How long to smoke chicken breast

How long to smoke chicken breast

How Long To Smoke Chicken Breast

How Long To Smoke Chicken Breast

What is the best way to tell if smoked chicken has been fully cooked?

Smoked chicken should reach 165°F internal. To determine when your smoked chicken is fully cooked, you must use a digital thermometer. The digital thermometer should be inserted into the largest portion of the chicken. Avoid contact with any bones.

Utilize a digital meat thermometer to determine the internal temperature of the meat. The thermometer should be inserted into the meat’s thickest part. Avoid touching bones as this could cause inaccurate readings. Take note of the temperature. If the internal temperature of the smoked chicken reaches 165degF or greater, it is thoroughly cooked and safe to eat.

The Brining Process

Fill a large bowl with cold water and half a cup each of table salt, white sugar, and 1/2 cup of table sugar. Combine them to dissolve the salt and sugar. You can add 1/4 cup soy sauce, a little lemon juice, and some olive oil if you want to enhance the flavors. Now you have your brine mix. Mix them together well, then set it aside.

Then, add the pieces of chicken to the brine. The water should cover all of the chicken pieces. To allow the salt to absorb as much moisture and flavor as possible, you can leave them covered in brine for as long as is possible. However, they can be brined for as little as 30-60 minutes and they will be ready to smoke.

How Long To Smoke Chicken Breast

Make the Chicken

  • Get the Chicken Ready. Place the chicken breasts in one layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Dry Them. Allow them to dry in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, or overnight if you prefer. Do not cover them; let them air-dry. You can omit this part and proceed with the spices if you’re in a rush.
  • Preheat the Smoker. When ready to smoke, preheat the smoker to 250/120, using wood of choice.
  • Season. Place the chicken in a large bowl with all the spices and then drizzle with oil. (Feel free to use your preferred seasoning(s) if that’s what you have on hand.)
  • Placement. Place chicken breasts on the grill racks, or directly onto a rack for wing chickens.
  • Turn on the heat. The chicken breasts should be covered and smoked for approximately 90 minutes. After that, the chicken can be moved around to ensure even cooking. Some parts of the smoker can be hotter than other parts. Use your best judgment.
  • Check the Temperature. The temperature should not touch the bone.

Step 4 – Preparing The Smoker

There’s a couple of things you should do before you start smoking your food.

Wood chips or chunks are required to be filled into the wood pan. If you use chunks, they will last the entire smoke time without you having to refill the pan. If you use wood chips, they will burn out by the end of the smoke time so check them every 2-3 hours and add more if they have burned out.

I wrap my wood chunks in aluminum foil and poke holes in the aluminum foil with a knife. The smoke pouch allows for consistent smoke release, which I believe gives the perfect taste.

Before I put the food onto the tray, I heat up my smoker. My smoker heats up to 225°F in about 30 minutes.

So here’s what you’ve accomplished in the process so far:

  • Put the rub on your chicken.
  • It’s done marinating,
  • You’re smoker is prepped with the wood and water.

You’re now ready to smoke your chicken! Now, place the rubbed chicken on a rack and put it in your smoker.

How Long To Smoke Chicken Breast

Smoked Chicken Breast Brine

Preparing a brine for your smoked chicken breast is completely optional. My preference is to smoke my chicken breasts without brining. The salt and sugar in brining alter the structure of the meat, which means that the cells retain more liquid throughout the cooking process.

Many grillers brine their chicken to keep it juicy during the smoking process, but I prefer the texture of a chicken breast that isn’t brined. If you use a good meat thermometer and cook to the correct temperature then your chicken will turn out juicy and full of flavor without needing to brine it first.

As always, I recommend trying chicken breast that has been brined and not brined to determine what you like best. Here’s how to brine chicken breasts before smoking. You should plan in advance to give the chicken enough time to rest in the brine prior to smoking.

  • Prepare the brine. Mix 3 Tablespoons Kosher Salt, 4 Cups Water, 1 Tablespoon Sugar in a large pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat and allow salt and sugar to dissolve. Allow the mixture to cool down completely after it has been removed from the heat.
  • Brine the chicken. Fully submerge the chicken breasts in the brine and allow them to brine for 4 hours. You don’t want the chicken to marinade for too long.

