Smoked chicken breasts are one of the easiest meats to smoke and they absorb the smoke quickly, perfectly and evenly. They are so juicy! Smoke the chicken on the smoker with another smoking project on a different rack like when I’m finishing off a long smoking dish such as an 8-10 hour beef brisket or pork shoulder for delicious pulled pork buns with coleslaw.
The chicken breasts can also be done on the BBQ with wood chips on indirect heat which makes an amazing smoked BBQ chicken ready to serve. This smoked chicken breast recipe is mainly developed for boneless, skinless chicken breast in the smoker.
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How To Smoke Chicken Breast
Whether you are making Traeger smoked chicken breast or Weber smoked chicken breast, expect amazing results and be ready for the best smoked chicken you will ever taste. Fire up the smoker, and get the temperature to 225-235F. Add hickory chunks to the chamber of the smoker.
Preparing the chicken is super easy. Simply cover the chicken breasts in olive oil and season them with the rub. This is the best chicken rub recipe for smoking chicken because it has a nice zesty note, and we love zesty as you can tell. Use the rub recipe here or use your favorite rub. We love Patio Provisions rubs and sauces.
Actual smoking takes place when you first place the chicken in the smoker so make sure the wood and smoke are fully ready. Add the chicken to the grate and close the smoker.
How Long To Smoke Chicken Breast
Smoking chicken breasts takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour, depending on whether you are smoking the chicken breast with the skin and bone-in or skinless and boneless. When you have the bone-in and skin on it can take closer to an hour and a half to two hours.
The key is to cook the chicken breasts until the thickest part of the breast reaches an internal temperature of 160F on a digital thermometer.
Once the chicken is removed from the smoker, tent it with heavy aluminum foil for 30 minutes (make sure it reaches a temperature of 165F).
My husband likes to use his BBQ gadgets and the digital BBQ thermometer is his latest favorite smoking companion, other than an ice cold beer. Monitor the internal temperature of the meat using a digital BBQ thermometer. I ordered mine from Amazon. The multiple probes on this thermometer are connected to the Internet, making monitoring so easy.
We have a Weber Bullet smoker (18″ Grill Model) that I bought my hubby for our 10th anniversary. (A great gift for me too, right?) It has two grates which allows him to add another meat, such as chicken breasts, and smoke them at the same time as a brisket or pork shoulder. The other bonus is that the best wood for smoking chicken is hickory, which is also used for beef brisket.
What To Do With Smoked Chicken Breast
I love this smoked chicken recipe when smoking another piece of meat. It takes no extra time, as it cooks at the same time. The smoked chicken doesn’t have to be the main course and can be refrigerated or frozen for later use.
Infuse a smoked flavor to dishes by adding sliced smoked chicken to:
- Instant Pot Italian Chicken and Noodles (omit chicken from the recipe when cooking and add smoked chicken at the end)
- smoked chicken quesadillas
- smoked chicken salad sandwiches
- add to Kale Quinoa Salad
- add to Bow Tie Pesto Pasta Salad
- add finely chopped smoked chicken to Hot Artichoke Dip
Through lots of trial and error and experimenting with flavors, the best rub for smoking chicken is the rub in this recipe. A nice zesty, smokey rub that compliments many dishes and sides such as Smoked Macaroni and Cheese.
Get fired up for the best smoked chicken breasts ever!
Smoked Chicken Breasts
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 4 chicken breasts boneless, skinless
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar packed
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- ½ teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- zest of 1 lemon
- Preheat smoker to 225-235°F. Add hickory wood chunks to smoker chamber.
- In a small bowl, combine the rub ingredients.
- Brush olive oil over both sides of chicken breasts and season the chicken pieces with rub.
- Place chicken on rack of smoker (upper or lower).
- Insert digital BBQ 1st probe inside smoker to maintain range of 225F-235F. Insert digital BBQ 2nd probe inside center of chicken breast.
- Smoke at 230°F for 45 minutes or until internal temperature of chicken reaches 160°F.
- Remove chicken from smoker, tent with aluminum foil and let rest for 30 minutes, ensuring temperature reaches 165°F.
Nutrition information does not include optional ingredients or garnish and is an estimate. It may change based on actual ingredients and cooking methods used.
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Thanks to Weber’s Greatest Hits for amazing smoking tips
Thanks for writing this! I’ve been bbqing all year and looking forward to it again this weekend! Excited to try burgers for my next cookout.
Enjoy the recipe Miquel, we do love these quick and easy smoked chicken breasts! We’ve got burgers on deck ourselves this weekend!
Good rub , takes a lot longer on the Treager
Thanks David, so glad you enjoy the rub! Perhaps your chicken breasts were much larger than the ones we used?
My chicken took twice as long to get to temp that what recipe said it would. It seems like everything I cook takes twice as long as it says it will. Am I doing something wrong?
Hi Vivienne, are you using a digital thermometer to make sure that the cooking temperature is correct? That would be my thought, that your smoker isn’t staying at temperature. Hope that helps!
These were so good and so juicy! I loved the seasoning mixture!
Thank you Holly! So happy you enjoyed them!