These Baked BBQ Chicken Thighs are an incredibly easy chicken dinner that you can throw together with three ingredients in about 35 minutes.
Hey, friend. If you’re craving some barbecue but don’t want to go outside and man a grill, this is the recipe for you.
This is a super simple chicken recipe that comes together fast and easy. The thighs are started on the stove so you get extra crispy skin and then finished in the oven where the BBQ sauce caramelizes and gets sticky and beautiful.
- Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs: Thigh size varies wildly so plan on serving 2 small thighs or 1 very large thigh per person. If making for guests or big eaters, just automatically plan on 2 thighs per person.
- Barbecue sauce: Use a thick-style BBQ sauce as thinner sauces won’t be able to form a nice caramelized layer over the chicken. This is my go-to BBQ sauce for this recipe.
- Seasoning salt: I like to use seasoning salt here, but if you don’t have any, not a problem. You can mix up your own, or just substitute salt and pepper and a little sprinkle of garlic powder. Your chicken is still going to be delicious.
The Best Cut of Meat for Oven BBQ Chicken
Bone-in, skin-on thighs are my prefered cut of meat for oven-barbecued chicken because the skin bakes up crispy and beautiful and they always come out moist and juicy and perfect. However, if you’d like to use bone-in skin-on chicken breasts or drumsticks, you absolutely can.
Brown and bake them according to the recipe instructions but the chicken breasts will need a longer cooking time and the drumsticks a slightly shorter one.
How to Bake BBQ Chicken Thighs
1. Pat chicken thighs dry (this allows the skin to become its crispiest self), sprinkle with seasoning salt, and sear them on the stove until the skin is beautiful, golden, and crispy.
A Note on Grease: Heads up if you’ve never cooked chicken thighs on the stove before. They will sizzle and pop while they cook. You can turn down the heat a little if it’s really stressing you out or use a splatter screen (I love these things) to contain any splatters.
2. Then transfer thighs to a baking sheet and use a basting brush (I like the silicone ones that can go through the dishwasher) to add a very generous coating of your favorite BBQ sauce. You want a nice thick layer so you get a really good coat once it caramelizes.
3. Finally, bake the thighs until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center reads 165°F. And that’s it. Time to serve.
What to serve with BBQ chicken thighs?
My favorite things to serve this chicken with are:
- Steamed Green Beans or Butter and Garlic Green Beans
- Microwave Corn on the Cob
- Mashed Potatoes
- Macaroni Salad
At what temperature is chicken done in an oven?
Chicken is fully cooked when it reaches 165°F. Use an instant-read thermometer and check the temperature in the thickest part of the meat, making sure that the thermometer is not touching bone as you take the reading.
Can I use boneless skinless chicken breasts/chicken thighs in this recipe?
You can. I don’t love using boneless skinless chicken for oven BBQ because you don’t get that nice crispy skin, but it’s great if you want to make chicken for BBQ salads or BBQ Chicken Pizza.
Simply follow the recipe as written but brown both sides of the meat on the stove before baking. Boneless thighs will have a significantly shorter baking time, so start checking on them after 6 to 8 minutes. Depending on their size, boneless chicken breasts should take about the same amount of time as bone-in thighs, but keep an eye on them and start checking the temperature of the meat fairly early.
You Might Also Enjoy
- Slow Cooker Tri-tip Sandwiches
- Slow Cooker Beef Ribs
- Country-style Pork Ribs
- Carne Asada
- Crispy Lemon Chicken Thighs
- Chicken Shawarma
Baked BBQ Chicken Thighs
- 4 to 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs *
- Seasoning salt or salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup BBQ sauce plus more as needed*
- Preheat oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with foil.*
- Pat thighs dry and examine the underside for any cartilage or bone fragments. Sprinkle both sides with seasoning salt.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, swirl it around the pan so the entire surface is covered. Place chicken thighs in the pan, skin-side down. If chicken is sizzling and popping to aggressively, turn heat down slightly or cover with a splatter screen.
- Cook thighs until skin is deeply golden, and skin has released from the pan, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove pan from heat.
- Transfer thighs, skin-side up, to a baking sheet and brush each thigh very generously with 1 to 2 tablespoons of BBQ sauce so there is a thick coating over all parts of the thigh showing.
- Bake for 15 to 22 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the thigh reads 165°F
- Serve and enjoy!
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