After brining your chicken, dry it and then prepare the dish as directed in the recipe card. Leave us feedback! Do you prefer your chicken breast brined before smoking, or do you season and place it straight on the grill?

Perfectly Smoked Chicken Breast

The main struggle of making smoked chicken breast is smoking it for the right amount of time. Smoke it for too little time and it won’t be fully cooked, which is both unappetizing and potentially dangerous. It will lose its tenderness and juiciness if it is smoked for too long.

The best method to smoke chicken is to marinate it before you put it on the grill. This makes the chicken more flavorful, along with providing extra moisture to keep it from getting to dry as it smokes. You can use BBQ rub or dry rub to enhance the flavor of your recipe. You can use onion powder, chili powder and black pepper as seasonings.

You can also influence the flavor of your chicken’s smoke by the wood chips that you use. You can smoke chicken breasts with applewood, maple or cherry wood chips depending on what you prefer and how the chicken will be used.

How Long To Smoke Chicken Breast

How to Smoke Perfectly Smoked Chicken Breasts

Smoking meat requires that you allow it to smoke for a long time, at low temperatures. Then let it rest on the counter. The muscle fibers get all worked up with cooking so you really need to let them relax again on the counter in order for the juices to redistribute, otherwise when you cut into the meat, or start to pull it apart in this case, all of the juices will run out which is a big mistake.

When the chicken is cooked to your liking, take it off the grill. Once the chicken is done cooking, place foil on top and transfer the sheet of foil onto a board. Allow the chicken to rest for at least 3-5 minutes before cutting.

What is the time it takes to smoke chicken breasts?

Smoking chicken breasts at about 225-250 degrees F is the best way to cook them. The size of your chicken breasts is another factor. A larger bird will take longer to cook.

Smoking chicken breasts takes around one-to two hours. Smaller ones, around 5 ounces, typically take about an hour. For larger ones, 8-ounce or more, it should take between one and half to two hours. This can be solved by using roughly equal-sized chicken breasts to ensure that all are done at the same time.

How Long To Smoke Chicken Breast

Quick smoking Q&A

What temperature to smoke chicken?

What time does it take for smoked chicken breast to cook?

The exact time will depend on how thick or thin the chicken is. On average, it will take 1.5 to 2 hours. Try to get chicken that is uniform in thickness and size that way it all cooks at the same time. You can always use the largest size if you have many sizes. (You can always pull the smallest chicken breasts off and let larger ones cook a little longer.)

What is the best way to tell if my chicken has been cooked?

Internal temperature is the best indicator that your meat is done. Chicken is done when it reaches 165deg internal temperature.

How to make smoked chicken breast

If you don’t want to take the brine, skip step 4.

  • In a small saucepan, add water, salt, sugar, maple syrup and cajun seasoning. Allow it to boil for five minutes, then reduce heat.
  • Transfer the brine to a large non-reactive container. A ceramic dutch oven was used. Add the remaining water and whisk until completely combined.
  • Place the chicken breasts into the brine, cover the brine container and place it in the fridge for 3-4 hours.
  • Before removing the chicken breasts from the refrigerator, heat the smoker at 225°F.
  • Remove chicken from the fridge, rinse well and pat dry. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with rub.
  • Once the smoker has been preheated, place the chicken on the smoker and place the breasts face up on the middle rack of your grill. The fat side of your largest breast should be inspected with a thermometer. For 45 minutes, smoke at 225f
  • Turn the heat up to 350F and let the chicken cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 165-170F.

How Long To Smoke Chicken Breast

How Long To Smoke Chicken Breast

It takes about an hour to smoke chicken breasts. As always, I recommend smoking to temperature and not to time. To ensure that your meat is cooked to the right temperature throughout smoking, invest in a reliable thermometer. A good meat thermometer will help you avoid dry and undercooked chicken breasts.

While your chicken is in the smoker, keep an eye on it. When the internal temperature of the breast of chicken reaches 160°F, remove it. Stick your meat thermometer into the thickest part of meat. After that let the meat cool to 165°F while covered with foil. Depending on how large the bird is, the type of smoker used, the temperature of the heat, and other factors, the whole process could take between 50 and 90 minutes.

