Protein in Chicken Drumsticks Protein in Chicken Drumsticks

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Thread: Protein in Chicken Drumsticks

  1. #1
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    Default Protein in Chicken Drumsticks

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    I'm on a pretty tight budget for food, so in searching for the best bargain protein I ran upon chicken drumsticks. The nutrition information on the net (including USDA database, etc) varies a bit, but on the package I get at the local store it lists a 4 oz bone in, skin on drumstick at 20 g of protein and 10 g of fat. The way it is packaged and labeled it gives me about 2-3 legs per lb which comes out to 80 g of protein and 40 g of fat for what comes out to be only $1/lb.

    By comparison the boneless skinless breast I usually get is listed at 23 g of protein and 2.5 g of fat for 4 oz and it's usually around $2/lb.

    There's not a big enough difference in protein/fat for me to make a difference but there is in both price and taste.

    Seeings how I hate chicken breast and was just tolerating 1 breast per day as supplemental protein (about 46 g), having to eat it with some kind of fat (like mayo) just to be able to swallow it, and also actually really relish a drumstick or 5, all this seems a little too good to be true to me.

    What am I missing?

    3 drumsticks = 80 g Protein for $1
    1 breast = 46 g Protein for $1

    Eat 3 legs a day to get even more protein than suffering with a whole chicken breast?

    For one thing, it doesn't seem like as much meat from the drumsticks (the yummy skin is present, though), and for another how are they counting the calories and macro nutrients? I can't find this on the internet specifically for drumsticks. How much protein is coming out of the bone and skin? Because there seems to be a lot of collagen that comes out onto the bottom of my Instant Pot. People into broths would kill for what I get with it.

    Is their protein count including the collagen in the bone I'm otherwise throwing out? Am I really getting what is listed everywhere when I eat the chicken leg and throw out the bones? If not is it really going to make that big a difference?

    I just don't want to be eating 3 chicken legs and only getting like 15 g of protein when I think I'm getting 80, you know?

    I'd appreciate it if you could shed some light on it.

  2. #2
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    Can you show me the package label? The breast has the highest protein content so i'm wondering if there was a measurement you can show me?

  3. #3
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    How Much Protein in Chicken? Breast, Thigh and More

    Robert: does this look accurate?

    Some of this could be semantics and it's kind of bizarre when describing chickens. There are two sides to a whole entire chicken breast but they are usually packaged by halves and sometimes with only the pec major muscle packaged as the "breast". The pec minor can be sold as a chicken "tender". This took some research because I always wondered how fast food places sold chicken tenderloins when that is the psoas (or iliopsoas) muscle on cattle and game animals and the psoas muscle is tiny on a bird.

    I personally prefer leg/thigh quarters in any chicken recipe.

  4. #4
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    Looks accurate to me. The wing is pretty much a fat source.

  5. #5
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    Looks like you are getting a supply/demand discount because people love boneless /skinless. The downside being you need to eat more calories to get the same amount of protein. Now I'm intrigued and will be investigating myself.

  6. #6
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    Sorry about how I posted the numbers. I was a bit confused while I was writing it all, myself. The breasts were the frozen variety you get in the Great Value bags at Walmart. 4 oz (112 g) is the weight for 2.5 F and 23 P. And from ages of weighing these things the ones I get average out to about 2 breasts per lb. So I was saying 1 breast was about 46 g of protein (8 oz). Maybe I'm supposed to be saying a "half breast", I don't really know. All I see is huge frozen blocks of hulk bird meat.

    What was partly confusing me and throwing me off was that 4 oz was the same weight being measured for the drumsticks, though "raw" was added. So one of the questions floating around in my head was is this 4 oz of randomness (random meat and skin minus bone, no mention of anything like "1 drumstick") or was it one drumstick? What kind of baby leg weighed only 4 oz?

    Then after a couple more days of researching and doing a lot more math, I've come to the conclusion that they may have been weighing it with the bone removed. Indeed I weighed a bone and it came in at 1.2 oz. I weighed some raw legs as well and they kept coming in around 5 oz (a couple were a lot bigger though). So the raw leg, bone removed, would be around 4 oz. The only downside to this is you're getting a little less protein for your money than you think you are, because you're paying by weight, and at least 1/5 of that weight is the inedible bone. After a lot more math I concluded that even with those numbers, you're still getting more protein for your dollar than with breasts.

    The breast has more protein and less fat per weight for sure, but in the end, the leg still has more protein per dollar. I tried finding out why this is and I read yesterday the lean cuts such as breast these days was considered the prize meat and the legs, etc were considered the "leftovers to be sold off". I'm sorry but I'm just baffled at that. Are people these days REALLY that crazy about avoiding a few grams of fat? 1123 brings up a good point, and I think that's part of it too. Bone in took less processing and it's less desirable.

    Also I figured out what to do with the congealed stuff that I had to also research to find out what it was. Apparently it's protein (collagen) as I mentioned and what I can do is cook these legs with rice so the rice soaks that up. I figure since people will fight over this stuff and make broths and gravy out of it, I may as well try it with some rice. So in the end, I'm not missing out on anything but some cooked bones that probably never contained that much protein to begin with.

    Also upon researching I have come to the conclusion I am indeed getting around that much protein per drumstick on average, the kind I buy anyway. All the variants (raw with bone, cooked without bone, etc) come up with everything from 12-20 grams of protein and they seem to be categorized as small medium and large.

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