Smoked Chicken Breast

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Smoked Chicken Breast takes all the guesswork out of prepping, cooking, and serving the best dinner possible! With my 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. 

titled image for smoked chicken breasts recipe

I’m all about helping you simplify your dinner routine. I think this quick and easy smoked chicken 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!

ingredients for smoked chicken breasts

Smoked Chicken Breast

When you make smoked boneless 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.

chicken breasts coated in spices

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 an 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, go right ahead. It’ll be equally delicious!
smoking chicken breasts in smoker

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 breasts 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 amount of wood chips used all affect cooking time.

So use an instant read digital thermometer regularly. This will help avoid both over and undercooking your smoked chicken breast!

smoked chicken breasts on sheet pan

Smoked Chicken Breast FAQ

How long to smoke boneless chicken breast at 225°F?

Depending on the make and model of smoker or pellet grill, it takes roughly 1 hour to smoke 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 boneless chicken breast to a safe internal temperature of 165°F.

What is the best temp to smoke chicken?

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!

Do you flip chicken when smoking?

No flipping is necessary! 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. 

sliced smoked chicken breast

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

Traeger smoked chicken breast 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.

fingers holding a slice of smoked chicken breast

Serving Suggestions

Any side dishes you serve with an oven roasted chicken are perfect with smoked chicken recipes as well.

I like to make one of my pasta salad recipes, plus smoked baked beans, which I cook at the same time as the meat.

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!

overhead of traegar chicken breast smoked on serving tray

With love, from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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close up wide shot of smoked boneless chicken

smoked chicken breast closeup

Smoked Chicken Breast

Donna Elick
Smoked Chicken Breast is sweet, spicy, juicy and so incredibly succulent. Learn how to smoke chicken breast with this easy 1 hour recipe!
5 stars from 1 review
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
rest time 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Main
Cuisine American
Method Smoker
Servings 4


  • 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.

Donna’s Notes

Time for smoking chicken depends on the thickness of the breasts. Use a digital, instant-read thermometer to gauge doneness.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 578cal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 49g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 145mg | Sodium: 867mg | Sugar: 18g | Fiber: 1g | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 2mg

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.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
titled image for smoked chicken breast

Originally published August 2022

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