Posted on March 15, 2022

Dark Meat vs. White Meat: What’s the Difference?

People love eating meat. We have so many different meats that there are many ways to categorize them. We group them by the animal they come from, how they can be cooked, what juices come out of them when they’re cooked, and much more. A common way to categorize meat is as dark meat or white meat. The distinction between dark meat vs. light meat needs to be explained because white meat alone stands for two different things.

Most meat groups, such as beef and poultry, are considered red meats or white meats. The difference is that red meat contains high amounts of fat and vitamins, like iron, zinc, and B vitamins. White meat, when talking about poultry, is low in fat and considered a lean source of protein by comparison. Poultry meat comes from birds like chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, and more.

The second meaning of white meat is when you’re only talking about poultry and other meats that aren’t considered red meat. These come in two varieties: dark meat or white meat, sometimes also called light meat. 

What Distinguishes Dark Meat from White Meat?

Poultry is one of, if not the most, common and popular meat groups in the world. It’s consumed in amounts far above other meats like fish and beef. That’s led to poultry having its own classification system. 

This classification system comparing dark poultry meat and white poultry meat is based on which part of the animal the meat comes from and what proportions of proteins and vitamins those different body parts carry. Dark meat is primarily found in the legs and thighs, where white meat comes from the breasts and wings.

Dark Meat vs. White Meat

But the real question is which one do you want to eat? They both have their pros and cons depending on what you need. Do you want to eat the one that’s healthier or has a certain taste? The best way to start when comparing dark meat and white is what’s in them.

What’s in the Meat?

The legs and thighs of birds carry the weight of the animal, so they need different vitamins and minerals to do that than their wings. This means that when you eat dark meat, your body processes different nutrients. For this reason, dark meat has more: 

  • Saturated fat
  • Calories
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Riboflavin
  • Thiamine
  • Vitamin B-12

White meat, on the other hand, because it’s found in the breast and wings, needs nutrients that allow it to fly. The muscles in a bird’s breasts and wings need to produce a great amount of force and need a lot of energy to fly. Because of this, white meat has:

  • Less fat
  • Less myoglobin
  • More carbohydrates
  • Fewer calories

Which Meat is Healthier?

Which one is healthier depends wholly on your regular diet. While dark meat has more fat, fat in itself isn’t a bad thing. Everyone needs some of it, and when you eat dark meat, you also get important nutrients like iron, zinc, and riboflavin. But, if you already have a lot of these nutrients from other meals, and your daily activities don’t use them, having more from dark meat may not be good for you.

In that case, you may want white meat so you can avoid having too much of a good thing. It also makes sense to have white meat over dark meat if you’ll get the same nutrients from dark meat in other meals. 

Which Meat Tastes Better?

Whether one tastes better comes down to preference. Dark meat typically has a fattier, juicier taste than white meat, which can mean more flavor. White meat dries out faster than dark meat, leading to a milder taste. Whether juicy meat tastes better than dryer meat, is up to your personal preference but we serve both.

Dark Meat vs. White Meat: Find Out What You Like at Kevin’s Bar & Restaurant

If you’re not sure which meat you prefer, Kevin’s Bar & Restaurant is the perfect place to come find out. You can start off your meal with Duck Confit & Cranberry Flatbread. It’s an appetizer with dark meat that should give you a taste of the juiciest part of a duck. It also comes with sourdough flatbread, goat cheese, dates, almonds, caramelized apple, and cranberry puree that all work together to whet your appetite and enhance the flavor of the meat.

Then you can have a white meat dish as your entree with either Lemon & Herb Roasted Chicken or Long Island Duck. Both are excellent choices, with Lemon & Herb Roasted Chicken, being made with airline chicken breast, potato puree, chicken jus, and seasonal vegetables. Long Island Duck is just as good, if not better, with the maple bourbon honey it’s glazed with, its fingerling potatoes, and seasonal vegetables. 

Either way, you’ll taste the difference between dark meat and white meat when you visit Kevin’s Bar & Restaurant. Make a reservation online for indoor dining or outdoor dining in our heated igloos!