Smoked Chicken Breast – This boneless skinless chicken breast is covered in a homemade BBQ seasoning, smoked to tender and juicy perfection, and then rubbed with BBQ sauce. The most delicious chicken breasts you’ll ever have!
You’ll never want to eat chicken breasts any other way after trying them in a smoker. For a full dinner, serve your smoked chicken with glazed carrots and baked potato wedges.
I’ve been smoking a couple of different meats recently, and this smoked chicken breast is by far my pick! The chicken is flavorful, juicy, and simple to prepare. I like to make a double batch so I have plenty of leftovers for sandwiches the next day.
Smoked Chicken Breast:
Chicken, particularly chicken breast, is the most popular protein that everyone enjoys eating. When in doubt, make chicken because you know everyone in the family will eat it. Even the pickiest of children will eat chicken breast.
So why not add a hint of smoke to this lean and tender meat to make it even more delicious? Because chicken goes with everything, you have complete control over the strength of the smoke flavor. It’s up to you whether the smoke is mild and fruity or strong and woodsy.
I like to smoke several packs of chicken at once because it’s the ideal protein for meal prep. You can use it for quick dinners and lunches all week. It’s delicious in cold and hot sandwiches, salads, tacos, quesadillas, pasta, and rice. Any side dish will do, and the smokiness of the chicken will permeate the entire meal.
You can even smoke this chicken as an easy protein for grilling parties, along with sausage and chicken wings. (However, the chicken breast will be done first.)
Why Does This Recipe Work?
- We’ve included a link to a smoked chicken brine and smoked chicken dry rub to go with this recipe (but not required).
- Low Start Temp: To get a nice smokey flavor, we cook this chicken at 225 degrees F.
- Then we finish with a quick sear to ensure the outside is slightly charred and delicious!
- Chicken breasts – try to find chicken that is all the same size so that it cooks evenly.
- Dijon Mustard – This is a great ingredient because it acts as a “glue” to keep the seasoning on the chicken while also adding a tangy flavor note.
- Seasoning mix – Combine brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper to make your own simple seasoning mix.
How Do You Make Smoked Chicken Breast?
- Prepare the smoker first, and then prepare the chicken while the smoker is heating up.
- Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees. I strongly advise adding a water pan or water/drip pan to the smoker’s lower rack, under the meat. Track the temperature of the grill grate with a digital oven thermometer.
- While the smoker is heating up, season each chicken breast generously on both sides with Dijon mustard.
- To track internal temperature, insert an instant digital read thermometer probe through the side of the thickest chicken breast.
- When the smoker is ready, place the chicken breasts on it and close the lid immediately. Remove the chicken from the grill once it has reached 160°. Tent the chicken loosely with aluminum foil and set aside for 5-10 minutes.
Tips And Tricks:
- To ensure that your chicken breasts cook uniformly and at the same time, make sure they are roughly the same size.
- Homemade BBQ rub and sauce, in my judgment, taste the finest. If you do use store-bought, it is also appropriate!
- The BBQ rub and BBQ sauce recipes can yield more than enough for this recipe. The rub will last for 6 months in a cold, dry environment, and any remaining BBQ sauce can be frozen.
- My smoked chicken is best served thinly sliced with potatoes and a vegetable.
- Leftover smoked chicken reheats well. Heat whole smoked chicken breasts until cooked through in a sealed baking dish at 325 degrees F.
How Long Does A Boneless Chicken Breast Take To Smoke?
Smoking chicken breasts takes 60-90 minutes, depending on the size of the breasts. Breasts weighing 4-6 ounces will take an hour to prepare, while those weighing 8 ounces or more will take closer to 90 minutes. Using a thermometer to measure the thickest portion of the chicken breast is the easiest way to determine if it is fully cooked.
Why Should You Brine the Chicken?
Brining is the process of combining salt and other spices with water. The meat is immersed and left in the water to absorb the brine and all of its flavors.
The connective tissues in meat are broken down when smoked at low temperatures. The result is a piece of extremely juicy meat that melts in your mouth. You will enjoy it and will see that it is well worth the extra time and effort.
How Long Should You Smoke Chicken Breast?
It takes about an hour to smoke a chicken breast. As always, I recommend smoking according to temperature rather than time. Invest in a good, dependable meat thermometer to help you keep track of the temperature of your meat as it smokes. The most common cause of dry or undercooked chicken breasts, in my opinion, is the failure to use a good thermometer.
