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Baked BBQ Chicken is the best way to enjoy BBQ chicken all year round! We use only 2 ingredients and have perfected our baking method so that the chicken turns out juicy with the best sweet and sticky glaze every time!
5 reasons you'll fall in love with baked BBQ chicken
- The thick layer of sticky, caramelized glaze is finger-licking good.
- Underneath that glaze, you'll sink your teeth into tender, juicy chicken.
- It's an incredibly simple recipe that practically cooks itself. Pop it into the oven, turn it over once, then after a quick broil you're done!
- You can use our favorite BBQ sauce for chicken or the bottle of BBQ sauce in your fridge.
- Did we mention that it's sweet and ridiculously delicious?
How to bake BBQ chicken
This recipe is so easy to make that it's one of our go-to recipes for when we don't feel like cooking. Here's what to do:
- Pour the BBQ sauce over the chicken and let it marinate while the oven heats.
- Now put the chicken on a baking sheet skin side down.
- After 25 mins, turn the chicken over and baste with more BBQ sauce.
- Then another 25 mins later you'll baste it once more before a quick broil.
That's it! BBQ baked chicken in 4 simple steps!
What cut of chicken is best for this recipe?
Chicken thighs! Specifically, bone-in and skin-on chicken thighs will give you tender, juicy chicken with a deliciously sticky glaze. Drumsticks work well, too.
Boneless chicken thighs cook very quickly so if you use them the BBQ sauce won't have a chance to get deeply caramelized. They'll be good, but not as good.
Avoid using chicken breasts, except as a last resort. They tend to dry out with a long bake in the oven AND they release a lot of liquid so the BBQ sauce becomes watery rather than thick and sticky.
Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs are best!
Which BBQ sauce sauce is the best?
We love love love our BBQ sauce for chicken. It's sweet and tangy with a hint of smoky flavor. It's also quick to make and easily made refined sugar-free.
But any BBQ sauce will work well. You can use what you have in your fridge or buy your favorite bottle. Sweet Baby Ray's is a popular choice for store-bought BBQ sauce!
Why cook the chicken in the sauce
Most BBQ baked chicken recipes call for the chicken to be baked first and the sauce added at the end. But in recipe testing, we found a better method.
Baking the chicken in the BBQ sauce the entire time allows the sauce to thicken and become deliciously sticky.
And don't worry about the crispy skin. Even if you only baste the BBQ sauce on the skin at the last minute, it still won't be anymore crispy than if you use our method.
But letting the chicken cook the entire time in the sauce lets the sauce get nice and thick and amazingly delicious.
Can this recipe be made on the grill?
It's best to cook this recipe in the oven as the BBQ sauce will burn if you try to cook this recipe on the grill. If you want to fire up your BBQ, try this Korean BBQ Chicken recipe instead.
What to serve with oven baked BBQ chicken
Simple sides are best with BBQ chicken as this recipe will be the star of the show. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Creamy Cucumber Salad (pictured below)
- Garlic Roasted Carrots
- Best Roasted Broccoli
- Garlic Green Beans
- Sesame Garlic Miso Butter Mushrooms
- Best Greek Salad
- 8 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
- ¾ cup BBQ sauce (divided (see notes))
- Place the chicken in a bowl and pour ½ cup of the BBQ sauce over top. Mix to combine then set aside while your oven heats. Or leave it to marinate in the fridge for up to 4 hours.8 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. For easy cleanup, line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the chicken on the baking sheet skin side down. (Reserve any extra BBQ sauce left in the bowl.) Bake the chicken for 25 minutes.
- Flip the chicken over and baste the top with the BBQ sauce that was in the marinating bowl. Return to the oven and bake for another 25 minutes.
- Turn your oven to broil. Baste the top of the chicken with the remaining ¼ cup of BBQ sauce and broil for 3-5 minutes until the top is dark and caramelized. Keep a close eye on it and remove the chicken sooner if it starts to get too dark.
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.