Baked BBQ Chicken

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet
5 from 6 reviews

Baked BBQ Chicken is moist and juicy on the inside, and crispy on the outside. Roasted in a delicious bbq sauce with slightly sticky bark, this is one of the BEST chicken bbq dinners you can have.

This recipe is super simple to make with just a few ingredients needed. It is perfect to serve with some mashed potatoes, twice baked potatoes, and corn on the cob.

Image of baked BBQ chicken on a white baking dish.

Best Baked BBQ Chicken

Baked BBQ Chicken is perfectly glazed with a bit of sweet and savory taste to it. Every time we cook it, it ends up moist and juicy, and the barbecue sauce makes this dish super tender and sticky. Any chicken part can be used, so feel free to go with what you like. We use it in variation, but bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or drumsticks work really well here.

Meat on the bone with skin takes a bit longer to bake, but it results in a juicier dish. You will end up with a super juicy center, and crispy skin on the outside that tastes just delicious.

That said, you can certainly use boneless breasts or another cut to cook it. In any case, glazing the meat throughout the cooking process will result in the best dinner possible. Go ahead and try it, you will not bake chicken any other way!


As stated above this is up to you, but you can start with bone-in, half chicken breasts or thighs. While it’s ok to use boneless and skinless chicken, sometimes it tends to be on a drying side.

However, try going with bone-in and skin meat because it keeps it from drying out and imparts excellent flavor. Also, leaving the skin on will naturally baste the meat while cooking, making it crisp.

how long do you bake bbq chicken?

Cooking time will vary slightly based on the cut and thickness of the meat. For this recipe, we usually cook the meat at 400 degrees F for about 45 to 55 minutes depending on the cut, and also on how crispy we want it. During the cooking process, we apply a simple yet important technique.

After initially baking it for about 25 minutes, the meat is basted with more sauce, then cooked again for another 10 minutes, then removed from the oven and brushed again then shortly broiled.

This does two things, it ensures the best coating and also keeps the poultry moist and juicy. Chicken needs to be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Photo of chicken legs and thighs bake din barbecue sauce.


The secret here is to apply the sauce to the meat in intervals. Once you start baking it, try to brush and coat the top of it with bbq sauce in about 10 minutes intervals. This is guaranteed to results in a deliciously sticky, glazed exterior that is finger-licking good!

what goes with Baked BBQ Chicken as a side dish?

For a complete meal, throw some veggies on the same pan in the last 10-15 minutes of cooking time! Some great suggestions include:

Also, you could steam them separately, or roast them on a separate pan!

other sides:


Before refrigerating it, make sure it is completely cooled. Then transfer it to an airtight container, and refrigerate for up to 4 days.

Image of homemade baked bbq chicken.


  • Wrap each individually cooked piece in plastic wrap, then add a layer of aluminum foil over the plastic wrap.
  • Transfer the wrapped dish to a freezer bag and freeze for 4 months.
  • When ready to use, remove from freezer and set in the fridge overnight to thaw out.
  • The next day, reheat in the oven or in the microwave.

Recipe Tips:

  • We recommend using an aluminum baking pan for cooking in the oven. It is great for roasting.
  • Also, it is best to broil the chicken for an extra few minutes in the end as it caramelizes the sauce and it gives a nice color. Keep an eye on it not to burn it.
  • Similarly, you can bake it on a baking rack as this will elevate it and cause air to circulate around the pieces.
Save Recipe
5 from 6 reviews
Best Baked BBQ Chicken
Author: Catalina Castravet Serves: 8 servings
Prep time: 30 minutes Cook time: 50 minutes Total time: 1 hr 20 mins


  • 4-6  chicken thighs  (bone-in, and skin-on)
  • 4-6  chicken drumsticks 
  • 4 cups  pickle juice 
  • 1 tablespoon  lemon juice 
  • 3 tablespoons  olive oil 
  • 1/2 teaspoon  salt 


  • 1/2 cup  ketchup 
  • 1 cup  BBQ sauce 
  • 2 tablespoons  olive oil 
  • 1 tablespoon  white vinegar 
  • 2 tablespoons  red chili sauce  (optional)
  • 4 cloves  garlic  (minced)
  • 1/4 cup  light brown sugar  (packed)
  • 1 teaspoon  smoked paprika 
  • 1/4 teaspoon  cinnamon 


Marinate Chicken:

  1. Place chicken in a large bowl and mix with pickle juice, salt, olive oil and lemon juice. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight.
  2. When ready to cook, remove chicken from marinade and pat dry with paper towels.


  1. In another large bowl combine all the sauce ingredients and stir well.
  2. Add chicken to it and to fully coat.


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  2. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking sheet with cooking spray.
  3. Arrange coated chicken into the pan. Do NOT discard the sauce. It is safe to use it for basting as it will cook in the oven.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes and baste with the remaining sauce. Bake for another 7-10 minutes and baste again. Repeat until chicken is done and reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.

  5. Once cooked, baste chicken now with sauces FROM the pan, that are already cooked and broil for 5 minutes, or until a nice brown color.
  6. Garnish with chopped green onions and serve.
Calories: 405 Carbohydrates: 34 Protein: 16 Fat: 22 Saturated Fat: 4 Cholesterol: 90 Sodium: 2508 Potassium: 345 Fiber: 0 Sugar: 21 Vitamin A: 340 Vitamin C: 1.6 Calcium: 28 Iron: 1
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Barbecue is one of my favorite ways to prepare chicken. I love this healthier baked version. I have to give it a try.


Melissa Chapman

I love the way your chicken looks and the sauce is so appetizing. I know people who love chicken will like this and use this recipe.


Krystel | Travel on a Budget

So good. Bookmarking this because it looks so good and I definitely want to try it. Thanks for putting this together.


Amy Desrosiers

Yum, this chicken looks so good! I just actually made BBQ chicken the other day and it was so good!


Ruth I

I've never baked a BBQ chicken before. This will be added on my list of recipes to try. Looks so delicious!



That looks so good! I love bbq chicken! 



I love BBQ sauce on some dark meat. It is one of my favorite childhood memories of eating at my friend's house.


Claudia Krusch

It looks soooo good! I can't wait to try your method for cooking in different steps! I will try it over the weekend! 



your recipe says to preheat the oven to 4000 degrees??? lol


Hi Courtney, thanks for the observation, it is obviously a typo, thanks for noticing ))) I have corrected it, it should say 400 not 4000)))





Vicki curio

What if I want to double the recipe? I have a crowd coming over later this month


Yes, easily!!! Double it :)


Stephanie F.

DELICIOUS DELICIOUS DELICIOUS. Just made it for dinner , and Omgosh how yummy. I have a little skeptical about the pickle juice, on the contrary it gives it this juicy flavor. Marvelous sauce as well. Overall I loved it :) THANK YOU



Super tender and delicious! Followed everything except for the type of vinegar(sub Apple Cider Vin) but it turned out excellent. BBQ sauce was great and surprisingly enjoyed the hint of pickle juice on the back of the flavor. Very subtle, thanks for this!😁


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