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BBQ Baked Chicken Legs

BBQ baked chicken legs are just what you need if you’re craving tender, juicy chicken. Season the drumsticks with homemade BBQ rub and roast them for 30 minutes, resulting in perfect flavor every time.

BBQ Baked Chicken Legs on a platter with corn.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • BBQ-baked chicken legs are an excellent choice for any cookout, picnic, or backyard gathering.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • BBQ Rub: I usually season the drumsticks with a homemade BBQ Rub. The rub comes together quickly, and you can double or triple the batch to keep some on hand for a later meal; store the leftovers in an airtight container for three months. You can also flavor the chicken with this Slap Ya Mama Seasoning recipemustard rib rub, or another homemade rib rub recipe. If you prefer store-bought, I recommend combining Montreal Seasoning with a bit of brown sugar, about two tablespoons.
  • Chicken: You can use any part of the chicken- breast, thighs, or legs, but I love cooking drumsticks!
  • BBQ Sauce: I am sure there are many great-tasting BBQ sauces, but my go-to is always Sweet Baby Rays. It’s consistently good, and they offer sugar-free, which makes everyone in the family happy.

How to Make BBQ Baked Chicken Legs

The full recipe with measurements is in the recipe card below.

Step 1: Pat the drumsticks with a paper towel or cloth and transfer them to a mixing bowl. Then, combine the spices for the BBQ rub in a small bowl and transfer them to the chicken. Toss to combine, cover, and marinate in the fridge for 6 hours or at least 30 minutes.

Drumsticks in a bowl with seasoning.

Step 2: Preheat the oven to 500°F (260°C), then set a wire rack into a rimmed baking sheet and remove the chicken from the fridge. Line the drumsticks onto the wire rack.

Drumsticks lined onto a wire rack.

Step 3: Lower the oven temperature to 400°F (204°C). Roast for 25-30 minutes, flipping the drumsticks halfway through.

Check the meat’s temperature using a food thermometer and continue cooking until they reach 165°F (73°C).

BBQ Baked Chicken Legs baking in the oven.

Step 4: Brush the drumsticks with BBQ sauce and cook for 3 minutes, sauce side down. Brush the other side, and cook for another 2 minutes.

BBQ Baked Chicken Legs coated with BBQ sauce.

Step 5: Set the oven to broil and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Remove the drumsticks from heat and let them rest before serving.

BBQ Baked Chicken Legs roasting in the oven.

Expert Tips

For details on how to cook the BEST chicken drumsticks, check out my tips for how to bake chicken legs in the oven.

  • For crispy, golden-brown skin on your drumsticks, pat them dry with a cloth or paper towel before seasoning and roasting them. Do this to remove excess moisture on the surface of the chicken, which can prevent the skin from crisping up properly.
  • Insert your food thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken drumstick. The safe cooking temperature for chicken is 165°F (73°C).

If you enjoy the meal, try one of these oven-baked recipes!

BBQ Baked Chicken Legs on a platter with corn.

Serving Suggestions

What to do with the Leftovers

  • Refrigerate: Store leftover drumsticks in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
  • Freeze: Let the chicken cool, and transfer to a freezer-safe container or bag. BBQ baked chicken legs freeze for 4-6 months.
  • Thaw: Defrost the chicken in the fridge overnight.
  • Reheat: Warm the chicken legs in the oven and then broil them for 2-3 minutes at the end for a perfect crisp.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you know when the chicken drumsticks are done?

Since the size of drumsticks varies, I recommend using a thermometer to know when the chicken cooks properly. Insert the meat thermometer near the bone; it’s done cooking when the chicken reads 165°F (73°C).

More Chicken Recipes:

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BBQ Baked Chicken Legs on a platter with corn.

BBQ Baked Chicken Legs

Tressa Jamil
Crispy-skin BBQ baked chicken legs are tender and juicy. The flavorful drumsticks roast with homemade BBQ seasoning for 30 minutes!
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Marinating Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 326 kcal
Ingredients
  
For the BBQ Rub:
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper, coarse ground
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
For the Chicken:
  • 8 chicken drumsticks, skin on, and bone-in
  • ½ cup BBQ sauce
Instructions
 
  • Pat the drumsticks with a paper towel or cloth and transfer them to a mixing bowl. Then, combine the spices for the BBQ rub in a small bowl and transfer them to the chicken. Toss to combine, cover, and marinate in the fridge for 6 hours or at least 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 500°F (260°C), then set a wire rack into a rimmed baking sheet and remove the chicken from the fridge. Line the drumsticks onto the wire rack.
  • Lower the oven temperature to 400°F (204°C). Roast for 25-30 minutes, flipping the drumsticks halfway through. Check the meat's temperature using a food thermometer and continue cooking until they reach 165°F (73°C).
  • Brush the drumsticks with BBQ sauce and cook for 3 minutes, sauce side down. Brush the other side, and cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Set the oven to broil and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Remove the drumsticks from heat and let them rest before serving.
Notes
Serving Size: 2 Drumsticks
Expert Tips:
  • For crispy, golden-brown skin on your drumsticks, pat them dry with a cloth or paper towel before seasoning and roasting them. Do this to remove excess moisture on the surface of the chicken, which can prevent the skin from crisping up properly.
  • Insert your food thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken drumstick. The safe cooking temperature for chicken is 165°F (73°C).
Nutrition Disclosure:
  • The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.
Nutrition
Serving: 2 Drumsticks | Calories: 326 kcal | Carbohydrates: 20 g | Protein: 28 g | Fat: 15 g | Saturated Fat: 4 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6 g | Cholesterol: 139 mg | Sodium: 1118 mg | Potassium: 498 mg | Fiber: 1 g | Sugar: 15 g | Vitamin A: 1213 IU | Calcium: 38 mg | Iron: 2 mg
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and follow @thejamilghar or tag #thejamilghar on Instagram!
5 from 4 votes (3 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating




Matt W.

Tuesday 12th of July 2022

Seriously love this recipe, perfect for a grilling kind of dinner. I specifically like the combination of the garlic and cayenne pepper in the rub. Recipe flows nicely, my fiancé and kids loved it. My son had 3 helpings and my daughter had 2.

Tressa Jamil

Tuesday 12th of July 2022

Our kids love this meal too; I am so happy you all enjoyed it!