This easy Baked BBQ Chicken is perfectly tender and juicy, with a sticky sweet barbecue glaze that you won’t be able to get enough of.
You’re going to love the ease of this recipe, which is a great weeknight dinner option to feed your hungry crowd.
There’s no need to fire up the grill, this recipe will satisfy those BBQ chicken cravings every time!
As much as we love classic grilled BBQ chicken, sometimes it’s just not going to happen. Maybe it raining, maybe it’s windy, maybe we’re low on propane… or maybe we’re just feeling lazy.
Fortunately, the oven can cook some mighty good barbecue. In fact, it’s our go-to method for BBQ Ribs.
This one is definitely for those easy days, when you want a good meal and don’t want to work too hard. And once you try barbecue chicken in the oven, it’s going to be one of your staple weeknight meals.
Why We Love this Oven Baked BBQ Chicken
- It practically cooks itself. All you need is an oven and a few pantry staple ingredients.
- Everyone in the family will enjoy it. Who doesn’t love classic barbecue flavors?
- You can serve it with a big variety of side dishes. We’ll give you plenty of ideas later in the post.
- It’s great for meal prep. Leftovers store great for several days, so you can have lunches all week long.
- No flare-ups. Grilling skin-on chicken over a fire can often get a little pyrotechnic.
- It’s super delicious! The tender succulent meat is topped with the most out of this world caramelized BBQ glaze. Big time YUM!
What is the Best Cut of Chicken to Use?
We prefer bone-in skin-on thighs for baked chicken. They come out juicy and tender, and the skin really adds to the culinary experience. That being said you can use any of your favorite cuts.
Keep in mind that using different cuts will change the cooking time. We recommend cooking bone-in thighs to a minimum of 180°F, as that is when the meat becomes super tender and melts in your mouth. Similarly with whole leg quarters.
Boneless thighs will take less time, though we still recommend cooking them to the same temperature.
If using chicken breast (whether boneless or bone-in), cook to an internal temperature of 165°F. This is not only the minimum safe temperature to cook chicken to, but it is ideal for chicken breast. Beyond that it can become dry and tough.
If using whole cut up chicken, separate the dark and white meat into different baking dishes. Cook the white meat to 165°F, and leave the dark meat in until it reaches 180°F.
BBQ Chicken Ingredients
- Chicken – Our favorite bone-in skin-on thighs.
- Olive oil – Or any of your favorite neutral cooking oils.
- Spice rub – Paprika, garlic powder, brown sugar, kosher salt, pepper.
- BBQ sauce – Use your favorite brand, get creative with flavors. For a good basic store bought BBQ sauce, we love Sweet Baby Ray’s.
Baked BBQ Chicken Recipe
1. Season the chicken: Mix together all ingredients for the spice rub. Pat the chicken pieces dry with a paper towel, then rub the olive oil all over. Coat both sides of the chicken with the rub.
2. Initial Bake: Place the chicken skin side up in a greased baking dish large enough to not crowd it. Place in oven preheated to 400°F and bake for 20 minutes.
3. Add the BBQ sauce: Remove the chicken from the oven. Using tongs and a cooking brush, coat all sides of the chicken with BBQ sauce.
Leaving it skin side up, place it back in the oven and bake to an internal temperature of 180°F. Depending on your oven and the size of the thighs, this should take an additional 20-30 minutes.
4. Broil: Once the chicken is cooked, broil it for a few minutes to help caramelize the sauce. Keep a close eye on it so that it doesn’t burn.
Recipe Tips and Notes
- Remove the chicken from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. This helps bring it to room temperature and ensure even cooking.
- Use similar sized pieces of chicken. No matter which cut you choose, baking pieces that are similar sized helps ensure that they are all cooked properly at the same time.
- Use foil. If you want to save big time on clean up, line the baking dish with aluminum foil.
- Don’t crowd the baking dish. Make sure that there is room for air to circulate around the chicken.
- Don’t skip the spice rub. This adds a lot of flavor to the end product.
- Play around with different BBQ sauces. You can really vary the flavors of this recipe depending on what sauce you use.
What to Serve with BBQ Chicken
BBQ chicken is one of the most versatile main dishes. I mean, it could seriously go with just about anything. Here are some of our top choices:
Vegetable Side Dishes
- Roast Asparagus
- Creamed Corn
- Cowboy Caviar
- Caesar Salad
- Green Beans Almondine
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Squash Casserole
Starchy Side Dishes
Leftovers and Storage
Baked BBQ Chicken lasts well refrigerated in an airtight container for 4-5 days. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months in a freezer safe zip top bag.
It can be reheated in the microwave, or in the oven at a lower temperature. However, our preferred method is on stovetop with a little extra barbecue sauce mixed with a splash of water in the bottom of the pan. Heat over medium heat with the pan covered until warmed through. It’s not as fast as the microwave, but it does keep the meat moist.
Enjoy these classic barbecue flavors from the comfort of your kitchen with our baked BBQ chicken thighs recipe. It’s a super easy take on a summertime classic that you’ll want to enjoy all year long.
We have plenty more amazing dishes from all around the world coming your way. If you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to our mailing list so you’re always in the loop. Until next time…
Baked BBQ Chicken, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!
- 6 chicken thighs (bone-in skin-on)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- ½ tsp pepper
- 1 cup BBQ sauce
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Mix together all ingredients for the spice rub. Pat the chicken pieces dry with a paper towel, then rub the olive oil all over. Coat both sides of the chicken with the rub.
- Place the chicken skin side up in a greased baking dish large enough to not crowd it. Place in preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the oven. Using tongs and a cooking brush, coat all sides of the chicken with BBQ sauce. Leaving it skin side up, place it back in the oven and bake to an internal temperature of 180°F. Depending on your oven and the size of the thighs, this should take an additional 20-30 minutes.
- Once the chicken is cooked, broil it for a few minutes to help caramelize the sauce. Keep a close eye on it so that it doesn’t burn.
Nutrition InformationYield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 405Total Fat 23gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 16gCholesterol 166mgSodium 1025mgCarbohydrates 21gFiber 1gSugar 16gProtein 31g
Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.
Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.
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