Smoked Chicken Breast takes all the guesswork out of prepping, cooking, and serving the best dinner possible! With my smoked chicken breast recipe, there’s no overnight marinating and no lengthy preparation required! Slather on the seasonings, smoke for just an hour, and you’ll have incredibly tender smoked boneless chicken breast in just 1 hour and 20 minutes — prep and rest time included.
I’m all about helping you simplify your dinner routine. I think this quick and easy smoked chicken breast recipe is a literal lifesaver.
Consider this as your simple guide on how to smoke chicken breast for moist, delicious results every time — and in no time at all!
Smoked Chicken Breast
When smoking chicken breast, you’re slowly bringing it to temperature while letting the juices of the chicken and spices in the rub seep into the fibers of the meat, flavoring it right to the center.
It’s so tender, moist, and mouth-wateringly delicious!
I really love the flavor of smoked chicken.
If you aren’t a big fan of breast meat, check out my posts on how to smoke chicken wings, dark meat thighs, legs, or even a whole smoked chicken.
Don’t have a smoker, try this Italian sheet pan chicken thighs recipe.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Chicken – We’re going with breast meat for this recipe. It cooks evenly and is easiest to slice and serve.
If you go with another cut, then monitor the temperature vigilantly.
- New Mexico Chili Powder – A spice to remember! I just love its complexity. It’s fruity, but it has a warm, earthy heat that I find totally addicting.
You can substitute with regular chili powder, but I REALLY recommend giving this a try!
- Olive Oil – You need oil to bind all of the seasonings and help them stick to the meat — it also adds flavor and moisture!
If you prefer, canola or vegetable oil could be used instead.
- Garlic Powder, Oregano, and Paprika – We’re keeping the seasonings simple and letting the smoker do all of the work!
If you want to substitute the dried seasonings with fresh ones, go right ahead. It’ll be equally delicious!
Tips on How to Smoke Chicken Breast
- Choosing the Right Wood Chips
There is no best wood for smoking chicken breast. When it comes down to it, you should pellet grill chicken breast with your favorite flavor of wood chips or pellets.
Hickory is a solid choice, while most “fruity” woods (apple, cherry, peach, etc.) are complementary as well. Oak, pecan, mesquite… any of these work well too!
- Avoiding Dry and Tough Chicken
Smoke the meat until it’s almost finished cooking. Once the internal temperature of the thickest part of the cut reaches 162°F, get it onto a plate to rest!
Let the smoked chicken breast rest for at least 15 minutes. The inside will continue cooking while the juices settle in the cut, packing in the juices and flavor.
- Monitoring the Temperature
There are a lot of variables at play here: the model of the grill, the thickness of the meat, and the number of wood chips used will all determine how long to smoke chicken breast.
So, use an instant-read digital thermometer regularly. This will help avoid both over and undercooking your smoked chicken breast!
Smoked Chicken Breast Recipe FAQ
Depending on the make and model of your smoker or pellet grill, it takes roughly 1 hour to smoke boneless chicken breast to an internal temperature of 162°F.
However, be sure to let the meat rest for another 15 minutes, as carryover cooking continues, bringing the smoked chicken breast to a safe internal temperature of 165°F.
Heating the smoker to 225°F is ideal. At this temperature, the smoked chicken breast cooks through to the center without drying out — something that can be tricky to do!
No flipping is necessary when smoking chicken breast! Just lay the meat directly on the grates and let the smoker do its thing. In fact, take care not to disturb the meat while it’s cooking.
Storing and Reheating Leftovers
Cooked chicken has a max fridge life of 4 days, as long as it’s stored properly.
This means placing it in an airtight container, and not constantly cooling and reheating it.
Honestly, slices of juicy smoked chicken are great cold!
But if you do want to reheat the pieces, the best way is to heat them in the oven at around 350°F, until they’re warm through the center.
Any side dishes you serve with an oven roasted chicken are perfect with smoked chicken recipes as well.
Other Chicken Breast Recipes
A chicken dinner doesn’t have to be boring – mix things up with new ingredients! I’ll bet you’ve never had a pizza stuffed chicken breast.
Not feeling up for something outside of the box? Then go classic with decadent rosemary lemon chicken instead!
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours.
More Chicken Breast Recipes
Smoked Chicken Breast
- 4 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons New Mexico chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Preheat the smoker to 225°F.
- Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel. Using a pastry brush, apply olive oil to all sides of each breast.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and seasonings. Use the pastry brush to liberally apply the mixture on all sides of the chicken breasts, then transfer them to a rimmed sheet pan or plate.
- Using tongs, place chicken breasts directly on the grill plate of the smoker.
- Smoke for about 1 hour, or until the internal temperature at the thickest portion of the breast reaches 162°F. Remove from the smoker and allow meat to rest 15 minutes before slicing. *During resting time, the chicken will continue to cook to a safe internal temperature of 165°F.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published August 2022, updated and republished April 2023
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