How Many Ribs In A Rack?


Ribs are one of the most popular cuts of meat out there and are incredibly easy to grill or smoke, making them the perfect choice when throwing an outdoor BBQ party. However, one of the most common questions people have about ribs is how many ribs are in a rack?

So, that’s exactly what we’re going to answer in this quick article. Keep reading to learn more!

How Many Ribs in a Rack?

Many individuals out there don’t know how many ribs are in a rack. You need to contemplate that the number of ribs varies based on what part of your body they’re from. For example, a full pork rack contains about 10-13 ribs. For a full beef rib rack, it’s 9 ribs and for a lamb rack, it’s 7-8 ribs.

As you can see, these numbers differ depending on which type of meat is being cooked. The good news is that all racks have a similar structure so when you learn how to cook one type, you’ll be able to cook them all.

What Are Babyback Ribs?

Baby back ribs are one of the great barbecue treats, but many people have a hard time explaining what they actually are. Contrary to what you might think, baby back ribs aren’t actually ribs. Instead, they come from the loin area of pork which is less meaty compared to either spareribs or back ribs. The former is cut closer to where it connects with other bones and has more meat on it; back ribs contain more bone and less meat.

So how many racks of baby back ribs should 1-2 individuals feed? Well, that depends on your appetite but 10 to 13 ribs per person is a good place to start.

What Are Spare Ribs?

Also considered ‘flanken’, spare ribs are a cut of pork that comes from either side of a pig’s rib cage. Simply, they come from the belly of a pig. Spare ribs generally are meatier and less fatty than baby back ribs (though not always).

They also contain more connective tissue, which means they need to be cooked longer to become tender. A full rack contains 7-11 ribs, but if you’re going for a barbecue, you’ll want to get at least 2 racks per person. If you have a crowd coming over for dinner, it might be worth buying many racks so you can have some leftovers.

What Is A “Cheater Rack?”

You might be thinking that cheater rack is a dirty word, but it’s not. It entails racks of ribs having less than 10 ribs in them. Cheater racks are perfect for people who want to try some ribs without committing to an entire slab of meat (and its caloric intake).

These small-sized slabs are also great for parties because you can feed more people with fewer portions. These ribs can hold damages incurred during the butchering process. For this reason, buyers feel cheated when they get these rib slabs. However, there is no need to worry as many restaurants sell these cheater racks and they taste just as good as their full-size counterparts.

Even though you may have been told that cheater racks aren’t worth your time, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. They may lack size, but they make up for it in flavor.

As mentioned before, these smaller racks are great for people who want to sample ribs without taking on too much food at once or if you have guests over and don’t want everyone eating from one big slab of meat.

How Big Is A Full Rack Of Ribs?

Everyone should know how many ribs come in a full rack of ribs. Basically, a full rack of ribs possesses 7-8 ribs depending on size and quality. The average rib is about 1/2 pound per rib. So if you have 8 ribs that means you’re eating 4 pounds of meat which equates to roughly 14,000 calories!

That’s why it’s important to watch your portion sizes when it comes to meat products like ribs. It’s not uncommon for people to eat more than half a rack at one sitting so be careful and don’t overdo it. Some people will even go as far as ordering 2 racks of ribs at once but even that can quickly add up to a lot of food.

If you are going out with friends or family make sure everyone orders their own dish instead of sharing. This way no one person eats too much while everyone else gets an appropriate amount of food.

How Many Ribs Are in A Half Rack?

Half rack possesses 6-8 ribs and every bone can be about one inch thick. Usually, half racks are served for one to two people. This means that if you have a small family or a small group of friends at home, you can order a half rack to satisfy your hunger and save some money.

However, if you have a big family or want to serve more than two people with a single meal, then it is better that you buy an entire full rack instead of ordering 2/3 or 1/2 of it.

How Many Ribs Are In A Pork Rib Rack?

The pork rib rack has a minimum of 8 ribs and can go up to as many as 13. The average is 10-12 ribs per rack. The number of ribs in a pork rib rack depends on how big you want your rack to be. It also depends on how your butcher has prepared it for you. If it’s cut into smaller sections, it will have fewer ribs than if it was left whole.

In simple terms, there are more than enough ribs in a pork rib rack to feed four people. You may get more or less depending on how much meat each person wants.

How Many Ribs Per Person?

There are many parts of cooking pork ribs that can be confusing. The most common question asked is, how many ribs are in a rack? It’s important to understand that a rack of pork ribs is not just one rib. It is actually composed of 10-13 bones.

That being said, it’s safe to say that there are usually about 5-6 bones per person when you buy a full slab. But remember, short rib, beef rib, and spare rib have different numbers of bones per pound. If you don’t know what kind of ribs you have, then ask your butcher or look at your ribs before buying them.

