Chicken Flats vs. Drum Wings: Key Differences Explored

In the realm of chicken wings, a never-ending debate ignites cravings and divides appetites: Chicken Flats vs. Drums. These two delectable portions of the chicken wing have loyal fan bases, each fiercely advocating for their favorite. 

While both deliver a finger-licking experience, they offer distinct tastes and textures that can sway even the most dedicated wing connoisseur. 

In this epic showdown, we delve into the battle of the poultry, exploring the nuances of Chicken Flats and Drums to help you decide which wing reigns supreme on your plate.

Chicken Flats Vs. Drum Wings Vs. Tip: What’s the Primary Difference?

Chicken flats and drum wings

We’re quite familiar with chicken wings, but knowing about the anatomy and parts of chicken wings can be more informative.  

Chicken wings typically comprise 3 main parts. Below we’ve discussed the difference and identification of these parts.

1. Chicken Drum or Drumette 

Chicken drumettes are part of the chicken wing closest to the chicken’s body. This part is called the drumette because its shape is like that of a small drumstick.

Drumettes are often favored because they’re meatier than the other parts of the wing, containing more protein and a single, larger bone, rather than the two smaller bones found in the wingette or “flat.” This makes them easier and less messy to eat, especially when served as part of a dish like buffalo wings or barbecue chicken wings.

In grocery stores and butcher shops, you’ll often find chicken wings sold whole, but you can also find packages of drumettes or flats after some research if you prefer one part over the other.

2. Wingette or Flat 

“Chicken flats” is another term for the middle segment of a chicken wing. This part of the wing is sandwiched between the drumette (the section closest to the body of the chicken) and the tip (the pointy piece at the end).

It’s known as “flat” because of its flatter shape than the drumette.

Wait a minute, please!
Let me ask you one question.

Have you eaten chicken wings?

Have you found a section with two parallel thin bones that seem challenging to remove and have little meat?

Yes, it’s chicken flat with two parallel bones and a layer of meat and skin. 

Some people prefer the flats over the drumettes as they’re more flavorful and have a good balance of skin (fat), meat, and bone to make them crispy when cooked properly. 

Chicken flats are also easier to eat in one or two bites. For this reason, chicken flats are a popular choice for recipes like buffalo wings.

3. Tip 

Wings’ tips are the third and last part of a chicken wing (often removed), located at the farthest end from the chicken’s body. They’re thin and pointy with very little meat on them. They also have skin, bone, cartilage, and little or no meat.

Though they’re not typically cooked as the main part of many cuisines, thinking unnecessary and adding extra weight to cost you, you can use them for preparing the chicken broth.

Some Asian recipes let you cook wingtips as a crunchy snack.

Chicken Flats Vs. Drumettes: Difference in Texture, Taste, and Ease of Eating

When comparing the taste and texture of chicken flats (drumettes) and drumettes, it’s important to note that the flavor is similar since they’re both parts of the chicken wing. However, there are subtle differences primarily because of their structure and skin, meat, and bone proportion.


Flats contain two smaller bones with a layer of meat in between. The skin-to-meat ratio is also higher, which means they can get very crispy when cooked properly. The meat itself is tender.

Drumettes are meatier compared to flats. They contain a single, larger bone and have more flesh on them. The meat is typically tender and juicy.


The taste of flats is similar to the rest of the chicken, although some people find they absorb marinades and sauces better because of their higher bone-to-meat ratio.

Drumettes also have a flavor similar to the rest of the chicken. They might taste richer to some people because they contain more meat.

Ease of eating

Eating flats requires a bit more maneuvering because of the presence of two bones. Some people find it easy to twist out one of the bones and eat the rest of the meat off the remaining one. The flat can also be eaten by biting the meat off both sides. Despite this, many people enjoy the process and find it part of the appeal of eating chicken wings.

Drumettes are often considered easier to eat than flats because of the single bone. You can easily hold one end and eat the meat off the other end, much like you would with a larger drumstick.

Overall, the differences are small, and for this reason, both are cooked combined. 

Nutrition Value of Chicken Flats Vs. Drums

The nutritional value of chicken flats (or wingettes) can vary depending on the cooking method and whether the skin is left on. However, here is a general idea of nutritional content in chicken wingette with bone (skinless or with skin) according to USDA’s Food Data Central:

CriteriaChicken Flats with SkinChicken Flats (Without Skinless)
Weight3-ounce or 80 grams3-ounce or 80 grams
Protein28g25 g
Sodium180 mg160mg

These values are for raw chicken wingettes. Cooking methods and any sauces or seasonings used will alter these values.

Nutrition value of chicken drumette (with skin or without skin)

The nutritional content of a raw, skin-on chicken drumette can vary, but based on data from the USDA’s FoodData Central, here’s a general idea of the concluded nutritional content for a drumette weighing approximately 80 grams or 3 ounces serving with bones:

CriteriaChicken Drums with SkinChicken Drums (Without Skinless)
Weight3-ounce or 80 grams3-ounce or 80 grams
Sodium180 mg160mg

By keeping these nutritional comparisons between chicken drums and flats, you can choose healthier choices according to your dietary needs.


