Easy Oven Baked Honey BBQ Chicken Drumsticks

Learn how to make grilled chicken indoors with these Easy Oven Baked Honey BBQ Chicken Drumsticks. Smothered with sweet and smoky thick barbecue sauce. Tender oven baked chicken.

Within this post you’ll learn how to make an easy Oven Baked Honey BBQ Chicken Drumsticks; grilled chicken indoors. Plus you’ll learn why it’s better (and safer) not to rinse your chicken before cooking.

Oven Baked Honey BBQ Chicken Drumsticks - www.platingpixels.com

You walk out your back door to a lush green space full of fresh grass and tall trees. Before that a patio with glass tables and umbrellas to keep you cool on a beautiful Summer day. To your left is a year-round heated saltwater pool and hot tub. Not only is this my dream back yard, but we had the good fortune to move into an apartment with this very setup.

I literally feel like I’m on vacation each time I step out my door. Only minor (but major for a food blogger) setback is no barbecue to use and rules against storing one. Smack dab in the middle of Summer and no grilling to be had. Honey BBQ Chicken Drumsticks had almost become a distant dream.

Oven Baked Honey BBQ Chicken Drumsticks - www.platingpixels.com

You may have noticed my recent grilling recipes, including this Parsley Tangerine Marinated Grilled Chicken, or my in-depth recipe guide on How to Make the Perfect Bacon Cheddar Stuffed Burger. Those were a backlog of recipes and photographs. Luckily I have foodie friends who came prepared with an ingenious small portable gas grill, and we can enjoy our beautiful Summer setting.

If you’re in a similar situation, without a grill, then these Easy Oven Baked Honey BBQ Chicken Drumsticks will brighten up your day. Not only can you enjoy easy barbecue chicken legs, but from the comfort of you AC controlled home, and year-round.

Oven Baked Honey BBQ Chicken Drumsticks - www.platingpixels.com

These may be the easiest oven baked BBQ drumsticks you’ve ever had. Only a few ingredients and short prep time is needed. To keep things simple, use your favorite barbecue sauce. I recommend one (non-sponsored) in the recipe. Add a little honey for sweetness to the sauce.

Salt and pepper to the chicken legs brings out flavor, and that’s it; easy oven baked BBQ chicken drumsticks. These drumsticks are so moist and juicy, you’ll be licking your fingers until the last bite.

Oven Baked Honey BBQ Chicken Drumsticks - www.platingpixels.com

Cooking Tips: Why you shouldn’t rinse chicken before cooking

You may have been told to rinse your chicken before cooking, or that’s what your family always did growing up. To be honest, I’ve done that till recently. There are sound reasons not to; it’s unnecessary and spreads bacteria. Chicken has already been cleaned and washed before packing. Rinsing spreads germs and bacteria in your kitchen sink.

The safe temp for chicken is 165º F. As soon as it reaches that, your chicken is safe of any bacteria and is perfectly cooked. No washing needed.

Oven Baked Honey BBQ Chicken Drumsticks - www.platingpixels.com

Oven Baked Honey BBQ Chicken Drumsticks

Products used in this recipe:

Stainless Steel Measuring Cups and Spoons Set
3-Piece Mixing Bowl Set, Blue/Green/Yellow
Silicone Basting & Pastry Brush
16×22-Inch Aluminum Sheet Pan

Recipe at-a-glance:

Difficulty: Medium
Flavor profiles: Meaty, roasted, and slightly sweet. Umami from tomato-based barbecue sauce.
Texture: Tender, moist and a thick, finger-licking sauce coating.
Dietary Options/Substitutions: Be sure your barbecue sauce is gluten-free for dietary restrictions.

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Oven Baked Honey BBQ Chicken Drumsticks - www.platingpixels.com
4.75 from 4 votes

Easy Oven Baked Honey BBQ Chicken Drumsticks

Easy Oven Baked Honey BBQ Chicken Drumsticks. Smothered with sweet and smoky thick barbecue sauce.
Course Barbecue
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 12 pieces
Author Plating Pixels


  • 3 –4 pound chicken drumsticks legs, skin on (12–15 pieces)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups of your favorite barbecue sauce I used KC Masterpiece Private Stock Original BBQ
  • 2 tablespoons honey


  1. If chicken drumsticks are frozen, defrost in fridge the night before. Preheat oven to 375º F. Pat chicken dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Do not rinse before; see cooking tips section above for details. Place on a large foil or parchment lined baking pan. Lightly sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.
  2. Mix together barbecue sauce and honey in a small bowl. Use brush to generously coat both side of drumsticks with sauce; you'll use about 2/3 of the sauce.
  3. Bake for 25 minutes. Rotate drumsticks and generously coat tops with rest of sauce. Bake 20–25 minutes more, or until chicken reaches safe internal temp of 165º F. Remove and let cool slightly before serving.

