This smoked chicken breast is so easy to make and full of flavor from the homemade seasoning mix and smoke infused into it. You only need a couple of hours to make this juicy, tender, smoky chicken and it is so versatile. Use it in salads, sandwiches, wraps, tacos, or as a simple protein for dinner and barbecue parties.
SMOKED CHICKEN BREASTS
The most popular protein that everyone likes to eat is chicken and especially chicken breast. When in doubt, it’s chicken for dinner because you know that everyone in the family will eat it. Even the pickiest little eaters will agree to eat chicken breast.
So why not make it extra tasty by infusing this lean and tender meat with a hint of smoke. You can be in complete control of the strength of smoke flavor because chicken goes with everything. Make the smoke mild and fruity or make it strong and woodsy, it’s up to you!
I love to smoke a couple of packs of chicken at the same time because it’s the perfect protein for meal prep. You can use it as easy dinners and lunches the whole week. It goes great in cold and hot sandwiches, salads, tacos, quesadillas, over pasta, and over rice. Any side dish will be perfect and the smokiness of the chicken will transfer into the whole meal.
QUICK SMOKING Q&A
What wood chips are best for smoking chicken breasts?
This chicken will be good with just about any wood you choose. Make it mild and fruity with apple, maple, or cherry, or make it strong like hickory or Jack Daniels blend. Just remember that mesquite wood is very strong and will be quite powerful.
What temperature to smoke chicken?
I smoke just about everything at 225°. (When in doubt, always go with this standard temperature.)
How long does smoked chicken breast take 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. If you do have a variety in sizes, always judge by the largest one. (You can always pull the smallest chicken breasts off and let larger ones cook a little longer.)
How do I know that chicken is done?
Internal temperature is the best indicator that your meat is done. Chicken is done when it reaches 165° internal temperature.
INGREDIENTS YOU NEED
Chicken breasts – try to get chicken that is all uniform in size so it cooks evenly.
Dijon Mustard – this is a great ingredient because it serves as a “glue” to help keep the seasoning on the chicken as well as providing a tangy touch of flavor.
Seasoning mix – make your own simple seasoning mix with brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
HOW TO MAKE SMOKED CHICKEN BREASTS
Prepare the smoker first and then take the time while the smoker is preheating to prep the chicken.
Set up your smoker and preheat it to 225°. I highly recommend including a water pan or water/drip pan to the lower rack of the smoker, under the meat. Use a digital oven thermometer to track the temperature on the grill grate.
While the smoker is preheating, rub each chicken breast with Dijon mustard and season them generously on each side.
Insert an instant digital read thermometer probe into the center of the thickest chicken breast, through the side, to track internal temperature. Place chicken breasts on the smoker when it’s ready and close the lid immediately. Smoke chicken until it reaches 160° and take it off the grill. Tent the chicken with a sheet of aluminum foil loosely and let it rest for 5-10 minutes.
Like I mentioned earlier, chicken breast is extremely versatile. You can serve it as an easy dinner protein or use it in quick lunch recipes like sandwiches and salads.
I love to dice some smoked chicken and mix it in with smoked mac and cheese or top off a rice bowl along with some beans, corn, and veggies.
You can even freeze these cooked chicken breasts and thaw it the day before you need it.
Storing and Reheating
Store leftover smoked chicken breasts in a food storage container with an air-tight lid, in the refrigerator. Properly stored, it should be good for up to 4 days.
You can easily freeze the chicken to extend its shelf life and make your meal prep easy later on. Make sure to let the chicken cool to room temperature before freezing. Place 1 or 2 smoked chicken breasts into a freezer zip-top bag and get as much air out as you can. Seal and label each bag and place into the freezer. Freeze smoked chicken for up to 3 months.
Thaw frozen chicken slowly, in the refrigerator. Just pull it out of the freezer and into the refrigerator the day before you need it.
Smoked Chicken Breasts
- 4-5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 3 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup paprika
- 2 tbsp garlic powder
- 2 tbsp kosher coarse salt
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 2 tsp black pepper
- Set up your smoker and preheat it to 225°. I highly recommend including a water pan or water/drip pan to the lower rack of the smoker, under the meat. Use a digital oven thermometer to track the temperature on the grill grate.
- Combine the seasoning in a bowl and whisk until evenly mixed.
- While the smoker is preheating, rub each chicken breast with Dijon mustard and season them generously on both sides.
- Insert an instant digital read thermometer probe into the center of the thickest chicken breast, through the side, to track internal temperature.
- Place chicken breasts on the smoker when it’s ready and close the lid immediately. Smoke chicken until it reaches 160° and take it off the grill.
- Tent the chicken with a sheet of aluminum foil loosely and let it rest for 5-10 minutes.