Chicken Wing Flats Versus Drums: Which Is Best For Dipping?

Chicken wings are a party favorite and everyone who loves them has strong opinions about what makes the best wing. From sauces to seasoning rubs to blue cheese, everyone has their one wing place or spot. Nearly everyone knows the origin story of the chicken wing, born in Buffalo in the '60s at the Anchor Bar, which still serves them today. Far from its humble beginnings, wing night has become an enshrined part of American culture.

We love them because they can be anything we want them to be. From crispy Korean BBQ with its sweet and spicy sauce to the whole host of options at Buffalo Wild Wings, they're flexible and delicious. They're perfect for a party but also a great snack to make and enjoy all on your own. If you're on the hunt for the perfect wing, one question you'll run into a lot is, "Drums or flats?"

The Great Debate: drums or flats?

If you eat wings, you probably have a preference when it comes to the age-old question of drums or flats. A chicken wing has two parts to it and a typical plate of wings will have a healthy mix of both. The drum is the part of the wing that literally resembles a little drumstick, while the flat is the part that is long and flat. There are good reasons to prefer either one, from meatiness to flavor.

There are a lot of fans devoted to drums and declare them their favorite. They tend to cite the fact that they have more meat on them and the bone is easier to deal with compared to the two that run along the inside of a flat. Those who are on Team Flat point out that drums have a lot more cartilage, however, which can be hard to eat around. People are dedicated to their preferences, but perhaps the most important question is, which is better to dip?

It's all about the sauce ratio

Part of what makes wings great is that they are dippable. Some people love blue cheese and others are dedicated to ranch, but wings really pair well with a whole range of sauces, and everyone has a favorite. When it comes to wing shape, drums seem like the obvious winner given that most of their meat is at one end and it fits well into a cup of dip. Flats pose a challenge with dipping since the meat is in the middle and it can be hard to get coverage while dunking.

That's not the whole story, though. There are some people who do think flats are the easier ones to dip, but there's a better approach to getting your wing flat sauced. "Dip it meaty side down in some blue cheese that's been poured on to your plate (everyone knows you can't dip a flat into the blue cheese cup), and you have yourself the perfect ratio of skin to meat to sauce to blue cheese," Emily Kluckhohn Morrow, co-owner of Step Out Buffalo, shared with Thrillist. Pouring some of your dipping sauce onto your plate is a great strategy to make the most of your flats. Next time you make a plate of wings, take a moment to appreciate the beauty that is the flat, with its tender meat and perfect surface area for sauce.