When it comes to amazing smoker recipes, it’s hard to top good old sliced smoked chicken! Smoked chicken breast takes incredibly well to smoke flavor over hot coals and makes for amazing platters, tacos, sandwiches, and more to serve all of your friends!
Table of Contents
- What is Smoked Chicken Breast
- Smoked Boneless Chicken Breast Ingredients
- How to Smoke Chicken Breast
- Expert Recipe Tips
- Leftovers and Reheating
- How to serve smoked chicken breast and side dishes
- Recipe FAQs
- More Grilled Chicken Inspiration:
- Smoked Chicken Breast Recipe
Smoking chicken breast leaves it with gorgeous color and delicious smoky flavor that will absolutely spice up your chicken routine. But can you smoke a chicken breast without it becoming rubbery and dry? Yes! And because it’s cooked low and slow, it this versatile cut is perfect for so many healthy meal options. Use smoked chicken recipes with it as a salad topping, chicken fajitas, wraps, or main dish.
What is Smoked Chicken Breast
Chicken is one of those proteins you see many people weary of trying new recipes for. Nothing beats their tried-and-true sheet pan baked chicken or quick weeknight bacon-wrapped stuffed chicken breast, and that’s that. Which, for chicken, isn’t always the best option. Unlike savory smoked chicken thighs, hardly anyone takes on full chicken breasts for grilling, and that’s crazy because they pack so much flavor!
Chicken breast gets the short end of the stick. It’s a lean, healthy cut everyone loves with brown rice and broccoli when stocking up for the next CrossFit class. But it has so much more potential than that.
Smoky, juicy chicken breast coated in a sweet and spicy seasoning blend, served with grilled fruits, veggies, and avocado–what could be better? This meal feels indulgent but is still totally healthy (plus the cotija, paprika, and lime on top jazz it up while adding a nice kick). It’s a great way to sneak in a meal of lean and simple protein and produce without sacrificing taste.
Not to mention, the smoking process is a relaxing, rewarding way to cook chicken, spend an hour or two, and you don’t have to prep a whole smoked chicken!
Smoked Boneless Chicken Breast Ingredients
- Boneless chicken breasts
- Olive oil – use your favorite neutral oil, like avocado oil, for the best flavor.
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- GirlCarnivore Over Easy Spice blend or the sweet and spicy poultry blend or bbq seasoning of your choice
For the Platter
This part is totally optional as smoked chicken breast is amazing with a variety of side dishes. Skip this if you want and serve as desired.
- Corn – the perfect side for this recipe
- Olive oil – used to coat your chicken breasts before placing them on the grill or smoker
- Seasonings – use salt and cumin to season your chicken recipes.
- Pineapple – it’s delicious grilled alongside your chicken breast
- Toppings – avocado, cherry tomatoes, crumbled cotija cheese, optional lime wedges, and smoke paprika.
How to Smoke Chicken Breast
- First, prep your grill or smoker for a 2-zone fire. Stack the coals on one side of the grill, adjust the air intake vents as needed, and aim for a temp of 225 to 250 degrees F.
- Start by patting your boneless skinless chicken breasts dry with paper towels and placing them on a clean work surface. Rub the chicken with olive oil. Season it generously with salt, pepper, and the dry rub of choice (your favorite spicy poultry seasoning blend or chicken rub).
- Once the smoker is holding a steady temperature, lay smoking wood over the embers. Allow the smoke to burn clean before adding the chicken.
Place the seasoned chicken on the cooler side of the grill. Let the chicken breast smoke with the lid closed (open the lid as infrequently as possible to avoid releasing smoke and heat–flip just once if needed).
- The chicken should smoke for about 45 to 60 minutes–until an instant-read thermometer inserted at the thicker side reads the internal temperature of the chicken is 160 degrees F.
- In the last 20 minutes or so, add the corn (so it picks up that smoky flavor as well–it’ll be the best-tasting cob you’ve had).
- Once the chicken is done, remove it from the heat and tent it in aluminum foil. As the meat rests, finish the corn by rotating it over the hotter side of the grill. Meanwhile, grill the pineapple until it softens and grill marks appear. Add salt to taste.
- Slice the smoked chicken breast into thin strips and cut the corn in half. Plate the chicken slices, corn, pineapple, avocado, red onion, and sliced tomatoes for serving, sprinkling the cotija cheese and smoked paprika on top. Garnish with lime wedges as desired, and dig in!
Expert Recipe Tips
For a gas grill:
Preheat the grill for indirect heat by lighting 2 of the 3 burners and allow the grill to preheat with the lid closed. Add a smoker box filled with fresh wood chips to the hot side of the grill, and after 10 minutes, when there is smoke flowing from the smoker box and the grill has preheated, add the seasoned chicken to the cooler side of the grill. Smoke the chicken as directed above.
For a pellet smoker:
Preheat the pellet grill per the manufacturers’ instructions to 225 degrees F. Add wood chunks or wood chips in a smoker box to the grill grate for a slightly subtle smoked flavor. Cook the Traeger smoked chicken breast as directed above to a safe internal temperature.
- We recommend Cowboy All Natural Hardwood Briquets for smoking chicken with all-natural fire started so no chemical tastes impede the taste.
- Western Wood Hickory, Pecan, Apple, Maple, or Post Oak chunks are our recommended wood chunks and wood chips.
- For a pellet grill, we recommend Jack Daniel’s Charcoal pellets for a more robust grilled taste.
