Easy and delicious Crunchy baked bbq chicken drumsticks with a crisp and slightly sticky bark are the best baked bbq chicken recipe that the whole family loves!
An easy baked chicken drumstick recipe that is bursting with BBQ Chicken Drumstick lick-your-fingers-clean flavor straight from the oven.
I love to grill anytime of year – summer, spring, fall – and even winter. There is something about delicious smoky, crunchy, and savory foods right off a hot grill that is so craveable – but grilling can easily become a giant pain in the butt.
Thankfully, when I’m craving crunchy, smoky, and delicious chicken drumsticks, I can make them anytime of year, fuss-free!
This amazing baked chicken legs recipe isn’t done on the grill- we’re getting the crunchy, sticky, bark-covered chicken drumsticks from heaven – made right in your oven!
These baked chicken drumsticks are low carb (grab a gluten free, low carb bottle of sauce), keto diet approved, and insanely easy – anyone can make them!
This recipe is 100% from my husband – he is a fantastic cook. He can work his way around a chicken (or really, any meat) better than anyone on earth.
He made this chicken the other night on a whim- he found some chicken drumsticks we needed to use up in our fridge, and wanted to come up with something smoky and crunchy- but it was raining and he didn’t want to fire up the grill.
This easy baked chicken drumstick method is then coated in layers of bbq sauce to develop a crunchy bark straight from the oven – as well as rich, smoky flavors.
If you’re on a keto or low carb diet – this recipe can be made with any keto bbq sauce you love.
Just take me to the crunchy baked BBQ drumsticks recipe already!
If you’d rather skip my (very helpful, i think) tips and tricks, essential cooking info, and similar recipe ideas – and get straight to this deliciously easy crunchy baked bbq drumsticks recipe, simply scroll to the bottom of the page where you can find the printable recipe card.
How To Reheat Baked Chicken Drumsticks
I am often asked how to freeze and reheat my recipes – and reheating crunchy baked chicken is one of my most popular questions!
Reheating Crispy Baked Chicken Legs in the Oven
To bake chicken legs again after refrigerating, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Coat chicken leg with BBQ sauce – just enough to coat entire leg, about 1 tbsp.
Place chicken leg on cooling rack over baking sheet and bake about 10 minutes, until piping hot.
Broil for extra 1-2 minutes to crisp.
Reheating Crispy Baked Chicken Drumsticks on the Grill
My absolute favorite way to reheat baked chicken drumsticks is to pop them on the grill!
Get coals lit and arranged, or light gas grill and set to high, and bring to 350 degrees.
Baste chicken drumsticks with BBQ sauce.
Place chicken drumsticks in foil pouch.
Add to grill and cook for 3-5 minutes per side, until chicken is piping hot.
Finish directly on grill for crunchier chicken drumsticks.
Reheating Crispy Baked Chicken Drumsticks in a Pan
To reheat chicken drumsticks in a pan, use a heavy nonstick pan.
Melt 1-2 tbsp butter on high heat until frothy.
Add chicken to hot nonstick pan over medium high heat.
Pan fry chicken legs, moving frequently, until crispy.
How To Get Crispy Chicken Drumsticks in the Oven
This method relies on developing a crunchy baked bark on the chicken legs, which isn’t labor intensive, but you will need to watch your chicken drumsticks carefully and “mop” them with BBQ sauce, much like you would smoked chicken drumsticks.
First off, I prefer to add chicken to oven on a cooling rack – not directly on a baking sheet. This helps to lift your chicken off the baking sheet, so air can move evenly around the chicken and crisp it instead of getting soggy.
Let chicken bake about 40 minutes before adding bbq sauce- until skin is crispy, and fat around the drumstick has started to render and melt away.
Try to flip chicken drumsticks every 10 minutes to ensure it crisps evenly on all sides. I prefer using tongs coated with heat resistant silicone coated tongs so they don’t stick to the chicken skin and BBQ sauce.
With a silicone brush, lightly brush chicken with bbq sauce, flipping its side each time you add another coat of sauce, about every 10 minutes until sauce is used up (which will take about 30 minutes.)
When chicken is fully cooked, turn on broiler, and broil for two minutes on each side to give a little extra crunch to chicken skin.
Remove chicken when skin looks bubbly and shiny – watch closely to make sure it doesn’t burn!
Tips To Perfect Baked Chicken Drumsticks in the Oven
This recipe is simple, but following a couple tried and true tips will help your baked chicken legs turn out perfect every time:
Add more sauce over time.
