Learn how to cut chicken wings, and how to separate whole wings into three smaller pieces.
Browse my collection of chicken wing recipes to find more delicious meal ideas.
Chicken wings can be bought in two versions; either they come as a whole wing with all joints attached, or they might already be separated.
Whole chicken wings can definitely be cooked as they come, and don't necessarily require separating. However, many people still prefer to cut them, for a variety of reasons.
The 3 parts of a chicken wing
A whole chicken wing consists of 3 pieces: the drumette, the wingette and the wing tip.
Drumette: The drumette usually looks like a small drumstick, and is the meatiest and juiciest part of the chicken wing. This is one of the popular parts of the wing.
Wingette: This is the flat part of the chicken wing, with two small bones going through it. The wingette also contains a good amount of meat on it. Along with the drumette, this is one of the popular parts of the wing.
Wing tip: The wing tip is by far the smallest part of the wing. It contains little to no meat. Some people simply discard it, as it's messy to eat and not very filling. There are however several ways to use the wing tip, for example in chicken broth.
Why you might want to cut chicken wings
As mentioned above, it's not strictly necessary to cut whole chicken wings, and they can absolutely be cooked and served whole. Some people still prefer to cut them before cooking, and these are some key reasons why:
- Cutting each wing creates more pieces of chicken, which is great if you're feeding a crowd.
- The wings are easier to eat when they have been cut.
- Separated chicken wings are also easier to dip!
- It can be easier to cook the wings, depending on which cooking method you use.
- Whole chicken wings are cheaper than cut wings - so you can save money by cutting them yourself.
Start by separating the wingette from the wing tip. If you use your hands to slightly bend the wing, you might be able to feel a slight dent between the two pieces.
With a sharp knife, make a cut through this little indent. The wing tip should easily separate.
The next step is to separate the wingette from the drumette. Use the same method here; bend the wing while you feel the area between the two pieces. You will find what feels like a small indent in the middle.
Insert your sharp knife, and separate the wingette and the drumette.
If it's your first time cutting chicken wings, you might need a few attempts before you get the hang of it, but you will quickly learn exactly where to cut.
Whole wings and separated chicken wings cook very similarly, and for most recipes they can be used interchangeably.
The wingettes and drumettes are most commonly used. These can be oven baked, grilled, fried, or cooked in an air fryer.
The wing tips are not often used, as they are very small and contain little meat. These can alternatively be used to make chicken broth, or to add flavor to soups.
Chicken wing recipes
Try any of these great chicken wing recipes!
Dipping sauce ideas
You can't have chicken wings without a good dipping sauce. Here are some of my favorites:
Frequently asked questions
No. You can cook and eat whole chicken wings. Whether you cut them or not is down to personal preference.
Yes! Although it's often discarded, it's perfectly fine to eat. You can also leave it attached to the wingette.
How to Cut Chicken Wings
- Cutting Board
- Start by separating the wingette from the wing tip. If you use your hands to slightly bend the wing, you might be able to feel a slight dent between the two pieces.
- With a sharp knife, make a cut through this little indent. The wing tip should easily separate.
- The next step is to separate the wingette from the drumette. Use the same method here; bend the wing while you feel the area between the two pieces. You will find what feels like a small indent in the middle. Insert your sharp knife, and separate the wingette and the drumette.
- Optionally, add salt and pepper, and cook the chicken wings using your favorite recipe.
- If you're cutting chicken wings for the first time, you might need a few attempts, but you will quickly figure out how it works.