How to Make Easy, Oven-Baked BBQ Chicken

Craving barbecue chicken, but don't own a grill? No problem! Oven-baked chicken is easy and can be made year-round. You can use your favorite bottled or homemade barbecue sauce to cook chicken to perfection indoors. The key to the perfect chicken is using delicious barbecue sauce and a meat thermometer to check the chicken for the optimal internal temperature. Follow this simple tutorial on how to make easy oven-baked barbecue chicken.

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Oven-Baked Bone-In Barbecue Chicken

(Julia Mueller/Demand Media) (Image: Julia Mueller)

Things You'll Need

  • 4 to 5 pounds bone-in chicken thighs and legs or 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Large ziplock bag
  • ½ cup barbecue sauce, plus more for serving
  • Large nonstick or cast iron skillet
  • Tongs
  • Sauce brush
  • Large casserole dish or broiler pan
  • Meat thermometer

Step 1

(Julia Mueller/Demand Media) (Image: Julia Mueller)

Add chicken to a large ziplock bag with chili powder and olive oil. Close the bag and shake gently until all chicken pieces are coated in seasoning and oil. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.

Note: You can use a variety of seasonings, such as paprika, garlic powder, and/or Italian seasoning. You can also allow the chicken to marinate overnight in the refrigerator, although this step is not necessary.

Step 2

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Heat a large nonstick (or cast iron skillet) to medium-high. Place the chicken on the hot skillet skin-side down. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until skin is golden brown and crispy.

This step makes the chicken crispy. If you're in a hurry, you can skip this step and the next step.

Step 3

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Flip chicken to the other side using tongs and cook another 1 to 2 minutes.

Step 4

(Julia Mueller/Demand Media) (Image: Julia Mueller)

Transfer chicken to a large casserole dish or broiler pan. Sprinkle with sea salt and use a sauce brush to coat the chicken with half of the barbecue sauce. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes at 375 degrees F, until juices are clear.

Step 5

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Place a meat thermometer in the thickest part of a chicken thigh. Bone-in chicken thighs are finished when they reach 160 degrees F. Drumsticks are finished when they reach 185 degrees F. If chicken pieces have not reached the correct internal temperature, place the dish back in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes and check internal temperature again.

Step 6

(Julia Mueller/Demand Media) (Image: Julia Mueller)

Brush the chicken with the remaining 1/4 cup of barbecue sauce.

Step 7

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Serve chicken with extra barbecue sauce!

Oven-Baked Boneless Barbecue Chicken

(Julia Mueller/Demand Media) (Image: Julia Mueller)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Add 2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breasts to a large ziplock bag. Add chili powder and olive oil, close the bag and gently shake until chicken is coated with seasoning and oil. Place chicken in a casserole dish and lightly brush with barbecue sauce. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until internal temperature of chicken breasts reaches 165 degrees F. Brush chicken breasts with additional barbecue sauce and serve.

For best results, marinate the chicken in oil and seasoning overnight (and barbecue sauce if desired). Boneless skinless chicken breasts are very lean, so the trick to keeping them moist through the cooking process is to marinate them ahead of time.

References & Resources