Chicken wings are probably one of the most common, if not the most common, bar food. Long chicken wing story short, I’ve been eating a lot of wings lately and find myself wondering how many calories each tiny chicken arm has.
I understand that my “calorie curiosity” might be in the minority here. That most bar goers eating buffalo chicken wings are doing so by the dozen, in addition to downing pitchers of beer and murdering piles of french fries. I don’t want to stereotype, but I get that I’m probably more interested in my caloric intake than most bar patrons.
That said, with chicken wings being such a popular bar food, I know some people are interested — the people want chicken wings transparency! Knowing that it was a public service, I spent a couple hours gathering recent chicken wing nutritional data from the likes of Buffalo Wild Wings, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Livestrong, Applebee’s and Dominos.
From my very-scientific approach (see below), I determined that the average buffalo chicken wing has 84 calories (with bone/before dipping sauce). Not just satisfied with calories, I found that each buffalo wing boasts 5.5 grams of fat and 5.7 grams of protein, on average.
How We Came Up With Average Chicken Wing Calories
The problem with finding the general calorie count for buffalo wings is that as common as they are (or are spicy/hot wings), they’re all a little different (preparation, ingredients, size), so we’ll never be able to nail down an exact calorie count for the wings you ate at the pub down the street or the bar that you visited on holiday.
The good news is that we can generalize here. Most preparations of buffalo wings use the same ingredients and are typically about the same size.
For the purpose of not driving ourselves crazy, we assumed that size and ingredients were equal so as to compare apples to apples as much as we can. With that assumption, we looked at the reported calorie counts of standard chicken wings (buffalo or hot wings/with bone/no dipping sauce) across popular fast food restaurants’ nutritional menus and calorie-count web sources.
We added up the calories per chicken wing from the nine sources, divided the total by eight to determine the average calories per buffalo chicken wing.
|Site||Desc.||Calories||Fat (g)||Protein (g)|
|Applebee's||Double Crunch Bone-In Wings||66||4.4||5.5|
|Buffalo Wild Wings||Traditional||141.7||N/A||N/A|
|Calorie Count||Buffalo Style||60||3.7||4.7|
|Fat Secret||Buffalo Wild Wings||72||5||6|
|Kentucky Fried Chicken||Fiery Buffalo||70||4||4|
|Papa John's||Spicy Buffalo||70||4.5||7|
|Wings To Go||Traditional||88.8||6.4||7.4|
|AVERAGE||BUFFALO CHICKEN WINGSs||84||5.5||5.8|
Obviously, if you’re looking for the calories in an order of 10 buffalo wings, then simply multiply 83.5 by ten (835 pre-dipping sauce).
I’m skeptical of Applebee’s 660 calories for a full order of their “Double Crunch wings”. From Applebee’s promotional photo, they advertise a full order being ten wings, which comes out to just 66 calories per chicken arm. Some research shows that the number of wings you isn’t locked in stone — that your actual order can be anywhere from 7-9 wings. Whether that’s a calorie savings or not, is up in the air— those photos of the wings look pretty slathered with sauce (which means more calories!)
Buffalo Wild Wings doesn’t tell you how many wings you get, instead showing you the total calories per serving size and displaying a photo of six wings. So I assumed that their small “SNACK” size was for six wings and divided by their reported 850/KCAL per serving.
Dominos was also a little shady with their nutrition numbers; forcing the user to do the math. Dominos displayed total calories and leaving out how many wings you have to consume to get to that number. We had to go through the order process to figure out it was probably their smallest order size of eight “marinated and oven-baked” chicken wings (because they wouldn’t want to give the calories for a 40-piece.
Don’t Forget (or Forget) the Dipping Sauce!
Clearly you’re concerned about your calories or else you wouldn’t be reading this. So if you’re watching your numbers, don’t forget to add the calories that come with dipping sauce. Whether bleu cheese, ranch or whatever extra creamy goodness you like coating your chicken wings in, that counts toward that total. We’re not going to get all scientific on the infinite combinations of sauces, but the sauce can add up another 25-60 calories (that’s 80% more calories per wing, yo) per wing depending on how rich and thick you like it.