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BBQ chicken drumsticks lined up on a white platter with small bowls of BBQ sauce and dry rub beside it.

Baked BBQ Chicken Drumsticks

An easy-peasy, flavorful baked chicken drumstick recipe. You can have BBQ Chicken Drumsticks without grilling or frying. Just bake, baste, broil and enjoy! We even teach you how to turn this into a make-ahead freezer meal.

Yield: 5-6 servings (2 drumsticks per serving) 1x
Prep: 10 minutesCook: 45 minutesTotal: 55 minutes


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • About 3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken drumsticks
  • 1 1/2 cups BBQ Sauce

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Make It Now

  1. Prep: Preheat your oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and place an oven-safe baking/cooling rack on top. Spray the rack with cooking spray.
  2. Make the Rub: In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.
  3. Season Chicken: Pat dry the drumsticks and then coat the drumsticks evenly with the mixture. Place the drumsticks on the baking rack.
  4. Bake: Bake drumsticks for 25 minutes.
  5. Baste #1: Remove the chicken from the oven, baste with the BBQ sauce on all sides, and bake for another 7-8 minutes.
  6. Baste #2: Repeat the basting step, and bake another 7-8 minutes.
  7. Baste #3 + Increase Temp: Remove pan and baste with sauce one last time. Turn up the oven temp to 425°F. Cook the chicken 5-7 more minutes or until the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165°F or are no longer pink inside at all. (Optional: Broil at the end to caramelize the drumsticks even more, if you want it.)
  8. Cool: Let them sit for at least 10 minutes before eating. Serve with extra BBQ sauce on the side.

Freeze For Later: Season the drumsticks and place the seasoned chicken in a freezer bag. Try not to stack the drumsticks in the bag; instead, place them flat, side by side. Use parchment paper to divide layers, if needed. Seal and freeze flat. If you want, you can pour BBQ sauce into a small freezer bag or container, seal, and freeze alongside the chicken. 

Prepare From Frozen: Thaw the chicken using one of these safe methods. Follow the cooking instructions in the recipe above. 


  • We use this same rub and BBQ sauce in our Instant Pot and Crockpot BBQ Drumsticks.
  • You can also use this rub and our BBQ sauce on chicken breasts or chicken thighs. Cook in the slow cooker on Low for 2 1/2 – 3 1/2 hours or in the Instant Pot for 7 minutes with a quick release. Shred and serve on buns for easy BBQ chicken sandwiches.
  • We get our chicken from ButcherBox.
© Author: Polly Conner
Cuisine: American Method: Baking