St. Louis-style barbecue refers to spare ribs associated with the St. Louis area. These are usually grilled rather than slow-cooked over indirect heat with smoke which is typically associated with the term "barbecue" in the United States.
The ribs are often heavily sauced; St. Louis is said to consume more barbecue sauce per capita than any other city in the United States. St. Louis-style barbecue sauce is described by author Steven Raichlen as a "very sweet, slightly acidic, sticky, tomato-based barbecue sauce usually made without liquid smoke."
St. Louis-style spare ribs are cut in a particular way with the sternum bone, cartilage and rib tips removed so that a well-formed, rectangular-shaped rack is created for presentation. This cut of ribs, formalized by the USDA as "Pork Ribs, St. Louis Style," allegedly originated with numerous meat-packing plants located in the region in the mid-20th century and put into the policy by a diehard fan of the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team. St. Louis-style ribs are often a class entry in barbecue competitions.
- Raichlen, Steven (2003). BBQ USA: 425 fiery recipes from all across America. New York City: Workman Publishing. pp. 130–131. ISBN 978-0-7611-2015-5.
- "Reno's Road Trip Randoms". The Great American Road Trip. NBCUniversal. Retrieved 2011-07-04.
- "St. Louis-style is a hit with rib lovers". STLToday.com. St. Louis Post-Dispatch L.L.C. 2011-06-28. Retrieved 2011-07-04.