If you’re having a party or a cookout and chicken wings are involved, then you’re probably wondering how many pounds of chicken wings to buy at the grocery store. The quick answer to this question is… it depends!
I’m about to give you the inside scoop on how to do chicken wing math! This is probably something they should start teaching in schools.
This information will be useful to anyone who is serving chicken wings for a big group. I wrote this article for someone throwing a party at their house, a restaurant owner, or a caterer. It’s for anyone who needs to know how many lbs of chicken wings feed the number of people showing up at their event.
This article should be useful to some buying a 10 lb bag or a 40-pound case of chicken wings.
Table of Contents
Why You Should Make the Chicken Wings
Everyone loves chicken wings. A sports bar, crispy wings, and a variety of sauces always put people in a good mood.
Sticky fingers and a pile of dirty napkins on the table are a sign that someone is having a good time.
Americans love our chicken wings. It’s no surprise that the National Chicken Council estimated that Americans ate 1.42 billion chicken wings on the last Super Bowl Sunday.
Isn’t it crazy to think people eat that many chicken wings?
I guess it wasn’t always this way. The consumption of chicken wings has increased drastically over the years.
Some say the wing craze started when the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York tossed their wings in hot sauce and butter to invent Buffalo wings.
I can remember my grandfather telling me stories about how when he was a kid, nobody wanted chicken wings. He said they were food that poor people would eat because the butcher shops used to give them away.
A lot has changed since then. Chicken wings have become so popular that there are restaurants all over the place…even large chains…that specialize in them.
My Chicken Wing Credentials
Here at Mortadella Head, we sell a ton of chicken wings. We sell chicken wings on the bone. We also sell them without the bone. The boneless wings have become really popular lately.
I’ll let you in on a little secret… boneless wings aren’t actually wings. Our boneless chicken wings are tenderloins which are part of the chicken breast meat. Don’t tell anyone!
People order our chicken wings as appetizers and side dishes with their pizza. Based on my observations at Mortadella Head, these days your average family usually gets an order of wings with their pizza. It’s become a fun Friday night ritual.
Chicken wings are a great way to feed a large crowd.
When it comes to catering for large groups, you can never go wrong with chicken wings. From office lunches to Super Bowl Sundays, trays of chicken wings are a must.
Our catering division pumps out trays and trays of wings…bone-in and boneless to all types of events. Office luncheons, house parties…even weddings!
They are perfect for an appetizer or main course. They make it easy to feed a large group. And who doesn’t love a great chicken wing slathered in bbq sauce or Buffalo sauce?
There’s no doubt that chicken wings are a great choice for any number of people…small or large. But how many pounds of chicken wings per person?
Let’s find out.
Understanding The Chicken Wing
First, we need to understand what a pound of whole chicken wings really is. How much chicken is actually on a chicken wing?
There are different parts of a chicken wing. When you buy a pound of whole wings at the grocery store each wing actually has three (3) parts.
You have the drumette, which is the part that looks like a little drumstick.
Then you have the wingette or flat. This is the part that most people call the “flat” because it is flat. Get it?
Then you have the wing tip. This is the part that most people cut off and throw away because it really doesn’t have much meat. I’d recommend not throwing them away. You can save them to make chicken broth.
That being said, when you buy a pound of chicken wings, you aren’t getting 16 ounces of meat. Also, a pound of wingettes will probably yield a different amount of meat than a pound of drumettes.
A good way to figure out how many people you can feed with 10 lbs of chicken wings is to figure out how many wing pieces you’ll need. It will also depend on the size of the wings.
Obviously, wing size is going to depend on the size of the chicken. The amount of meat on a pound of jumbo chicken wings is going to be more than the amount of meat on a small wing.
In this article, we are going to make recommendations and calculations based on your average wing size.
According to Weigh School, the average raw wing weighs 3.17 ounces. After it’s cooked it will weigh 2.4 ounces. According to this math, a one-pound serving of chicken wings should have 7 or 8 pieces.
Based on this information you should have a better understanding of the number of wings you need to serve based on the number of people you are expecting.
Who Are You Serving the Chicken Wings To?
How many pounds of wings you need will also depend on how you are serving them? Are they a main dish or main appetizer? Will you be having other main dishes or appetizers to go along with the chicken wings?
Based on my experience from serving lots of wings here at Mortadella Head, here are my suggestions if you want to have enough wings at your party.
All of these suggestions are for people with average appetites. If you think you have some heavy hitters coming to your party and need a bigger portion size, increase these numbers.
As an appetizer or side dish, a pound of wings should feed about 4 people. That means that 10 pounds of wings should be enough for 40 people.
As a main dish, I would recommend about 1 pound of wings per person. That means 10 pounds of wings will feed about 10 people as the main course.
What to Serve with Your Chicken Wings?
Sauces: If you’re making Buffalo wings, obviously blue cheese dressing is a must. You can also serve Ranch dressing, creamy Caesar dressing or even a Pesto.
Dry rub: If you are someone who likes your wings crispy and not saucy, toss your wings in a dry rub made with Paprika, dried basil, dried oregano, Kosher Salt, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper.
Side Dishes: If you are having your chicken wings as a late-night snack or main meal, it’s always fun to serve them with a side of french fries, potato salad or a garden salad.