posted July 11, 2022
Smoked Chicken Breast
This Smoked Chicken Breast is a wonderfully juicy, smoky chicken breast that is fast and perfect for multiple occasions. It’s a great meal for busy weekdays, and it’ll satisfy a crowd at a backyard BBQ. All you need is chicken and some of my award-winning Chicken Seasoning, and you’re well on your way to enjoying the perfect chicken breast.
Smoked Boneless Chicken Breast
Smoked boneless chicken breast is one of my favorite ways to enjoy chicken. While I love my overnight briskets and putting in the time, energy, and attention to my slow-smoked ribs, there’s something close to my heart with smoking the perfect, simple chicken breast.
Begin by buying some fresh boneless chicken breasts. These guys are relatively inexpensive at the store, and you can smoke them right out of the package. For those of you who prefer the taste and texture of chicken breast when it has been brined, scroll below for my instructions on brining your chicken before smoking. You’ll want to plan ahead 4 hours to brine your chicken before sticking it on your smoker.
This recipe is an easy, basic process; perfect for those of you who are new to smoking, or for seasoned veterans who need a quick dinner option. Feel free to try out different rubs and seasonings, and try it out brined and not brined. It’s a recipe that is foolproof and one to come back to repeatedly.
Smoked Chicken Breast Brine
Preparing a brine for your smoked chicken breast is entirely optional. Personally, I don’t usually brine my chicken breast because I prefer the taste and texture of chicken placed directly on the smoker with minimal preparation. During brining, the salt and sugar change the cell structure of the meat itself, so the cell walls retain more liquid during the cooking process.
Many grillers brine their chicken to keep it juicy during the smoking process, but I prefer the texture of a chicken breast that isn’t brined. If you use a good meat thermometer and cook to the correct temperature then your chicken will turn out juicy and full of flavor without needing to brine it first.
I recommend trying chicken breast that has been brined and not brined to determine what you like best. If you want to do a brine for the chicken breasts, here’s the process you’ll take before you smoke the chicken. Remember to plan ahead to allow ample time for the chicken to sit in the brine before you plan on smoking.
- Prepare the brine. In a medium pot, mix 3 Tablespoons Kosher salt, 4 cups water, and 1 Tablespoon sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat and allow salt and sugar to dissolve. Remove the brine from the heat and allow it to cool completely.
- Brine the chicken. Place the chicken breasts in the brine and allow them to brine for 4 hours. Remove promptly, as you do not want to chicken to brine too long!
Once your chicken has been brined, pat dry and prepare as outlined in the recipe card. Then make sure to leave us a comment! Do you prefer your chicken breast brined before smoking, or do you season and place it straight on the grill?
How to Smoke Chicken Breast
Smoking chicken breast is an easy and straightforward process. All you need is a chicken, seasoning, and time. Follow the steps below to get juicy, melt-in-your-mouth chicken every time:
- Preheat the smoker. Preheat your smoker (I use my Camp Chef SmokePro) to 225 degrees F. Oak or fruit wood like cherry or apple adds a nice, bold flavor to the chicken.
- Prepare the chicken. If you prefer to brine your chicken, remove the chicken from the brine, pat dry, and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with some homemade chicken seasoning OR save yourself a step and stock up on a bottle from my store, Patio Provisions.
- Get smoking! Place the chicken directly on the grill grates. Smoke the chicken for approximately 1 hour or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F.
- Tent, rest, slice, and serve. Remove the chicken from the smoker, tent with foil, and allow the temperature to increase to 165 degrees F. Slice and serve.
This chicken tastes delicious as-is, and comes out wonderfully juicy and packed with flavor from the chicken seasoning. It also tastes great slathered with some homemade BBQ sauce like my Kansas City BBQ Sauce or my Teriyaki BBQ Sauce.
How Long to Smoke Chicken Breast
Smoking chicken breast takes approximately 1 hour of cook time. As always, I recommend smoking the chicken to temperature and not to time. Invest in a good, instant-read meat thermometer to help you keep track of the temperature of your meat throughout the smoking process. I would definitely say that not using a good thermometer is the #1 reason for dry or undercooked chicken breasts.
Keep an eye on your chicken while it is on the smoker. Remove the chicken breast when the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F (remember to stick your meat thermometer in the thickest portion of the meat), then allow the meat to come to 165 while tented with foil. The whole process will likely take anywhere from 50 to 90 minutes, depending on the chicken, what type of smoker you’re using, and the consistency of the heat.
More Smoked Chicken Recipes
I absolutely love smoked chicken. It gives the chicken amazing flavor, and the chicken comes out juicy every single time. Here are a few more of my favorite smoked chicken recipes to try out today!
- Smoked Chicken with Kansas City Style BBQ Sauce
- Whole Smoked Chicken with Zesty Tabasco Spiked Brine
- Whiskey Peach Smoked Pulled Chicken
Smoked Chicken Breast Recipe
Follow the recipe, and I’ll teach you the simple steps to making your own smoked chicken breast at home. Hey Grill Hey is dedicated to helping you make better BBQ, feed the people you love, and become a backyard BBQ hero. You can find more of my smoking and grilling recipes and videos on YouTube, Instagram, or our Facebook Page.
Smoked Chicken Breast
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1-2 Tablespoons Hey Grill Hey Chicken Rub (or Lemon Herb Chicken Seasoning )
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- Preheat. Preheat the smoker to 225 degrees F using your favorite hardwood. I like to use oak and mix it with a fruitwood like cherry or apple for a bold flavor.
- Season. Drizzle the olive oil on the chicken breasts and rub to distribute. Sprinkle the Chicken Rub evenly on all sides over each chicken breast. Scroll to the notes section for a link to my Lemon Herb Chicken Seasoning if you don't have any Chicken Rub on hand.
- Smoke. Place the chicken breasts directly on the grill rates and smoke for approximately 1 hour. Cook until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the meat reaches 160 degrees F.
- Rest. Remove the chicken from the smoker. Tent with foil, and let the carryover cooking increase the internal temperature to 165 degrees F.
- Dig in. Once the chicken has reached 165 degrees F, slice, serve, and enjoy!
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