Flats vs Drums: What’s the Best Chicken Wing?

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Nothing sparks a debate faster than discussing which part of the chicken wing is superior – the drum or the flat. Commonly referred to as “flat” due to its even shape, the lower portion, known as “wingette,” contains less meat but more bones and can be eaten easily.

Drumettes, or “drums,” are upper wings resembling mini drumsticks. These particular pieces of chicken contain more meat and cartilage than flats.

In this article, I’ll be providing an anatomical guide to chicken wings, breaking down the wingette (or “flat”) and drumette (or “drum”) and their respective cooking methods.

The Wingette (Flat)

As the name suggests, the wingette (also known as the “flat”) is flatter in shape compared to the drumette. It is essentially the forearm of the chicken wing or the middle section of the wing. The wingette comprises two bones: the ulna and the radius. These bones are connected by a joint, where the wingette is typically bent in half.

One key characteristic of the wingette is its thin, triangular-shaped tip. This part of the wing is often discarded due to its small size and inedible cartilage. The remainder of the wingette consists of meat and skin, which can be coated in various sauces and seasonings before cooking.

When it comes to cooking wingettes, there are a few key methods to keep in mind. Grilling and baking are popular options, as these cooking methods allow the skin to become crispy and the meat to cook evenly.

Deep frying is also an option, though it’s important to remember that this method will result in a greasier final product. No matter which cooking method you choose, season the wingettes well and cook them until the internal temperature reaches at least 165°F.

The Drumette

On the other hand, the drumette gets its name from its drumstick-like shape. It is made up of a single bone, the humerus, which runs through the center of the cut. The drumette is meatier and more rounded than the wingette, with a plump, rounded end and a thin, pointed end.

Like the wingette, the drumette can be coated in various sauces and seasonings before cooking. It is often grilled or baked, as these cooking methods allow the skin to become crispy and the meat to cook evenly.

Deep frying is also an option, though it’s important to remember that this method will result in a greasier final product. As with the wingette, season the drumette well and cook it until the internal temperature reaches at least 165°F.

Flats vs. Drums: Which is Better?

So, which cut of chicken wing reigns supreme: the flat or the drum? The truth is, it all comes down to personal preference. Some people may prefer the meatier, more rounded shape of the drumette, while others may prefer the flatter, crispy texture of the wingette.

Conclusion

An ideal chicken wing quenches your hunger and tantalizes your taste buds. Whether you prefer flats or drums (or both), follow proper cooking methods and pay attention to food safety guidelines to ensure a delicious and safe final product. Happy eating!

Related: Best Woods For Smoking Chicken

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I substitute one cut of the chicken wing for the other in a recipe?

In most cases, you can substitute one cut of the chicken wing for the other in a recipe. However, it’s essential to keep in mind that the cooking time may vary depending on the size and shape of the cut.

For example, drumettes may take longer to cook through than wingettes due to their thicker, meatier texture. It’s always a good idea to use a meat thermometer to ensure that the internal temperature of the chicken has reached at least 165°F before serving.

Is there a nutritional difference between flats and drums?

There is a slight nutritional difference between flats and drums. Generally speaking, the drumette contains more calories and fat due to its meatier texture.

On the other hand, the wingette tends to be leaner and contain fewer calories. However, the overall nutritional content of a chicken wing will also depend on how it is prepared and served (e.g., fried vs. grilled, sauce vs. dry rub).

Can I make chicken wings at home?

Absolutely! Chicken wings are a relatively easy and affordable option for a homemade meal. You can bake, grill or deep fry your wings at home using a variety of seasonings and sauces.

Follow proper food safety guidelines, such as washing your hands and surfaces frequently and cooking the wings to the appropriate internal temperature.

Are chicken wings healthy?

Like most foods, chicken wings can be part of a healthy diet when consumed in moderation. However, it’s important to remember that they can also be high in calories and fat, especially if they are fried or coated in a creamy sauce.

Opting for grilled or baked wings and choosing healthier sauce options (such as a vinegar-based hot sauce) can help to reduce the overall caloric and fat content of your chicken wings.

As with any food, paying attention to portion sizes and balancing your overall diet with various nutrient-rich foods is essential.

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.

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