Which is the better wing: flats or drumsticks? | The Tylt
Which is the better wing: flats or drumsticks?
A chicken wing is not just about the chicken; it is about the harmony created between the chicken and its sauce. Flats are far superior when it comes to creating the perfect ratio between meat, bone and sauce–it's not even a contest.
Thrillist's Jessica Kelly deferred to wing experts from all over the U.S. on why flats are superior to drums. Check out what these wings-enthusiasts had to say:
"I go for the flat every time because it has a better ration of meat-to-fat-to-bone where the meat stays protected by skin during the cooking process. I like pulling the bones apart to get all of the perfect little fatty meat parts...." -- Nate Tilden, owner of Bar Casa Vale (Portland, Oregon)
“The flat is by far the more enjoyable wing for a few reasons. One, the meat in the middle tends to be more tender. Two, it’s actually easier for some to eat in one bite. Three, it can be deceiving but the flat has more meat on it.” -- Jonathan George, winner No. 2 of the Bobbing for Wings competition at the National Buffalo Wing Festival (Buffalo, New York)
Fans of drumsticks think the "ratio" argument is hogwash. Drumsticks tend to have more meat on the bone, making them the ultimate chicken wing. Plus, drums are much easier to dip into blue cheese, ranch or extra buffalo sauce.
According to King, fans of the drum appreciate simplicity. This variety is straightforward; there is no maneuvering involved to get the meat off the bone. Given that wings are not the cuisine to put on airs, the drumstick is the clear winner:
“I’m a huge fan of the drum. I am 6-foot-6 and 280 pounds, and I like the meatiness and taste of the drum. The flat is harder to work with.” -- James Szczur, general manager of the original Anchor Bar (Buffalo, New York)
Flats tend to be crispier, which usually means they have a better flavor punch in every bite. Whether you prefer lemon-pepper wings, dry rub or classic buffalo, flats are the better vehicle—the Lamborghini, if you will—for all wing flavors.
Given that wings are the perfect complement to any sporting event, we asked our very own Sports Editor, Daniel Tran, to explain why flats are the ultimate wing choice. According to Tran:
With drums, you get a whole lot of cartilage and a mess of skin and meat that isn’t the cohesive symphony that flats are. The wing itself has a cleaner look and has more of that pure meaty goodness overall.
If you want trash, you could settle for a drum. People who love themselves prefer flats.
But drums are ideal for multitasking. You don't need to look down at your wing to contemplate how to best remove the meat with your teeth—you just do it, making your way around the wing the same way you would an apple.
If you're watching the Super Bowl or just catching up with friends, drumsticks are the way to go. You can enjoy your eating experience much more, and as one drum-fan puts it:
"Drums are best, obviously, because they fit better in the blue cheese cup and you can eat them with one hand while holding your beer." -- Chuck Kluckhohn, co-owner of Step Out Buffalo