Brined and Smoked Bone In Chicken Breasts



  • Six bone-in, skinless, and split chicken breasts
  • 1 gallon + 2 cups filtered water
  • 1 cup coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 orange sliced thinly
  • 1 tsp whole peppercorns
  • Three bay leaves

Dry rub

  • 3 TBS paprika
  • 1-1/2 TBS garlic powder
  • 1-1/2 TBS onion powder
  • 2 tsps freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsps lemon zest
  • For smokers, water and orange slices
  • Hickory or mesquite wood chips


1. In a large glass or plastic container, add the water, salt, and sugar. Mix until sugar and salt are well dissolved. Add the orange slices, peppercorns, and bay leaves. Submerge the chicken breasts in the brine. Cover the container with a lid or plastic wrap. Place the container in the refrigerator or inside a cooler with ice. Allow the chicken to brine for 2 to 4 hours.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, pepper, and lemon zest. Set aside.

3. Remove a rack from your Masterbuilt Smoker. Take the chicken out of the brine and carefully rinse it well under cold running water. Pat dry the chicken with paper towels. The dry spice mix should be applied to the breasts of the chicken. Place them on the rack with the skin side facing up. Allow them to come to room temperature for approximately 30 minutes.

4. Make sure to prepare the smoker. Fill the bowl with orange slices and water. Wood chips can be added to the tray. Preheat the smoker with the vent open to 250degF.

5. Place the rack with the seasoned chicken breasts inside the smoker and close the door. Smoke for approximately 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Check the meat’s internal temperature with a digital thermometer after about 1 1/2 hours. The internal temperature should be between 160-165 degrees F. The skin should also be lightly browned. Continue cooking until the meat comes to the desired temperature.

Refill as necessary.

6. Transfer the smoked chicken onto a cutting board. Cover it loosely with foil and allow the chicken to rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

7. With a sharp knife remove the breast meat from the bone. Slice the breast into 1/4 inch thick portions. Serve the breast on a plate with a herbed potato salad. Here’s the recipe.

How Long To Smoke Chicken Breast

Season the Chicken

Your smoker may be heating up, but it is time to start seasoning.

I actually use this rub on my Christmas turkey as you can see here.

If stored in a closed container, the rub will stay fresh for around 2 months. It hasn’t lasted that long since we use the rub a lot at home.

Once the chicken is done brining in the water, take it out and dry it with some paper towels. There is no need to rinse it under water.

Apply the rub at a 12 inch height. This will ensure even distribution of the rub. The rub particles must be separated and evenly spread, and there won’t be any lumps. You will get a consistent coating so every mouthful tastes the same.

Once the breasts have been coated in the rub, allow about 30 minutes for the rub to bind to the chicken before putting them in the smoker.

When To Take Smoked Chicken Breast Out To Rest

The majority of smoked chicken breast recipes will instruct you to take the breasts out of the smoker once the internal temperature reaches 160°F. The chicken breast should be allowed to rest for 10 minutes. The meat will then continue cooking. Check the temperature again to ensure that’s it’s reached a safe temp of 165degF. To ensure food safety, if the temperature drops below 165°F, the chicken breast will need to be returned to the smoker for an additional cooking time. Electric smokers are great if you need to cook the chicken breasts longer. You can simply reset the temperature.

How Long To Smoke Chicken Breast

What Is The Ideal Smoked Chicken Done Temperature?

Higher temperatures have a greater impact on the quality of breast meat than other parts. The meat becomes opaque and slightly pinkish at 145 degrees. It is very tender and juicy after being held for eight-and-a half minutes. For my tastes, it’s not quite done enough.

At 150Adeg the meat is totally white and a bit firmer. And it’s still nice and juicy. As the temperature of the chicken breast rises to 155 degrees, the meat fibers continue to contract, squeezing out more moisture. The 160-degree temperature of the smoked chicken breast puts it at risk of drying out and becoming stringy.

Personally, I prefer smoked chicken breast temperatures between 155 and 157F. The chicken is tender and juicy, just like a properly cooked chicken.

But no matter what the target temperature, if it’s below 165AdegF, it has to be held at that lower temperature for the required amount of time.

How Long To Cook It/How To Tell When It’S Done

Cook the chicken until it reaches 165°F. It can take up to 2 hours. To test for internal temperature, use a probe and a meat thermometer. Insert the meat thermometer or probe into the thickest part of the chicken breast.

