Chicken Thighs Vs. Drumsticks | What’s The Difference?

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The chicken leg must be one of your favorites if you love chicken! When talking about the chicken leg, chicken thighs and drumsticks come to our mind. Many people often treat the same meat portion.

Chicken Drumsticks

But chicken thighs and drumsticks are different meat portions. They have a slight difference in flavor as well as texture. Read this article if you need clarification and want to know more about it.

Chicken thighs and drumsticks are indeed a part of chicken legs. You will probably get this together if you order chicken leg pieces from a butcher. Thighs and drumsticks form the entire chicken leg. However, chicken thighs have more meat content than drumsticks.

This is one of many differences between the two; there are more. In this article, we will talk about chicken thighs and drumsticks in detail so that next time you go to a restaurant, you will know what exactly to order. 

Chicken Thighs Vs. Drumsticks | Difference Table

Basis Of DifferenceChicken ThighsDrumsticks
Constituted of The hipbone and the femurKneecap and tibia
AppearanceSlightly rectangularDrumstick like
TasteTender and juicyTender and juicy
Amount of meat presentHighLow

What Are Chicken Thighs?

Chicken Thighs

Chicken thighs are often perceived as a part of drumsticks. But that is wrong. Even though they are all part of the leg portion, the chicken thighs differs from drumsticks. The thigh portion of the chicken is made from two bones – the hipbone and the femur.

The hipbone holds most of the meat content, while the femur connects the hipbone and the chicken’s body. Interestingly, chicken thighs also contain the chicken’s kidney, and if you cook them together, the chicken thighs will be more flavorful. 

What Are Drumsticks?

Chicken Drumsticks

Drumsticks sound like an interesting name, doesn’t it? The chicken drumstick is mainly referred to as the meat portion of the kneecap and tibia. It’s no wonder that this portion of the chicken leg is called a drumstick owing to its shape.

The kneecap is the bone that connects the rest of the drumstick to the body, while the tibia holds all the meat content. 

Chicken Thighs Vs. Drumsticks | Similarities Between The Two

Chicken Thighs

Not everyone gets confused between the two! But there are enough reasons to think they are the same. So in this section, let us look at some similarities between the two meat portions before jumping into their differences. 

Both Are A Portion Of Leg Meat 

When we think about chicken legs, drumsticks and thighs come to mind. Both of these meat portions are a part of chicken leg. Thus if you simply order chicken leg pieces in a restaurant, you could get either of the two or both.

Both Have Similar Culinary Uses 

Whether it’s chicken drumsticks or chicken thighs, there are so many dishes you can make from both of these. You can fry them, grill them, or can be used to make some yummy soup from them.

These chicken pieces are extremely flavorful, thus making them too prone to experimentation. Both can be used as a main dish or can go well as a side dish to most rice and flatbreads. 

Both Portions Have Similar Taste

Both chicken thighs and drumsticks belong to the same meat portions. Hence they have a very similar flavor profile. The meat in this portion is extremely juicier. It could be a little rubbery when uncooked, but it becomes moist and tender once properly cooked.

Cooking Time 

Since both types of meat have a similar texture, the cooking time needed to cook these pieces is similar. It will take around 35 to 40 minutes to cook these pieces on high heat. However, the cooking time can vary depending on the quantity of the chicken.

Chicken Thighs Vs. Drumsticks | Difference Between The Two

Chicken Thighs

Now that we have covered some visible similarities between the two, let’s learn about their differences. The difference is what makes them special, and knowing them would help you decide which one you would like better. 

1. Position 

Even though both the meat portions are a part of the leg, the position differs. The chicken thigh is the upper part of the leg and is attached to the hipbone and the femur. On the other hand, the chicken drum is in the lower part and is located on the kneecap and tibia.

2. Appearance 

If you are a chicken lover like me, it is easy to differentiate between the two pieces. The chicken thigh is quite a meaty portion. It has a flat rectangular-like shape and comes attached to the drumstick portion.

As its name suggests, the drumstick looks so much like a drumstick! It has a heady meat portion and a lean bone portion. 

3. Amount Of Meat Present 

 The amount of meat present in both portions is different. Chicken thighs have a high amount of meat content than the drumstick portion. However, regardless of that, people love engaging in a drumstick piece!

4. Texture 

There is very little textural difference between the two meat portions. Both chicken thighs and drumsticks are soft and moist. However, chicken drumsticks come with an edible kneecap with a slightly rubbery texture. 

Top Dishes To Make With Chicken Thighs

If you have some leftover chicken thighs from the previous day’s cooking lying in your fridge, here are some of my top dishes which you can cook with chicken thighs.

1. Grilled BBQ Chicken Thighs 

grilled BBQ chicken thighs

Every evening party would be complete with a good grilled chicken. If you plan to make a grill, try the grilled BBQ chicken thighs. They are extremely juicy, tender, and flavorful. It might take a bit to make, but its taste will pay off the wait.

