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Baked BBQ Chicken Thighs

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Calories: 356
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.

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 10 minutes. Half way through, flip the chicken and brush it with extra sauce.

  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

Tools You’ll Need

More Easy Chicken Thigh Recipes to Try

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

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Calories: 356

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Brown sugar
  • 1 cup Ketchup
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Onion powder
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper
  • 2 tsp Chili powder
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 2 lbs Boneless skinless chicken thighs, fat trimmed off

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Prepare a rimmed baking sheet by lining it with foil and set a metal wire cooling rack inside it.
  2. In a medium saucepan, make the BBQ sauce by whisking together the sugar, ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, chili powder, and paprika until fully combined. Turn the heat to medium and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer the sauce for 5 minutes, stirring often until the sugar has dissolved and the sauce has thickened slightly. Remove the sauce from heat. Reserve 3/4 cup sauce for serving.
  3. Place the chicken in a large bowl and season it with remaining 1 teaspoon salt on all sides. Transfer 1/2 cup of barbecue sauce to the bowl with the chicken and toss until coated on all sides. Place the BBQ sauce-covered chicken pieces on the wire cooling rack and bake on the center rack for 5 minutes.
  4. Remove the chicken from the oven. Using a pastry brush, coat the chicken (on both sides) with remaining bbq sauce and flip over. Place the chicken back in the oven for 5 minutes longer. Remove from the oven, brush it with BBQ sauce it one last time, then turn the broiler on high. Broil the chicken for 4-6 minutes until it begins to brown on the edges. The chicken is done when the internal temperature reaches 165°F on an instant read thermometer.
  5. Serve chicken with the remaining BBQ sauce.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories 356
  • Protein 44 g
  • Carbohydrates 17 g
  • Total Fat 11 g
  • Dietary Fiber 0 g
  • Cholesterol 135 mg
  • sodium 1270 mg
  • Total Sugars 15 g

Baked BBQ Chicken Thighs

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

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  • Diana

    Can you use bone in chicken or is it best to define them

    You can use bone in, they might just take longer to bake.

  • Rebecca Manor

    So good! My little boys declared it the best chicken ever...so, there you go.

    That is a HUGE compliment, especially from littles! Glad the family enjoyed it!

  • Susan

    I failed to grab a photo but it was the best chicken I've BBQ'd in awhile. My thighs were thick so I pretty much doubled the cooking time, doubled the BBQ sauce as well. I had 12 thighs ALL consumed, one by a female age 65 (myself) and the other 11 by 5 males ages 8, 11, 14, 31 and 38. We added mashed potatoes, green beans, Sister Schubert rolls, and a salad of spinach, cucumbers, yellow peppers, mushrooms and tomatoes. We are a healthy, active family and love a good meal! Thank you for this recipe!

    Love this review! Hearing all the details of the whole meal is the best! We are so glad you love them!

  • Anna McLamb

    This is a family favorite. You have to pay a lot of attention to the oven, but the results are good.

    Thanks for the tip! So glad you love them.

  • Jay Clarke

    I can't wait to try this recipe tomorrow for our weekly Sunday Supper with my Mom. I'm going to make your potato salad recipe with it as well. Welcome Summer!

    Yay! Hope you loved them both!