal chili powder)
The baking method is excellent because it doesn’t dry out the meat as much as smoking does. Extra barbecue sauce also helps! Just remember you some sides for your BBQ ribs, this will ensure your cookout is a perfect!
You Should Also Try Braising Them!
Another one of our go-to recipes for Danish ribs is this braised pork ribs with taro recipe.
It’s excellent for these small ribs because the cooking process doesn’t dry them out. And it also provides for great flavor — ribs don’t always have to taste like barbecue sauce!
First of all, you need to gather these ingredients for the marinade:
• 3 slabs of Danish baby back ribs
• 1 tablespoon of Shao xing wine
• 1/2 teaspoon of dark soy sauce
• 1/2 teaspoon of salt
• 1/4 teaspoon of sugar
You will also be needing these for the rest of the cook:
- 2 tablespoons of oil
- 1 slice of ginger (smashed)
- 1/4 cup of minced shallots
- 6 cloves of smashed garlic
- 1 tablespoon of Shao xing wine
- 2 tablespoons of ground bean sauce
- 2 teaspoons of hoisin sauce
- 1 teaspoon of soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1/8 teaspoon of five-spice powder
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground white pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon of sesame sauce
- 4 cups of low sodium chicken stock
- 2 pounds of large taro root (You will need to cut them into 2 to 3-inch pieces)
- 2 scallions (You will also need to cut these up)
When you think of braising things, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? How long it’ll take to cook the food?
Well, believe it or not, this recipe takes less time than baking the ribs. Just fry everything up in a big wok, and then leave it to simmer for at least 45 minutes so that the meat absorbs all of that flavor!
And that’s it for Danish baby back ribs! While they are cheaper, you do get less meat with these ribs.
However, you shouldn’t give up on them because they can still be enjoyed if you know how to cook them properly.
Just stay away from smoking them and they’ll come out tasting great!
Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)
You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!
You can read more on our About Us page.
Hungry For More?