Oven Roasted Barbecue Chicken

oven roasted barbecue chicken on a sheet pan

5 from 7 reviews

Barbecue chicken is one of summer’s great joys. This recipe combines your favorite store-bought sauce with deeply spiced, incredibly flavorful, dark meat chicken for the easiest barbecue chicken you’ve ever had.



1/4 C brown sugar
1 T chili powder
1/2 T garlic powder
1/2 T onion powder
1/2 T ground cumin
1/2 T smoked paprika
1 T kosher salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
3 lb chicken skin on drumsticks or thighs (this was 12 drumsticks for me)
2 C barbecue sauce (your favorite storebought, or homemade)


In a small bowl combine the brown sugar, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

Lay your chicken, skin side up on a rimmed baking sheet in one layer – give each piece a little room to breathe. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel and then generously sprinkle each piece with some of your spice rub, making sure to thoroughly cover all sides and get some in between the skin and the meat. You should use it all.

Cover the sheet pan with foil and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 24.

And hour before you’re ready to cook, remove the chicken from the fridge to come up to room temperature. Preheat your oven to 400° F.

Bake the chicken with the foil still on for 30 minutes. Then remove the foil and cook for an additional 25-30 minutes. During this time baste liberally with barbecue sauce, three or four times, until chicken registers 170° F on an instant read thermometer and the sauce begins to caramelize.

Let rest for at least five minutes before serving.


You can also use chicken thighs here, but I’d avoid breasts.

If you don’t have an instant read thermometer you can just cut one of the legs open to make sure the juices run clear, but the meat is in there plenty long enough to be cooked through.

If the outside is starting to get too brown before the inside is cooked, lower the heat to 350° F and continue to cook.

Keywords: Oven roasted bbq, bbq chicken, barbecue chicken legs, easy barbeque chicken