What Is Rib Meat? Taste, How To Cook It, And Nutritional Benefits

The first time you heard rib meat, I bet you must have thought that it generally refers to all types of meat from the ribs section. That’s a good guess but it’s not correct. Just like pork and beef ribs come from pigs and cattle, this meat cut comes from chicken.

This unusual meat cut looks bony and you may not want to take up any offer to eat it but you shouldn’t conclude just yet. It can add richness to your meal if you know how to get it out of the chicken breasts. Do not expect to see packages of this chicken cut in every store.

There is a lot you need to know about chicken rib meat. Read on to learn more.

What is rib meat?

Rib meat is an unusual chicken cut found near the ribcage of the chicken.  It is a part of the breast cut but not the fleshy meat. It is adjacent to the breast muscle, connected to the ribs, and extends into the upper part of the chicken’s body.

The chicken rib cage is a less worked part of a chicken’s body which makes it very tender. It is both white and dark meat; white because it is a part of the bread meat but slightly darker than the breast meat.

Unlike some other chicken cuts, this cut is easy to cook, and it adds a rich depth of flavor to dishes. It can come with or apart from the breast meat, depending on the butcher and your preference.

Furthermore, it is a very small chicken cut and cheaper too. If you are eating on a budget, you can ask for rib meat at the butcher or save the ones you cut from the breasts when you butcher chicken at home.   

What does chicken rib meat taste like?

This chicken cut is exceptionally tender, juicy, very flavorful, and has more fat than the breast meat. Its rich flavor comes from myoglobin which gives it its darker color.

raw chicken rib meat - millenora

Is rib meat the same as chicken breast?

Rib meat is not the same as chicken breasts. This cut is only adjoined to the breast meat. There are some noticeable differences between them. It is slightly darker for white meat.

Because it contains more fat, it is more flavorful. However, the difference in flavor is not very noticeable except when you eat it apart from the breast meat. None of these meat cuts is inferior to the other. It is a matter of preference.

If you prefer your drier meat, it will be the breast part for you. If you prefer more tender and juicy meat, you will appreciate rib meat better.

Also, you can ask your butcher to cut your chicken breasts with the rib meat attached. It will give you a blend of both textures and flavors. These combined cuts are also available in the poultry section at the stores.

Should you cook rib meat with chicken breast?

You can cook rib meat attached to the breast meat if that is how you got it from the butcher.

There is no special cooking method to use when cooking it with chicken breasts. Use the required internal temperature (165°F/74°C) for cooking chicken breast.

The tenderness, rich flavor, and moisture of the meat from the ribs perfectly complement the dryness and chewiness of the breast meat.

How to remove rib meat from chicken breast

If you buy whole chicken from the store, you will have to remove the rib meat yourself. It’s not a hard task. Follow these steps and you will be done in minutes:

  • You need a sharp knife for this
  • Place the chicken breast on a cutting board with the skin side facing up
  • Cut the breast into two halves and trace out the rib cage following the bones
  • Be careful as you do this, so you don’t cut your fingers
  • Separate the rib meat from the strips of flesh and use as you like

How to cook rib meat

You can cook this chicken cut in different ways. You can grill, roast, sauté, stir-fry, or add it to soups, stews, or broth.

Some of the ways to eat this chicken meat cut are:

  • Cook with chicken breasts and dumplings
  • Soft tacos filled with shredded chicken rib meat, salsa, cheese, and lettuce
  • Add the meat to stir-fry with brown rice and vegetables
  • Shred the meat and add it to quesadillas
  • Make air fryer chicken
  • Pair BBQ chicken rib meat with coleslaw and sandwiches or sweet potato fries
  • Add to your favorite curry recipe as a flavor enhancer. Serve with jasmine rice, potatoes, and salad
  • Make soup with salad and noodles
  • Make chicken skewers with vegetables, and baked potatoes to make it heartier
  • Make pizza with chicken rib meat and your favorite toppings combination

Are there benefits of adding chicken rib meat to your meals?

Chicken rib meat has the same nutritional benefits as chicken breasts. It is a rich source of protein and some essential aminos acids, vitamins B6 and B12, magnesium, and niacin.

It has more fat than the breast meat, but it shouldn’t be a cause for concern. You are not going to be eating a lot of this unusual meat cut anyway.

Also, you can make your more nutritious by adding healthy ingredients like veggies. Use a low-cholesterol cooking oil and use healthy cooking methods like baking instead of frying.


Can you cook chicken breasts with rib meat?

Yes, you can. Some chicken breast cuts come with rib meat, and some do not. If you do not mind, you can cook the breasts with or without it.

Can you eat chicken rib bones?

If you boil the bones enough until they are very tender and you chew them well, you can eat chicken rib bones. However, swallowing the bones is not advisable because it could lead to choking hazards.

Why are chicken breasts with ribs cheaper than boneless chicken breasts?

Chicken breasts with ribs are cheaper than boneless chicken breasts because they require less processing.

Removing bones from raw chicken before packaging them for sale requires a lot of work, which is why boneless chicken cuts cost more.


Not many people know this, but rib meat adds a rich depth of flavor to meals. It is also tender and worth the try.

If you used to ask the butcher to remove the ribs whenever you buy chicken breasts, you should have a change of mind the next time you are at the butcher’s.

You can also use the guide in the article to remove rib meat yourself. Eat the ribs alone or alongside the breasts, either is fine. Moreover, you will be getting a good deal of nutritional benefits like a rich dose of amino acids that support muscle growth and repair.

Additionally, find out if eating undercooked chicken breast is healthy and the right cooking temperature you should follow.

Thanks for reading.