Chicken Wings vs. Drumsticks: Differences You Should Know

Choosing between drumsticks and chicken wings can be difficult, since there are pros and cons to each. For both family snacks and parties, either of these makes for a great way to enjoy your next get-together. Both are convenient and inexpensive, but let’s take a look at each in more detail.

Chicken drumsticks
Chicken drumsticks

Chicken Wings vs. Chicken Drumsticks

First of all, chicken wings have both an upper and lower section, known respectively as the drumette and wingette (or flat).

  • The drumette contains a single bone and actually looks like a smaller version of a drumstick.
  • The wingette, also know as a flat, has two smaller bones that run parallel to each other.

If you’re familiar with human anatomy, think about the human arm that has a single bone in the upper arm called the humerus, and two bones in the forearm called the radius and ulna. Chicken wings are similar.

Wings tend to be covered in some type of sauce and baked, then served either as an appetizer or snack food. Chicken wings are a very popular food to eat for sporting events, especially if you go to a restaurant or bar to watch the game. They have a lot of protein but are usually served with the skin on, which means they can be a bit fatty.

Drumsticks are the lower section of the chicken leg, separated from the thigh. Drumsticks are often more affordable than wings. Like wings, drumsticks have a lot of protein and B vitamins. They can be prepared numerous ways and are a perfect food to put on the barbecue grill. You can fry, bake, or barbecue your drumsticks, and they are often served with a buffalo or Cajun sauce. You can even roast drumsticks alongside your vegetables.

Similarities and Differences

Whether you choose drumsticks or wings, you can expect each piece of chicken to contain roughly 10 grams of fat and 10 grams of protein for every serving. Drumsticks tend to have more meat in them, and a few less calories and saturated fats than wings do. If you’re trying to watch your cholesterol, it’s best to choose drumsticks because they have less cholesterol than wings do.

Chicken wings
Chicken wings

For every 100 grams of meat, here are the numbers for a chicken wing versus a drumstick:

Calcium12 mg8 mg
Sodium374 mg106 mg
Protein22.6 g18 g
Fat16.7 g9.2 g

A drumstick is also sometimes called a chicken leg, and it is lower in calories, lower in sodium, and lower in fat than a chicken wing is. Yet there is more calcium and more protein in a wing than there is in a drumstick. You’ll have to decide for yourself which feature is most important to you before choosing either drumsticks or wings. And as far as price goes, drumsticks are around $1.20 per pound on average, while wings tend to be around $2.40 per pound, which is double that of drumsticks.

Which One Should You Choose?

You can find tons of recipes for both drumsticks and wings. Football games, bachelor/bachelorette parties, and buffet dinners are just a few of the events made better by these food items. Both of them are cooked quickly and taste even better with a little barbecue or teriyaki sauce on them.

Chicken drumsticks
Chicken drumsticks

If you’re trying to decide between the two, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Drumsticks offer a higher meat-to-bone ratio, which means if you love meat, drumsticks are the way to go.
  • Both drumsticks and wings have a lot of B vitamins in them, which are good for energy.
  • There are other healthy, inexpensive types of chicken pieces to choose from, including boneless chicken breast, chicken leg quarters, and bone-in chicken thighs.

Once you learn the basic differences between the wings and drumsticks of a chicken, including their nutritional values and their prices, it becomes much easier to decide which one is right for you. If you just want something that tastes good for your next get-together, both drumsticks and wings are fine choices either way. But if you care about nutritional facts or price, you’ll have to put a little more thought into your decision.

Are Drumsticks and Wings Bad for You?

Both drumsticks and wings are extremely tasty and fairly healthy for you. It is easier to make drumsticks healthier than wings, because you can more easily remove the skin and make them less fatty. While some people claim that both of these meats are bad for you, that is really not true. You can find simple ways to make them healthier, including making sure you don’t add anything unhealthy to them and baking them instead of frying.

Now that you know the basic differences between drumsticks and wings, it should be a lot easier to decide which one is right for you for your next party.

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