How to cut St. Louis Style Ribs

St Louis Style Ribs originated in St Louis, Missouri, a meat-packing industry in the early 20th century. They originally begin as pork spareribs and when the breastbone is removed, the ribs take on a uniformly rectangular shape.

It is rare to find pre-cut St Louis Style Ribs, and when you do find them, they can be a little pricey. That’s why learning how to trim them yourself will save you time and money. For this cut, you will remove the sections of the spare rib that typically cause ribs to cook unevenly.


  1. Locate the spot where the longest bone ends to determine where to cut, and using a sharp butcher knife, remove the section containing the breastbone and a bit of cartilage called the sternum. This section is connected to the ribs and follows the whole slab horizontally.
    HOT TIP -- Watch the embedded video for a demonstration of this technique.

  2. Next, remove the flap of meat located at the end of the slab where the shortest bone is. Your spare ribs should have a rectangle shape once those two sections are removed.

  3. Then flip over the ribs and remove the skirt, the piece of meat that runs diagonally across the back of the slab.
  4. Finally, remove the tough and rubbery membrane that covers the back of the ribs. Delicately slide a butter knife between one of the bones and the membrane to detach. Using paper towels, grab the loosened membrane and peel it off from the entire slab of ribs.
  5. Now you can season your St Louis Style Ribs and place it on your Oklahoma Joe’s smoker.

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