• February 17, 2019

    Baked BBQ Chicken Drumsticks + Legs

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    Truly the best oven-baked bbq chicken drumsticks and legs recipe perfect for an easy weeknight dinner with a sticky homemade honey BBQ sauce. One dish dirtied and 5 ingredients (including chicken!) required.

    easy oven baked bbq chicken thighs

    The Best Way To Make Oven-Baked BBQ Chicken Legs

    Sticky, tangy BBQ baked chicken is such total comfort food. When the recipe’s this easy, it’s just about heavenly.

    I streamlined a recipe for you down to one that dirties only one dish and requires only 5 ingredients, including the chicken! (I use a mix of chicken legs – both drumsticks and thighs).

    The first thing I do when making a quick-and-easy weeknight dinner is take the main ingredients out of the fridge ASAP. Before you even tie on your apron, pull your chicken out to room temperature.  It sheds some of it’s chill while you mix your sauce ingredients.

    How to Make The Best Easy Homemade BBQ Sauce

    To make this quick and easy homemade barbecue sauce, simply follow these 3 simple steps: 

    1. Measure the ingredients for the BBQ sauce (½ c ketchup, ½ c honey or brown sugar, 6 minced garlic cloves and ¼ cup soy sauce)
    2. Add to small bowl 
    3. Stir to combine

    For this recipe, I honestly skip the bowl and simply measure all of the ingredients directly onto the parchment-lined baking sheet we’ll be baking the chicken on.

    It’ll look like a hot mess. That’s A-ok. This is what totally winning at weeknight dinner looks like.

    best ever bbq chicken recipe for drumsticks

    How to Make BBQ Chicken Legs in the Oven

    Wondering how to make BBQ chicken in the oven that comes out tender, juicy, sweet and sticky? While it may seem simple, there is a bit of science to it.

    Because the BBQ sauce on the chicken has sugar in it, if left unwatched, it can easily darken very quickly and burn if you aren’t careful.

    We’re aiming for baked chicken, not scorched chicken!

    Here’s exactly how to make perfect BBQ chicken in the oven every time: 

    1. Ensure your chicken is brought to room-temperature before you bake it
    2. Use the correct oven temperature (425ºF)
    3. Ensure the rack in your oven is in the centre
    4. Cover the chicken with foil after it has begun to brown (about 20 minutes)
    5. Use a meat thermometer to check the chicken’s temperature (should reach 165ºF)
    6. Remove the foil and bake for the last 5 minutes uncovered to create some yummy char

    How Long to Bake Chicken Legs

    The truth is, nobody enjoys dry, overcooked chicken.

    So, how long should you bake chicken drumsticks? 

    For perfect juicy and tender chicken drumsticks, bake for 45 minutes at 425ºF in the centre rack of your oven, covering with foil half-way through to prevent burning.

    It’s important to note, that you first need to bring your chicken drumsticks to room temperature. Room-temperature ingredients cook faster (and more evenly) than cold ingredients, simply put.

    bbq chicken legs baked in oven

    Easy Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe (3 Ways)

    This homemade BBQ sauce recipe is such a great base and is a versatile sauce that I riff on frequently. Here are my favourite ways to mix this one up.

    Chinese BBQ Chicken

    To make a Chinese-style BBQ sauce, add 1/2 tsp Chinese 5-spice powder, a tablespoon of hoisin sauce and a tablespoon of Shaoxing wine or sherry if you have it.

    Mexican BBQ Chicken

    Add 1/2 tsp chipotle powder (or more, to taste, just taste before you add the chicken obvs. and increase by small amounts – it’s hot stuff!).

    Indian BBQ Chicken

    Take this BBQ sauce for a South Indian adventure with a riff on Adarsh’s Chicken 65 sauce.

    Fry a tsp of mustard seeds, a handful of curry leaves, and 1/4 tsp of ground cayenne until toasty smelling and stir them into the sauce.

    Related: The Only 11+ Chicken Drumstick Recipes You’ll Ever Need

    What to Serve with BBQ Chicken

    If anything embodies the flavours of summer, it’s sticky, sweet, smoky BBQ chicken. Here are just a few of our family’s favourite side dishes that I love to serve with this recipe:

    Perfect Kale Ceasar Salad

    Crispy Yam Fries with Chipotle Aioli

    Bursting Summer Israeli Couscous Salad with Mint-Chile Vinaigrette

    Light and Crispy Homemade Onion Rings

    Baked BBQ Chicken recipe

    Oven-Baked Honey BBQ Chicken Legs

    This sweet, sticky, juicy oven-baked BBQ chicken is the perfect easy weeknight recipe. Chicken drumsticks and thighs are surrounded by a simple 4-ingredient homemade BBQ sauce and baked to heavenly perfection.
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 45 minutes
    Total Time: 55 minutes
    Course: Dinner
    Cuisine: American
    Author: Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD


    • 3 1/4 lbs bone-in chicken pieces (drumsticks, thighs)
    • 1/2 cup ketchup
    • 1/2 cup honey or brown sugar
    • 6 large cloves garlic minced
    • 1/4 cup soy sauce


    • Remove chicken from fridge and let stand at room temperature while you mix the sauce. Preheat oven to 425ºF.
    • Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Measure all remaining ingredients directly onto baking sheet and stir to combine. Add chicken and turn to coat evenly, rubbing some sauce under the skin.
    • Bake in centre of oven for about 45 minutes, covering with foil about halfway through, until centre reaches 165ºF.
    Tried this recipe?tag @foodess

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    oven-baked bbq chicken drumsticks and thighs

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    Hi, I'm Jennifer Pallian, BSc, RD. I studied cooking, baking and food chemistry in a university lab, have years of experience as a professional test kitchen recipe developer and providing technical baking support to bakeries and home bakers. Want to know why your bread didn't rise? I've got your back.I now work full-time as a blogger, putting the years of science and baking to work right here. On Foodess, I share the best recipes in my arsenal - tested-till-PERFECT recipes for cozy baking, easy recipes for weeknight meals and delicious globally-inspired comfort food, plus lots of science-based cooking and baking tips. Welcome!

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    5 stars
    This is so yummy! My family loves it.


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