We have become obsessed with these moist bbq chicken thighs in oven lately. Years ago we made teriyaki baked chicken thighs and they were so good we didn’t mess with them. Had them on meal rotation every month. This time we used our favorite barbecue sauce and OMG it was just as good!
If you want an easy 2 ingredient recipe you have got to make our barbecue chicken thighs in oven directions here. Yes you could use breasts but dark meat has so much more flavor and are more tender. On top of that they are cheap and super family friendly to enjoy during the week. (affiliate links present)
If you are a believer like I am in this cut of meat you may have already tried a few of our quick chicken thigh recipes and fallen in love. I get it, I am right there with you. Some nights I need EASY like with a huge capital E though, you are nodding your head with me right now aren’t you. Keep reading. 😉
BBQ Baked Chicken Thighs in Oven
So we had already made slow cooker bbq chicken thighs over and over again. Low and slow cooked all day worked great, except they didn’t get crispy so I moved on to trying this method. So great.
Now if you wanted to make these just as tender, but faster you could follow our Instant Pot bbq chicken thighs recipe. You will still need to use the broil function of your oven at the end though to get crispy skin (if you care about that). SO if you want both I would skip cleaning two pans and just use these steps.
How to Bake BBQ Chicken Thighs in Oven
The directions are kinda’ 1-2-3 if you ask me. We used defrosted meat for this one so the cook time is appropriate for that. Now if you need instructions on how to cook frozen chicken thighs read this post instead with this sauce of choice once directed. Both are super simple, you can’t screw them up if you follow along.
Just remember to bake, season and sauce, then bake again until it reaches a safe internal temperature of 165 degrees F. The trick to not drying out poultry is to check often, in the thickest area, and you can take it out at 160 to keep warm because while resting it will rise another 5 degrees too.
Baked BBQ Chicken Thighs
Instructions are below in a printable recipe card so you can keep it handy for the future, or just come back because we will miss you. 😉 Once you get the hang of it go beyond and try other sauces like teriyaki, our spicy Asian chicken sauce or your favorite hot sauce.
- Place chicken thighs skin side facing up on non stick rimmed baking sheet.
- Dry skins with paper towels, brush on a bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Bake for 25 minutes in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F.
- Remove tray and coat in BBQ sauce.
- Place back in the oven and cook until chicken is cooked and reaches 165 f with a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest area
- This will take about another 15-20 minutes.
- Remove, cover, and rest for 10 minutes and serve.
Well you can’t really “grill chicken” inside your house technically but if you want tender meat with crispy skin I would recommend 375 degrees for best results. If you want it really crispy at the end you can increase temp to 400 for last 10 minutes or switch to broil for 3 minutes or so.
I prefer 375 to achieve crispy chicken skin on the outside while still maintaining fork tender protein in the middle. Baked uncovered you will get this result in about 40 minutes depending on the size and thickness of your pieces. Bone-in thighs will take longer than boneless as well.
Homemade Barbecue Sauce for Chicken Thighs
Making your own homemade barbecue sauce allows you to customize the flavors and tailor it to your preferences. Here’s a simple recipe for a delicious homemade barbecue sauce:
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, onion powder, salt and black pepper
- Optional: hot sauce or cayenne pepper
In a saucepan, combine all the ingredients over medium heat. Whisk together and allow to bubble for about 10 minutes. Taste and adjust flavors as you’d like. Allow to cool so it thickens more and then use as you’d like! I use this many times to make our air fryer frozen chicken thighs, or even on chicken breasts.
Is it better to cook chicken with bone-in or boneless skinless chicken thighs?
To me this comes down to budget and convenience. The latter is going to be more expensive for sure but less work to eat, and take less time to bake. I will pay a bit more for these just because it is worth it, for sure, unless it is ridiculous. You have to just make that choice when you are at the store in the meat section yourself.
There isn’t a taste difference though you will get a tad less meat if the bone is in tact just because some of it will surely stick. I will say that when baking you may have as much as a 15 minute difference and decrease in timing depending on how large they are. No need to worry about floppy skin since there isn’t any either.
We went into more detail about how long to bake chicken thighs at 375 here in this article. I have added vegetables on to the sheet pan at times, and share which ones are better for that. Talks about different marinades you can try to vary it up and differences between with bones and without. Yes we cook these a lot!
BBQ Chicken in Oven
Ok so whether you bake these as we suggest here, slow cook them all day or otherwise you may not finish them all. If you have been following my blog for any length of time you know I hate wasting food so let’s talk about what to do with them shall we.
First off saving leftover meat correctly is important. You want to keep it moist and air is the enemy, just remember that. Having freezer bags is what you need. Just wait until they are room temperature, package up in there and suck all of the air out. Store in fridge for up to 3 days and then use one of our leftover bbq chicken recipes we have here.
Jump to recipe below and if you have something else you like to make with food that needs to be used up next day let us know so we can add it to our list here. Sharing is caring right friends? I bet you have a goodie you have been keeping a secret and you’re ready to share. 😉
Want to see a few of my favorite things that I am totally obsessed with?? Take a peek and see how many you might already have…twinsies!
BBQ Chicken Thighs in Oven
- Place chicken thighs skin side facing up on non stick rimmed baking sheet. Dry skins with paper towels, brush on a bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 25 minutes in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F. Remove tray and coat in BBQ sauce.
- Place back in the oven and cook until chicken is cooked and reaches 165 f with a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest areaThis will take about another 15-20 minutes. Remove, cover, and rest for 10 minutes and serve.