Layering bbq sauce slowly over chicken drumsticks as the chicken drumsticks bake helps the crust become crunchy and delicious.
Don’t rush the magic.
It’s hard to let chicken drumsticks cook for a while, especially when they smell as good as these BBQ Chicken Drumsticks do, but for the fat to render and the skin to become crunchy and irresistible, they need time!
Let the chicken develop flavors and fight the urge to rush it too quickly, and let the fat and tendons break down on their own, resulting in perfect baked chicken legs!
Layer the flavor.
Adding layers and layers of flavor helps bring out the rich, smoky flavor you’d normally only get from a hot grill!
Let the sauce crisp a bit and develop a lovely crunchy bark by layering sauce on as it cooks – don’t just coat it with all the sauce at once.
What BBQ Sauce to Use for Baked Chicken Drumsticks
One of the most frequent questions I get about these crunchy baked chicken drumsticks is what type of BBQ sauce to use.
This recipe was actually developed to work with ANY BBQ sauce you like – with one small caveat.
This recipe works best with slightly thicker sauces – anything too watery might make a big mess as it will roll off the chicken instead of coating it.
As long as you use a slightly thickened sauce, any BBQ sauce you love should work!
-Make sure you use a sauce you really love- since its flavor will dominate in this dish – and let the sauce slowly glaze and become crunchy.
-This makes the sauce really more like a bark or crust, and not just like it was spread on as an afterthought.
It also helps seal in the chicken’s natural juices, so the drumstick is insanely tender and never dry – just like my husband’s famous oven smoked ribs recipe!
Keto Baked BBQ Chicken Drumsticks
This recipe can be made to be 100% keto compliant, since it just involves a spice rub and sauce.
If macros are too high in the spice rub, omit garlic and onion powder (though only do this if you are very strict with intake – as they provide so much flavor).
Use any keto approved BBQ sauce you love – or try a spicy sauce like Nando’s Peri Peri Sauce.
What to Serve With The Best Crunchy Baked BBQ Chicken Drumsticks Recipe
This recipe is fabulous with classic BBQ sides like Sour Cream Cornbread and Baked Beans – as well as my favorite Easy Rice Pilaf – but I’m sharing my favorite other dishes to serve with baked chicken legs as well:
Easy Jalapeno Cheddar Bread
Easy Jalapeno Cheddar Bread is a simple recipe for artisan style bread at home with no kneading or fancy equipment.
Bacon Wrapped Cheddar and Garlic Jalapeno Poppers
Spicy Grilled Watermelon
Spicy grilled watermelon is a perfect treat for a summer party - sweet, spicy, a touch smoky - this grilled fruit is a unique and refreshing treat!
Restaurant Style Instant Pot Pinto Beans
Restaurant Style Instant Pot Pinto Beans are the most delicious, easy way to make delicious pinto beans in under an hour - no soaking overnight needed!
Double Beef Chili
Double Beef Chili - with both stew meat and ground beef - has a ton of hearty, delicious flavor. A perfect tailgate chili recipe everyone loves!
Crunchy Baked BBQ Chicken Drumsticks Recipe
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Easy and delicious Crunchy baked bbq chicken drumsticks with a crisp and slightly sticky bark are the best baked bbq chicken recipe that the whole family loves! An easy baked chicken drumstick dinner that is bursting with BBQ Chicken Drumstick lick-your-fingers-clean flavor straight from the oven.
- 4 lb chicken drumsticks (about 12)
- 2 tbsp garlic powder
- 2 tbsp onion powder
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 2 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 cups bbq sauce
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Thoroughly pat chicken dry with a paper towel.
- In a small bowl, mix together spices (all ingredients but chicken and bbq sauce)
- Coat chicken in dry rub, let sit 30 minutes to overnight.
- Add chicken to oven on a cooling rack sitting atop a baking sheet.
- Let chicken bake about 40 minutes before adding bbq sauce- until skin is crispy and fat has started to render. Flip chicken drumsticks every 10 minutes to ensure it crisps evenly on all sides.
- With a silicone brush, lightly brush chicken with bbq sauce, flipping its side each time you add another coat of sauce, about every 10 minutes until sauce is used up (about 30 minutes.)
- When chicken is ready, turn on broiler and broil for two minutes on each side to give a little extra crunch to chicken skin.
- Serve immediately.
Serving Size1 drumstick
Amount Per ServingCalories 377 Total Fat 14g Saturated Fat 4g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 9g Cholesterol 192mg Sodium 1060mg Carbohydrates 23g Fiber 2g Sugar 16g Protein 38g