How Long To Smoke Chicken Breast

Is it possible to smoke chicken breast 225?

The Step-by-Step Instructions for Smoking Chicken Breasts Prepare the smoker first, and then take use of the time available while the smoker is heating up to begin prepping the chicken. Bring your smoker to 225°F. The addition of a water pan or a water/drip pan to the lowest rack of the smoker, behind the meat, is strongly recommended.

Should I Baste My Smoked Chicken?

A whole chicken can be grilled and glazed to add flavor. … Baste the chicken two or three times as it smokes. Now, if you’re smoking some ribs, or a brisket, or a big, juicy pork butt, and you want to throw in a whole chicken because, well, it’s not right to waste smoker space. Do it.

How Long To Smoke Chicken Breast

What to do with it

Verdict: Electric grills tend to take longer because they cook at a lower temperature. I like this method because it’s so easy to navigate!

Recommended Equipment

Meat Thermometer – The Timberline 1300 has a built-in meat thermometer, but if your smoker doesn’t I recommend an InkBird! For multi-smoking, we bought a Bluetooth 6-port Inkbird. It’s great

How Long To Smoke Chicken Breast

Step 3 – Marinating The Chicken

Place your chicken on a glass dish or pyrex, and cover it with saran wrap. Let it rest for at least an hour before serving.

How to Prepare the Chicken

If you have purchased skinless and boneless chicken breast fillets, you shouldn’t have a lot of trimming to do to them. Sometimes they can have a little extra fat on the edges, just trim this off with a sharp kitchen knife.

The skin can be easily removed if you don’t find skinless breasts.

The purpose of your brine is to inject as much moisture into the breast to keep it as succulent as possible while smoking it, and secondly to add some extra flavour.

It is best if you can brine the chicken overnight in the fridget, or for a very minimum of four hours.

How Long To Smoke Chicken Breast

What is the best time to smoke chicken breasts?

Depending on the size of the chicken breasts, it will take about 2-3 hours to smoke them.

Watch the chicken closely during the last hour of smoking. You can quickly check the temperature of your chicken using an instant thermometer.

Cherry Wood

Cherry wood has a fruity flavor that gives chicken breasts mild sweetness. Cherry wood can be paired with alder or hickory to create a rich, oaky flavour.

How Long To Smoke Chicken Breast

How to Use Leftover Smoked Chicken Breast

Once you’ve had one meal of smoked chicken breast, you’ll want to make extra so you can enjoy leftovers. The ease of smoking chicken breast and having some on hand for the rest of the week is one of the reasons many cooks and chefs have a smoker. Chicken is equally delicious when leftovers are prepared. Try one of these delicious smoked chicken breast leftover ideas that next time you have a couple of extra pieces.

Smoked Boneless Chicken Breast

Smoked boneless chicken breast is a favorite way to eat chicken. While I love my overnight briskets, putting in time, energy, and attention to my slow smoked ribs, the ideal, easy chicken breast is something close to my heart. Buy some new boneless chicken breasts. At the supermarket, these guys are pretty cheap, and you can smoke them out of the box.

For those of you who prefer chicken breast taste and texture when brined, scroll down for my guidance on brining your chicken before smoking. You’ll want to prepare 4 hours ahead before you stick your chicken on your smoker. This recipe is a simple, basic process; perfect for you new to smoking, or for seasoned veterans who need a fast dinner choice. Try various rubs and seasonings and try brined and not brined. It’s a foolproof formula to come back over and over again.

Tyson Savory Chicken Breast, 5 Ounce — 32 Per Case.

Tyson Savory Chicken Breast, 5 Ounce — 32 per case.

Tyson Savory Chicken Breast is made with all-natural ingredients and spices for a delicious, healthy meal.
Tyson Savory Chicken Breasts are the perfect way to get your daily dose of protein. Tyson Savory Chicken Breast, 5 Ounces — 32 per case. Product Description in paragraph form: Tyson Savory Chicken Breast, 5 Ounces — 32 per case. Tyson’s Savory Chicken Breast is a frozen product that has been seasoned and breaded with herbs and spices.

  • Ships Frozen Cannot Be Cancelled After Being Processed.

