BBQ Chicken Legs in Oven: Easy Step-by-Step Cooking Guide

Master the art of preparing succulent BBQ chicken legs in the oven with this straightforward guide.

Key takeaways:

  • Select uniform chicken drumsticks for even cooking.
  • Pat chicken dry before marinating or applying sauce.
  • Use quality barbecue sauce, considering sugar content.
  • Create a flavorful rub with spices like paprika and garlic powder.
  • Coat with olive oil for crispy skin and spice adhesion.

Ingredients for Baked BBQ Chicken Drumsticks

ingredients for baked bbq chicken drumsticks

Selecting the right chicken drumsticks is pivotal for succulent results; aim for uniform size to ensure even cooking.

Prior to marination or sauce application, patting the chicken dry enhances sauce adhesion.

A high-quality barbecue sauce, whether homemade or store-bought, imparts depth of flavor – consider the sauce’s sugar content as it affects caramelization and the potential for burning.

Spices like paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper, when combined, create a rub that forms a flavorful crust.

Olive oil is preferable for coating, facilitating spice adhesion and promoting crispy skin.

Optional additions like apple cider vinegar can tenderize and add a tangy note, while brown sugar might be included in a rub for extra caramelization and a hint of sweetness.

How to Make Baked BBQ Drumsticks

Begin by preheating the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit (220 degrees Celsius) for a crispy skin. Pat the drumsticks dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture which helps the skin to crisp up when baking.

Season the chicken liberally with salt, pepper, and any additional spices you favor, rubbing the seasoning evenly over the drumsticks.

Arrange the seasoned chicken legs on a wire rack set over a baking sheet to ensure heat circulates evenly around them, eliminating the need for flipping while cooking.

Bake the chicken in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes.

While the chicken is baking, prepare your BBQ sauce by either using a store-bought variety or making a homemade blend.

If opting for homemade, combine your ingredients in a saucepan and simmer until flavors meld together.

After the initial 25 minutes of baking, remove the drumsticks from the oven and generously brush them with the BBQ sauce.

Return them to the oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74 degrees Celsius) and the sauce is caramelized to your preference.

If desired, for an extra layer of char typical of traditional BBQ, you can broil the chicken for 2-3 minutes after they’re fully cooked.

Keep a close watch during this final step to prevent burning.

How Long Do You Bake BBQ Chicken Legs

To achieve succulent, fully cooked BBQ chicken legs in the oven, bake them at 375°F (190°C) for 45 to 50 minutes. Before the final 10 minutes of cooking time, generously brush your favorite BBQ sauce on the chicken to create a caramelized surface.

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) to ensure consistent cooking.
  • Place your chicken legs on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper for easy cleanup.
  • Bake the legs for approximately 35-40 minutes, then check their internal temperature.
  • Aim for an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) when checked with a meat thermometer at the thickest part of the leg.
  • Brush BBQ sauce on the chicken legs during the last 10 minutes to avoid burning the sugars in the sauce.

Cooking times may vary based on the size of the drumsticks and individual oven characteristics, so monitoring the chicken with a thermometer is crucial for optimal results.

What to Serve With Baked BBQ Chicken Legs

Pairing sides with baked BBQ chicken legs can turn a simple meal into a feast. Opt for classics such as creamy coleslaw or potato salad to balance the smokiness of the chicken.

A tangy vinegar-based slaw can cut through the richness of the BBQ sauce. For a healthier twist, grilled vegetables or a fresh green salad offer a lighter option.

Consider cornbread or garlic bread for a satisfying carb component that complements the dish’s flavors. A hearty baked bean side adds a touch of sweetness and texture contrast.

For those willing to experiment, try a cold pasta salad with a vinaigrette dressing to refresh the palate between bites of savory chicken.

Nutrition Facts (per Serving)

When assessing the nutritional profile of barbecued chicken legs prepared in the oven, several key factors come into play:

  • Caloric Content: A typical serving, which is one chicken drumstick with skin, dressed in barbecue sauce, contains approximately 200-250 calories. Variables include the size of the drumstick and the amount of sauce used.
  • Macronutrients Breakdown: Expect a good balance of proteins and fats—a drumstick yields around 20 grams of protein and 10-15 grams of fat. Carbohydrate counts can differ depending on the sugar content of the BBQ sauce.
  • Sodium Counts: Pay attention to sodium levels, as BBQ sauces are often high in salt. Serving size can account for between 400-600 mg of sodium.
  • Additional Nutrients: Chicken is a good source of essential micronutrients like selenium, phosphorus, and certain B vitamins including niacin and B6.

It’s important for consumers to be mindful of portion sizes and sauce choices to align with dietary goals and restrictions.