BBQ Baked Chicken Thighs are rubbed with a simple seasoning, then basted in your favorite barbecue sauce. The result is the best most crispy, juicy and flavorful baked barbecue chicken ever!
BBQ Baked Chicken Thighs
I used to be a total breast girl; that was the only chicken I would ever eat. It’s really hard to get a juicy chicken breast in the oven though, and forget about crispy. You can’t have it both ways. Unless of course we’re taking chicken thighs into consideration because then you definitely can produce crispy, juicy and tender chicken in just a few steps!
To make these chicken thighs in the oven, I use a simple rub that I use for all kinds of chicken recipes, like my Baked Chicken Breasts and Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs. I use my favorite barbecue sauce that I always have on hand, Sweet Baby Ray’s. I really love their Hickory and Brown Sugar flavor. You can really use any that you like, or use a homemade sauce if you’ve got one you love.
How to bake BBQ Chicken Thighs in the Oven
This BBQ chicken recipe is super simple, easy to customize with your favorite sauce, and needs just a few minutes of prep.
- To start, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. This is the best way to ensure even cooking.
- Pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towels. You do not need to rinse your chicken. In fact, that can actually spread harmful bacteria rather than eliminate it.
- Mix up the seasoning rub, which is just salt and pepper, paprika, garlic powder and onion powder. Rub the seasoning all over the chicken, even under the skin. Arrange chicken thighs skin side up on a baking sheet lined with nonstick foil.
- Brush chicken thighs with a thin layer of the barbecue sauce on both sides, ending skin side up. Bake the chicken in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, then baste with more sauce. Bake for another 15 minutes or until chicken is 165 degrees F on a meat thermometer.
- If the skin isn’t as crispy as you want it to be, move the oven rack up and flip on your broiler. Keep a close on it, the bbq sauce caramelizes quickly and can burn fast. Just a couple of minutes should do the trick.
Do I need to flip the chicken while baking?
No this isn’t necessary for BBQ Baked Chicken Thighs. Keeping the skin side up the whole time allows the skin to get crispy as it bakes.
What cut of chicken is best for BBQ baked chicken?
If you want exceptionally juicy baked BBQ chicken, bone-in thighs are the way to go. Dark meat is more flavorful by default and having the skin and bone not only add extra flavor, but keep it moist and juicy. Boneless thighs will be tender, but not quite as juicy.
What to serve with BBQ Baked Chicken Thighs
Most times I’ll throw together a big Garden Salad and some Best Ever Cheesy Garlic Bread to just keep it simple. We also love to have serve them with Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes or my Grandma’s Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes. Of course some delicious 5-Minute Parmesan Ranch Broccoli is the perfect match and even simpler than a salad!
What to do with leftovers
If you happen to have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. They can also be placed in a freezer bag and frozen for up to 6 months.
Leftover chicken is always great shredded and added to salads, sandwiches and wraps.
More chicken recipes you’ll love:
- Pan Roasted Chicken Thighs
- BEST Crispy Baked Chicken Wings
- Beer Can Chicken
- Stove Top Chicken Breast
BBQ Baked Chicken Thighs
- 8 chicken thighs about 3 pounds, skin-on, bone-in
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 bottle of your favorite bbq sauce or 2 cups homemade
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Line a large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick foil or parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a small bowl, combine paprika, salt, garlic powder, onion powder and black pepper.
- Pat chicken dry with paper towels and rub in the seasoning blend, then arrange chicken skin side up on the prepared baking sheet. Pour about ¾ of a cup of bbq sauce into a small bowl and brush the chicken lightly with the sauce on both sides, finishing with the chicken skin side up. Set the remaining bbq sauce aside to use later (do not leave the brush in the sauce).
- Bake in the 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. Remove chicken from the oven and, using a clean brush, baste with the reserved sauce. Bake for 20 minutes more. Chicken should register 165 degrees F on a meat thermometer.
- Switch to the broiler and broil for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce caramelizes.
- Remove from the oven and let the chicken rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.