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Baked BBQ Chicken Thighs

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Baked BBQ Chicken Thighs on a platter

A simple, quick homemade BBQ sauce is the secret to this oven-baked BBQ chicken thigh recipe. It cooks to sticky, sweet-savory perfection and makes them as deletable as they are easy.

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The Very Easiest BBQ Chicken Recipe Ever, Baked in the Oven for Year-Round Feasting.

Finger-licking good is just the tip of the iceberg with this baked BBQ chicken recipe! Cooked in the oven, these chicken thighs couldn’t be easier to make any time of year—no grill (and no sunshine) necessary. Chicken thighs are much more moist and juicy than chicken breast, and nutritionally—they’re a bit more fatty (but using skinless chicken thighs keeps them on the healthier side) but they’re also more nutritious. Coated generously in BBQ sauce and then baked in a hot oven, they become absolutely fall-apart tender. You can serve them with corn on the cob, a big salad, or build a wonderfully messy BBQ chicken sandwich around those perfectly roasted, saucy chicken thighs. However you eat them, we promise you’ll be deeply satisfied.

ketchup, spices, brown sugar apple cider vinegar and Worcestershire sauce for homemade bbq sauce, next to raw chicken thighs

The Best BBQ Sauce for Chicken Is this (Easy) One You Make Yourself.

Nothing beats homemade BBQ sauce, and our recipe couldn’t be easier. We built is around everyone’s favorite “secret” ingredient—regular old ketchup! Ketchup is a magical pantry superpower, and if you’re not in the habit of adding a little (or a lot) of ketchup to sauces and marinades, well, get in the habit! You see, ketchup isn’t just puréed tomatoes and sugar. It is loaded with spices and cooked until the flavor is super concentrated. In other words, ketchup offers a major bang-for-buck in terms of flavor! Adding spices to it just enhances the existing deliciousness. Our BBQ sauce takes ketchup and makes is into the world’s best BBQ sauce by adding:

  • Brown sugar

  • Apple cider vinegar

  • Worcestershire sauce

  • Garlic powder

  • Onion powder

  • Black pepper

  • Chili powder

  • Regular sweet paprika

homemade BBQ sauce ingredients in a saucepan
Baked BBQ Chicken Thighs 3
homemade BBQ sauce made in a saucepan
raw boneless skinless chicken thighs in a bowl with homemade bbq sauce

How to Make BBQ Chicken in the Oven

Roasting BBQ chicken thighs in the oven is such an easy process, and with some foil protecting your baking sheet, the clean-up is a breeze. A lot of people wonder if you put BBQ sauce on chicken before or after baking and we firmly believe that the correct answer is that you do BOTH! More BBQ sauce is always a good thing. Plus, start to finish (including making that BBQ sauce) our BBQ chicken recipe takes only about 25-30 minutes. Lots of that time is downtime, too, so while the chicken bakes, you can be tossing a salad or boiling some corn. In other words, dinner doesn’t get much easier or more sure-to-please than this BBQ chicken! Here’s how to make it:

  1. Make the BBQ sauce! Simmer the BBQ sauce ingredients for a few minutes until the brown sugar has fully dissolved and the flavors have had a chance to meld.

  2. Prep the chicken! Salt the chicken thighs and coat them with sauce.

  3. Bake the chicken thighs! On a wire rack on a sheet pan in a 425°F degree oven for about 15 minutes. Half way through, flip the chicken and brush it with extra sauce and bake for another 15 minutes.

  4. Broil the chicken thighs! This will get them nice and brown on the edges and will really make the sauce concentrated and a little sticky—just the way it’s supposed to be!

  5. Eat the chicken thighs! With extra BBQ sauce on the side, because YUM!

BBQ Chicken Thighs baked on a wire rack in the oven
BBQ Chicken Thighs baked on a wire rack in the oven

Our Favorite BBQ Chicken Sides

You could go so many directions with your BBQ chicken sides—there’s no real “right” answer to this one. A green salad and some chips, or some macaroni salad, even, would be so good. You could use the chicken to build a super great sandwich, in which case sides aren’t even necessary. But, if you’d like to build a really classic BBQ chicken dinner, these side dish recipes are the way to go:

Baked BBQ Chicken Thighs on a white platter
Baked BBQ Chicken Thighs on a white platter
Baked BBQ Chicken Thighs on a white platter

Pass The Napkins, Please.

Messy dinners are the very best kind of dinners, if you ask us. They’re fun to eat and convivial and (bonus!) no one can be fussing with their cell phones if their hands are covered in BBQ sauce. BBQ chicken is a full-body kind of meal, and we just love that. If you make this recipe, let us know how you like it! Share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see your stuff! Happy eating!

Baked BBQ Chicken Thighs

Originally published: June 4, 2021

  • Serves:6
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 35 min
  • Calories:356


  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, fat trimmed


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F with a rack in the center position. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and set a metal wire cooling rack inside of it.

  2. In a medium saucepan, set over low heat, combine the ketchup, sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, 1 teaspoon of the salt, the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and pepper. Whisk together to combine. Increase the heat to medium and bring the sauce to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the sugar has completely dissolved and the sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove the sauce from heat. Reserve 3/4 cup of the sauce for serving.

  3. Place the chicken in a large bowl and season it all over with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Add 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce and toss to coat evenly. Arrange the chicken on the prepared wire rack. Bake the chicken for 15 minutes, then remove the pan from the oven. Using a pastry brush, coat the chicken all over with half of the remaining bbq sauce, using tongs to flip over the pieces. Return the chicken to the oven for another 15 minutes. Remove and brush with BBQ sauce again, then turn on the broiler. Cook the chicken until the edges begin to brown, 4 to 6 minutes. The chicken is done when the internal temperature reaches 165°F on an instant-read thermometer.

  4. Serve chicken with the reserved BBQ sauce alongside.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories356
  • Protein44 g
  • Carbohydrates17 g
  • Total Fat11 g
  • Dietary Fiber0 g
  • Cholesterol135 mg
  • Sodium1270 mg
  • Total Sugars15 g

Questions & Reviews

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