If you're looking for an easy and satisfying recipe, these Baked BBQ Chicken Legs are a must-try. With their crispy exterior, moist and tender meat, and irresistible BBQ flavor, they are one of our family favorite chicken recipes.
With just 5 simple ingredients and minimal prep time, this easy recipe is a winner for an easy dinner on busy weeknights or a game day get-together. Get ready to enjoy a finger-licking good meal without much effort.
Why You'll Love Oven BBQ Chicken
- Crispy skin with a tender, juicy inside.
- Minimal ingredients that are all pantry staples.
- Simple recipe with quick and easy preparation.
- Perfect for those who don't have a grill.
Chicken legs: Tasty bone-in dark meat for juicy and flavorful results.
Garlic powder: Concentrated garlic flavor enhancer.
Onion powder: Sweet and pungent onion taste booster.
Smoked paprika: Adds smoky, earthy, and mild spice.
Kosher salt: Balances the flavors and helps tenderize the meat.
Freshly ground black pepper: Adds a subtle kick and warmth.
Liquid smoke: If you want to achieve a smoky flavor without using a grill or smoker, consider adding a few drops of liquid smoke to the barbecue sauce. This gives the chicken a delightful smokiness reminiscent of traditional outdoor barbecuing.
Cayenne pepper: For those who enjoy a bit of spicier foods, adding cayenne pepper to the seasoning mix can provide an extra kick to this BBQ chicken recipe. Start with a small amount, such as ¼ to ½ teaspoon, and adjust according to your spice preference.
Chili powder: This addition adds another level of spiciness to the chicken legs. Cut the smoked paprika by half and replace with an equal amount of chili powder.
When using these variations, simply incorporate them into the seasoning mix as instructed in the original recipe. Adjust the quantities to suit your taste preferences, keeping in mind that a little goes a long way with cayenne pepper and liquid smoke.
How to Bake BBQ Chicken Legs
- In a large bowl, combine garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, salt, and black pepper. Mix well.
- Pat the chicken legs dry with paper towel and place them in the seasoning mix bowl.
- Use your hands to coat the legs thoroughly with the seasoning. Refrigerate the bowl for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) with a rack positioned in the center of the oven.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack on top.
- Remove the drumsticks from the refrigerator and let them stand about 10 minutes or until room temperature.
- Arrange the seasoned legs on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (180°C). Remove the baking sheet from the oven and brush the chicken legs with your favortie BBQ sauce.
- Return the legs to the oven and bake for an additional 7 to 10 minutes.
- Take out the baking sheet, turn the legs over, and brush them with more BBQ sauce.
- Place them back in the oven and continue baking for another 7 to 10 minutes more, or until the legs reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) when tested with a meat thermometer.
- Once cooked, serve the Baked BBQ Chicken Legs immediately along with your favorite sides.
Enjoy this fuss-free recipe that delivers fantastic flavor with minimal effort. Some classic BBQ sides, such as cucumber, onion and vinegar salad, crispy potato wedges, and mac n cheese go really well with BBQ drumsticks.
- Patting the chicken legs dry before seasoning them helps to ensure crispier skin. Moisture on the surface of the chicken can hinder browning and crispiness, so make sure to remove any excess moisture with paper towels.
- To prevent the chicken legs from sticking to the wire rack during baking, lightly grease the rack or spray it with cooking spray. This will make it easier to remove the chicken and minimize any potential for sticking or tearing the skin.
Storing and Reheating Leftovers
- To store leftover Baked BBQ Chicken Legs, allow them to cool completely before transferring them to an airtight container or wrapping them tightly in foil. Place them in the refrigerator, where they can be safely stored for up to 3-4 days.
- When reheating, it's best to use an oven or air fryer to maintain the crispy texture. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180°C), place the chicken legs on a baking sheet, and warm them for about 10 to 15 minutes or until heated through. This gentle reheating method helps retain the moisture and keeps the skin crispy.
- Avoid reheating the chicken legs in the microwave, as it can make the skin lose its crispness and result in dry chicken meat.
Baked BBQ Chicken Legs
- 8 chicken legs about 2 pounds
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup barbecue sauce
- In a large bowl, add the garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, salt, and black pepper. Mix well.
- Using paper towels, pat the legs dry. Place them into the bowl with the seasoning mix.
- Using your hands, pat the seasoning all over the legs. Refrigerate the bowl with the legsfor 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 400°F with a rack in the center position.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place a wire rack on top of the foil.
- Remove the drumstick from the refrigerator. Place them on the wire rack. Let stand about 10 minutes to get to room temperature.
- Bake the legs for 35 minutes.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 350℉.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven and brush the top of the chicken legs with barbecue sauce.
- Return the legs to the oven and bake for 7 to 10 minutes.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Turn the legs over and brush with the BBQ sauce. Return them to the oven and continue baking for another 7 to 10 minutes more. An intant read thermometer should register 165℉ when inserted into the center of the legs. Return the legs to the oven if more cooking time is needed.
- Serve immediately.