How to make baked bbq chicken legs

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These Baked BBQ Chicken Drumsticks look and taste as if they came right off the grill! No grilling here though you can bake these in the oven anytime and still get crunchy chicken drumsticks that are full of flavor. 

How to make baked bbq chicken legs

This simple recipe is perfect for family dinner. We make these often and I always stock up on drumsticks when they are on sale in the grocery store.

Drumsticks are a great dinner option to have available. Kids love them so they are great!!! My Classic Chicken Drumstick recipe is a favorite with my kids.

How to make BBQ Chicken Drumsticks:

Drumsticks are a great dinner. They are easy to make too! All you need to do is mix your seasonings together well, and then rub the seasoning all over the drumsticks.

Bake in the oven, and then slather the BBQ sauce on the drumsticks when they are done. Serve with some potatoes and veggies and you are good to go!


  • Chicken Drumsticks - I used roughly 4lbs which is about 12-15 drumsticks depending on the size.
  • Seasoning Salt
  • Garlic Powder
  • Chili Powder
  • Pepper
  • Smoked Paprika
  • BBQ Sauce

How to make baked bbq chicken legs

How to season the drumsticks:

Step One: Mix all your seasonings together in a bowl.

Step Two: Rub the seasoning mix all over the drumsticks.

How to make baked bbq chicken legs


Step one: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet with foil and a baking rack. Pat chicken dry with a paper towel and set aside.

Step two: In a small bowl mix all seasonings together. Coat chicken in your dry rub and place on a baking rack. Bake for 40 minutes turning once about halfway through.

How to make baked bbq chicken legs

Step three: Remove chicken from the oven and brush with BBQ sauce. Place back into the oven and broil for 45-50 seconds on each side until all sides have been broiled and are crispy.

How to make baked bbq chicken legs

What temperature to bake Baked BBQ Chicken Drumsticks?

I bake mine at 375 degrees for 40-50 minutes. It can vary depending on how large your legs are to make sure to check the temperature.

Your chicken legs are done when they are at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

How to make baked bbq chicken legs

Cooking Tip:

The trick though is once they are done baking brush them in BBQ sauce and then place them back into the oven to broiler.

Baked bbq chicken drumsticks is an easy recipe that the whole family will love. Using just a few simple ingredients, this bbq chicken recipe will become one of your family favorites. No grill required.

How to make baked bbq chicken legs

There's nothing like barbecue chicken in the summer. Sweet salty smoky chicken alongside fresh garden produce just screams summer to me.

Typically we enjoy bbq chicken drumsticks on the grill, but some people don't have a grill. Even though we do have a grill sometimes I just don't want to mess with heating up the grill and cleaning the grates. Yes, I can be a bit lazy.

We can still enjoy delicious bbq chicken legs made in the oven that will impart similar flavor to the grill. It will still be a family crowd pleaser and still give those yummy summer vibes.

Ingredients needed

The ingredients could not be more simple. I use my essential master trio (salt, pepper, garlic) to season the meat and then just add my sauce. Easy, yet still so much flavor!

  • chicken legs
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • garlic powder
  • favorite bbq sauce: I like to use my own homemade bbq sauce, but feel free to use your favorite barbecue sauce from the grocery store. Homemade sauce is quick and easy to make though, so don't be intimidated to try it. Move over Sweet Baby Ray.

How to make baked bbq chicken legs

How to bake bbq drumsticks

The method requires only a few simple steps.

  1. First thing, pat dry chicken legs with a paper towel. This helps the chicken skin brown.
  2. Season generously with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  3. Place chicken leg pieces on a parchment or aluminum foil lined sheet pan. This makes for easy clean up.
  4. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 min. Flip chicken and bake some more.
  5. Baste with plenty of sauce and continue to bake.
  6. Flip and baste with more sauce and bake for a final time.

How long to bake bbq chicken legs at 400 degrees?

Chicken legs are a dark meat and they take some significant time to cook. Typically it will take about 40 minutes for the chicken to reach an internal temperature of 165-175 degrees F. Use a meat thermometer for an accurate reading as cooking time will vary from oven to oven.

The good part about dark meat is that the higher fat content helps keep it juicy and can withstand some overcooking. This is good news for novice cooks and those that are nervous about under cooking poultry.

Chicken is safe to eat at 165 degrees F but drumsticks can cook even longer and still yield juicy chicken.

This leaves plenty of extra time to baste with the sauce at the end.


Tips for not burning bbq chicken legs

  • We are desiring browned crispy skin and caramelized sauce, but not burned.
  • To achieve browned legs, use a shallow rimmed baking sheet as opposed to a casserole dish.
  • Give plenty of space around each drumstick. Do not overcrowd.
  • Sauce your drumsticks towards the end of the cooking process instead of at the beginning. Sauce has a high sugar content and will burn if you try to bake the drumsticks with sauce on from the beginning.
  • Increase the heat a little more a the end if you find your legs aren't getting as browned as you like. Every oven is a little different. Don't be afraid to put it on broil at the end for a minute or two. Just keep a close eye on them to prevent burning.


What to serve with bbq chicken legs?

I love to serve fresh summer produce and classic bbq sides alongside the bbq chicken drumsticks. Here are a few of my favorites.

  • cucumber and dill salad
  • cabbage salad
  • black bean and corn salad
  • corn on the cob
  • fresh summer fruit (watermelon, cantaloupe, peaches)
  • potato salad
  • baked beans

How to make baked bbq chicken legs

Print Pin

Easy Oven Baked BBQ Chicken Legs

Chicken legs roasted in the oven and slathered in a homemade bbq sauce.

Course Main Course

Cuisine American

Keyword BBQ chicken legs in oven

Prep Time 5 minutes

Cook Time 50 minutes

Servings 4

Author Tara Buss


  • Sheet pan

  • Aluminum foil or parchment paper


  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic powder
  • 8 chicken legs
  • 1 cup bbq sauce store-bought or homemade


  • Pat legs dry with a paper towel.

  • Season both sides liberally with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

  • Place chicken legs on a foil or parchment lined baking sheet.

  • Bake at 400 degrees F. for 20 minutes.

  • Flip and bake another 20 minutes.

  • Increase heat to 450 degrees. Liberally brush sauce on one side and bake an additional 5-7 minutes.

  • Flip and generously brush more sauce on second side and bake another 5-7 minutes until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F and sauce is browned.

    How long to bake BBQ chicken legs in oven?

    Depending on the oven, drumsticks will take at minimum 40-50 minutes at 350-400 F to fully bake. Turn it over halfway through at 25-30 minutes and let it continue to bake. You will be able to tell when they look really crispy and tender to the touch of a fork or tongs.

    Do you put BBQ sauce on chicken before or after baking?

    A lot of people wonder if you put BBQ sauce on chicken before or after baking and we firmly believe that the correct answer is that you do BOTH! More BBQ sauce is always a good thing. Plus, start to finish (including making that BBQ sauce) our BBQ chicken recipe takes only about 25-30 minutes.

    How long does it take for drumsticks to cook in an oven?

    How long does it take for drumsticks to cook in the oven? Typically it takes around 40-45 minutes to bake medium drumsticks at 400°F, although if your oven cooks hot or the drumsticks are on the smaller side they might be done sooner than that.

    Is it better to bake chicken legs at 350 or 400?

    Option #1: Bake chicken legs at a higher temperature – between 400 to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. A lower temp like 350 degrees Fahrenheit won't result in crispy skin, but it will still be juicy and delicious.