How Many Ribs in a Rack or Slab?

Ribs are large in number; managing them is a bit hard. Here in this post, we will learn how to manage the number of ribs in a rack or full slab ribs and full slab ribs. When you decide how much meat to serve at your next gathering, you need to know how many people you expect.

The next equally important step is determining the appropriate portion sizes. So, here we go to know the number of ribs in a rack or slab.

How Many Ribs in a Rack or Slab?

What is a “Rack” or “Slab” of Ribs?

Butchers sell pork ribs as slabs unless you’re shopping for BBQ ribs. Depending on the pig breed, it will have 15-16 rib bones when the pig is slaughtered. About 2-3 bones remain in the pork shoulder. Smaller bones are also adjusted at the discretion of the butcher. You should expect to see at least 10-13 bones in a slab or rack full of pork ribs at the grocery store.

How many ribs are in the rack?

There are about 15 to 16 ribs in a rack. In comparison, pigs have 15 or 16 ribs. It depends on the breed. Normally cows have 13 ribs. The number of ribs you get in the rack is somewhat different. A full rack of pork ribs typically has 10 to 13 ribs.

How Many Ribs in a Rack

On the other hand, a full rack of beef ribs has 9 ribs. A full rack of lamb consists of 7 or 8 ribs. Here are some types of ribs given below:

Pork’s Ribs

The first thing you should know about pork ribs. These are different in number plus come in different forms, even if you’ve decided to limit your search to pork ribs.

Pork's Ribs

Beef Ribs

A full rack of beef ribs often contains 9 to 12 ribs, depending on how the butcher cuts them. It is about half rack ribs or half slab ribs.

Beef Ribs

Rack of Lamb

A rack of lamb most often consists of 7 or 8 ribs.

Rack of Lamb

Replacement ribs

Replacement ribs are taken from the sternum. The meat is fatty and somewhat chewy. Suppose the ribs are not cooked for a long time at a low temperature. This cut is inexpensive and provides a decent amount of meat per rib.

An average rack of spare ribs yields 11 to 13 ribs. St. Ribs Louis, a shortened version of the same cut, will have 10 to 13 ribs per rack.

The rib tips, meanwhile, consist of meat trimmed from spare ribs to make St. Louis. These may also be called brisket. You don’t need to confuse confused with the beef cut of the same name. Rib tips are usually about 1 to 3 inches wide, and the cut can be up to a foot long.

Back ribs

The back ribs come from the top of the animal’s spine. They are leaner, more tender than ribs, and take less time to cook. When the back ribs are separated from the pig, a few usually remain in the shoulder area. These racks consist of more individual ribs than the bottom section. Several 15 or 16 are typical for the back-rib ridge.

Back ribs

Make sure that back ribs and baby back ribs refer to the same cut of pork. The designation “baby” refers to the fact that these ribs are smaller than the replacement ribs. The total number of ribs can also be lower. The number of ribs here is about 8.

How many ribs are there in a half rack?

Half ribs are usually served as an appetizer or alongside other menu items. The items are such as sandwiches, burgers, and salads. Half a rack of ribs contains six to eight individual ribs, with each bone about an inch thick.

When deciding how much meat you want on your plate, half a rack of ribs is often an easier option than buying full racks because they provide enough meat per serving without being too large.

How many ribs are there in a half rack

Does a Full Rack refer to Baby Back Ribs or Spare Ribs?

When you’re ordering from a restaurant (not a barbecue), the ribs you’re probably eating are baby back ribs (lumbar ribs). It is primarily due to the sale of about 1 2 rack of ribs, 1 3 rack of ribs, 1 4 rack of ribs, and 2/3 rack of ribs.

However, if you’re eating on the grill, they’ll probably make a difference and say if the grill is spare ribs or loin ribs. There are specific differences between spare ribs and baby back ribs, but if a pig has 10-13 spare ribs, it will also have 10-13 baby back ribs.

Does a Full Rack refer to Baby Back Ribs or Spare Ribs

What are the baby’s back ribs?

