This easy Smoked Chicken Breast Recipe is made on a pellet grill and is so simple to make. The boneless, skinless chicken breasts are juicy and flavorful; coated in a dry rub that has the perfect balance of sweet, salty, and spicy flavors. Plus, this recipe does not require any marinating or brining, and the smoking process only takes 1 hour, making it a perfect meal for busy weeknights. This is also perfect for meal prep; cook the chicken and then reheat for lunch or dinner!
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With grilling season fast approaching, thoughts of smoking on the pellet grill come to mind. I think everything tastes better on the smoker. After all, the smoke adds so much flavor!
This smoked chicken breast recipe is perfect for summer or any time of the year. It’s got a great sweet and savory flavor that will make your mouth water. The outside of the meat is crispy and the inside is tender and juicy. It always amazes me how the meat never dries out!
For other fantastic smoked chicken recipes, check out Smoked Chili Lime Chicken Breasts, Crispy Smoked Chicken Wings, Smoked Chicken Thighs, and Smoked Chicken Legs.
Pair any of these with a side of Smoked Corn on the Cob, Coleslaw, or Carrot Salad for a satisfying yet simple meal everyone will love!
👩🏻🍳 More Smoker Recipes
- 👩🏻🍳 More Smoker Recipes
- ❤️ Why you will love this smoked chicken breast recipe
- ⭐ The advantages of cooking with a pellet grill
- ❓ What are the best wood pellets for smoking chicken?
- 🐓 Ingredient notes and substitutions
- 🧂 How to make smoked chicken breasts in electric smoker
- 📖 Variations
- 🍽 Equipment needed for smoked chicken breast recipe
- 🌡️ Storage
- 💭 Top tips
- 📋 Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
- 👪 What to serve with smoked chicken breasts
- 📋 Recipe
- 📑 Food safety
- 🧾 More Recipes
- 💬 Comments
❤️ Why you will love this smoked chicken breast recipe
VERSATILE: Smoked chicken breasts are delicious and they can be prepared in a variety of ways. They can be used in sandwiches, salads, wraps, and pulled for tacos.
HEALTHY: These chicken breasts are low in fat and low in calories, making them an ideal choice.
EASY, HANDS-OFF COOKING: With an electric smoker, the process of making smoked chicken breasts is simple and easy. Simply add some olive oil and dry rub to the chicken breasts and place them directly on the rack of a preheated smoker. Close the lid and let them smoke until they are done cooking. So easy and very little effort involved! The cook time is only 1 hour!
SO DELICIOUS: These pellet smoker chicken breasts are covered in a dry spice rub that elevates the flavor. The chili powder in the rub adds a little bit of heat, and the spice is perfectly balanced with the chicken. The outside cooks up to a crispy exterior, and the inside is tender and juicy. It is just so good!
GREAT SMOKE FLAVOR: These smoked chicken breasts have the perfect amount of smoky flavor!
GREAT FOR MEAL PREP: These chicken breasts are perfect for meal prep. Simply make a big batch of chicken and reheat for an easy lunch or dinner!
⭐ The advantages of cooking with a pellet grill
Grilling is a favorite pastime of many people, and the popularity of this cooking technique has grown in recent years. However, gas grills can be messy and time-consuming, which is why many people are starting to turn to pellet grills as an alternative.
Pellet grills are a convenient way to cook meat, vegetables, and other foods without the hassle of dealing with charcoal or gas-powered grills.
The food is cooked low and slow, meaning it cooks at a low temperature, resulting in juicy and tender meat.
If you’re looking for a way to make a healthy meal that doesn’t compromise on taste, the pellet grill (or electric smoker) is for you.
Some popular pellet grills here in Canada are Pit Boss grills and Traeger grills. I was even able to use our Pit Boss grill this winter!
❓ What are the best wood pellets for smoking chicken?
The best type of wood for smoking chicken are ones that produce a sweet and subtle fruity flavor. Cherry is popular, as well as applewood and maple. Pecan wood is another popular wood pellet. I prefer the Competition Blend by Pit Boss for chicken, it has a combination of maple, hickory, and cherry.
🐓 Ingredient notes and substitutions
Smoked chicken breasts are an easy recipe to make. The meat is tender and flavorful, perfect for sandwiches or salads. Only simple ingredients are required to make this recipe.
- Chicken breasts. I used skinless chicken breast. You can definitely use skin-on chicken breasts as well. You could also use bone-in chicken, but it will require extra time to cook.