2. Crispy Skinned Chicken Thighs

crispy-skinned chicken thigh recipe

Crispy chicken skin makes everything better! Not everybody loves chicken skin, but try this crispy-skinned chicken thigh recipe if you do. It is crunchy on the outside and juicy on the inside and is a perfect evening snack you can munch on a cold evening. 

3. Slow Cooker Tex Mex Chicken Thighs

slow cooker Tex-Mex chicken thighs

If you have yet to try a slow-cooking dish, this is the sign to try it out! These slow cooker Tex-Mex chicken thighs are extremely easy to make. All you need is a 10-minute marination, and you can leave the rest to the slow cooker.

4. Garlic Chicken Thighs 

garlic chicken thigh recipe

Even if you aren’t a huge fan of chicken dishes in general, make sure to give this garlic chicken thigh recipe a shot! It is a perfectly flavored dish with a slightly salty and garlicky taste in the perfectly cooked tender chicken thighs. 

5. Orange Chicken

orange chicken

If you are tired of regular chicken dishes, this orange chicken deserves a try! It is often viewed as a restaurant dish, but if you have some time and patience, you can easily cook it at home!

Top Dishes To Make With Chicken Drumsticks 

Even people who generally hate chicken dishes love the drumstick part. It is soft and juicy, has a composed flavor, and leaves no room for hate. If you are looking for some recommendations, here are some of my favorites.

1. Tandoori Chicken

tandoori chicken

If you are up for some spicy dishes, try this tandoori chicken. It is a classic Indian dish and can be easily prepared at home. You can have it with either bread or rice. Whatever the main course, the meal’s star would be this tandoori chicken.

2. Sticky Honey Chicken Drumstick 

sticky honey chicken drumstick

If you love the sweetness in your dish, then this sticky honey chicken drumstick is ideal for you. It is an easy-to-make dish. Start by mixing your chicken drumstick with honey, miso, orange rind, ginger, and garlic paste.

Roast is for some time. Add some fresh green chilies to it. Serve it with a steaming plate of white rice.

3. Chicken Wedge 

chicken wedge

If you are a beginner in cooking, then this chicken wedge is something you could easily manage. All you need is cornflakes, bread crumbs, spices, and drumsticks. Coat it all and fry it!

4. Malaysian Fried Chicken 

Malaysian fried chicken

If you want to taste some other fried chicken besides regular fried chicken, try this Malaysian fried chicken! It is a perfect blend of spice and brings you many new flavors. It might look like KFC, but taste-wise, they are entirely different!

5. Lemongrass Chicken

lemongrass chicken

If not for the taste but for its smell, you must try this lemongrass chicken! It is so delicious and aromatic that once you have it, it becomes quite addictive. The simple lemongrass and some spices are all you need to cook this yummy dish.

Chicken Thighs Vs. Drumsticks | Which Is Healthier?

Chicken Thighs

Nutrition-wise, both the meat are similar as they are taken from the chicken leg portion. However, the chicken thigh has a little more fat content than the drumsticks part. Hence, chicken drumsticks are healthier than chicken thighs.

Chicken Thighs Vs. Drumsticks | Which Is Tastier?

Chicken Drumsticks

Both portions taste so much alike. If you did not see it, it would be hard even to tell the difference between the two. However, drumsticks have a much milder flavor than chicken thighs. It appeals to all and can be stated as the tastiest of the two. 

Chicken Thighs Vs. Drumsticks | Which Is Better?

Chicken Thigh

Choosing the best out of the two can be a little difficult. However, considering its taste and usage, we could say that chicken drumsticks are better than chicken thighs. They are easy to get, easy to cook, and easy to eat! 

Even though thighs and drumsticks have similar flavors, the thighs have a slightly stronger taste than the chicken drumsticks. Having said this, if you ask for a leg piece, you will get both!


Now that we are at the end of the article, I hope you had a worthwhile read about both chicken cuts. Chicken thighs and drumsticks are commercially popular chicken pieces that can be used in multiple ways. 

However, when it comes to taste, chicken drumsticks have a milder flavor and are more appealing to many. It also has a less fat content and can be cooked in multiple ways. Thus, when given the option to choose between the two, go for chicken drumsticks!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is chicken thigh or drumstick better?

Choosing the best out of the two can be a little difficult. However, considering its taste and usage, we could say that chicken drumsticks are better than chicken thighs.

Which has more protein thigh or drumstick?

Chicken thigh has more protein content than drumsticks.

Can you substitute drumsticks for chicken thighs?

Yes. You can use chicken thighs as drumsticks substitute and vice versa.

Are chicken drumsticks unhealthy?

No. Chicken drumsticks are generally healthy.

What is the juiciest part of the chicken?

Chicken thighs are one of the juiciest parts of chicken.

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