Leftovers and Reheating
This smoked chicken breast will last 2-4 days in an airtight container in the fridge. You can also freeze it and thaw it to enjoy it for up to six months. One afternoon smoking sliced smoked chicken breast, and you’ll have lunch for the week!
The best way to reheat smoked chicken is in a roasting pan in the oven–preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and stick it in for about 15 minutes. You can also use the microwave in a pinch or eat the leftover chicken cold over a salad.
How to serve smoked chicken breast and side dishes
This is a great recipe because the smoked chicken breast is so versatile–you can serve it with just about anything!
We love to serve smoked chicken breast with Alabama white sauce or homemade chimichurri for a pop of freshness. When we’re feeling like old-fashioned barbecue, we brush it with our homemade bbq sauce and pop it back on the grill for 5 to 10 minutes to set the sauce.
Turn leftover smoked chicken into a chicken salad, instant pot chipotle tacos, or slice it for grilled chicken fajita. It’s even great as chicken street tacos, smoked chicken chilaquiles, chicken pastina soup, and anywhere you’d use chicken breast!
When grilling chicken, we often open the lid too often, check, poke, and see if it’s pulling back. Nope? Close and repeat until well past the done mark.
For chicken breast, you want an instant-read thermometer and a little patience. Close the lid and let the smoke flavor mingle with the chicken, and when you’re ready to temp, you are looking for a safe internal temperature of 160ºF on your temperature probe.
Like all meats, wrap and let the chicken rest for 5-10 minutes before moving on. As it rests the internal temperature of the chicken breast will rise to a safe internal temperature of 165F as per USDA recommendations.
When you think of low-and-slow smoked meat, the lean breast does not come to mind. Indeed not anything without the bones or skin still on (cause, that is the best). Can chicken breast be smoked and not dry and flavorless? Totally. And it’s not going to take all day.
Cooking on a low temperature will give you the best results. Cook time will vary based on the thickness and size of the chicken breast, so keep your eye on it and always use a digital meat thermometer for the most accurate results.
We love white meat over charcoal with wood chips to add a light flavor (and the color you get is impressive) without basting in barbecue sauce. Oh, and for tailgating, smoked chicken is always a surprise to dish out.
If you’ve tried this Smoked Chicken Breast Recipe or any other recipe on GirlCarnivore.com please don’t forget to rate the recipe and let us know where you found it in the comments below. We get inspired by your feedback and comments!
Smoked Chicken Breast
for the smoked chicken breast
- 4 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tspn salt
- 1/2 tspn pepper
- 1 tbsp GirlCarnivore Over Easy Spice Blend or your favorite herbaceous seasoning mix
for the platter
- 4 ears corn silks and husks removed
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tspn salt
- 1/2 tspn cumin
- 1 pineapple cored and cut into wedges
- 2 avocados pit removed and sliced for serving
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes sliced in half
- 1/2 onion sliced thin
- 1/4 cup cotija crumbled
- lime wedges if desired
- Smoked Paprika for garnish
Prep the chicken and grill
- prep the grill for a 2-zone fire by stacking lit coals to one side of the grill. Adjust the air vents and preheat hte grill to 225 to 250 degrees F.
- While the smoker comes to temperature, pat the chicken dry and place it on a clean work surface.
- Rub the chicken with the olive oil and season liberally with salt, pepper, and the Girl Carnivore Over Easy Spice Blend.
- Once the smoker is maintaining a steady even heat, lay wood chips over the embers and allow the smoke to burn clean before adding the meat.
Smoke the chicken
- Then arrange the chicken breasts on the cooler side of the grill.
- Close the lid and allow the chicken to smoke, checking minimally to avoid letting smoke and heat out.
- Smoke the chicken breast until it is cooked through, and an instant-read thermometer temps at 160F at the thickest part, about 45 to 60 minutes.; Flipping once if needed.
- Add the corn the last 20 minutes or so, to allow the corn to pick up smoke flavor.
- When the chicken is cooked, carefully remove it from the grill and allow it to rest on a clean work surface tented with foil.
- While the chicken rests, finish cooking the corn, rotating, over the hot side of the grill.
- Grill the pineapple until pineapple softens and grill marks appear. Season with salt.
Slice the smoked chicken breast and serve
- Slice the chicken into thin strips and cut the corn in half.
- Arrange the sliced chicken, corn, pineapple, avocado, red onion and sliced tomatoes on a platter for serving.
- Sprinkle the cotija and smoked paprika over the top.
- Serve with lime wedges, if desired.
For a gas grill:Preheat the grill for indirect heat by lighting 2 of the 3 burners and allow the grill to preheat with the lid closed. Add a smoker box filled with fresh wood chips to the hot side of the grill, and after 10 minutes, when there is smoke flowing from the smoker box and the grill has preheated, add the seasoned chicken to the cooler side of the grill. Smoke the chicken as directed above.
For a pellet smoker:Preheat the pellet grill per the manufacturers’ instructions to 225 degrees F. If desired, add wood chunks or wood chips in a smoker box to the grill grate for a slightly subtle smoked flavor. Smoke the chicken as directed above to a safe internal temperature. We recommend Cowboy All Natural Hardwood Briquets for smoking chicken with all natural fire started so no chemical tastes impede the flavor.
Western Wood Hickory, Pecan, Apple, Maple or Post Oak chunks are our recommended wood chunks and wood chips.
For a pellet grill, we recommend Jack Daniel’s Charcoal pellets for a more robust grilled flavor.