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This oven bbq chicken is an easy dump-and-bake dinner with just 5 minutes of prep! Use bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts for flavorful meat that’s seasoned with a bbq dry rub, then basted in a sweet and zesty bbq sauce. It’s crispy on the outside, juicy and tender on the inside, and delicious alongside cornbread, biscuits, collard greens, and coleslaw.

Hands holding a pan of oven bbq chicken breast

BBQ Chicken Breast in Oven

​​​​​​​I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t love oven bbq chicken breast! It’s just one of those universally appealing meals that works well for both kids and adults. The tender, juicy meat pairs nicely with almost any of your favorite sides, making it convenient for potlucks, picnics, or big family dinners. No matter when you serve it, you can’t beat the convenience of baked barbecue chicken!

Process shot showing how to make oven bbq chicken

Ingredients for the Best BBQ Chicken Recipe

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for bbq chicken in oven. As always, specific measurements and complete step-by-step cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts: bake as much chicken as you need to feed your family. Typically, these bone-in chicken breasts weigh about 1 – 1 ½ lbs. each, and you can easily scale the ingredients to serve a larger group. If you prefer to substitute with a different cut of chicken (such as bone in skin on chicken thighs or chicken drumsticks if you like dark meat), you’ll need to adjust the total cooking time.
  • BBQ dry rub: you’ll make your own barbecue rub, which includes brown sugar, chili powder, kosher salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder, cumin, and onion powder. It’s slightly sweet and zesty, but not too spicy. You can substitute with your favorite store-bought rub if you prefer. Also, you can add cayenne or black pepper to give it a little more kick.
  • BBQ sauce: baste the chicken with bbq sauce towards the end of the baking time. We love Stubbs sauce, but you can substitute with your favorite homemade or store-bought brand.
Bbq sauce in a small bowl with basting brush

How to Make BBQ Chicken in the Oven

Get dinner ready for the oven in about 5 minutes! This easy, family-friendly meal is perfect for busy weeknights.

  1. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels.
  2. Stir together the bbq dry rub.
  3. Rub the seasoning mixture all over the chicken. Arrange the chicken skin side up on a lined rimmed baking sheet.
  4. Bake the chicken on the middle rack in a 400°F oven for a total of about 40-50 minutes, basting with bbq sauce during the final 5-10 minutes. There’s no need to flip the chicken over. The meat is done when the juices run clear and an instant read thermometer reads 165°F when inserted into the thickest part of the breast.
Overhead shot of hands basting baked bbq chicken with bbq sauce

​​​​​​What to Serve with Oven Baked BBQ Chicken

Oven bbq chicken is so popular is because it’s so versatile! Pair the meat with your family’s favorite sides and you have a kid-friendly meal ready in no time. Here are a few easy side dishes that go well with the chicken:

Hands serving a platter of oven baked bbq chicken breast

Storage and Preparation Tips

  • Prep ahead! You can whisk together the dry rub in advance and keep it stored in your pantry in an airtight container for weeks. We like to keep a big batch on hand so that it’s easy to grab and use in a variety of recipes.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in the fridge for 3-4 days. You can also store the chicken in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • Use leftover chicken on sandwiches, wraps, pizzas, or salads for easy lunches or dinners throughout the week!
Close up overhead shot of baked bbq chicken on a blue and white tray

Recipe Variations​​​​​​​

  • Swap out the homemade bbq dry rub and instead season the meat with your favorite store-bought barbecue seasoning. You can also just keep it simple with salt and pepper or other spices.
  • Use bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs instead of the chicken breasts. The thighs will cook for a total of about 30 minutes, so don’t forget to brush with the bbq sauce during the final 5-10 minutes.
  • We love the ease of store-bought barbecue sauce (our favorite brand is Stubbs), but you can substitute with a homemade bbq sauce if you prefer.
Overhead shot of a pan of oven bbq chicken