    Cilantro Lime Seasoned Chicken Breast | Approx. 10.5 Lbs. | 21 Pieces

    Cilantro Lime Seasoned Chicken Breast | Approx. 10.5 lbs. | 21 pieces

    | 10.5 lbs. HALAL-CERTIFIED HANDCUT ANTIBIOTICS CAGE FREE HUMANITARIAN RAISED 100% GRASS FED USDA inspected 7 packages, each with 3 pieces. Each package weighs approximately 1.50 lbs. Fresh, frozen, packed and portioned to fit your needs in a variety of sizes and quantities! Free shipping over $150 10.5 lbs. 7 packages, 3 pieces each. Weight may vary. Each package weighs approximately 1.50 lbs. Freshly frozen and portioned for your needs Free shipping over $150

    • Cilantro Lime Seasoned Chicken Breast
    • Certified Halal
    • 7 Packages Each Package
    • Perfectly Fresh Frozen

      This Cilantro Lime Seasoned Chicken Breast is the perfect meal for your next picnic, or cookout!
      You will love the delicious flavor of this chicken breast seasoned with cilantro and lime!
      This chicken breast is the perfect way to bring the flavors of the Southwest to your dinner table.
      The cilantro and lime give it a zesty flavor that will wake up your taste buds, while the antibiotic-free and humanely-raised sourcing make it a guilt-free choice.

      How Long to Smoke Chicken Breast

      Smoking chicken breast takes about 1 hour. As always, I suggest smoking at temperature, not time. Invest in a healthy, accurate meat thermometer to help monitor your meat temperature during the smoking process. I’d probably say the #1 explanation for dry or undercooked chicken breasts is not using a proper thermometer. Watch your chicken while on the smoker.

      Remove the chicken breast when the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F (remember to stick your meat thermometer to the thickest part of the meat), then allow the meat to reach 165 while being tented with foil. The whole process would probably take 50 to 90 minutes, depending on the chicken, the type of smoker you use, and the heat consistency.

      Smoked Chicken Breast

      This Smoked Chicken Breast is a beautifully juicy, smoky, quick and perfect breast for multiple occasions. It’s a perfect meal for busy weekdays, and at a BBQ backyard, it’ll satisfy a crowd. All you need is chicken and some of my award-winning Chicken Seasoning, and you’re on your way to the perfect chicken breast. Directions Preheat your favorite hardwood to 225 degrees F.

      I like using oak and combining it with cherry or apple for a bold taste. Drizzle the chicken breast olive oil and rub to spread. Sprinkle the chicken seasoning uniformly over each breast. Smoke approximately 1 hour. Smoke until the thickest meat part’s internal temperature exceeds 160 degrees F. Remove the smoker’s chicken. Tent with foil, and increase the internal temperature to 165 degrees F.

      Jump to Recipe Print Recipe This smoked chicken breast is a boneless skinless chicken that is rolled in a homemade BBQ seasoning, smoked to tender and juicy perfection, then brushed with BBQ sauce. The best breasts you’ll ever eat! When you try to cook chicken breasts in a smoker, you’ll never want to eat chicken otherwise. Serve chicken with glazed carrots.

      Lately, I’ve been smoking a lot of different meats and I have to admit, this smoked chicken breast is my favorite! The chicken is flavored, super juicy, and simple to produce. I like making a double batch so I have plenty of sandwiches the next day.


      How do you make smoked chicken breasts?
      I suggest bringing your chicken for a few hours before you smoke. The brine flavors the chicken and prevents it from drying in the smoker. I use half my favorite brine recipe. Then the chicken gets rubbed in BBQ and goes into the smoker. The finishing touch is a homemade BBQ sauce coating, then dinner is ready!

      How long does it take to smoke a boneless chicken breast?
      Smoking chicken breasts takes between 60-90 minutes, depending on breast size. Smaller breasts (4-6 ounces) take an hour, and larger breasts (8 ounces or more) take 90 minutes. The easiest way to decide whether your chicken is cooked is to use a thermometer to measure the thickest chicken breast.

      Tips for smoked chicken breast:
      Make sure your chicken breasts are around the same size to cook evenly at the same time. Homemade BBQ rub and BBQ sauce taste best. If you need to buy a shop, that’s fine too! BBQ rub and BBQ sauce recipes will make more with this particular recipe. The rub will keep 6 months in a cool dry spot, and you can freeze any leftover BBQ sauce.

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