As a catering chef, I am constantly forecasting how much food we need for parties and barbecues, and buffalo wings are a classic appetizer that every host asks me to serve. This guide will explain how many wings are in a pound, and how to purchase the correct amount for your party.
How Many Wings In A Pound?
For buffalo wings (drummette and wing flat separated) 10-12 pieces are in a per pound.
For whole wings (drum, wing, and wing tip intact) 4-5 pieces are in a pound.
(The variations are due to the size of the wing from various butcher shops, how many ounces of meat you can expect on a wing versus a drumette, and the wing size after removing the wing tip, which is not eaten.)
The Two Types of Chicken Wings
The first question we ask when planning a party is what type of wings the host would like to serve. At the grocery store, you will have your choice of whole wings or buffalo wings. (I find most people strongly prefer one style or the other, so let’s look at some pictures so that we can be sure we’re speaking the same language.)
Whole wings are usually sold raw in the poultry section of grocery stores or frozen in large bags in the freezer section. A whole wing is the true wing from the chicken without the butcher breaking it down into pieces. Some people prefer this style of wing, especially when the wing is going to be smoked or barbecued.
There are 4-5 whole wings in a pound of uncooked chicken wings (and one raw chicken wing weighs 3.5 oz. before cooking).
Special Note: Whole wings are sometimes referred to as jumbo chicken wings. Jumbo wings are what chefs call a fantasy brand, as the grocery store has made it up as a marketing term to sell whole wings in a way that sounds more enticing. If you encounter jumbo wings just refer to the recommendations for whole wings.
The method of separating the wing and drum (referred to as buffalo wings) began in the city of Buffalo, New York. Sports bars began selling wings and drumettes separated, fried, and dipped in a spicy vinegar-based red sauce, which we now call buffalo sauce.
This will be important in determining how many wings you need per person because you must identify whether the package of wings you are purchasing are whole wings or buffalo wings. (And whether you want to serve whole wings or buffalo wings.)
Buffalo wings are made by separating the wing from the drumette and snipping off the wing tip (which is discarded or used to make soup stock). Once separated, both wings and drumettes are cooked and served as buffalo wings. At restaurants, you may have ordered buffalo wings and been given the choice of wings, drums, or a mix as some people prefer all wings, all drumettes, etc.
Regardless if you order 1 pound of buffalo wings you can expect about 10-12 pieces in a pound (which is twice the number of a whole wing because 1 wing is butchered down into 2 pieces to make this style).
There are 10-12 pieces of buffalo wings in a pound, and one average raw wing or drumette weighs about approximately 1.5 ounces.
When shopping just remember that 1 whole wing equals 2 buffalo wings when making your calculations.
How Many Wings Per Person (Putting it all together)
Catering wisdom tells us that we should consider whether the wings will be the main dish with sides, or an appetizer when determining how many to cook for each guest.
|Main Appetizer followed By Dinner||4-6 buffalo wings||2-3 whole wings|
|As an Entree with Sides||1-1.5 pounds per person||5-6 whole wings|
|As the Sole Entree (no sides)||1.5-2 pounds||6-8 whole wings|
Main Appetizer followed By Dinner: 4-6 wings or drumettes as an appetizer, or (2-3 whole wings per person)
As an Entree with Sides offered: 1-1.5 pounds per person for an entree, plus sides or (5-6 whole wings per person)
As the Sole Entree (no sides): 1.5- 2 pounds per person, if wings are the only thing served or (6-8 whole wings per person)
10-12 buffalo wings will make the average person feel full, especially with side dishes.
However, this is all based on average appetites. For wing lovers, heavy eaters, buffets, or grazing parties like Super Bowl Sunday, I recommend 2 pounds per person…you may have leftovers but that is better than running out. Usually, the wing lovers will eat well over 1 pound, while the normal party goers will eat their 10-12 and move on, meaning that the number of wings will even out among guests.
10 Pounds of Chicken Wings Feeds How Many People?
|10 people||10-12 buffalo wings||5-6 whole wings|
|8 people||12-15 buffalo wings||6-7 whole wings|
Buffalo Style (Wing and Drumette Separate) 10 pounds of chicken wings are 100-120 buffalo style wings
10 pounds of chicken wings feeds 10 people, about 10-12 wing pieces per person. Side dishes are recommended.
10 pounds of chicken wings feeds 8 people, about 12-15 wing pieces per person.
Whole Wing (Wing and Drumette Attached) 10 pounds of whole wings are 40-50 wings. (It’s usually 45 wings exactly.)
10 pounds of chicken wings feeds 10 people, 5-6 whole wings per person. Side dishes are recommended.
10 pounds of chicken wings feeds 8 people, 6-7 whole wings per person. Side dishes are recommended.
How Many Wings Are in a 10 Pound Bag?
Approximately 100 pieces if the wing and drumette are separated, or approximately 45 whole wings are in a 10-pound bag.
This is the common way that bulk wings are sold to consumers in grocery stores and big-box stores like Costco and Sam’s.
How Many Chicken Wings Do I Need Per Person?
You need 10-12 buffalo-style chicken wings for a main course adult portion, or just over one pound of wings.
This is specifically for buffalo-style wings, which have the drum and wing separated. For whole wings cut that number in half, 5-6 wings.
How Many Wings are in a 4 lb Bag or Case?
In a 4 pound container, we obtained 14 whole chicken wings, which is 28 buffalo wings.
(Again about 4.5 whole wings per pound.)
How Many Boneless Wings Do I Need Per Person?
Boneless chicken wings are basically chicken nuggets. They are small breaded pieces of chicken breast meat. They vary in size, but for most adults, 4-6 hearty boneless wings should be sufficient for a meal, with side dishes.
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How Much Sauce Do I Need For Chicken Wings?
You’ll need 2-3 oz. per pound of sauce, per pound of chicken wings. A standard 12 oz. bottle of buffalo sauce will easily coat 5 pounds of wings.
For fried wings with a lot of crunch, you’ll need more sauce than for grilled wings. Bbq sauce and honey mustard sauce are thicker sauces and will require more volume than buffalo sauce, about 3 oz. per pound.
Buffalo Sauce is made up of a 1:1 ratio of hot sauce and melted butter, mixed well. My favorite brand is the popular sauce Frank’s Red Hot, but any hot sauce can be used in this formula.
Some hot wing sauces are sold ready to toss and do not require mixing with butter. The Buffalo Wild Wings Sauce brand is ready to pour and does not require whisking with butter. A standard 12 oz. bottle of sauce will easily coat 5 pounds of wings.
What Is The Best Method For Cooking Chicken Wings?
As wings are synonymous with party food I would argue that frying is the best and most classic method, especially for coating in buffalo sauce.
In our catering company, we use small hand fryers (like the Delonghi seen here on Amazon) for frying wings to order. They require no flour, seasoning, or prep. The crunchy exterior is created by frying in fat and hot fried wings are doused in traditional buffalo sauce, or any of the homemade sauce recipes available here on Urban Cowgirl. Here is a list of my favorite wing sauce recipes…
Here is my tutorial for smoked wings if you are interested in another method…
Looking for a great late-night snack or some more common super bowl snacks? Here are some of our favorites…
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