Tips for the Best BBQ Chicken in Oven

  • This recipe works best with bone-in, skin-on chicken (boneless, skinless breasts just aren’t as good). The bones and skin keep the white meat incredibly moist and juicy in the oven, and add so much extra flavor. Even if you prefer to pull off the skin before eating the meat, I highly recommend cooking the chicken with the skin still on.
  • Patting the chicken dry before adding the dry rub helps the seasoning adhere to the meat and makes the skin more crispy. Don’t skip that step!
  • Line your baking sheet or roasting pan with foil before adding the chicken. This makes clean-up a breeze.
  • Since the size and thickness of chicken breasts can vary greatly, I suggest using a meat thermometer to know when your chicken is done. The meat needs to reach an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • Scale this recipe to feed a crowd! For our family of 5, I typically bake 3-4 large bone-in chicken breasts (about 4 ½ – 6 lbs. total). If you’d like to feed a larger group, just double (or triple) the dry rub and bbq sauce so that you have enough to coat more chicken pieces.
Overhead shot of a plate of the best oven bbq chicken recipe on a table

More Baked Chicken Breast Recipes to Try

Hands holding a pan of oven bbq chicken breast

Oven BBQ Chicken

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes
Resting Time 5 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings 4 – 5 people
Calories 238 kcal
Bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts are coated with a bbq dry rub, basted with bbq sauce, and roasted in the oven for an easy, flavorful dinner. The meat is crispy on the outside and incredibly juicy on the inside!

Ingredients
  

  • 4-5 lbs. bone-in, skin-on split chicken breast (about 3 large breasts)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ cup bbq sauce, plus extra for serving

Instructions

  • Let the chicken sit on the counter and come to room temperature for about 30 minutes while you preheat the oven and prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet or a roasting pan with foil or parchment paper for easy cleanup, if desired.
  • Pat the chicken very dry with paper towels.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, chili powder, kosher salt, cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder.
  • Rub the seasoning mixture all over the chicken.
  • Place the chicken (skin-side up) on the prepared pan.
  • Bake the bone-in chicken breasts uncovered for a total of about 40-50 minutes, basting with the bbq sauce during the final 5-10 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven when the skin is crispy, the juices run clear, and an instant-read thermometer registers 165°F when inserted into the thickest part of a breast.
  • Allow the chicken to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. Serve with additional bbq sauce, if desired.

Notes

  • This recipe works best with bone-in, skin-on chicken (boneless, skinless breasts just aren’t as good). The bones and skin keep the white meat incredibly moist and juicy in the oven, and add so much extra flavor. Even if you prefer to pull off the skin before eating the meat, I highly recommend cooking the chicken with the skin still on.
  • Patting the chicken dry before adding the dry rub helps the seasoning adhere to the meat and makes the skin more crispy. Don’t skip that step!
  • Line your baking sheet or roasting pan with foil before adding the chicken. This makes clean-up a breeze.
  • Since the size and thickness of chicken breasts can vary greatly, I suggest using a meat thermometer to know when your chicken is done. The meat needs to reach an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • Scale this recipe to feed a crowd! For our family of 5, I typically bake 3-4 large bone-in chicken breasts (about 4 ½ – 6 lbs. total). If you’d like to feed a larger group, just double (or triple) the dry rub and bbq sauce so that you have enough to coat more chicken pieces.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/4 of the recipeCalories: 238kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 20gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 58mgSodium: 2204mgPotassium: 342mgFiber: 1gSugar: 15gVitamin A: 874IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 36mgIron: 2mg
Keyword: baked barbecue chicken breast, bbq chicken in oven, oven bbq chicken, oven BBQ chicken breast
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, Southern
Author: Blair Lonergan

This recipe was originally published in April, 2020. It was updated in May, 2022.

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

  1. Thank you for this! This was my mother’s type of barbecued chicken but without a rub. I had lost the recipe years ago I’ll include the rub as a refinement! In some of your recipes I think I remember you applying the rub and then letting it set in the refrigerator for a while before cooking. What effect would that have in this recipe? And for how long? A couple hours? Overnight?

    1. Hi, Marion! You can definitely add this rub in advance and let the chicken sit in the fridge if you like. Anywhere from 1 hour to overnight is fine. The rub will just permeate the meat and add more flavor as long as it sits (like a marinade). If you keep it in the fridge, you might want to leave it uncovered so that the skin can dry out. This makes the skin really crispy when it cooks. Definitely not necessary, though! It will be delicious either way. 🙂