Why you’ll love this easy smoked chicken recipe

  • You’ll get juicy chicken breasts seasoned with a delicious chicken rub and an amazing smoky flavor.
  • No brine needed to keep it juicy, just season it up and pull it off at the right temperature.
  • Great for feeding a crowd or meal prep, you can smoke as many chicken breasts as your smoker or pellet grill will fit. Just scale the seasonings in the recipe accordingly and you’re good!
  • Serve with any kind of bbq side dish for the perfect family meal.

Related ->> Check out this recipe for a juicy smoked whole chicken with crispy skin.

Step-by-step instructions for smoking a chicken breast

  • It’s really very simple! Start by heating up your smoker or pellet grill to 225° Fahrenheit. Then, follow the steps below.
Make the rub by combining all of the rub ingredients in a small bowl and mixing.
Drizzle oil on both sides of the chicken and brush it all over to coat.
Season the chicken liberally on both sides with the rub. Use your hands if needed to cover the chicken breasts completely.
Smoke for 2-3 hours at 225°, until it reaches and holds an internal temp of 150° for 5 minutes.
If desired, brush on some BBQ sauce once the internal temperature reaches 140°.

How long to smoke chicken breasts

Depending on the size of the chicken breasts, it will take about 2-3 hours to smoke them.

You want to smoke chicken low and slow at 225° so the smoke has time to penetrate the chicken and give it that smoky flavor.

Watch the chicken closely during the last hour of smoking. Using an instant read thermometer, you’ll be able to to check it quickly to see when it’s getting close to the required temperature (see below).

Angled image of two pieces of chicken breast on a plate. The closest image is sliced into strips.

The best internal temperature for smoked chicken

For the best tasting, juicy (and fully-cooked safe to eat) chicken, I recommend cooking smoked chicken breast to an internal temperature of 150° Fahrenheit.

I know that every package of chicken states to cook it to an internal temperature of 165°, but that is the temperature that kills all bacteria instantly and is appropriate too use when cooking with high-heat.

If you smoke your chicken breast to this temperature it will be dry and rubbery.

When smoking chicken, it’s all about time at temperature. So, if you bring your chicken to an internal temperature of 150° and hold it there for 5 minutes, that is sufficient to kill any bacteria.

This is covered in the USDA’s guidance on cooking poultry.

Two pieces of smoked chicken breast on a plate. One piece sliced into strips. BBQ sauce in a small bowl on the side.

Recommended sides for smoker chicken breast

Some of our favorites are potato salad or creamy coleslaw, but the possibilities are endless.

Serve this smoky chicken with:

Making a Traeger chicken breast

This recipe will work on any pellet grill or smoker. I highly recommend a Traeger pellet grill, it’s what I’ve always used. It’s great for both high-heat and smoking and is very easy to use.

For this recipe, if you’re using a newer Traeger, just poke the probe into the thickest breast and set it to alert you when it reaches 150° – easy peasy!

We hope you love this recipe as much as we do!

Don’t forget to leave a quick star rating and review below, we read every comment and truly appreciate your feedback. Also, be sure to browse the rest of our easy grilling recipes to find some other favorites too!

Overhead image of smoked chicken breast cut into strips on a plate.
4.77 from 71 ratings
Get the Recipe:

Juicy Smoked Chicken Breast (Traeger or Pellet Grill)

Deliciously juicy and smoked to perfection, this smoked chicken breast is a flavorful way to cook chicken breasts. Seasoned with a simple homemade chicken rub, this easy smoker recipe is perfect on the Traeger or any pellet grill.

Ingredients

For the rub:

  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar, (or equivalent sweetener of choice, omit for low-carb)

For basting:

  • 1/2 cup BBQ Sauce, (can use any preferred BBQ sauce, omit or use no-sugar sauce for low-carb)

Equipment

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your smoker to 225° Fahrenheit.
  • Make the rub by combining all of the rub ingredients in a small bowl and mixing.
  • Brush the chicken breasts on each side with a little oil. Then, season the chicken on both sides with the rub. The chicken should all be completely covered in the seasoning.
  • Place the chicken in the smoker to cook for 2-3 hours, or until it reaches and holds an internal temp of 150° for 5 minutes.
  • When the internal temp reaches 140°, brush the chicken on both sides with BBQ sauce.
  • When the chicken reaches and holds an internal temp of 150° for 5 minutes, remove it from the smoker.
  • Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Last Step:

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Notes

Nutrition amounts are per serving and an estimate provided for those following a Ketogenic or low-carb diet. The amounts listed do not include coconut sugar or the bbq sauce for this recipe. See our full nutrition information disclosure here
Calories: 326kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 48g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Fiber: 1g
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