 If you make this recipe, take a photo and post it on Instagram and tag @platingpixels or hashtag #platingpixels

Share or Pin this recipe if you like it. Thanks! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Do you enjoy grilling outdoors? What’s your favorite food to grill?

52 Responses

  1. Tiffany says:

    I wish I was sitting in the comfort of my AC controlled home. lol! Most of us don’t have AC in Washington state, but it’s been so hot the past few summers, it’s really time to consider having AC installed.

    Oh boy, that chicken looks really tasty. I’ve always said all baked chicken needs is a little salt and pepper, so you’re right on the money with that! I will have to give this a try this weekend. I’ve never placed the bbq on before baking. I’m guessing it makes the chicken even more delicious?!

    • Matthew says:

      Thanks Tiffany! I didn’t know it got so hot in Washington. The salt and pepper is essential. I think I used it in every savory recipe of mine. Baking with sauce helps the flavor soak in, plus makes them extra moist. It also thickens up the sauce into a sticky glaze.

  2. Angela says:

    So many amazing flavors!!!! This is a chicken recipe that I cannot wait to try!!!

  3. My tummy is rumbling for lunch now! These look delish. And your pictures are beautiful!

  4. Sammi W says:

    Yum! I have some home made BBQ Sauce that needs using up, this recipe will be perfect 🙂

  5. Whitney says:

    These wings look amazing! Its actually almost TOO hot to be grilling anyways! The oven can bake them just as good.

  6. I just ate dinner, but this is still making me hungry!

  7. ananda says:

    looks really yummy! the colors are so gorgeous too, must be the magic from honey! =)

  8. Tooootally guilty of washing my chicken for the longest time! A great explanation of why that’s a big no-no. I’ve learned!!

    • Matthew says:

      I was totally guilty of that too Hillary! I read about it in a couple places and stopped since. Plus you don’t have to clean sink after!

  9. You can’t beat a perfectly-cooked barbecue sauce drumstick for flavor! It’s one of my family’s favorite dishes!

  10. Renee says:

    Those look as good if not better than those cooked on an outdoor grill. Happy Summer!!

  11. Molly Kumar says:

    Looks so good and the tip is useful…..I’m guilty of washing chicken before cooking 😀

  12. Sarah says:

    These drumsticks look out of this world good! I like that they are done in the oven – the weather in England is hardly decent long enough to BBQ, but I so want to enjoy summer type foods.

    • Matthew says:

      Thanks so much Sarah! Since I don’t have a grill I appreciate barbecue alternatives too. I just posted a slow cooker Carolina style pulled pork for same reason. Thanks and have an awesome summer!

  13. Manal Obieda says:

    Wow…the pics are just mouth watering…I will be trying this out tomorrow with wings…what a breezy recipe…thanks for sharing..

  14. Ashleigh says:

    Oh my goodness, yum! My kids would love these! Thank you for posting this recipe!!

  15. Fareeha says:

    Yum ! These chicken drumsticks look mouth watering . This recipe looks easy to make.. Thanks for posting this recipe .

  16. We love bbq sauce and the addition of the honey is a great flavor combo 🙂

  17. Your chicken looks amazing and the recipe sounds delish. I don’t rinse my chicken any longer either. For the same reasons you sight. I’m glad you’re helping people become more kitchen savvy! 🙂

  18. I could gobble up like 12 of these drumsticks! Pinned!

  19. Hi Matthew and Olia, I was surprised to read about washing chicken, makes sense though! I love everything about this recipe and look forward to making it, we love drunnies in our house! Have a great weekend.

    With a smile, Carlyn Bullock

  20. Alice says:

    These look perfect! 🙂 I need to grill more than I have this summer!

  21. Swah says:

    These look oh so delicious and easy to make, I’ll have to give them a go!

  22. I would love to get some sticky fingers right now! These BBQ chicken drumsticks look amazing. So delicious!

  23. I can’t beieve how simple this recipe and how droolworthy all the photos are! We currently don’t have a grill/bbq so this recipe is perfect for a sunday dinner! Love it!

  24. Valerie says:

    What a super easy recipe! Just what a mom needs on a busy weekday.
    I have a similar sweet and spicy chicken.
    Thanks for a great post!

  25. Abby says:

    Do you trim the skin off the drumsticks?

    • Matthew says:

      Hi Abby. It’s optional, if you leave skin on you get a nice crisp texture when baked. If you want healthier then I’d remove. Thanks!

  26. Clara says:

    Thanks for sharing this recipe. I made it, and it was delicious. And so easy! My children and grandchildren loved these drumsticks!

  27. Amy says:

    Chicken is supposed to cooked to an internal temperature of 180°F, not 165°F. 165°F is the temperature which chicken can be held at after it has been cooked thoroughly (180°F) before entering what’s referred to in food safety as “the danger zone” where any and all bacteria on or in the food starts to rapidly multiply and causes food poisoning.

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