Smoked chicken breasts are amazingly easy and so dang delicious, you’ll wonder why you haven’t made them before. What’s even better is that these chicken breasts take only 1 1/2 to 2 hours to cook. This dish makes a great make-ahead meal, and you can use them in many other recipes too!Jump to Recipe
Smoked Chicken Breasts
If you’re like me and get tired of the same grilled, baked, or pan-fried chicken breasts, you’re not alone. That’s why I decided to take a few to the smoker. These smoked chicken breasts turned out so much better than I expected. The cooking process left these breasts with a nice crust and that oh so good smoke kissed flavor. These smoked chicken breasts work beautifully in salads, wraps, tacos, chicken, and dumplings, and yes, I even chopped them up made enchiladas. Forget those store-bought chickens. Make these chicken breasts instead.
Best Odds for delicious smoked chicken breasts
This recipe is so easy that you can set it and forget if you are using a pellet grill. You won’t need a spritz of any kind, no brine, no wrapping, no fuss.
Look for uniformity in your chicken breasts. They should be about the same size. If you have one that is smaller than the rest, keep in mind that it will cook quicker than the other smoked chicken breasts.
Plan on about 2 hours of total cook time with a cooking temp of 225 degrees F. It’s good to have enough fuel to get you through the entire cook time. As always, have a reliable instant-read thermometer handy!
Wood Suggestion: Use a mild fruit wood like apple, cherry, or peach. You can also use oak, alder, or maple. I don’t recommend a robust flavored wood like hickory.
Preparing your chicken
Gather your ingredients. Here I have boneless, skinless chicken breasts, my Kansas City Rub, and some vegetable oil. You can also brush on yellow mustard or Dijon mustard instead of using oil.
Cut off any excess fat on the chicken breasts. Blot dry with paper towels and brush both sides with a little oil (or mustard)—season chicken with the BBQ rub. Coat it well but don’t overpack the rub.
Smoking and serving:
Place your chicken breasts directly onto the grill grates. You can place a drip pan underneath if preferred. Close the lid of your smoker or grill, and let it go for 1 1/2-2 hours, or until the internal temperature at the thickest part of the smoked chicken breasts reaches 165 degrees F.
Once cooked, remove the chicken breasts and place them onto a clean cutting board. Tent with aluminum foil and allow them to rest for 10 minutes. Slice and serve or cube and use in your favorite dishes.
Latin American: For a Latin-American flare, use my Sazon Rub, and after the smoked chicken breasts have come off the smoker, hit it with a little fresh lime juice before serving.
Jamaican Jerk: Sometimes, a little Caribbean flare is all you need to set the day right. Season the chicken breasts with my Jamaican Jerk Rub before they go in the smoker. Serve with mango salsa or grilled pineapple.
Korean Spice Rub: Use my popular Korean Spice Rub recipe on these smoked chicken breasts. Smoke as directed, then slice and serve them in Korean-style tacos along with toasted sesame seeds, chopped green onion, kimchi, and cucumber slices.
Baharat Spice Rub: Looking for a Middle-Eastern flare. Then use my Baharat Spice Rub on your smoked chicken. Slice and serve with rice and your favorite sides.
Store your leftover smoked chicken breasts in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. For longer storage, place them into vacuum-sealed bags, seal tightly, and store them in your freezer for up to 3 months.
Like this recipe? Try making a Smoked Whole Chicken!
Smoked Chicken Breasts
- 4 chicken breasts medium-sized , boneless and skinless
- 2 1/2 tablespoons of Kansas City Rub or preferred rub use more if needed
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or mustard
- Prepare your grill for 225 degrees F. Add your preferred wood.
- Blot chicken breasts dry with paper towels. Brush both sides of the chicken with oil or mustard—season liberally with rub.
- Place seasoned chicken onto the grill grates, and set a drip pan underneath grates (optional). Close the lid, and cook the chicken for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until they register an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, in the thickest part of the meat.
- Once cooked, remove chicken breasts, and place them onto a clean cutting board. Tent with aluminum foil and let them rest for 10 minutes. Slice and serve.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Or freeze them in vacuum-sealed bags for up to 3 months.