Craving BBQ but can’t fire up a grill? The BEST Oven Baked BBQ Chicken Thighs are just what you need to get that savory, grilled barbecue flavor indoors. Easy Baked Chicken Thighs marinaded in a sweet and spicy rubbed then basted with sticky barbecue sauce before baking leaves you with the BEST BBQ Chicken ever made.

Overhead shot of bbq chicken on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.

Oven Baked BBQ Chicken Thighs

Waaaaay back in the day I lived in an apartment that didn’t allow grills. I had a huge terrace that I wasn’t allowed to have a grill on…..but I had one anyway. The problem was, I had to be pretty stealthy when I used it so I could only make grilled recipes that were quick and didn’t produce a lot of smoke.

That meant….I couldn’t really grill BBQ chicken since it takes a bit to cook on the grill. So…as usual, I had to find another way to cook something I loved so much and get my BBQ Chicken fix. 

My favorite Oven Baked BBQ Chicken Thighs are super simple to make and bake up in the oven with almost no mess….thanks to a healthy coating of aluminum foil on that baking sheet. I hate scrubbing baked on barbecue sauce more than anything in the world so I totally use way more foil than is really necessary.

Close up of bbq chicken on a baking sheet with foil.

What I love most about this Oven Baked BBQ Chicken is that it comes together pretty easily and you can even prep the chicken ahead the night before giving the BBQ rub a chance to marinade the meat making it extra flavorful. 

How To Cook BBQ Chicken Thighs in the Oven

This barbecue chicken recipe is so simple to make and I love that I can avoid the unavoidable flare ups you get when grilling chicken thighs over a flame. My kids HATE the burned, charred barbecue sauce so Oven Baked BBQ Chicken is always a hit.

Here’s how to make it:

  1. Coat the chicken thighs with your favorite BBQ rub….I like this Homemade BBQ Rub, it’s so flavorful and EASY!
  2. Allow the chicken to sit for 15 minutes or up to 24 hours (refrigerated) to allow the rub to marinade the meat just a bit.
  3. Arrange the chicken thighs, skin side down, on a baking sheet lined with foil.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  5. Roast the chicken in the oven for 25 minutes. 
  6. Baste the chicken with your favorite BBQ Sauce…..we use THIS Homemade BBQ sauce…..flip the chicken skin side up.
  7. Baste the top of the chicken and roast for an additional 25-30 minute or until an internal temperature reads 165 degrees F. 
  8. Turn the broiler on high and brush the chicken with more sauce. Broil the chicken thighs for 2-3 minutes until the BBQ sauce begins to caramelize and char a little bit.
  9. Serve immediately with additional sauce, if desired.

BBQ Chicken rubbed thighs on a baking sheet.

If you’re not a fan of aluminum foil, as I know some of you are not, you can line your baking sheet with parchment.  Having a barrier in between your BBQ Chicken Thighs and the baking sheet is imperative if you want to avoid having sticky, baked on BBQ sauce on your baking sheet.

It’s always my most hated task trying to clean a baking sheet that wasn’t lined with foil or parchment….and I may have even tossed a few in the trash to avoid it at all costs.

BBQ Chicken on a baking sheet with barbecue sauce being brushed on a thigh.

Can I make this BBQ Chicken Thigh recipe on the grill?

You certainly CAN make these BBQ Chicken Thighs on the grill using a low and slow grilling method. The same tips apply in that you want to start cooking the chicken thighs well before you baste with the barbecue sauce…especially on the grill.

The sugars in the barbecue sauce are what tend to char and burn to a crisp when grilled leaving you with black, crusty chicken thighs on the outside and raw, nasty, undercooked chicken on the inside.

Overhead shot of bbq chicken dinner with broccoli salad.

How to Grill BBQ Chicken Thighs

  1. Coat the chicken thighs with your favorite BBQ rub.
  2. Preheat a grill to 275-300 degrees.
  3. Cook the chicken thighs skin side down for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Flip the chicken thighs and cook for an additional 20-25 minutes.
  5. Lightly baste the chicken all over with the barbecue sauce and continue cooking the chicken thighs for another 10 minutes.
  6. Baste the chicken with more sauce and flip. 
  7. Continue cooking the chicken until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.

The grilling method is definitely a longer process to ensure you chicken is cooked through and that’s why I MUCH prefer making BBQ chicken thighs in the oven. You can, literally, go take care of your side dishes or clean up the kitchen without worrying about grill flare ups or running out of propane.

BBQ Chicken thigh on a plaid plate with broccoli salad.

What goes with Baked BBQ Chicken?

Our favorite side dishes to serve alongside Oven Baked BBQ Chicken are:

We, seriously, eat this Oven Baked BBQ Chicken Thigh recipe several times a month.  It’s the simplest way to pack a ton of flavor into oven baked chicken without adding a boatload of calories….or steps. 

It’s like our own indoor barbecue party all year long…..so, next time your backyard picnic gets rained out just break out the baking sheet and make your own barbecue chicken in the oven!

More Easy BBQ Recipes

Barbecue Chicken Cobb Salad with Avocado Ranch Dressing | TheSuburbanSoapbox.com

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Get the Recipe: Oven Baked BBQ Chicken Thighs

Easy and mess-free, Oven Baked BBQ Chicken Thighs is the ultimate family chicken dinner. Kids (and husbands) LOVE this simple meal.
5 from 5 votes

Ingredients

  • 8 bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1 cup BBQ Chicken Rub
  • 1 cup Honey Chipotle Barbecue Sauce, or your favorite BBQ sauce

Equipment

  • baking sheet

Instructions 

  • Coat the chicken thighs with the BBQ rub and allow to stand for 15 minutes or up to 24 hours. (If marinating for more than 30 minutes, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator....allow to come to room temperature before cooking.)
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Arrange the chicken thighs on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, skin side down and with space in between.
  • Roast the chicken in the oven for 25 minutes. Flip the chicken and baste with the barbecue sauce.
  • Roast the chicken for an additional 25-30 minutes or until an instant read thermometer registers 165 degrees F.
  • Baste the chicken with the remaining barbecue sauce and turn the broiler on high.
  • Broil the chicken for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce is caramelized and slightly charred.
  • Serve immediately with extra sauce, if desired.

Notes

Chicken can marinade with the rub for up to 24 hours in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Bring the chicken thighs to room temperature before cooking.
Calories: 810kcal, Carbohydrates: 41g, Protein: 49g, Fat: 50g, Saturated Fat: 14g, Cholesterol: 283mg, Sodium: 962mg, Potassium: 878mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 24g, Vitamin A: 845IU, Vitamin C: 2.6mg, Calcium: 221mg, Iron: 8.6mg