Baked barbecue chicken thighs are made right in your oven — no special cooking equipment required. The trick to making them so delicious is using both barbecue seasoning rub and barbecue sauce.
Have you ever tried making baked barbecue chicken and felt like it was just a little underwhelming? I’m here to help fix that. This baked BBQ chicken thighs recipe has a ton of flavor thanks to both a barbecue seasoning rub and a great BBQ sauce.
Scroll down to read more about how it all comes together or click here to jump straight down to the recipe.
What Kind Of Chicken?
We’re using boneless skinless chicken thighs for tender and juicy chicken that everyone will love. If you prefer chicken breasts, it will be a similar cooking time to the recipe below. Bone-in skin-on chicken cooks differently, so I don’t suggest substituting that for this BBQ chicken recipe.
Start With A BBQ Seasoning Rub
We often think of using a good barbecue sauce but the real trick to making good barbecue chicken at home is to start with a good rub. This helps infuse every bit of chicken with bold flavor.
My favorite barbeque rub starts with smoked paprika. This mimics the smokey flavor of the grill and gives the chicken a nice rosy color. Dried sage is also key to authentic barbecue flavor. Garlic powder, salt, and pepper rounds out the seasoning.
Temperature For Baked Barbecue Chicken
The chicken bakes in the oven at 350°F for 30-35 minutes, until it’s cooked through.
Chicken should be cooked until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. The best way to ensure this is to use an instant read thermometer.
Why Broil Barbecue Chicken Thighs?
After the chicken thighs are cooked through, brush them with your favorite sauce and then broil them for a few minutes. Broilers mimic the super hot, direct heat of a grill, making them perfect for this step.
You don’t want the sauce to cook too much – just long enough to thicken it and help the sugars caramelize and get super sticky and for the chicken to char slightly in a few spots.
You can use your favorite store-bought sauce or try out an amazing Homemade BBQ Sauce that’s the perfect blend of sweet and spicy.
More BBQ Chicken Recipes
Now let’s make some fingerlickin’ good bbq chicken.Print
- 6–8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 2 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. dried sage
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1/4 cup barbecue sauce
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Arrange the chicken thighs on a baking sheet.
- In a small bowl, combine the smoked paprika, garlic powder, sage, salt, and pepper.
- Rub the spice mixture onto the chicken thighs and drizzle with olive oil.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until cooked through to 165°F as read on an instant read thermometer.
- Remove the pan from the oven and brush the chicken with the barbecue sauce.
- Broil on high for 3-4 minutes, until the sauce begins to darken and gets thick and sticky.
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This post originally appeared in August 2020 and was revised and republished in August 2023.