- Olive oil. The olive oil is used to help the spice rub stick to the chicken breasts.
- Spice rub for chicken. This seasoning blend contains a combination of 8 everyday pantry ingredients ( brown sugar, garlic powder, Roasted garlic and pepper seasoning, paprika, chili powder, seasoning salt, and black pepper). This spice rub leaves a beautifully caramelized and crackly exterior. Feel free to add your favorite spices or seasonings to make this spice rub your own; onion powder would be a great addition as well! Feel free to use your favorite spice rub instead!
See the recipe card for quantities.
🧂 How to make smoked chicken breasts in electric smoker
PREPARE THE GRILL: The first step to preparing your grill is to preheat the grill to 225 degrees F. The heat of the grill will help cook and sear your meat. It will also give it a nice crusty exterior. Also, make sure that the firebox is empty and the wood pellets are topped up.
PREPARE THE SPICE RUB: In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the homemade spice rub. Mix well to combine.
PREPARE THE CHICKEN: Pat chicken breasts dry with paper towels. Place the chicken on a cutting board. Apply olive oil to the chicken breasts with a brush or your fingers.
Next, apply homemade spice rub or your favorite rub liberally on the chicken. You can either place a couple of teaspoons on a plate and roll the chicken breast in the rub or apply with a spoon. Ensure the rub covers all parts of the chicken breast; top, bottom, and sides. Use your fingers to push the rub into the meat.
SMOKE: Once the smoker comes up to temperature, place the seasoned chicken breasts directly on the preheated grill. Feel free to add a little more rub.
Next, put your thermometer probes in, horizontally through each side into the thickest part of the meat. Close the lid and smoke the chicken until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F when checked with an instant-read thermometer.
I like to flip the chicken halfway through the cooking time to ensure an even smoke ring. If you desire, brush with your favorite BBQ sauce during the last few minutes of smoking.
REST: Remove the smoked chicken breasts from the grill and place them on a serving tray. Cover with aluminum foil and rest for 5 minutes to allow the juices to reincorporate into the meat. Serve along with your favorite side dishes! Enjoy!
You don’t have to get fancy with your smoked chicken breast recipe, but if you want to get creative, here are some ideas:
- Spicy – add chili pepper flakes or cayenne pepper to the spice rub to add heat to the chicken breasts, just a pinch will do!
- Saucy – add your favorite barbecue sauce during the last few moments of smoking for saucy chicken.
- Sweet – add extra brown sugar to the spice rub for a sweeter taste.
- Herbs – Season the smoky chicken with fresh herbs for amazing flavor.
🍽 Equipment needed for smoked chicken breast recipe
Smoker: Our pellet grill is the Pit Boss smoker 8-1. It uses 100% wood pellets as fuel instead of gas and propane. There is nothing better than food cooked on the smoker; the added flavor is incredible!
High-quality temperature probe: This is a must-have item if you own a smoker. We use the ThermoPro Wireless Digital Cooking Food Meat Thermometer with Dual Probes; we love how easy it is to use!
FRIDGE: Leftover smoked chicken breasts will keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
FREEZER: If you have lots of leftovers, wrap the chicken in plastic wrap, then place it in a Ziploc bag, and pop it in the freezer for meal prep, school, or work lunches. It will keep for up to 2 months in the freezer.
💭 Top tips
- For best results, cook by temperature, not by time. We use a digital thermometer to keep a close watch on the temperature of the meat to ensure it is always cooked to a safe internal temperature. If the chicken sits on the smoker too long it will be dry and rubbery.
- Check and make sure your wood pellets are topped up before you begin. Check periodically while smoking to ensure you don’t run out and top up if necessary.
- Large chicken breasts will take longer to cook than smaller breasts.
- Flip chicken breasts halfway for an even smoke ring.
- Make extra chicken breasts!! The leftovers are so good, and you can use them in meal prep, lunches, or for quick meals throughout the week! They taste so good cold too!
📋 Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
👪 What to serve with smoked chicken breasts
There are so many sides that go great with these smoked boneless skinless chicken breasts; some of my favorite sides are:
- Air Fryer Carrots
- Frozen Broccoli in Air Fryer
- Frozen Waffle Fries In An Air Fryer
- Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries
- Easy Baked Beans
- Smoked Corn on the Cob
- Simple Roasted Buttercup Squash
- Carrot Salad
- Creamy Coleslaw
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📑 Food safety
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165°F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don’t leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
🧾 More Recipes
For more information please see the list of Pit boss grill chicken breast