Last Updated on August 23, 2023 by Practical Cooks
When you think of enjoying a delicious chicken dinner, the last thing on your mind is likely to include chicken bones. However, if you’ve ever wondered if you could eat chicken bones (and if there are any benefits), we have the (shocking) answers for you.
Yes, in fact, you can eat chicken bones. Humans are capable of consuming and properly digesting chicken bones when done right. In fact, there are even nutritional benefits that come with consuming chicken bones, if you can stomach them.
Is Eating Chicken Bones Bad for You?
No, not always. In fact, when chicken bones are consumed safely and cautiously, consuming chicken bones can actually provide valuable minerals and nutrients. In some instances, chicken bones contain an extensive amount of magnesium, phosphorous, and more.
Can Eating Chicken Bones Be Dangerous?
Yes, consuming chicken bones (or bones from any mammal, for that matter) can be risky and potentially life-threatening. Whenever you choose to consume chicken bones, it is important to do so only after familiarizing yourself with the types of bones you are about to eat.
Learn about the bone’s texture, its ability to crack, and its outer smoothness before attempting to take a bite.
Are Chicken Bones Healthy for the Body?
Yes, chicken bones are actually quite nutritious and healthy for the body. Most chicken bones (regardless of where they are located on the chicken’s body) include dense nutrients and minerals.
From traditional amino acids to essential magnesium there are nearly zero drawbacks to eating chicken bones (when done safely and properly).
How Should I Eat Chicken Bones?
You should only eat chicken bones off of pieces of chicken that are thoroughly cooked. Once you have removed all of the chicken meat, skin, and cartilage, inspect the chicken bones.
While inspecting the leftover chicken bones you have in front of you, keep the following in mind:
- Size: The size of the chicken bone should be considered, as it is not always advisable to eat an entire chicken bone in one bite.
- Splinters or cracks: Keep an eye on potential splinters or cracks that are noticeable by the naked eye before you attempt to take a bite of any chicken bone. If you see a visible splinter in the bone, attempt to remove it or break it down as quickly as possible.
- Slowly: If you are new to consuming chicken bones, do so slowly. This will protect your mouth, gut, and gastrointestinal tract, and your ability to gauge which chicken bones are safest and softest to eat.
What Vitamins and Minerals Do Chicken Bones Contain?
If you are thinking of trying chicken bones yourself, consider the nutritional benefits that come along with the bones themselves.
In most instances, chicken bones include the following:
- Important amino acids
- Dense bone marrow (full of optimal fats and nutrients)
- Collagen (useful for skin, guts, and overall health)
What Do Chicken Bones Taste Like?
Most often, individuals have a personalized sense of taste and smell. This can make it difficult to provide a blanket answer regarding the taste of chicken bones.
However, some people find that bones from chicken taste bland and, in some cases, even bitter or off-putting.
If you lean towards sweets and foods with flavor-rich profiles, it may be best to steer clear of chicken bones.
What Can Be Done With Chicken Bones?
One of the most popular ways to put chicken bones to use is to consider using the bones for stock or soup. Making chicken stock out of the bones not only helps to draw flavor, but also rich nutrients and dense minerals.
Can Chicken Bones Cut You?
Yes. Chicken bones can be very sharp. Any time you are thinking of eating a chicken bone, be sure to inspect each piece of chicken individually. Not all bones are created equally.
While some chicken bones are softer and much easier to chew, others may require a bit more effort, which adds to the risk.
What are the risks of eating chicken bones?
Most often, consuming chicken bones does not result in adverse effects or any incidents. However, in some cases, an individual may cut themselves or the roof of their mouth due to a sharp and unexpected chicken bone. A few risks to keep in mind before you eat a chicken bone yourself include:
Mouth cuts and/or abrasions: The most common injury to occur when eating chicken bones includes mouth cuts/and or abrasions inside of the mouth.
From eating a sharp chicken bone or snapping a bone mid-chew, there are a few different ways a chicken bone may cause a cut or minor abrasions inside of the mouth.
Splinters: It is not uncommon to experience an uncomfortable splinter in your mouth any time you are eating bones, including chicken bones. As bones break apart, they separate into even smaller sections and pieces, typically called splinters.
If you are constantly finding yourself encountering splinters, you may need to choose a different type of chicken bone to enjoy.
Gastrointestinal damage: Swallowing bones that have not been thoroughly chewed can put your body and gastrointestinal system at risk. Bones that are cracked or splintered have a greater risk of causing internal damage once swallowed.
After swallowing a splintered or cracked bone, you run the risk of causing additional internal bleeding as it makes its way out of the body.
Although consuming chicken bones might not be the first thought you have when you have cravings for a home style chicken dinner, the bones can be quite nutritious.
Knowing how to identify the right chicken bones to eat can help you remain calm and ready to enjoy your chicken bones!