Why are boneless wings cheaper?

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asked Sep 14 in Other-Food Drink by Stretchiss (1,040 points)
Why are boneless wings cheaper?

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answered Sep 14 by Jamie (19,770 points)
Boneless wings are cheaper because they are not actually chicken wings at all.

The boneless chicken wings are actually just chicken breast meat that’s been sliced into strips, coated and fried like bone-in (actual) wings, and sauced the same.

How many wings does a chicken have? How many drums? 4 total, 2 of each.

But you can get usually 6 to 10 boneless wings from a chicken breast. So lets do some basic math.

1 chicken can produce 2 wings, 2 drums, and lets say 8 boneless wings (average size).

Per chicken you’d have a lot more boneless wings than you would real wings.

So they get sold at a lower cost because the supply is much higher. Basic economics 101 there.

Admittedly it’s not as simple as this, because you have many markets for breast meat that aren’t boneless wings, and you have many markets for drums and wings that aren’t serving them “as-is”, and then there’s the whole white meat vs dark meat argument that white meat is healthier, and dark meat has more flavor, and then there’s the special feed that is given to some chickens to make their breast meat more bountiful, etc.

And ultimately it comes down to (admittedly complex subtitles and interactions in the various poultry markets) basic economics of supply and demand, based on the fact that chickens have physical dimensions that can only work so many ways.

Boneless wings, increasingly promoted by restaurants, are not wings at all, but slices of breast meat deep-fried like wings and served with the same sauces — a bit like a spicy Chicken McNugget.

With boneless wings, that par-cooking step is unnecessary because boneless wings cook faster than bone-in wings.

Chicken breast meat is naturally tender when compared to wing meat, and it's also thinner and less compact — especially when it's cut into small wing-sized shapes.

Slice open a boneless wing and all you see is meat, which makes them faster to cook but also not as succulent as real wings, those that have skin, bone and cartilage.

Consumers often equate the boneless version with being a healthier choice, as it contains more meat and lacks the fatty skin.

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