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Baked BBQ Chicken Thighs

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Tender baked BBQ chicken thighs slathered with a flavorful barbecue sauce and baked in the oven until juicy and crispy.

baked chicken thighs with bbq sauce on a dark background with parsley.

These BBQ-baked chicken thighs are AMAZING! Incredibly juicy and tender on the inside, slightly charred, caramelized, crispy yet sticky on the outside, sweet and spicy… And utterly addictive!

Reasons for you to bake these thighs

  • No need to grill outside when the weather or circumstances don’t permit it.
  • Only 3 ingredients (except oil, salt, and pepper), thus budget friendly.
  • No need for extra spice mixtures; salt and pepper are enough; your favorite barbecue sauce will make the food as flavorful as possible.
  • Few steps: Super easy recipe with only two steps. No extra effort to simmer the sauce on the stove.
  • All the other things mentioned above: tender, juicy, sticky, crispy, caramelized, charred, delicious oven-baked BBQ chicken thighs.

Check out more thighs-in-the-oven recipes, we have lots of them on the blog, and we love them all. How about these crispy Basic Chicken Thighs, the Baked Mango Chicken, or the Baked Thighs in Honey Mustard Sauce? Or try the Air Fryer Bbq Chicken.

And if you prefer chicken breast, try the Oven Baked BBQ Chicken Breasts.

Recipe ingredients

listed ingredients for making oven chicken legs with bbq sauce.
  • Skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs.
    • You can also make the recipe with drumsticks or a mixture of thighs and drumsticks. Or you can use quarters and increase the first part of the baking time slightly to ensure that the larger pieces are cooked through.
  • Sauce: Your favorite kind of BBQ sauce. I had a somewhat spicy sort, specially created for poultry, and I loved it. Not too smoky; too much smokiness in a sauce is not my thing. But really, you will have the best barbecue chicken thighs when you use your absolute favorite sauce.
  • Sriracha or another hot sauce: I loved it; it makes the food really hot and spicy. I used about 1 ½ tablespoons, and the thighs were quite spicy. If you would like less heat, reduce the amount of hot sauce. Or leave it out altogether.
  • Other ingredients: some olive oil, salt, and black pepper.

How to bake BBQ thighs in the oven?

  • Preheat the oven to 230°C/ 450° F. The oven temperature needs to be high to quickly crisp and brown the thighs. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper (See expert tips) and place a baking rack on top.
  • Season: Dry the chicken legs with paper towels, coat them with oil, and rub them well with salt and pepper (1).
four raw thighs rubbed with salt and pepper in a bowl.

Bake: Place them on the rack skin-side up. Bake them for 20 minutes until almost cooked through; the skin will be crispy and lightly browned (2,3).

four chicken thighs on a wire rack before and after baking.
  • Glaze: In the meantime, mix the sauces in a small bowl. Brush the thighs thoroughly on both sides, skin-side first, flip and brush generously underneath, flip again and brush them again on the skin side. Use a pastry brush (4).
  • Bake for another 10 minutes or until the glaze is shiny, slightly charred, and caramelized and the meat pieces are cooked through.
  • Optional broiling: If you think that the skin is not charred enough, place the tray under the broil for 2 or 3 minutes. Keep an eye on them the whole time, so they don’t get too dark. As you can see in the pictures, two of my thighs (those near the backside of the oven) got a bit too dark (5).
collage of two pictures of thighs glazed with sauce before and after baking.

Expert Tips

  • It’s preferable to use aluminum foil when baking something at high temperature; not all parchment paper brands are up to that. And it’s even more recommendable to use foil if you decide to broil the thighs at the end.
  • Using a wire rack is optional but recommendable. It lifts the pieces of meat from the sheet pan allowing the air to circulate. However, if you don’t have it, it’s okay; a rimmed baking sheet will do just fine; the food will still be delicious.
  • Sauces:
    • Use your favorite barbecue sauce.
    • Use Sriracha or another hot sauce to taste and consider the hotness of the BBQ sauce as well; some are hot, and some are not.
    • ¾ cup of medium hot BBQ sauce and 1 ½ tablespoons Sriracha make for quite hot chicken thighs.
close up of one baked chicken thigh showing the white meat.