Keep an eye on your chicken while it’s smoking. Remove the chicken breast when the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F (remember to insert your meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat), then tent with foil to allow the meat to reach 165 degrees F. The entire process will probably take between 50 and 90 minutes, depending on the chicken, the type of smoker, and the consistency of the heat.
What Temperature Should I Smoke Chicken Breast?
We recommend smoking the chicken at 225°F.
How long does it take to smoke chicken breasts at 225 degrees Fahrenheit?
Smoking boneless, skinless chicken breast (medium/large) takes about 1 hour. Of course, there are numerous variables to consider when using a smoker (humidity, wind, hot spots, and so on), so the time will vary.
Do You Flip Chicken Breast When Smoking?
No, because the smoke and heat surround the chicken (unlike grilled chicken breast, which has the heat element directly beneath it), you do not need to flip them when smoking.
How to Smoke Chicken Breast Without It Drying Out?
- Keep an eye on the internal temperature and don’t let it rise above 165 degrees F.
- We smoke these for about an hour at a low temperature (225 degrees F) and then finish with a hot sear on both sides.
- Allow to rest: do not skip this step! It’s critical for those juices to circulate!
How Can You Tell If Smoked Chicken Is Fully Cooked?
When the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees F at its thickest point, it is fully cooked. Keep track with a meat thermometer or probe!
The Secret to Flavorful Smoked Chicken Breasts:
The trick to smoking meat is to cook it at a low temperature for an extended period of time before allowing it to sit on the table. Since the muscle fibers get overworked during preparation, you must allow them to rest on the counter in order for the juices to redistribute; otherwise, as you cut into the beef, or in this situation, begin to tear it out, both of the juices will drain out, which is a huge mistake.
Remove the chicken from the grill until it has hit room temperature and place it on a cutting board with foil over it. Allow 3-5 minutes for the chicken to rest before slicing.
Serving Suggestions For Smoked Chicken Breasts:
Just about everything goes well with chicken, whether you’re looking for a quick and nutritious meal or something a little more indulgent. Here are a few ideas for side dishes that go along with smoked chicken.
As I previously stated, chicken breast is extremely versatile. It can be used as an easy dinner protein or in quick lunch recipes such as sandwiches and salads.
I like to dice some smoked chicken and mix it into smoked mac and cheese or top a rice bowl with beans, corn, and vegetables.
You can even freeze cooked chicken breasts and thaw them the day before.
Reheating And Storing:
Refrigerate leftover smoked chicken breasts in a food storage container with an airtight lid. It should keep for up to 4 days if properly stored.
You can easily freeze the chicken to extend its shelf life and make meal preparation easier in the future. Allow the chicken to cool to room temperature before freezing. Put 1 or 2 smoked chicken breasts in a freezer zip-top bag and squeeze out as much air as possible. Place each bag in the freezer, sealed and labeled. Smoked chicken can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Slowly thaw frozen chicken in the refrigerator. Simply take it out of the freezer and place it in the refrigerator the day before you need it.
What to Serve With?
- Asparagus Smoked
- Potatoes Smoked
- Baked Smoked Beans
MORE DELICIOIUS RECIPES HERE:
- Optional, but strongly recommended, half-batch chicken brine
- 2 pound chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
- 1/3 cup homemade or store-bought BBQ spice rub
- 1 cup homemade or store-bought BBQ sauce
Follow the brine formula exactly, halving all of the ingredients. Refrigerate the chicken breasts for 2 hours after placing them in the brine tub.
Let the chicken out of the brine. Let the air dry. Preheat the grill to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
Rub the seasoning rub all over the chicken breasts.
Cook for 60-90 minutes in the smoker, or before a thermometer inserted into the thickest portion of the breast reads 165 degrees F.
Brush the BBQ sauce on the chicken breasts, then burn for another 10 minutes.
Allow 5 minutes for the chicken to rest. Cut into slices and serve with any leftover BBQ sauce.
The amount of time it takes to cook chicken breasts depends on their size.
You can cook one or as many chicken breasts as your pellet grill can hold.
If you can't find turbinado sugar, replace it with equivalent quantities of brown sugar.
Smoked chicken keeps for 7 days in the refrigerator and 1 month in the fridge.