Baked BBQ Chicken

Sweet, smokey, and perfectly juicy, Oven Baked BBQ Chicken has outdoor summer grilling vibes. Easy to make with a handful of ingredients and a family-friendly dinner.  

Sweet, smoky flavors of Chicken baked in the oven on a tray with a BBQ sauce

Fortunate are the ones who can grill outdoors year-round. But you don’t always have to fire up the grill to cook chicken with a caramelized crust outside slathered with a rich bbq sauce. The meat inside stays juicy and soft.

Just look at this caramelized brown crust on the chicken pieces. The charred crust usually comes from grilling quickly at high heat. But you can forgive anyone for thinking these have been grilled. This is the best that oven-baked chicken with a bbq sauce can get.

The barbecue sauce in this BBQ Chicken in the Oven recipe needs only two ingredients. But why not make it extra delicious and toss the chicken in a simple spice mixture before applying the BBQ sauce? This is a great way to spice up the bird with extra flavor.

This dry spice rub will take your bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and legs to a new level of deliciousness when baking them with that finger-licking BBQ sauce. Get ready to spice things up!

When the chicken bakes, the skin crisps to perfection, providing a lovely texture that contrasts the juicy and soft meat inside.

What’s special about this baked BBQ chicken recipe?

  • Quick & easy. Three simple steps to get to a delicious and juicy Baked BBQ Chicken
  • The extra step of tossing in a simple dry rub is what set these apart from other recipes.
  • No Marinade
  • Make it right in the oven but the recipe works for grilling too.

Dry spice rub

It’s time to take your baked BBQ chicken to a whole new level of taste bud bliss. So, this dry spice rub is a flavor powerhouse. You could bake the chicken only with BBQ sauce, but an extra coat of dry rub really elevates the flavor.

It is a simple mix of onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. You can store the mix and it will come in handy.

Close up view of baked chicken on a baking tray, with a BBQ sauce that has a crisp and charred skin.

Homemade BBQ sauce or store-bought sauce bottles?

This is homemade freshness with pride vs. convenience. If you have the time to make a homemade BBQ sauce, surely go for it. An initial effort is needed but making the sauce is not difficult.

On the other hand, many BBQ sauce bottle brands are available in supermarkets nowadays. Honestly, a few of them are quite good. Look carefully for the list of ingredients, and avoid sauces that are too sweet.

You can grab a bottle and run with this recipe to reduce your prep time significantly.

Fan of BBQ sauce? Check out this gorgeous Baked BBQ Pork Tenderloin recipe with a similar spice rub and a flavorful BBQ glaze.

How to bake BBQ Chicken in the oven?

The whole process can be divided into three easy steps. Season the chicken, bake, and then coat with BBQ sauce.

Season the chicken

Prepare the seasoning with garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Season the chicken well. This extra step of seasoning the chicken gives more flavor.

Bake in oven

After baking the seasoned chicken, we will coat the BBQ sauce in two stages. Remove the chicken from the oven and increase the heat to 425 degrees F.

Brush with BBQ sauce

Brush BBQ sauce and bake for 10 minutes. Then remove the tray and give it a second coat. Bake for 10 more minutes. By the end of 10 minutes, the chicken was cooked through and the internal temperature was close to 165 degrees F. If the chicken pieces are really big then bake for another 5 minutes.

For charred skin, broil it in the upper half of the oven for 2-3 minutes, keeping a close eye to avoid burning.

Steps to make BBQ chicken in the oven - make dry rub, rub on chicken, bake the chicken and last brush with BBQ sauce and bake again.

Frequently asked questions

How long does it take to bake BBQ chicken in the oven?

The entire process includes a 5-minute prep and takes less than an hour. You can split the entire cooking time into three steps:
Prep – It is very easy to prep and does not take more than 5 min.
Bake the chicken – 20 mins to cook the chicken as a first step.
Apply BBQ sauce and bake again – 20 mins in total. 10 mins each side after applying the BBQ sauce.

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What cut of chicken is best for BBQ chicken in the Oven?