Recipe FAQ

Can I use another cut of meat?

If using boneless pieces of meat, reduce the cooking time slightly: cook for 15 minutes first, brush with sauce and bake for another 10 minutes. Check to see if the meat is cooked through.
You can also use skinless thighs, chicken legs (drumsticks), chicken wings, or breasts. Always adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Can I use homemade barbecue sauce?

You can. The only thing to consider is the consistency of the sauce; it should have more or less the same consistency as a store-bought bbq sauce.

How to check if the meat is cooked through?

The best way to check is with an instant-read thermometer; the safe internal temperature is 74°C/ 165°F (Amazon affiliate link).
Otherwise, cut a thigh at the thickest part near the bone. The meat should be completely white; there should be no traces of red or pink.

How to store?

The easy oven-baked BBQ chicken thighs are best served immediately.
However, you can refrigerate them in an airtight container for 2-3 days.
Reheat them in the oven before serving. When reheating, it’s preferable to cover them with a piece of foil so that the glazed skin doesn’t get too dark.

How to serve?

Place some napkins on the table and dig in; a fork and knife are pretty unnecessary here.

When it comes to sides, you can choose some classic BBQ sides. How about a hearty Potato Salad or a big salad with Yogurt Dressing? You can also make a delicious German Noodle Salad or this excellent Napa Cabbage Salad with Ramen Noodles.

Crispy baked Crispy Garlic Smashed Potatoes, Roasted Garlic Parmesan Mashed Potatoes, or some crispy bread are all great sides.

You can also serve them with Green Beans with Garlic, Broccoli Pea Salad, or roasted vegetables.

close up one sticky glazed chicken thigh sprinkled with parsley.

More chicken thigh recipes

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chicken thighs glazed with sticky sauce and baked.

Baked BBQ Chicken Thighs

Tender baked BBQ chicken thighs slathered with flavorful BBQ sauce and baked in the oven until juicy and crispy.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Main Course, Poultry
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 652kcal
Author: Adina

Equipment

  • Baking sheet

Ingredients 

  • 8 chicken thighs bone-in, skin-on
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoon fine sea salt or Kosher
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¾ cup BBQ sauce Note 1
  • 1 ½ tablespoon Sriracha or another hot sauce, Notes 2, 3

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 230°C/ 450° F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper and place a baking rack on top (Note 4).
  • Season: Coat the thighs with the oil and rub them well with salt and pepper.
  • Bake: Place them on the rack skin-side up and bake them for 20 minutes until almost cooked through; the skin will be crispy and golden brown.
  • BBQ glaze: In the meantime, mix BBQ sauce and Sriracha (hot sauce) in a small bowl. Brush the thighs on both sides, skin-side first, flip and brush generously underneath, flip again and brush them again on the skin side. Use tongs to flip and a pastry brush to glaze.
  • Bake for another 10 minutes or until the glaze is shiny, slightly charred, and caramelized and the meat pieces are cooked through.
  • Check with an instant-read thermometer; the safe internal temperature for chicken is 74°C/165°F (Amazon affiliate link).
  • Optional broiling: If you think that the skin is not charred enough, place the tray under the broil for 2 or 3 minutes. Keep an eye on them so that they don’t get too dark.

Notes

  1. Use your favorite BBQ sauce to ensure that the thighs taste the way you love them.
  2. Use Sriracha or hot sauce to taste and consider the hotness of the BBQ sauce as well; some are hot, some are not.
  3. ¾ cup of medium hot BBQ sauce and 1 ½ tablespoons Sriracha make for quite hot chicken thighs.
  4. The recipe works without the baking rack too.

Nutrition

Serving: 2thighs | Calories: 652kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 45g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 21g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 221mg | Sodium: 1750mg | Potassium: 600mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 308IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 2mg
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