One of the things that makes cooking country style ribs a challenge (for me at least) is that there are multiple cuts of meat that are marketed under the same name.
This is the “original” country style rib. This is cut from the shoulder end of the loin roast. There is a small portion of a pretty curved rib present at the bottom of the cut which is why the cut was original called a “rib”.
This is also called a country style rib. This is about the same size and shape of the first country style rib and contains a bone that kind of looks like a rib bone. This is actually a pork shoulder (Boston butt) that has been sliced across the shoulder bone.
The last type of country style rib is shown below and is typically labeled as “Boneless Country Style Ribs”. Again, this is a similar shape and size to the cut in the first picture but is a fundamentally different piece of meat. This is the remainder of the pork shoulder that has been cut into strips. There is nothing “rib-like” about this cut.
As a general rule, if your country style ribs looks like those in the first picture they will cook up similar to pork chops.
You might want to consider brining them. If you do not brine then you definitely don’t want to cook them past 165F or they can end up tough and dry. If you do brine then you have a liitle more flexibility and forgiveness with the final temperature.
I’ll be honest that these are the ones I am having the hardest time looking to cook properly.
If your country style ribs look like those in the second or third picture then they will cook up like a pork butt. Makes sense since that is all they really are.
Brining serves little to no purpose as there is enough fat and connective tissue to keep them tender and juicy. These will benefit from a long slow cook to an internal temp of about 180F at which point they become close to fall apart tender. If you pull them at 150-160F they will probably be on the chewy side as all of the connective tissue won’t be broken down yet.
I am learning more about country style ribs with every cook; if you have any tips or suggestions I would love to hear them!