Bone-In vs. Boneless Wings: Pros and Cons

If you're deciding to order bone-in vs. boneless wings, it's important to know the difference to satisfy your cravings. You may think boneless chicken wings are just that – wings with the bone removed. But that's not the case. There are a few key things to know before you make your choice.

Hungry Howie's has bone-in and boneless wings on the menu in various flavors, so whatever you decide, you can place an order with us today. We're here to break down the differences between bone-in vs. boneless wings, telling you the pros and cons of each.

Keep reading to learn more before your next order.

Bone-In vs. Boneless Wings

Boneless wings aren't the actual wing of a chicken, the way bone-in wings are. They're closer to chicken nuggets, containing chunks of the white meat of the chicken breast. Bone-in wings, however, are truly the wing of the bird. But there's more to consider regarding flavor, juiciness, and preference.

Bone-In Chicken Wings

Bone-in chicken wings come from the actual wing of the bone and come in two shapes–drumstick or flat (also called wingettes). Some people are drumstick-only, while others stick to the flat wings. Bone-in wings are still considered white meat, with far less fat and fiber than you'll find in the dark meat of legs or chicken thighs. Some argue that the drum version is technically dark meat, though the ratio of meat to skin and the tenderness of the chicken make it far closer to white meat than dark. You'll find joints and cartilage on both ends of drumsticks and flat wings.

Bone-in wings are the most popular type in America, accounting for nearly 60% of wing orders in the country. This may be a good thing since bone-in wings provide certain health benefits.

The health benefits of bone-in wings include:

  • Micronutrients: You'll find many micronutrients in bone-in chicken wings, including calcium, phosphorus, sodium, and magnesium.
  • Bone Marrow: Since these wings have bones, there are also traces of marrow in them. Marrow tends to be fattier, but it contains vitamin A. While the marrow isn't present in the meat, traces can be found throughout the wing.
  • Gut Health-Friendly Benefits: Again, this comes down to the nutrient makeup of the wing. You'll find collagen, which supports healthy skin and digestion, gelatin, and glycine. These nutrients can also help support a healthy immune system.
  • Essential Vitamins: In bone-in wings, you'll also find crucial vitamins like B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B12. Iron, zinc, selenium, iodine, copper, and chromium are also in the wing meat.
  • More Flavor: That's right, bone-in wings typically have much more flavor than their boneless competitor. They're more tender and sweeter, with a lot more juiciness. This is because the meat is much closer to the bone, surrounded by fat, penetrating the surrounding meat. Since boneless wings aren't wing meat at all, you'll lose this bold profile due to distance from the bone.

The most significant con we hear regarding bone-in wings is that they tend to be messier to eat, and some people claim more challenging to get the meat off. They're definitely not a first-date appetizer, as you're bound to get your fingers dirty.

At Hungry Howie's, you'll find various flavor options for your wings. Try our Buffalo Howie Wings, Asian Howie Wings, BBQ Howie Wings, or our Original Howie Wings. Remember to add your favorite dipping sauce to the side. Bleu cheese, ranch, and garlic are among the popular.

Boneless Chicken Wings

While we know that bone-in wings have many nutritional benefits, don't toss the idea of ordering boneless wings out the window. They also have benefits to consider.

The benefits of boneless chicken wings include the following:

  • They're easier to eat. Since there's no bone to eat around, many people find this variety easier to eat. You can cut them up with a fork and knife without the hassle of trying to avoid the bone. For kids, this is usually a better option.
  • They're made with leaner meat. Since these wings are made with chicken breast meat, they tend to be leaner, with less fat and cartilage. They also have far less fatty skin than bone-in wings.
  • Packed with Protein: Just one order of boneless wings can pack as much as 29 grams of protein, which helps keep our bodies going. The protein is great for building muscle. Chicken breast contains the most protein compared to any other part of the bone, making it the go-to choice when trying to increase your protein intake.

The downside of ordering boneless chicken wings is that they're closer to chicken nuggets, which can have a drier texture. The meat is less succulent, and you won't get all of the micronutrients and marrow benefits as bone-in wings.

At Hungry Howie's, we know that everyone has different tastes. We have boneless wings too! Order Asian boneless wings, Buffalo boneless wings, BBQ flavored, or the Original Boneless Howie Wings today.