These Baked BBQ Chicken Thighs are for those who like is saucy, juicy, and savory-sweet. They'll also come in handy for those in desperate need of a family dinnertime win!
THE BEST BBQ CHICKEN RECIPE
Baked bbq chicken has a bad reputation for being dry on the inside with rubbery, soft skin on the outside.
I can only imagine this appeals to absolutely no one, and when it comes to this bbq chicken recipe, you can count on the exact opposite to go down. This is partially thanks to the use of chicken thighs over chicken breasts.
Dark meat is much more forgiving in the oven and stays tender and moist...even if you do happen to overcook it a bit. That's not to say you can't necessarily use other chicken pieces in this recipe if you'd prefer. Just make sure you're using bone-in and skin-on chicken for the very best results!
To fix that lackluster, soft, rubbery chicken skin issue, a pan-sear comes into play. This is an extra step, but one you will see is well worth taking. In addition to crisping up the skin, the pan sear also helps to embed the seasoning, delivering the maximum amount of flavor in every single bite.
To load these Baked BBQ Chicken Thighs down with undeniable barbecue vibes, they get a double dose of bbq sauce. One at the start of the baking process and another toward the end.
You can use store-bought or homemade bbq sauce for this recipe. Just make sure it is sweet and somewhat thick! Thick, sweet BBQ sauces will stay put on the chicken as it bakes!
HOW TO MAKE BAKED BBQ CHICKEN THIGHS
It's always best to knock out the prep work first, but don't worry there's not much of it!
To begin, preheat your oven to 375°F. Then, ready a 9 x 13" casserole dish by greasing it.
You'll also want to go ahead and get your spice mixture ready. Mixing up your spices in advance will make it easy to evenly distribute all of the seasonings across the chicken thighs.
In a small bowl, mix together kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and onion powder. Set the mix aside and it's on to the chicken!
In order to keep rubbery barbecue baked chicken from landing on your plate, you'll want to sear that chicken skin before baking it.
To prepare your barbecue chicken thighs for searing, pat the excess moisture off the surface of the thighs using paper towels, place the chicken on a work surface, and drizzle all over with oil.
Rub the oil all over the thighs and then bring in your seasoning mix. Sprinkle each side of the chicken liberally with the seasoning and rub all over once more.
Next, you'll place a large skillet over medium-high heat and allow 2 tablespoons of oil to come to temperature. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken thighs skin-side down and cook for about 4 minutes. Flip the chicken, and cook for an additional 3 minutes more.
Transfer the seared chicken thighs to the prepared dish, and pour, spoon, or brush BBQ sauce across the top of each thigh. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and transfer to the oven to bake for 20 minutes.
After the time is up, remove the chicken thighs from the oven and add a generous spoonful of barbecue sauce to the top of each thigh. Then, return to the oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes more.
BAKED BBQ CHICKEN THIGHS ARE COOKED THROUGH WHEN...
There are two easy ways to determine if your Baked BBQ Chicken Thighs are fully cooked through. One is to pierce the chicken and look at the color of the juices.
If the juices run clear, the chicken is cooked through. However, if the red from the BBQ sauce is throwing you off, it's time to pull out the instant-read thermometer!
Instant read meat thermometers are by far the most accurate way to determine if your food is cooked to the proper temperature. The internal temperature should be 165°F.
HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE BBQ SAUCE
If you have all of the ingredients on hand, homemade barbecue sauce is insanely easy to make! All you have to do is combine the ingredients, give it a stir, and it's ready for your BBQ Chicken Thighs!
This homemade barbecue sauce is sweet, tangy, and absolutely perfect for adding major bbq flavor to your barbecue chicken. Here's what you'll need to make it:
- ¾ cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
To use this sauce in this Baked BBQ Chicken, simply mix it up in a bowl, sub it in for the store-bought stuff and you're good to go!
6 MORE CHICKEN RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- Baked Teriyaki Chicken
- Oven-Fried Cornflake Chicken
- Baked Chicken Legs
- Crockpot Chicken and Rice
- Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken
- Baked Chicken Leg Quarters
Crispy skin and a double dose of sauce are the secrets to the Best Baked BBQ Chicken Thighs! They bake up saucy, juicy, and savory-sweet!
- 1 ½ cup sweet and sticky-style BBQ sauce (homemade or store-bought)
- 1 ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ¾ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- 8 bone-in, skin-in chicken thighs
- 4 tablespoons canola or avocado oil separated
Preheat oven to 375°F. Have ready a greased 9x13" casserole dish.
In a small bowl, mix together the salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and onion powder.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Pat the thighs dry with a paper towel and drizzle with the remaining oil. Add the seasoning and rub it all over the chicken.
Take care not to overcrowd the pan, add the chicken skin-side down, and cook for 3-4 minutes without jostling. Turn the chicken over and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Remove from the pan and place in casserole dish.
Add generous spoonfuls of bbq sauce over the top of each thigh, reserving about a ½ cup for basting later. Cover dish with aluminum foil, and bake for 20 minutes.
Remove the foil, spoon the remaining sauce over the chicken, and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F. Serve and enjoy.