Different Types of Barbecue Ribs

Bbq ribs being grilled and sauced

At Nick’s, it’s no secret that we love all kinds of ribs! What many people don’t know is how many different types of ribs there are. As the local Ocean City, MD rib experts, we’ve decided to share our knowledge and love for ribs with our fellow barbeque lovers out there.

Check out a few of our favorite types of ribs and see if you know them all. If this gives you a barbecue craving, head on over to Nick’s for a delicious home-cooked meal and the best ribs in town! We offer a variety of ways to order your ribs including different sauces, sizes, combos, and more

Baby-Back Ribs

The classic baby-back ribs are the most common of the rib types. But they’re well known for good reason! Sometimes referred to as the loin or back ribs, they are lean, containing a lot of meat, and very little cartilage. Baby-back ribs are easy to cook whether you’re choosing to smoke them or put them in the oven. Try ours with Nick’s traditional or signature sauce! 

Pork Spare Ribs

Pork spare ribs are lower on the pig and near the belly, making them much larger than baby-back ribs. They have a lower amount of meat but the abundance of fat makes them very flavorful especially when cooked for long periods of time. Melt away some of that fat and you’ll have tender, juicy ribs!

Rib Tips

The lower, meaty section of rib attached to the spare ribs are short rib tips. The meaty chunks contain cartilage but no bone, making them easy to prepare and cook. They can be cooked the same way as a rack of ribs would be in either a smoker or the oven with a delicious rub, seasoning, and barbecue sauce. 


The term “riblets” is often used interchangeably with rib tips. Riblets are slightly smaller ribs cut from a full rack. They are around the same size as rib tips but they differ because they still contain bone. These are great appetizers and snacks to prepare with other food, and like the rib tips, should be treated as regular ribs when cooking. 

Ask us about how we make our award-winning ribs at Nick’s! Come dine with us or carry out for a delicious meal the whole family will love.


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