Flats or Drums? We Weigh in on the Great Chicken Wing Debate
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Flats or Drums? We Weigh in on the Great Chicken Wing Debate

August 10, 2022

You’ve ordered your favorite wings and they arrive at your table. Which wing piece do you tear into first — flats or drums?

Why does this matter, you ask? Well, believe it or not, in the world of chicken wings, wing flats vs drums is a much-debated issue. Some wing lovers say the drums are the best cuts of chicken because there’s only one bone to contend with and there’s more meat. Others say flats are easier to eat because you can strip the meat right off the bones in one bite.

But which is correct? Both? Neither? We’ll lay out all the facts and let you decide between Team Flat or Team Drum.


Before you can choose between which are the best cuts of chicken: flats or drums, you should know the differences and learn why there is even a debate in the first place. So what’s the flats or drums meaning, anyway?


Since we’re talking about chicken wing anatomy, and in the interest of full disclosure, the “drum” is technically shorthand for the “drumette,” and is named as such because it resembles a mini “drumstick.” So drums and drumettes can be used interchangeably.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk distinguishing drum features: The drums have one main bone in the middle with joints at both ends and are more round on one end and taper down toward the other end.

The meat of the drumette is dark, but has the texture of white meat. There is more meat on a drumette than a flat.

Pros of eating drums

  • More meat
  • Less bone to work around
  • Can be eaten in a round like an ear of corn or can be put whole into your mouth and stripped bare with your teeth
  • Easier to hold and eat one-handed

*Cons of eating drums *

  • Generally takes more bites to eat
  • Extra texture that some find unappealing
  • Messier to dip


And now for the flats (also referred to as “wingettes”). Flats are the middle part of the wing, located between the drum and the wing tip (wing tips are nearly all skin and are usually removed all together).

The shape of the flats are, well, flat, with two small bones running the length of it. The meat of the flat is dark and it’s completely covered in skin.

Pros of eating flats

  • Crispier skin
  • Better meat-to-skin ratio
  • More even meat texture
  • Can be eaten like a “meat umbrella”
  • Can break the two bones apart, allowing for easier access to the meat
  • Holds sauce more evenly

Cons of eating flats

  • Less meat overall
  • Have to work a little harder to get at the meat
  • Two bones vs. one


We know you came here for a conclusion to this oft-debated topic of wing flats vs drums. And, after being presented with the evidence, we’re here to say the winner is: BOTH!

We couldn’t possibly choose a winner when it comes to the great flats or drums debate. That’s like asking us to choose a favorite child — we love both equally. What we do know is that both flats and drums are delicious in their own right.

And, while you may have a preference, we think there’s one thing we can all agree on — and that’s that Wings and Rings wings are delicious any time, any place, no matter the piece of wing, the sauce, the dry rub, or the style.

So what are you waiting for? Head on down to your nearest Wings and Rings location or order any of your wing favorites to go today!

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