White Meat: What Is It And Is It Good For Grilling And Smoking?

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  June 6, 2022

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When grilling, you need to know what to look for when buying chicken, pork, and bacon for your barbecue.  White meat is the chicken breast, and dark meat is the thigh and leg.

But what exactly is it?  Well, that’s what we’re going to discuss in this article.

What is white meat

What is White Meat?

What is it?

White meat is the lean, light stuff – think chicken wings and breasts – that’s dominated by white muscle fibers. These fibers use glycogen as fuel and don’t need as much oxygen from the blood. Glycogen is great for short-distance flying, or if you’re in a hurry.

What Can You Do With It?

White meat is a kitchen superstar – you can cook it, bake it, or bread it. Just remember that it tends to dry out under high heat, so opt for broiling, sautéing, or stir-frying.

What’s So Great About It?

White meat is a great choice if you’re looking for something lean and light. Plus, it’s versatile – you can make it into a million different dishes. So why not give it a try?

Fowl Facts: All You Need to Know About Chicken Meat

What is White Meat Chicken?

  • White meat is the breast and wing portions of the chicken, which are usually lean and pale in color.
  • If you’re looking for a low-calorie, low-fat option, white meat’s the way to go!

What is Dark Meat Chicken?

  • Dark meat is the thigh and drumstick of the bird, and it’s usually darker in color.
  • This is because the legs of the chicken are used more often, so they contain more of a protein called myoglobin, which helps store oxygen in the muscle.
  • When cooked, the reddish color turns more brown.

Skin On vs Skin Off

  • You can enjoy both dark meat and white meat with or without the skin.
  • Keeping the skin on adds flavor and nutrition, but it also adds a few extra calories.
  • So if you’re watching your calorie and fat intake, you might want to go skinless.

Comparing Dark Meat and White Meat Chicken: A Comprehensive Guide


  • Dark meat tends to be richer in flavor and more tender than white meat, but it can be higher in fat and calories.
  • White meat is milder in flavor, but can be more prone to drying out while cooking.
  • Both types of chicken are an excellent source of lean protein and can be included in a balanced, healthy diet.


  • 4-ounce Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breast:

– Fat (grams):
– Carbs (grams):
– % Daily Value of Iron:
– % Daily Value of Zinc:
– % Daily Value of Riboflavin:
– % Daily Value of Niacin:
– % Daily Value of B6:

  • 4-ounce Skinless, Boneless Chicken Thigh:

– Fat (grams):
– Carbs (grams):
– % Daily Value of Iron:
– % Daily Value of Zinc:
– % Daily Value of Riboflavin:
– % Daily Value of Niacin:
– % Daily Value of B6:

Bottom Line

  • Dark meat is higher in fat and calories than white meat, but it’s still a lean protein source.
  • Dark meat is also higher in iron and zinc than white meat.
  • If you’re trying to cut calories and fat, white meat may be the way to go.
  • But if you’re looking for a source of healthy fats, iron, niacin, riboflavin, and zinc, dark meat is the way to go.
  • Ultimately, it’s up to you and your taste buds to decide which type of chicken is best!

The Difference Between White and Red Meat

What Does This Mean for the Meat You Eat?

  • The texture of the meat you eat is determined by the size of the bundles of muscle fiber and the surrounding connective tissues. Smaller bundles and thinner connective tissues give a finer texture, while larger bundles with more connective tissues give a coarser texture.
  • Rendering the fat in connective tissues affects the texture of your meal. The melted fat and collagen combine with the meat to make it more succulent and juicy.
  • Fat also adds flavour to the meat. Adding fat from a different animal to lean meat will give it a distinct taste.

What Should You Cook Next?

  • Now that you know the difference between white and red meat and how it affects your grilling, why not try something new?
  • Get creative in the kitchen and share your recipes, success stories, and photos with us on our social pages like Instagram and Facebook. Don’t forget to use the hashtags #NapoleonEats and #NapoleonGrill!
  • So fire up the grill and get cooking – you never know what deliciousness you’ll create!



In conclusion, white meat is a great option for grilling! It’s lean, flavorful, and packed with nutrients. Plus, it’s a great way to switch up your grilling routine. Just remember to keep an eye on it, as it cooks quickly. And don’t forget to use those chopsticks – it’s not a barbecue without ’em! So go ahead and give white meat a try – you won’t regret it!

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Lakeside Smokers is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with BBQ Smoking (& Japanese food!) at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.