Well, in theory, you can baste BBQ sauce over any cut of chicken.
The thigh and leg cuts are what are called ‘Dark Meat’ cuts of the bird. These four cuts can be also split as ‘Bone-in’ or also be‘Bone-less’.
The chicken breast is a boneless cut and you get boneless thigh pieces too.
What works best for baking or grilling recipes, especially with a sauce on it, is a mix of Bone-in cuts like thigh and legs. There are two reasons why bone-in cuts are best for this –
The bone imparts a flavor to the meat. Also, because they take longer to get cooked, it gives enough time to infuse the flavors from the sauce or spice into the meat.
Boneless meats cook very fast and run the risk of getting overcooked (read chewy and tough) by the time the sauce is caramelized.
So with bone-in pieces, first, you get the most flavor, and second, it cooks simultaneously as the sauce caramelizes. Delivers the best flavor this way.
All the bone-in cuts come with either skin-on or skinless. For this recipe, I strongly advise getting the chicken cuts with skin on them.
The skin gets crispy, golden brown, and covered in that mouthwatering BBQ sauce. It serves as a barrier, locking the moisture and preserving the moisture content of the meat.

Oven baked BBQ chicken served with coleslaw and greens in a white plate.

Store BBQ Chicken in the fridge

It is easy to refrigerate or freeze cooked BBQ chicken. The good thing is once you reheat it, there isn’t any difference at all while you have it post-freezing.

To refrigerate baked BBQ chicken, put the cooked pieces in an airtight container ( to avoid absorbing the smell from other items in the fridge and releasing its own).

You can refrigerate them for up to 3 days.

To freeze the chicken, cling wrap the pieces individually (so they don’t stick because of the sauce). It would be difficult to separate them later if they stick together. Put the wrapped pieces in a zip-lock bag, leaving it frozen for up to 3 months.

When it is time to serve the chicken, take them out of the fridge and leave it aside to thaw. Once the chicken reaches room temperature, reheat it in the microwave until it gets warm.

What to serve with baked BBQ chicken?

Baked BBQ chicken with a flavorful spice rub and slathered in bbq sauce goes well with several sides. Here are a few serving suggestions

Other baked chicken recipes

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Best BBQ Chicken in Oven

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Sweet, smokey and perfectly Juicy, these Oven Baked BBQ Chicken has outdoor summer grilling vibes. Easy to make with a handful of ingredients and a family-friendly dinner for sure.  
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 kg Chicken thighs and legs With skin and bone-in
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Pepper
  • ¾ cup BBQ Sauce ref note -1 & 2

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking tray with foil and keep aside.
  • Start by patting the chicken dry with a kitchen towel.
  • In a bowl mix all the dry ingredients.
  • Arrange chicken pieces on the prepared tray a little apart. Season generously with the above seasoning mix on both sides.
  • Keep the skin side up. Bake in the middle rack for 20 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven. Increase oven heat to 425 F.
  • Brush chicken generously with BBQ sauce. Put the tray back into the oven. Bake for 10 minutes.
  • Again remove the chicken from the oven, and give a second coat of BBQ sauce. Bake it again for about 10 minutes. Chicken is done when clear juices run out of it and the internal temperature is 165 degrees F.
  • For the extra charred effect on the skin, broil the chicken on the upper rack for 2-3 minutes(keep a close eye not to avoid burning)

Video

Notes

  1.  After brushing the chicken with BBQ sauce if dipping the brush back to the sauce, the BBQ sauce is contaminated. So any leftover sauce should not be consumed directly unless being cooked.  Alternatively, take out half of the total sauce in another bowl and use it. 
  2. If the bottled BBQ sauce is too sweet, add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to the sauce. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 384kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 133mg | Sodium: 1249mg | Potassium: 334mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 377IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg
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7 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this for a family picnic and the comments were above and beyond. The flavor was so good and the meat was amazingly tender. I ended up giving the recipe out to everyone. We’ll definitely make this a picnic favorite.

  2. Do you flip the chicken to coat it with bbq sauce and bake or is it just the skin side up?

    1. Subhasmita says:

      first time flip and apply on both the sides. For second round, only the skin side.

  3. 5 stars
    The most moist and delicious barbecue chicken ever! I’ve tried countless recipes and this one beats them all! Nice and crispy crust with all the sticky bbq sauce!

  4. Mary M Gray says:

    5 stars
    I made this before without a recipe. Needless to say it didn’t turn out very well. As soon as I saw this one….I tried it and it came out beautifully! It sure spiced up my kitchen with it’s tantalizing aroma! My fiancée and I loved it! Thanks for whoever shared or posted this recipe!

  5. Mary M Gray says:

    5 stars
    My comment I just made about the barbecue chicken in the oven I made about me and my fiancée loving it. Forgot to put the 5 star on it! I give it 5 stars! Mary Gray

  6. Mary M Gray says:

    Excellent.! I done it this way before but not having this recipe mine didn’t turn out so well. But with this recipe, my first time by the way, it came out beautifully done! My fiancée and I loved it! Thanks for this! It spiced up our kitchen with it’s delicious smell!

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