How to Cut Chicken Wings at Joints

by Zora Hughes ; Updated September 28, 2017

Whole wings that you can split yourself are cheaper than pre-split wings.

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Items you will need

  • Sharp chef's knife
  • Cutting board

If you purchased a packet of whole chicken wings, they first need to be cut into smaller pieces before they resemble those bite-sized hot wings, like the kind you'd find at a restaurant. Whole chicken wings are comprised of the drumette, which is the part that was connected to the whole bird, followed by the wingette, or midsection, and then the tip end, which has virtually no meat. Cutting up chicken wings is as simple as slicing between the two joints that connect the sections, making them hot wing-ready in no time.

Step 1

Remove the chicken wings from their packaging and rinse them under cold running water. Pat dry.

Step 2

Place one wing on a cutting board and cut through the joint between the wing tip and the midsection with a sharp chef's knife. The joint is bony and easy to find. Position the knife right in the center of the joint and press down for a clean slice. The wing tip has little to no meat so you can discard it or save it for a chicken stock.

Step 3

Position your knife on the loose skin directly above the big joint that separates the midsection and the drumette end of the whole wing. Turn the wing if necessary so that the loose skin is facing up, making it easier to cut. Slice through the loose skin until you hit the joint bone.

Step 4

Turn the chicken wing so that the joint is facing you, then make a clean cut through the center of the joint. The knife should go cleanly through if you have it positioned correctly, as you are essentially cutting through the space in the joint and not actually through bone. However, it doesn't have to be perfect and it's fine if you do cut through a little bone. Repeat with the splitting process with the rest of your wings.


  • Wipe down all surfaces that come in contact with raw chicken with an anti-bacterial kitchen cleaner or bleach. Wash your hands and the cutting board with very hot, soapy water to avoid spreading any dangerous bacteria that tend to grow on raw poultry.

Photo Credits

  • Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

About the Author

Based in Los Angeles, Zora Hughes has been writing travel, parenting, cooking and relationship articles since 2010. Her work includes writing city profiles for Groupon. She also writes screenplays and won the S. Randolph Playwriting Award in 2004. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in television writing/producing and a Master of Arts Management in entertainment media management, both from Columbia College.