So how many ribs per person? Well, if it’s a short rib, then figure on 3-4 bones per person. For baby back ribs, figure on 2-3 bones per person. For St Louis cut ribs (aka spareribs), figure on 1 bone for every two people. And for country-style ribs (or beef back ribs), figure on 1 bone for every three people.

Remember that these figures are only estimates, so adjust accordingly based on how much meat you take off each bone and how big those bones are!

Frequently Asked Questions

How many ribs do you get in a full rack?

Depending on the cut, a full rack of ribs can range from anywhere between 10 and 13 ribs. The most common cuts of rib you’ll find in grocery stores are spareribs and baby back ribs. Spareribs are larger, meatier, and contain more bones than baby back ribs. Of course, this depends on the animal being used as well.

Here is the guide on how many ribs you get in a full rack:

  • Pork ribs

If you’re considering pork, then this option is most likely spare ribs. As mentioned above, a full rack of spareribs will range from 10 to 13 ribs. This can vary depending on what part of the pig they came from and how big of a pig it was.

However, since spareribs are larger than baby back ribs, they are typically going to contain more meat per rib. As far as cost goes for these options, it really depends on where you buy them from and what kind of cut/quality they are.

  • Beef ribs

For beef lovers, then a full rack of baby back ribs will be your best bet. They have 9-12 ribs and are known for being smaller than spareribs and containing less meat per rib. However, they can sometimes have more marbling in them if you’re looking for a slightly more tender cut.

  • Lamb rack

If you’re looking for a rack of lamb, then you’ll want to buy full racks. Depending on how well-done you like your meat, a whole rack can be anywhere between 7 and 8 ribs. This will also depend on what cut of meat you want to purchase.

How Many Ribs Are In A St Louis Rack?

St Louis Rack is meatier than spareribs and baby back ribs, but they still have less meat per rib than pork or beef. They also come from different parts of a pig’s body, which is why you may find that they can be slightly smaller or larger than other racks. They have 13 ribs and weigh around 2.5 pounds.

How Much Is A Whole Rack Of Ribs?

If you plan on purchasing a whole rack of ribs, then you’re going to be spending around $3.50 per pound. This will obviously depend on what type of cut/cut of meat it is, but it’s good to know that your options are more than plentiful.

Whole racks can also range from 250 to 600 pounds, depending on how much meat you’d like in one sitting.

What’s The Difference Between A Slab Of Ribs And A Rack Of Ribs?

A slab of ribs means untrimmed ribs, while a rack of ribs refers to trimmed or cut-up racks. They are essentially two different things, so if you’re looking for one or the other, it’s best to clarify what you’re talking about before you buy. It can also help when asking for a recipe.

For example, if someone is looking for a slab of ribs but only has a rack on hand, they may need to make some adjustments to make their meal work out right.

How Many Ribs Is 1/3 Rack?

Just do your math, a whole ribs rack is usually 13 to 15 ribs. 1/3 of that is 4 to 5.5 rib. Therefore, you can get 1/3 of a rack if you’re looking for an appetizer or smaller portion. If you’re planning on purchasing an entire slab or rack, then make sure you have enough people coming over to help eat it all!

How Many Slabs Of Ribs To Feed 25?

Just consider the assumption that one person gets 3 to 4 spare ribs per serving. So if you’re planning on 25 people, then you’ll need about 75-100 spare ribs. Therefore, if you want to make sure it’s enough for everyone, then double or triple your order and make sure there are leftovers!

How Many Ribs Do I Need For 15 Adults?

You will need 3 to 4 ribs per person which means that you’ll need between 45 and 60 ribs. However, it’s best to double or triple your order because you never know how hungry everyone is going to be. Also, if you’re planning on having leftovers, then make sure you get enough meat for everyone.

How Many Baby Back Ribs For 10 Adults?

Baby backs are smaller and each adult can have 5-6 ribs. So, if you’re planning on having 10 adults, then you’ll need about 40-50 baby back ribs. You can also cut them in half or order more than one slab. But, it’s best to plan ahead so that you don’t run out of food.


The number of ribs in a rack depends on several aspects. One chief aspect is the animal from which you are getting your ribs. This means the number of ribs will vary depending on whether you are eating pork or beef ribs.

Another factor that affects how many ribs there are in a rack is how much meat has been trimmed off of each rib. The more meat that has been trimmed off, the fewer actual bones there will be when you have finished counting them all up!

Bobby Johnson

When he's not writing about barbecue, you can find Bobby smoking meat for friends and family. He's been a backyard pitmaster for roughly half his life, and has worked with nearly every cut of meat. Not everyone has a hands-on guide to teach them BBQ, but that's what Bobby hopes to do with Electric Smoker HQ. He wants to help people create amazing food that they can be proud of.