Similarly to how pork butt is actually the shoulder, and head cheese is a terrine of offal, country-style ribs don't adhere to logical pork naming conventions. Country-style ribs, available boneless or bone-in, come from the shoulder end of loin or from the shoulder itself; baby backs are the upper portion of ribs, where they meet the spine. The main difference between country-style ribs and baby backs is meat -- country-styles are essentially slabs of shoulder meat, albeit a bit more tender than Boston butt, whereas baby backs look like nibbles by comparison.

What does this mean when you grill? Not much. As with baby backs, you need to grill country-style ribs low and slow.

Lay the ribs on the direct-heat side of the grill. Sear the ribs until golden brown all over, about 15 to 20 minutes total.

Transfer the ribs to the indirect-heat side of the grill. Close the lid.

Grill the ribs until they reach an internal temperature of 140 F, about 1 1/2 hours. If you are using a barbecue sauce, add it after the ribs finish cooking and let them caramelize on the grill, which takes between 5 and 10 minutes.


Bake the ribs for 1 1/2 to 2 hours in an oven set to 325 F before grilling to minimize the cooking time. After baking, grill the ribs for 15 to 20 minutes on the direct-heat side of the grill.