Michael Kightly sent the Clarets back to the Championship summit with a goal worthy of winning any game.
The Clarets winger latched onto Kieran Trippier’s square pass with a quarter of a tight game remaining and found the top corner with an exquisite finish.
Burnley dominated large parts of the Turf Moor clash with the Tykes, but despite the return of Danny Ings neither keeper had been seriously troubled until Kightly struck in deadly fashion.
And with leaders Leicester and second placed Queens Park Rangers both dropping points, the goal allowed Sean Dyche’s men to leapfrog them and regain top spot ahead of their trip to the Foxes next week.
In addition to Danny Ings' welcome return in attack, Michael Duff was back after serving his one game suspension, although Dean Marney was still missing through injury.
And with the Clarets’ formidable strike-pairing re-united, the hosts could have grabbed the lead inside two minutes as Sam Vokes sprinted clear, but fired tamely wide.
Moments later, the Welshman was inches away with an audacious 30-yard volley after Tykes’ keeper Jack Butland raced from goal and scuffed his clearance.
As the Clarets continued to dominate the opening proceedings, Butland was called into action again as he pawed away David Jones’ stinging drive from the edge of the box.
Barnsley slowly settled and began to enjoy plenty of possession, but the Clarets continued to look the more threatening and Ings was agonisingly just wide with a neat flick header from Trippier’s right wing delivery.
However, the visitors carved out the best opening and might have opened the scoring moments later.
Tomasz Cywka was picked out with a peach of a pass inside the two Clarets’ centre backs, but Tom Heaton made a magnificent block to deny the Pole.
And the half ended with Scott Arfield driving just over after advancing into shooting range.
The second half followed the pattern of the first, with the Clarets trying desperately to carve out the all-important opening.
And it took a terrific lunge and block from Tom Kennedy ten minutes into the half to deny Ings as the Clarets strike wriggled clear in the box.
Kightly then played a slick one-two with Trippier and cut into the box from the by-line, only to pick out the last defender on the line with a low delivery across the face of goal.
And the former Wolves striker finally broke the deadlock in the 65th minute with a superbly taken goal.
Trippier more than played his part, beating his man and squaring to Kightly, who dropped a shoulder to dummy inside his marker and curl a wonderful left footed strike across Butland and into the top corner.
Suddenly, the tension lifted as the Clarets roared back to the top of the table.
But Barnsley signalled their intent to spoil the party when Cywka tested Heaton with a fierce long-range free kick.
Vokes had the ball in the net again with a scuffed shot with 13 minutes remaining, but a late linesman’s flag denied the Clarets a second goal.
The 10-goal striker soon drilled a 25-yard effort just wide of Butland’s left hand post as Burnley pressed to secure the victory.
With the game entering the final 10 minutes Scott Arfield fired straight at the Tykes’ stopper after a mazy turn down the left.
And Burnley rode out the final few minutes with no real danger as a 10th clean sheet of the campaign ensured victory.
BURNLEY: Heaton, Shackell, Trippier, Mee, Duff, Kightly (Stanislas 86), Jones, Stock (Edgar 76), Arfield, Vokes, Ings
Subs: Cisak, Lafferty, Long, Hewitt, Noble
BARNSLEY: Butland, Tudgay, Wiseman, Etuhu (Scotland 68), Ramage, McCourt (Pedersen 84), Mellis, Kennedy, Cywka (O'Brien, 76), Perkins, Cranie.
Subs: Dawson, Fox, Hassel, M'voto
Booked: Tudgay 55
REF: J. Adcock
Att; 11,462 (726)