What are the baby's back ribs?

Baby-backs come from the pork area and are less meaty than ribs. Expect a rack of baby ribs to hold 10 to 13 ribs, enough to feed 1-2 people. Baby back ribs come from the parts of the ribs that connect to the spine. Under the psoas, muscles are curved where they meet the spine.

They are called “babies” because they are shorter than spare ribs. They are about 6 inches at the longest end and taper to about 3 inches at the shorter end.

What are spare ribs?

Spare ribs, also known as flanken. In some countries, it comes from the belly of the pig. They contain more meat than baby back ribs and have an extra vertebra in each rib. The number of ribs in it is about 13 instead of 12.

A full rack can be made up of between seven and 11 ribs, depending on how thick each bone is cut. The most common option will include seven to nine ribs.

What are spare ribs

What do Popular Restaurants Consider to be a “Full Rack”

You need to check out a few popular places that sell ribs and look at their “full rack” photos. To learn more about it, see the below information:

  • Chili’s website
  • The Applebee’s website
  • Longhorn Steak House d

How many ribs are in a cheater rack?

The Cheater usually consists of four or five ribs. This is often the result of the full rack being damaged somehow.

Despite the name, the meat slab of ribs feeds how many pounds of meat has sold, so even though it’s shorter, it’s still the same value and has similar qualities to a full rack of ribs, giving you that smoky flavor we all love.

What is a “Cheater Rack?”

The term Cheater is used to refer to racks that contain less than 10 ribs. Suppose the count on the back-rib crest drops below 10. It is often because the crest has suffered some damage during slaughter. This leads consumers to believe they are cheated out of a full rack of ribs.

However, since meat products are sold by the pound, this is a false assumption at best. While it’s in your best interest to count the ribs on each rack, when you buy in bulk, you only pay for the amount of meat you get.

How To Adjust Serving Sizes

We recommend using the above guidelines as a rule of thumb, and it’s a good idea to be flexible with the numbers. Here are other factors to consider for a slab of ribs when planning how many ribs to buy.

Daytime: Evening meetings attract hungry diners. If you’re having a party after dark with a full rack of ribs or full rack of ribs calories, buying more meat than you think you’ll need is a good idea. Conversely, if the party is in the afternoon, you can expect people to eat a full rack of ribs weight a little less.

Assembly type: For elaborate seating with linens, use generous portion sizes. For casual gatherings that encourage guests to socialize, it’s okay to cut back a bit. People will eat less when they focus on the company rather than food.

Age of guests: If there are a lot of children at the party, you don’t need to serve so much meat.

Side dishes: Plan the rest of your menu with a rack of ribs before heading to the butcher. If you’re planning a full barbecue with coleslaw, potato salad, cornbread, and several different potato chips, go for the bare minimum regarding recommended portion sizes.


  • How many bones are in a rack of ribs?

    There are about 12 to 15 bones in a rack of ribs.

  • How many bones are in a slab of ribs?

    There are about 12 to 16 bones in a slab of ribs.

  • How many does a rack of ribs serve?

    There is about 8 to 9 rack of ribs served.

  • How many people does a slab of ribs feed?

    About 20 to 25 people can eat a slab of ribs feed.

  • How many racks of ribs for 30?

    There are about 6 ribs for 30.

  • How many ribs are half rack?

    Almost 8 ribs are there in a half rack.

  • How many ribs are in a slab of baby back?

    Baby slabs are smaller, and it takes about 16 ribs in a slab.

  • How much is a rack of ribs?

    This is about $3.59 per pound.

Final Thoughts

There is no accurate answer to the question, “how many ribs are in a rack”? The final result depends on the meat product you choose, as well as the size of the animal.

Anyone looking to get the most bang for their buck should consider a beef rack for ribs at their next cookout. The ribs are set at a reasonable price and get a lot of meat for every penny spent. They also appear very impressive at the dinner table if guests are not afraid of large bones.

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