If you are planning a BBQ event and wating to serve ribs you will want to know how many spare ribs per person to serve.
Spare ribs are bigger and fattier than Baby Back ribs and so they will go a bit further towards satisfying appetites.
A good appraoch for considering how much meat per person at BBQ is to think of 1/2 pound of cooked meat per person, whether it be pulled pork, brisket, chicken or ribs etc. Things are a bit more complicated with ribs as they obviously involve bones, so it’s easier to consider how many individual bones in the rack to serve.
How Many Spare Ribs Per Person?
If you want to serve spare ribs as an appetizer before a main event, you will need 2-3 spare ribs. If you are serving ribs as the main event along with sides (e.g. fries etc) then you will need roughly 4-6 ribs, depending on appetites and what sides you are serving.
How Many Pounds Baby Back Ribs Per Person?
As a rough guide you can serve 1 pound of Baby Back ribs per person, which is around the equivalent of half a rack. Back Back ribs have 10-13 ribs in a rack so this means 5-6 ribs per person which should be enough for a main dish with sides.
Baby Back ribs typically weigh 1 1/2 to 2 pounds per rack and one rack will feed about 2 people, depending on appetites and side dishes.
How Many St Louis Ribs Per Person?
St Louis ribs are a trimmed down version of spare ribs and are more uniform in shape. They contain a similar amount of meat however so you can consider a serving in a similar way – 2-3 St Louis ribs for an appetizer and 4-6 ribs as a main dish along with your sides.
How Many Spare Ribs in a Rack?
Spare ribs can have anything between 8 and 13 ribs in a rack, depending on the size of the pig and how the ribs have been cut. A full rack can feed up to 4 people.
How Much is a Portion of Ribs?
A portion of spare ribs as a main dish is around 4-6 ribs, and around 2-3 as an appetizer. Baby Back ribs are smaller and leaner so a portion would be half a rack for a starter or a full rack as a main dish.
If you want to serve the much larger beef ribs then a portion would for be 1 rib per person (for Beef Short Plate ribs or Beef Chuck ribs) or 3-4 Beef Back ribs per person as they have much less meat on them.
For a more general guide on how much meat to serve at BBQ, try our how much BBQ per person article.
Methods and Recipes for Smoking Ribs
It’s worth keeping mind the fact that some people prefer a firm bite to their ribs, as in Competition Style Ribs while others prefer a fall off the bone texture.
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