What part of chicken wings: flat vs. drum wing, is lean?

Both the drumette and the flat (wingette) parts of the chicken wing have lean meat besides skin and bones. The meat itself in both parts is quite lean. And the fat in chicken wings primarily comes from the skin–skinless chicken wings have only 1.7 grams or 2% fat. However, the drumettes might be slightly leaner because they have more meat than the flats. 

Thus, this difference is minimal and has little impact on the overall nutritional content.

If you’re particularly concerned about getting lean meat and less fat out of chicken wings, you can follow a few tips:

  • Consider removing the skin before eating. Opt for a cooking method that uses less fat, e.g., air frying, grilling, or baking.

As always, for precise nutritional information, it’s best to refer to specific dietary resources or consult with a nutritionist.

Chicken flats vs. drum wings: which cooks faster?

When comparing cooking times between chicken flats and drum wings, chicken flats generally cook faster–slightly. 

Cooking MethodChicken FlatsChicken Drums
Air Fryer15-20 minutes20-25 minutes
Oven30-35 minutes35-40 minutes
Grill10-12 minutes per side12-15 m

The reason is that they’re flat and receive more heat. However, the connective tissues in chicken flats don’t cook that fast–they remain hard (you don’t need to eat them, nor should you aim at breaking them down. 

Only slow cooking can cook those connective tissues–who needs it?

Unlike popular belief, the chicken drums cook slowly because of having more meat–they are thick and drum-like. That’s the reason, sometimes, you get pinkish meat in the drum area when you order chicken wings at restaurants. 

Do you hate that?

Here is a solution!

Remove the bone from the chicken drumette and flatten them, they’ll cook at the same pace as flats do. 

How long should you cook chicken flats?

The cooking time for chicken flats will vary depending on the size of the flats, your cooking method, frying, roasting, or grilling. However, as a general rule, chicken flats should be cooked to record an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, according to USDA, to consider them safe to eat. So, it’s essential to use an accurate meat thermometer to ensure that they are cooked through.

How long should you cook chicken drumette?

Cooking time for chicken drumettes can vary depending on the cooking method and temperature. As general guidelines

  • When baking, Preheat your oven to 400°F (205°C). Bake the drumettes for 2025 minutes in a 20-25 minutes preheated oven–until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). 
  • When grilling, preheat your grill to around 350°F or 175°C and grill the drumettes for 20-25 minutes. To ensure doneness, they should reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). 
  • When deep frying or large, fry the chicken drumettes for about 10-12 minutes in hot oil, recording the temp of 325-350°F (175°C). The drumettes must reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). 

Hence, regardless of the cooking method, check the chicken wing’s internal temperature is 165°F (74°C) degrees to make it safe to eat.

How can you buy the best quality chicken wings?

Here are some tips on how to buy the best quality chicken flats and drumettes:

  • Buy from a reputable source. Look for chicken that is fresh and has been properly stored. Avoid buying chicken that is past its sell-by date or that is stored in a warm or humid environment.
  • Choose chicken wings that are free of bruises and blemishes. Otherwise, you might put your hands on old or mishandled chicken.
  • Look for chicken that has a firm texture. Chicken wings that are soft or mushy may be old or have been frozen and thawed multiple times.
  • Check the color of the chicken wings. They should be a light pink or white color. If they’re dark or discolored, they might be old or have been mishandled.
  • Smell the chicken wings. They should have a mild, fresh odor. If the chicken wings have a strong or unpleasant odor, they aren’t safe to eat.
  • When buying online, check for user feedback and rating for you can’t check the meat quality live.

Why should you cook chicken flats and drumettes separately?

As a simple answer.

The time for flats and drumettes varies slightly; cooking them combined can lead to overcooking or undercooking any part. If you look for the doneness of chicken drumettes, the flats can become overcooked.

And if you aim at cooking the chicken flats to a safe-to-eat internal temperature, the wingette might be left undercooked (pink).

Here is another reason.

Chicken flats and drumettes also have different flavors. Chicken flats have a more delicate flavor than drumettes, which have a more robust flavor. If you cook them together, the flavor of the flats can be overpowered by the flavor of the drumettes.

Where can you buy cheap chicken flats and drumette?

Buying chicken flats or drumettes separately is a bit challenging, though you can find them. Yet, if you’re looking for a cheap option, go to Costco.

Chicken flats and wingettes are not available separately there. But you can surely get the best quality chicken wings at a low price. After buying, you can cut them to separate the flats from the drumettes.

Concluding Thoughts

The chicken wings’ major parts: drumettes and flats (wingettes) are not alike. Though the differences are small, yet can make a huge impact on your nutritional intake, cooking, and eating experience. By keeping these differences in view, you can make a better choice among these parts. is a participant in the Amazon Associate program and will earn from qualifying purchases.