How to Break Down Chicken Wings

Making a batch of chicken wings? Save yourself some money by buying whole chicken wings and breaking them into pieces yourself. It's easy! Here's how.

Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken Wings
Irvin Lin

Making a batch of chicken wings? You can buy “Party Wings” at the grocery store, which are wings that have already been broken down into their parts: the drumette and the flat. But I often buy whole wings because breaking them down is easy and it’s cheaper. (Save the wingtips in a freezer bag for making chicken stock!)

Here’s how to break down whole wings.

Chicken Wings in the Instant Pot
Irvin Lin

1. Find the Joint

Find where the joint is between each piece by wiggling the wing—where it moves is where you cut. There’s one joint where the tip connects to the wing and another where the drummete and the flat connect to each other.

Chicken Wings in the Pressure Cooker
Irvin Lin

2. Cut between the Joint

Cut right down between these joints to separate the wing parts. You can also “feel” for the knuckle between the wing parts. Cut directly between the knuckle to separate the wings. Easy!

Let's Make Chicken Wings!

Ready to make some wings? Try these recipes!