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This Oven Baked BBQ Chicken is the perfect solution for those summertime dinner cravings – without the grill! Super moist thanks to a simple brine, this finger-lickin’ good glazed bird needs very little attention once it’s in the oven for its 40-ish minute ride to the dinner table!
I know it’s still technically winter, but it already feels like late spring down here in Florida.
It’s actually surprising that the chill hung out as long as it did – no matter how sporadically. When I got home from Chicago at the beginning of March, I brought a bit of the cold back with me.
Two days later, we were back in the high 70s. So, obviously, we’re pretty primed for grilling already.
For those of you who are still suffering from too-much-snowitis, try making my fave BBQ chicken in your oven!
JUST TAKE ME TO THE OVEN BAKED BBQ CHICKEN ALREADY!
If you’d rather skip my (pretty darn helpful) tips and tricks, essential cooking info, and similar recipe ideas – and get straight to this deliciously easy barbecue chicken recipe, just scroll right on down to the bottom of the page where you can find the printable recipe card!
Here’s a bit of unpopular info to preface this recipe:
Chicken is not my favorite.
It’s definitely growing on me, though.
Learning how to cook it well has helped a ton in that area, and I’m ’bout to educate you on the single most important piece of info you need to make you fall in love with chicken, too.
But full disclosure: if you ever see me at a wedding, don’t be surprised when I’m chowing down on the beef choice instead of the piccata.
What Cut of Chicken Is Best For Oven Baked BBQ Chicken?
Every type of chicken has it place – and bone-in, skin-on chicken is meant for baking!
Chicken with bones is perfect for the oven: the bones help keep the chicken moister longer. And as for the skin, even if you don’t plan on eating it, it prevents the inside of the chicken from drying out, and holds all that glorious sauce in place.
What To Serve With Baked Barbecue Chicken
Whether you’re grilling, smoking, or baking your BBQ chicken, the same sides work:
- Skillet Baked Mac & Cheese
- Potato Salad
- French Fries
- Panzanella Salad
- Roasted Cauliflower
- (Jalapeno!) Corn Bread
- Baked Beans
Brine vs. Marinade For Baked Chicken Recipes?
You may have heard of brining a Thanksgiving turkey, but did you know it works just as well for chicken?
Marinating chicken before baking it can lead to some delicious flavors, but marinades are better suited for tougher cuts of red meat like steak and pork chops. The combination of acids, salt, and spices in a marinade don’t really soak into the meat, they affect the outer surface of the food.
Brines are a simple combination of water, salt, and other flavor enhancers like herbs and spices. Soaking chicken (poultry is the ideal meat for this method) in a brine for a few hours helps it retain the water it needs to keep it from drying out when it cooks. The salty brine breaks down the outer surface of the meat, adding moisture and mild flavor without overtaking your favorite BBQ sauce.
My go-to chicken brine recipe includes water, lots of salt, black peppercorns and red pepper flakes, a little brown sugar, some smashed garlic, and plenty of fresh herbs.
It’s a simple yet effective method, and is the absolute best way to make any chicken recipe the best ever!
How Long To Bake Chicken
Chicken parts are not created equally! Wings and drumsticks are inevitably going to take longer than thighs and breasts, so you’ll want to keep an eye on the internal temperature of the chicken as it cooks.
Crank the oven up to 400 degrees F and bake the chicken up to 165 degrees F. Check the smaller pieces at the 30-minute mark and remove them from the oven if necessary (keep ’em covered!) to avoid drying them out.
As for the thighs and breasts, they’ll take closer to 40-45 minutes depending on their sizes. If you split the breasts (which I recommend, even though I didn’t do it), they’ll cook a bit faster.
How To Bake BBQ Chicken
For optimal flavor of this barbecue chicken, you’ll have to plan ahead just a bit! This baked chicken recipe involves a brine marinade time of 8 to 12 hours, but making the brine is so easy and quick!
To make the chicken brine, combine water, salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, garlic, herbs, and red pepper flakes in a large saucepan set over high heat. Bring the water to a boil, then cover the pot and remove it from the heat.
Let the brine cool for 10 minutes, butchering your chicken (into 8-10 pieces) in the meantime. Fill a large bowl halfway with ice, then pour the brine over it and stir until it’s mostly melted. Submerge the chicken pieces in the bowl, cover it, and refrigerate for 8 to 12 hours.
When you’re ready to bake the chicken, preheat an oven to 400 degrees F. Remove the chicken from the brine, then rinse the chicken well and pat it dry completely. Discard the brine.
Use a basting brush to slather the raw chicken with half of the barbecue sauce (try this strawberry variety!) Bake for 20 minutes, then brush the remaining sauce on the chicken. Bake another 10-30 minutes, checking the internal temperature periodically with a meat thermometer until it the chicken reaches 165 degrees F. You may need to remove smaller pieces earlier as they’ll reach proper temperature faster.
When all chicken is to temp, return it to the rack. Turn the oven broiler to high and broil 2 to 3 minutes until the barbecue sauce caramelizes to your liking. Baste the chicken with more barbecue sauce if desired, or serve more on the side.
LOOKING FOR MORE CHICKEN RECIPES?
- Sriracha Grilled Chicken Thighs
- BBQ Grilled Chicken Leg Quarters
- Herb Butter Oven Roasted Chicken
- Korean Chicken with Coconut Rice
- Baked Lemon Pepper Chicken Drumsticks
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Oven Baked BBQ Chicken
- 6 cups water
- ¼ cup kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons peppercorns crushed
- 4 cloves garlic smashed
- 3 sprigs fresh parsley thyme, and/or rosemary
- Red pepper flakes optional
- 3 1/2 pounds whole chicken cut into 8-10 pieces
- 2 cups barbecue sauce homemade or your fave brand
- Combine water, salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, garlic, herbs, and red pepper flakes in a large saucepan set over high heat. Bring water to a boil, then cover and remove from heat. Let cool for 10 minutes.
- Fill a large bowl halfway with ice. Pour brine over the ice and stir until mostly melted.
- Submerge the chicken pieces in the bowl, cover, and refrigerate 8-12 hours.
- When ready to cook, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Remove chicken from brine. Rinse and pat dry, discarding the brine.
- Place chicken pieces, skin side up, on a rack set over a baking sheet or roasting pan. Salt lightly if desired.
- Baste chicken with half the barbecue sauce. Bake 20 minutes. Brush on remaining barbecue sauce and bake another 20-30 minutes, until internal temp is 165 degrees F. (You may need to remove smaller pieces earlier as they'll reach proper temperature faster.)
- Return all chicken to rack. Turn broiler to high and broil 2-3 minutes until barbecue sauce caramelizes a bit. Baste/serve with more barbecue sauce, if desired.