Boneless vs Bone-in Wings?

Cody Joines, Reporter

No Super Bowl would be complete without them. No appetizer list would be acceptable without them. Americans love the chicken wing–in hundreds of different flavor combinations.  The question for many people is bone-in or boneless wings?  

For many Americans, the answer is bone-in wings, according to The NPD Group–in fact, more than 60 percent of wing orders in restaurants are bone-in.

The problem is that boneless wings are dry and patsy compared to whole wings, because bone-in wings do not lose their juices due to cooking. They are much more juicy and flavorful than the white meat, boneless wings.  Plus, when cooked properly, they are covered with crispy, tasty skin.

Sophomore Jaiden Weems agreed that the boneless are “kind of nasty. I prefer the flats to the drums.”

It is worth noting that with bone-in you actually get an option. Drums or drumettes are the part of the leg that look like a small drumstick. They have a single, main bone running through the middle. 

A flat or wingettes are flat. They have two bones with meat on either side. 

According to, “[flats] generally have less meat per wing than the drum, but have a higher skin-to-meat ratio, so each bite is packed with crispy skin and tasty sauce.”

Senior Joshua McLendon said, “now that I turned 18 and am a man, I prefer bone-in wings.” 

Based on interviews, the consistent reason people prefer bone-in wings is due to the texture of the meat. 

“I feel like usually they make the bone out ones too crunchy. They overcook it. Bone in is usually better. It’s more reliable,” said snare drummer Sean Kowalski.

Nevertheless, if the statistic above is correct, 40% of people still prefer boneless wings. 

If you slice a boneless wing in half, all you see is meat.  This makes it cook faster, which means they will be ready before a bone-in wing started at the same time. 

Kowalski said, after ordering bone-in wings, “I had to wait an hour and a half for a plate of wings.”

Some say they are a healthier choice because it has more meat and no fatty skin. 

Another benefit is cost. Why do boneless wings cost less than traditional wings?  That’s simple; more meat, more food, more cost to the vendor.  

Boneless wings are more heavily promoted over bone-in wings when prices are high. That’s because boneless wings are not wings at all. They are typically formed from breast meat and are a spin-off of the breaded chicken nugget. 

Senior Cory Arnold said, “I like boneless wings because I can put a fork in it and dip it in ranch and eat it.  It also depends on the flavor of wings, so with BBQ I would choose boneless and buffalo I would choose bone-in.  Especially if I’m on a date and I want wings I would get boneless, so there is no mess.”

Of the hundreds of flavors, students all have their own favorites. Both Kowalski and McLendon said they prefer garlic. Weem’s insists the best is honey Old Bay.

My personal favorite place to go for wings is Buffalo Wild Wings.  I always get honey BBQ bone-in wings.

Now where to find the best wings? That’s a bit tricky in this area.

Buffalo Wild Wings only has a three star rating and 18 reviews which isn’t the best.  Quaker Steak and Lube in West York has a four star review, and all you can eat wing night on Tuesdays for $14.99

The best overall wing place according to the rating is Nelz Chill Spot Food and Wings; it has a 4.7 star rating with 91 reviews.