How to Smoke the Perfect Chicken Breast

If you’re looking for a juicy and flavorful chicken breast that’s incredibly easy to make, then you’ve stumbled upon the right recipe. This Smoked Chicken Breast is perfect for any occasion, from a busy weeknight dinner to a backyard BBQ with friends. All you need is some chicken and our award-winning Chicken Seasoning, and you’ll be on your way to enjoying the perfect chicken breast.

Sliced smoked chicken breast on a fork with text overlay - Smoked Chicken Breast.

The Beauty of Smoked Boneless Chicken Breast

Smoked boneless chicken breast is a personal favorite of mine. While I love putting in the time and effort for overnight briskets and slow-smoked ribs, there’s something special about smoking a simple, yet perfect chicken breast.

To get started, grab some fresh boneless chicken breasts from your local store. They’re affordable and ready to be smoked right out of the package. If you prefer the taste and texture of brined chicken breast, I’ll provide instructions on brining below. Just remember to plan ahead and allow 4 hours for brining before smoking.

This recipe is foolproof and adaptable. Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned veteran, feel free to experiment with different rubs and seasonings. It’s a versatile dish that will keep you coming back for more.

Chicken breasts being seasoned with Hey Grill Hey Chicken Rub.

To Brine or Not to Brine?

Brining your smoked chicken breast is optional. Personally, I prefer to skip the brining process because I enjoy the natural taste and texture of chicken placed directly on the smoker. However, brining helps retain moisture during cooking and is favored by many grillers.

If you’re curious, I recommend trying both brined and non-brined chicken breasts to see which you prefer. Here’s a simple brine recipe in case you want to give it a try:

  1. Prepare the brine: In a medium pot, mix 3 tablespoons of Kosher salt, 4 cups of water, and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil, ensuring the salt and sugar dissolve completely. Remove the brine from heat and let it cool completely.
  2. Brine the chicken: Place the chicken breasts in the brine and let them soak for 4 hours. Don’t exceed the brining time to avoid overly salty chicken.

Once your chicken has been brined, pat it dry and follow the recipe card instructions. And don’t forget to share your experience with us! Do you prefer your chicken breast brined or straight on the grill?

Seasoned chicken breasts on the grill grates of a smoker.

The Simple Process of Smoking Chicken Breast

Smoking chicken breast is a straightforward process that requires minimal ingredients and your smoker. Just follow these steps to achieve juicy, melt-in-your-mouth chicken every time:

  1. Preheat the smoker: Set your smoker (I use my Camp Chef SmokePro) to 225 degrees F. For a bold flavor, consider using oak or fruit wood like cherry or apple.
  2. Prepare the chicken: If you choose to brine, remove the chicken from the brine, pat it dry, and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle some homemade chicken seasoning or grab a bottle from our store, Patio Provisions.
  3. Get smoking! Place the chicken directly on the grill grates of your preheated smoker. Smoke the chicken for approximately 1 hour or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F.
  4. Tent, rest, slice, and serve: Remove the chicken from the smoker, tent it with foil, and let the temperature rise to 165 degrees F. Now, go ahead and slice it up to serve.

This chicken is delicious on its own, but you can also slather it with some homemade BBQ sauce like our Kansas City BBQ Sauce or Teriyaki BBQ Sauce for an extra kick.

Chicken breasts reading a temperature of 160 degrees F.

How Long Does It Take to Smoke Chicken Breast?

Smoking chicken breast usually takes around 1 hour of cook time. However, I always recommend relying on the internal temperature rather than the cooking time. Invest in a good instant-read meat thermometer to ensure perfectly cooked chicken.

Keep an eye on your chicken while it’s on the smoker. Once the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F (insert the thermometer in the thickest part), remove the chicken breast. Allow it to rest, tented with foil, until it reaches 165 degrees F. The entire process generally takes 50 to 90 minutes, depending on factors like the thickness of the chicken, your smoker, and heat consistency.

Three smoked chicken breasts on a white serving dish.

Explore More Smoked Chicken Recipes

Smoked chicken is a true delicacy, offering incredible flavor and juiciness every time. If you can’t get enough of it, here are a few more of our favorite smoked chicken recipes to try:

  • Smoked Chicken with Kansas City Style BBQ Sauce
  • Whole Smoked Chicken with Zesty Tabasco Spiked Brine
  • Whiskey Peach Smoked Pulled Chicken

Ready to Smoke Your Chicken Breast?

Follow this recipe, and you’ll master the art of smoking chicken breast in no time. At BDK Restaurant, we’re here to help you make better BBQ, impress your loved ones with delicious food, and become a backyard BBQ hero. For more smoking and grilling recipes and videos, check out our BDK Restaurant website, YouTube channel, Instagram, or our Facebook Page. Happy smoking!

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