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Plate of smoked chicken breasts.

Smoked Chicken Breast Recipe

  • Author: Erin Jensen
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4 chicken breasts 1x
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Smoker
  • Cuisine: American


Smoked Chicken Breasts – juicy and delicious smoked chicken breast recipe that is simple and easy! The best way to cook your chicken!


  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • kosher salt and ground black pepper OR smoked chicken dry rub


  1. optional brine: here is the smoked chicken brine which can be done beforehand if you want (not required). 
  2. Turn smoker to 225 degrees F. 
  3. Pat chicken dry with a clean paper towels. 
  4. Drizzle chicken with olive oil (rub all over until fully coated).
  5. Season generously with kosher salt and ground black pepper OR smoked chicken dry rub. 
  6. Place chicken breasts on smoker (directly on the grill grates) and close the lid.
  7. Let chicken cook for approximately 50-70 minutes or until chicken reaches 165 degrees F. at the thickest part (use an instant read thermometer). Remove chicken from smoker and let rest 5-10 minutes.
  8. Optional Searing: turn your gas grill on high heat when your chicken almost reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. Once your chicken reaches 160 degrees F. remove it from the smoker and sear it for 1-2 minutes per side on your gas grill.
  9. Let the chicken rest 5-10 minutes before cutting. The internal temp of the chicken will continue to rise to 165 degrees F. as you sear and let it rest.


  • Searing: the searing is totally optional, but that is how you can ensure the outside of your chicken isn’t rubbery and is, instead, crispy and delicious.  If you don’t have a gas grill you can sear on your smoker by removing the chicken and turning your smoker up ALL the way. Then sear quickly. 
  • Cook Time: how long it ultimately takes to smoke meat has so many variables at play (like wind, air temp, humidity, hot spots, thickness of chicken, etc.). These took an hour for me, but I provided a range to account for these other variables impacting your cook time. 
  • Chicken Breast: we recommend using boneless chicken breast, but see the notes in the blog post above if you want to use bone-in chicken breast.
  • Smoked Chicken Thighs: we also have a similar recipe for Smoked Chicken Thighs.
  • Whole Smoked Chicken: if you would rather cook a whole chicken try this Whole Smoked Chicken or this Beer Can Chicken.
  • Wood Chips: I recommend a mesquite, apple or or hickory for this recipe.
  • Leftovers: these make great leftovers and this Smoked Chicken Salad is AMAZING!

Keywords: smoked chicken breasts