Cutting Whole Chicken Wings
With the Super Bowl just around the corner, sometimes it’s impossible to find wings that have already been cut into wingettes and drumettes.
Instead, whole chicken wings may be your only option if you want to make that big platter of Baked Buffalo Chicken Wings.
But fear not, my dear friend.
It’s actually super simple to cut a whole chicken wing into portions.
So simple that all you will is a sharp knife and about 5 minutes to master this culinary skill.
But don’t rush into it too soon. Make sure to pay close attention to the details below, because knowing where to make those cuts is the key to doing this quickly!
Three Parts of a Chicken Wing
Before we dive into how to cut the whole wing, you’ll first want to get acquainted with the anatomy of it.
If you stretch it out and look at the whole chicken wing you’ll see that it is made up of 3 parts: the drumette, the wingette, and the wing tip.
Drumettes and wingettes are generally used in most chicken wings recipes. You can use all of one or a combination of the two depending on your personal preference.
The drumette looks like a much smaller drumstick and is the meatier section of the wing. It is made up of mostly dark meat, is slightly juicier than the wingette, and is the part that actually attaches to the rest of the chicken.
The wingette, sometimes called the flap, is the middle section that is composed of two bones running horizontally through the middle of it with meat in the middle. Because it’s thinner, this part normally crisps up easier when cooking them with the thicker drumette portions. (My favorite part of the wing!)
The wing tip, also known as the flapper, has very little to no meat on it and is either used to make stocks or are discarded.
How to Cut Chicken Wings
Now that you know the parts of a chicken wing, it’s time to cut and separate them.
It’s best if you use a really sharp knife to make the cleanest cuts and a meat-specific cutting board. (Avoid using wooden cutting boards when preparing raw meat.)
To Cut Whole Chicken Wings:
Flip the whole chicken wing over so it is skin side down and you can easily see the joints.* Use your fingers to locate the first ridge between the drumette and the wingette portions.
Place a sharp knife just besides this ridge and also parallel to the long axis of the drumette. Cut all of the way through it – your knife should slide right through with very little resistance. (step 1 above)
Next, locate the second ridge between the wingette and the tip portions.
Cut all of the way through this joint to separate the two pieces. (step 2 above)
Cook’s Tip: The joints have cartilage and are the easiest places to cut through the wings. Avoid slicing through the bones as they are much harder to cut.
FAQs – Chicken Wings
How to cook chicken wings?
You can cook chicken wings one of three ways: in the oven, deep fried, or air-fried. Baked chicken wings are a great healthy option but take a few tricks to get a super crispy skin. Deep-fried wings will give you the crispiest skin but with a ton of unhealthy oil. Air-fried chicken wings are the best solution with super crispy skin and very minimal oil used.
How do you know when chicken wings are cooked?
Much like when cooking any other piece of chicken, wings are fully cooked through when their internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. You can check this by using a meat thermometer. Be sure to place it into the thickest part of the chicken wings, such as the meaty part of the drumette, to get the most accurate results.
You also want chicken wings to have super crispy skin. If baking them in the oven you can always turn your oven to a high broil during the last few minutes of cooking to really crisp it up.
Sauces for Chicken Wings
And of course, if you want to turn these into hot wings you’ll need a little sauce to toss them in.
You can either use store-bought sauces to toss them in or make your own Homemade Buffalo Wing Sauce. (You only need 4 ingredients and 5 minutes!)
Storing and Reheating
If chicken wing portions have been cut but not cooked they will last until the printed date on the packaging that you originally purchased them in.
Cooked chicken wings will last for up to 3-4 days when stored in the refrigerator.
To reheat already cooked chicken wings, add them back to a 300°F oven or an air fryer to really crisp them up.
Chicken Wings Recipes
Once you’ve got the chicken wings cut and separated there are so many easy recipes you can use them in:
How to Cut Chicken Wings
Learn How to Cut Chicken Wings into portions to use in your favorite baked, fried, or air-fried wings recipes. With only two simple cuts you can quickly and easily turn a whole chicken wing into a drumette, a wingette, and a wing tip. You can then store them to use later or cook them and then toss in your favorite wing sauces!
- 1 lb. whole chicken wings
Flip the whole chicken wing over so it is skin side down and you can easily see the joints.
Use your fingers to locate the first ridge between the drumette and the wingette portions.
Place a sharp knife just besides this ridge and also parallel to the long axis of the drumette. Cut all of the way through it - your knife should slide right through with very little resistance.
Next, locate the second ridge between the wingette and the tip portions. Cut all of the way through to separate the two pieces.