Chicken wings are, indisputably, one of the greatest culinary treasures of all time. They’re portable, full of protein, and infinitely customizable. Without them, parties, pizza delivery, and sporting events just wouldn’t be the same.
Wings are also the subject of some serious debate. Drums versus flats, spicy versus mild, and bone-in versus boneless are only a few of the arguments that a round of wings can spark. There’s no one way to eat wings, and it turns out that people take their methods very seriously. So after some equally serious research, we’ve rounded up some of the most popular—and effective—wing-consuming styles out there.
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All The Way
This method is as simple as it sounds: Just use your teeth and gnaw all the meat off, like our cave-dwelling ancestors would have done were they blessed with prehistoric drumsticks. It’s effective, but be sure to take your time so you can savor your food and prevent choking on a piece of chicken.
The Aha! Way by Chef John
Chef John’s method begins by removing the piece of cartilage between a flat wing’s larger and smaller bone. Start by twisting out the small bone, and follow with the large one. Once they come out clean, you’ve got a boneless wing that can be eaten in one bite. However, this method can’t be applied to drums.
The Wing Lollipop or Meat Umbrella
Supposedly the quickest method, the wing lollipop maneuver involves pushing the larger end’s meat down to the smaller end to create a lollipop or umbrella. Then you just gnaw that meat off. And being that this method is one-handed, you don’t even have to let go of whatever you’re drinking.
Have you ever seen a classic cartoon character eat corn? This method follows the same principle. Hold a drummette in both hands, like a corn cob, and slightly loosen the meat with your bottom teeth. Then, simultaneously bite, rotate the wing, and slide your mouth across to mimic a typewriter motion.
The Bone Splitter or Wishboning Method
This method is messy, but highly efficient. Grab the bones at the bottom of a flat wing, and place the other end in your mouth. While you’re biting the meat, pull the bones down and apart, at a 45-degree angle. Since you’re forcing the bones away, that meat will slide off in no time.
The 2 Bite
This swift method only works for drumettes. Bite one side of the wing, then spin it around and get the rest. It’s a little awkward with larger pieces, but at least your hands will stay fairly clean.
The Knuckle Pincher
No, you’re not pinching your own knuckles. Pinch the cartilage at a flat wing’s “knuckled” end (the same end you’d pull apart with the bone splitter method). Put the flat in your mouth and pull out the bones for an awkward, yet efficient, eating experience.
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