KFC Dark Meat vs. White Meat – Everything You Need to Know

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If you are a meat lover like me, KFC’s extensive meat menu must confuse you. And now that they have added many new options to their menu, this has gotten much more challenging. 

One of the main things about KFC’s meat menu that confuses foodies too often is the white and black meat options. 

Though most of the frequent KFC visitors know the difference between white and dark meat, a high fraction of people still find it odd. If this is your first time hearing about dark and white meat and you have no clue what makes them different, this is the right place for you. 

I have compiled a comprehensive guide explaining some of the main differences between KFC dark and white meat. I will also take you through the health benefits of both kinds of meats and provide you with everything you need to know to decide which will work best for you. 


What Does the Dark KFC Meat Mean? 

The Dark Meat you see on the KFC menu or the menu charts flashing on the screens when you enter any KFC is actually the leg and thigh portion of the chicken. This meat portion is generally used at KFC for making the crispy leg pieces that fill up the leg piece bucket. 

As far as the nutritional content of the KFC dark meat is concerned, it features a comparatively higher concentration of myoglobin compared to the white meat on the menu. I personally love the crispy leg pieces at KFC and often crave them. 

But some things about myoglobin in dark meat that you need to know before placing your leg piece bucket order at KFC is that it is an important protein responsible for providing oxygen to the muscle cells in your body. 

However, if I put this simply, this protein is responsible for all the extra fat in your body. Typically, the higher the amount of myoglobin in the meat, the darker it will be. Due to its higher fat content, dark meat is a little less healthy than white meat. So, if you are a fitness freak who visits KFC on cheat days, it’s best to avoid dark meat. 

But considering that dark meat tastes much better than other types of meat, this will surely be a hard choice. 


What Is the White Meat at KFC? 

White Meat that you see on the KFC menu is the chicken breast portion which most meat lovers usually prefer. The chicken shreds you see on pulling off the breast piece at KFC give a different level of satisfaction and peace. 

Unlike dark meat, muscle fibers in white meat are short and light. It’s because the breast portion of the chicken isn’t involved in strenuous physical work like the thighs or legs portion. 

Considering that white meat has a lower content of myoglobin, thus the white color, and is lower in calories and fat, most people prefer it over dark meat. But unfortunately, the flavor and taste of white meat aren’t better than darker meat. 


What Makes the KFC Dark Meat Different from KFC White Meat? 

Now that you know what the Dark and White Meat at KFC are, let me take you through a detailed comparison between these two types of meat. 

  • Red & White Fibers

The first difference between white and dark meat is the content of red and white fiber in them. Simply put, the muscles comprising white fibers in higher content are generally referred to as white meat, and those containing more red fibers are known to be dark meat. 

  • Density

This meat is generally less dense and can easily dry out from overcooking. The shreds of white meat are much thinner than dark meat, which is a denser meat form and doesn’t dry out too quickly. 

  • Percentage of Red Fibers 

White meat is the meat from the breasts and wings portion of the kitchen and has only 10% red fibers in it. On the contrary, dark meat comes from the chicken’s legs and has 50% red fibers in it. 

  • Moisture 

Dark meat is rich in moisture content and doesn’t dry out too quickly, as mentioned above. With this meat, you won’t have to worry about it drying out, and it will become your go-to order at KFC if you like the tender and juicy drumsticks. 

On the other hand, white KFC meat can get dry if overcooked, which is usually not what a lot of people like for their meat. Fortunately, the people at KFC are highly cautious about cooking white meat, and you don’t have to worry about your chicken breast piece drying out; if you love juicy chicken pieces, dark meat is the way to go for you. 

  • Taste 

As far as taste is concerned, dark meat tastes way better than white KFC meat. This is due to the higher fat content in the dark meat and also because the legs and thighs of the chicken involve hard physical work, which enriches this part with a lot of taste. 

Though the KFC white meat also tastes incredible, if you haven’t yet tried the saucy wings at KFC, this is a cue for you to try them the earliest (My favorite flavor is the Thai Sweet Chilli in Saucy Wings, you can start with that too); it still isn’t as good as the dark meat. 

  • Health

If you are a bit health conscious and visit KFC only for your cheat meal, trying to order something that isn’t too rich in fat, white meat is the way to go for you. KFC dark meat has a relatively higher fat content and can add to the fat in your body. 

White meat, on the other hand, is pretty light, with fewer calories than dark meat, and is usually preferred by gym and fitness freaks. 

Moreover, the protein content in white meat is relatively higher than its counter dark meat. To provide a little breakdown of its protein content, it comes with high levels of vitamins, including Vitamin C, B-3 and B-6, iron, and zinc. 

Check out this table briefly comparing KFC dark and white meat. 

White Meat Dark Meat
Flavor Mild, Dry Juicy, Strong
Red Fibres (%age) 10 50
Fat Content Low High
Chicken Portion Breasts, Wings Legs, Thigs
Fat per 100 g  1.65 g 4.31 g


Protein Content High Low
White Fibres High Low 


Final Thoughts – KFC Dark Meat vs. White Meat! 

Now that you have looked at the nutritional content, color, taste, and other such features of both dark and white KFC meat, this might have made the choice of meat easier for you. 

One thing I would like to mention here is that, though the fat content in white meat is lesser than that of dark meat, this doesn’t make white meat a healthy fast food option in any way. In the end, it is fast food and cannot take the place of other healthier food options. 

Hopefully, this guide has managed to help you differentiate between white and dark meat at KFC, and the next time you go to your nearest KFC shop, you will have a better idea of what to order. Have a lovely day at KFC! 


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