This smoked chicken breast is boneless skinless chicken that’s coated in a homemade BBQ seasoning, smoked to tender and juicy perfection, then brushed with BBQ sauce. The best chicken breasts you’ll ever eat!

Once you try cooking chicken breasts in a smoker, you’ll never want to eat chicken any other way. Serve your smoked chicken with sauteed mushrooms and onions, glazed carrots and baked potato wedges for a complete meal.

Smoked chicken breasts on a sheet pan with corn on the corn and fresh herbs.

I’ve been smoking a lot of different meats lately, and I have to say, I think this smoked chicken breast is my favorite! The chicken is full of flavor, super juicy, and is easy to make. I like to make a double batch so that I have plenty of leftovers the next day for sandwiches.

Smoked chicken breasts are fabulous, but if you want to smoke other parts of a chicken, take a look at my recipes for smoked chicken wings, smoked chicken thighs and even a whole smoked chicken!

Smoked Chicken Breast Ingredients

To make this smoked chicken breast you will need chicken brine, chicken breasts, BBQ rub and BBQ sauce.

Chicken breasts in a bowl of brine with lemon and herbs.

How Do You Make Smoked Chicken Breast?

To make smoked chicken breast first make chicken brine. Brine your chicken for a couple of hours before you smoke it. Remove the chicken from the brine, pat it dry with a paper towel and coat the chicken in BBQ dry rub. Smoke the chicken until a meat thermometer shows that the chicken has reached 165 degrees F. Slather the chicken in BBQ sauce and smoke it for an additional 10 minutes. Take the chicken out and dinner is ready!

Chicken breasts coated in homemade BBQ rub.

Tips For The Perfect Smoked Chicken Breast

  • Make sure your chicken breasts are roughly the same size so that they cook evenly and are all done at the same time.
  • In my opinion, homemade BBQ rub and homemade BBQ sauce taste best. If you need to use store bought, that’s also fine too! You can also skip the rub and soak the chicken in my BBQ chicken marinade for a lot of extra flavor.
  • The BBQ rub and BBQ sauce recipes will make more than you need for this particular recipe. The rub will keep in a cool dry place for 6 months, and you can freeze any leftover BBQ sauce.
  • Smoked chicken leftovers reheat well. Place whole smoked chicken breasts in a covered baking dish and cook at 325 degrees F until warmed through.

Quick Tip

Brine the chicken so that it is infused with flavor and stays moist in the smoker. I use a half batch of my favorite chicken brine recipe.

Smoked chicken breasts being brushed with BBQ sauce.

Recipe FAQs

What type of wood is best for smoking chicken?

I typically use apple wood to smoke chicken, as it imparts a mild, slightly sweet flavor. Other great choices are cherry wood, hickory or maple wood.

When is chicken breast done?

Chicken breast is done when the internal temperature of the thickest part of the breast registers at least 165 degrees F. I use a probe thermometer to continuously monitor the temperature of my chicken as it cooks, that way I can pull the chicken out of the smoker at the right time without worrying about it getting overcooked.

What temperature do you smoke chicken breasts?

I smoke my chicken breasts at 250 degrees F. You can also smoke your chicken at 225 degrees F, but it will take a little more time.

How long does it take to smoke a boneless chicken breast?

It takes roughly 60-90 minutes to smoke chicken breasts, depending on the size of the breasts. Smaller breasts (4-6 ounces) will take an hour, while larger breasts (8 ounces or more) will take closer to 90 minutes. The best way to gauge whether your chicken is cooked is to use a thermometer to test the thickest part of the chicken breast to make sure it has reached 165 degrees F.

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Sliced smoked chicken breast over mashed potatoes and corn.

Smoked Chicken Breast Variations

While this chicken breast is delicious, you can make some changes to fit your own preferences.

  • Spicy: Add some crushed red pepper flakes or hot sauce to your BBQ sauce.
  • Mexican: Instead of BBQ rub, use a tablespoon of taco seasoning then omit the BBQ sauce.
  • Herb Chicken: Use a tablespoon of my homemade chicken seasoning instead of BBQ rub and skip the BBQ sauce.
  • Italian: Coat the chicken in two tablespoons of Italian seasoning and skip the BBQ rub and sauce.

I served this smoked chicken breast at a family gathering recently and it got rave reviews, there were no leftovers. I love how easy and versatile this recipe is, it’s one of my all time favorite ways to eat chicken.

More Great Chicken Recipes

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Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card below & a review in the comments section further down the page.

4.96 from 21 votes

Smoked Chicken Breast

AuthorSara Welch
Smoked chicken breasts on a sheet pan with corn on the corn and fresh herbs.
This smoked chicken breast is boneless skinless chicken that’s coated in a homemade BBQ seasoning, smoked to tender and juicy perfection, then brushed with BBQ sauce. The best chicken breasts you’ll ever eat!
Time
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 30 minutes
Brining Time2 hours
Total Time1 hour 40 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine American
Serves 6

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 batch chicken brine optional but highly recommended
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/3 cup BBQ rub homemade or store bought
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce homemade or store bought

Instructions 

  • Follow the brine recipe as instructed, cutting all the ingredients in half. Place your chicken breasts in the bowl of brine, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  • Remove your chicken from the brine. Pat dry. Preheat your smoker to 250 degrees F.
  • Coat the chicken breasts with the spice rub.
  • Place the chicken in the smoker and cook for 60-90 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 165 degrees F.
  • Brush the chicken breasts with the BBQ sauce then smoke for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Let the chicken sit for 5 minutes. Slice and serve with any remaining BBQ sauce.

Notes

  1. Make sure your chicken breasts are roughly the same size so that they cook evenly and are all done at the same time.
  2. In my opinion, homemade BBQ rub and BBQ sauce taste best. If you need to use store bought, that’s also fine too.
  3. Brine the chicken so that it is infused with flavor and stays moist in the smoker. I use a half batch of my favorite chicken brine recipe.

Nutrition

Calories: 254kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 96mg | Sodium: 664mg | Potassium: 670mg | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 150IU | Vitamin C: 2.1mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 0.9mg

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4.96 from 21 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe is so good! I’ve been on a chicken kick and this dish is my favorite. I agree brining is the way to go and appreciate all your tips!

  2. 5 stars
    Smoked chicken is so delicious and juicy. I love the idea of adding taco seasoning before, that would be so good!

  3. 5 stars
    I really love that you brine the chicken first then use a dry rub and BBQ sauce. I can’t wait to mkae this.