My Baked BBQ chicken drumsticks are delightfully crispy on the outside, moist, tender, and juicy on the inside, and so easy to make they almost cook themselves.
Made with your favorite sweet and tangy BBQ sauce, it is the perfect barbecue chicken dish to serve your family or guests any time of the year.
Everyone loves BBQ Chicken Drumsticks, but not everyone likes to grill because it’s not always practical. If the weather isn’t good or you just don’t have time to get out the grill set up.
But not to worry, I’ve adapted one of my favorite barbecued chicken recipes so you can make crispy, tangy barbecue chicken in your oven in less than an hour. And trust me when I say this simple recipe will become a family favorite!
If you’re not a fan of BBQ Sauce, try my Best Baked Chicken Legs recipe.
Ingredients for Baked BBQ Chicken Drumsticks
Let’s start by gathering the ingredients we need to make Baked BBQ Drumsticks. In Chef Speak, this is called the “Mise en Place,” which translates to “Everything in its Place.”
Not only does setting your ingredients up ahead of time speed up the cooking process, it also helps ensure you have everything you need to make the dish.
*This recipe will work with chicken breasts, thighs and wings.
This easy recipe uses easy-to-find spices, your favorite barbecue sauce and chicken drumsticks. If you’ve got a favorite homemade bbq sauce recipe, use that. I use Sweet Baby Rays when I don’t have time to make my own bbq sauce.
- chicken drumsticks (chicken legs)
- barbecue sauce
- onion powder
- garlic powder
- chili powder
- smoked paprika (or sweet paprika)
- black pepper
How to make Baked BBQ Chicken Drumsticks
- Rinse and pat dry the chicken with paper towels.
- Place the drumsticks into a large bowl.
- In a small bowl, add the garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, chili powder, salt, and black pepper. Mix together to blend the seasonings.
- Using your hands (please make sure they’re clean), rub the seasoning generously all over the chicken.
- Place the seasoned drumsticks in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes to give the seasonings time to work their magic.
Preheat your oven to 400°F
- Line your baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire baking rack on top of the baking sheet. Place the chicken drumsticks on the wire rack leaving a little room between each drumstick (let the chicken sit out for 10-15 minutes to come to room temperature).
- Place the baking sheet on the center rack of your preheated oven for 35 minutes.
- Reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees F. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and brush the chicken legs with barbecue sauce. Return the drumsticks to the oven and bake for an additional 7-10 minutes.
- Remove the chicken drumsticks from the oven and turn the chicken legs over and brush again with BBQ sauce. Return to the oven and continue baking for another 7-10 minutes. *Add as many layers of bbq sauce to suit your tastes.
*You don’t need a meat thermometer for this bbq chicken recipe, but if you want to check, the minimum internal temperature is 165 degrees F.
Serve the barbecue chicken with your favorite sides or classic bbq sides, like cole slaw, macaroni salad, potato salad, and corn on the cob.
I like to start with high heat at 400 degrees for the initial baking time of 35 minutes. I then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees when I apply the barbecue sauce and continue to bake for an additional 10-15 minutes.
Bake the chicken for 35 minutes, then brush the chicken with barbecue sauce and return it to the oven to finish cooking.
These barbecued chicken legs will come out exceptionally well in an air fryer.
Heat your air-fryer to 380 degrees. The only change in the recipe will be lightly oiling the legs before rubbing in the seasonings. Cook the legs for 10 minutes, then flip them over and continue cooking for another 8-10 minutes. Apply the barbecue sauce and continue cooking for 3-5 minutes or until an internal temperature of 165 degrees is reached.