Smoked Chicken Breast: A Step-by-Step Guide

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If you’re planning a BBQ this summer, there really isn’t anything better than smoked chicken breast on a pellet grill. Pair this tender smoked chicken with crispy potatoes, lightly salted, and with a fresh and crunchy side of salad, and you’ve got yourself an unbeatable summer dish. You can thank us later!

Here’s our super easy-to-follow, fool-proof smoked chicken breast recipe designed for complete beginners.

Smoked chicken breast

Table of Contents

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    Prep Your Bone-in Chicken Breast With Your Favorite Rub

    Like with any meat dish, preparation is key. So you’ll need to start by gathering the following ingredients together to make the smoked chicken breast rub.

    • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
    • Paprika dried
    • Garlic powder
    • Onion powder
    • Black pepper salt
    • Cayenne pepper

    This unique combination of heat, spice, and garlic is going to complement the smoked chicken perfectly. So start by simply combining all these ingredients together in a container. Now on a chopping board or clean surface, pull back the chicken breast skin and give the meat a good coating of the rub before stretching back the skin to keep the rub in place. Make sure to season the skin too, gently patting it into the meat. Flip and repeat until the bone-in chicken breast is evenly covered.

    Prep Your Bone-in Chicken Breast

    How Long to Smoke Chicken Breast at 225℉

    For those completely new to smoking chicken breast, you’ll probably be wondering how long to smoke your meat before it gets too dry, or burnt, right. Well, it all depends on the size of the chicken breast. In this video tutorial, we cook the chicken at approximately 225F, for around 2 to 3 hours until it’s golden brown and ready to serve. But you’ll  need to make sure you cook the chicken through or risk an upset stomach. Typically it will take 1.5 to 2 hours to smoke bone-in chicken breast but it’s always better to be safe than sorry, right. So if your chicken breast is bigger than the one we’ve cooked in our video tutorial, chances are you’ll need more time to cook yours. So keep it on the grill a bit longer. Check out our Smoked Chicken breast Times and temperatures chart article to learn more.

    Smoking Chicken Breast, Step-By-Step

    Now, swiftly moving on to our simple step-by-step guide on smoking the chicken on a pellet grill. First, you’ll need to get your grill warm.

    Step 1: Preheat the Z Grills smoker to 225℉

    It’s time to feel the fire! Preheat the pellet smoker to 225℉, and add the right amount of cherry wood pellets to smoke your chicken breast. If you don’t have cherry wood, you could use pecan, maple, apple, or something similar.

    preheat your pellet grill to 225 degrees Fahrenheit

    Step 2: Place the chicken breast into the smoker

    Place the chicken breast into the smoker, and bring the internal temperature of the chicken breast to 165℉. If you have a probe to keep an eye on the internal temperature, now is the right time to pop one in and watch as the meat gently smokes on the grill.

    Step 3: Make tornado potatoes for side dishes

    To really level up your poultry dish, we’ll let you into a little secret; tornado potatoes! These little bites of heaven are going to completely change your pellet grill game and make your bone-in chicken breast dish come alive. So here’s how to make them!

    Step 4: Preparing The Skewers & Red Potatoes  

    You won’t believe how simple tornado potatoes are to make! All you need is a handful of red potatoes and skewers.

    Step 5: Skewer The Red Potatoes

    Push the skewer through the entire potato until it’s right bang in the middle.

    Step 6: Chop Into Cubes

    Now the potatoes are skewered, use a knife to slice around the skewer without cutting through. This means you’re ‘tornado-ing’ them rather than chopping or slicing. Ideally, you’ll want about a ¼ inch slices. Now you can spread the potato slices apart ready for seasoning.

    Step 7: Season Each Tornado Potato

    Pop the potato skewers over a bowl and drizzle with olive oil so that the seasoning will stick to the potato slices. Sprinkle over a good helping of kosher salt, black pepper, granulated garlic, and some rosemary. Be generous with the tornado potato seasoning.

    Step 8: Place the potatoes into the smoker

    Open the pellet smoker, and place the potatoes into the smoker, smoke at 225℉, and bring the internal temperature of potatoes to 165℉, for about 2-3 hours. But keep an eye on them, or risk the tornados getting too hot and burning.

    Step 9: Make summer watermelon salad for side dishes

    Now let’s throw together a refreshing watermelon salad to really impress your friends and family.

    Step 10: Cut the watermelon into bite-sized pieces

    To prepare the salad, start by quartering the watermelon and cutting it into bite-sized pieces of heaven. Then put all the pieces into a big salad bowl.

    Make summer watermelon salad

    Step 11: Red onions to add crunch

    Now you can move on to red onion. Take a large red onion and chop it into bite-sized pieces too and add to your watermelon.

    Red onions to add crunch

    Step 12: Add Feta cheese

    Taking a large block of feta cheese, repeat the chopping process or simply crumble by hand into the salad for a creamy texture and taste.

    Add Feta cheese

    Step 13: Cucumber & Mint

    Next, you’ll want to take a cucumber and using a fork add texture to the skin before slicing and adding into the bowl. Then, take fresh mint, chop finely before adding a fresh squeeze of lime and a helping of olive oil. Chill in the fridge until you’re ready to serve the smoked chicken breast.

    Cucumber & Mint

    Step 14: Brush the potatoes and chicken breasts

    While the salad is chilling, it’s time to brush the potatoes with garlic and butter. This drizzle of garlic butter will really intensify the flavor of the potatoes. You can also repeat this process for the smoked chicken breast.

    Use the butter garlic sauce to brush the potatoes and chicken breasts.

    Brush the potatoes and chicken breasts

    Step 15: Check the internal temp of chicken breast

    Once the smoked chicken breast has reached 163degrees internal, it is finally ready to rest. When you rest the chicken it will continue to cook and should reach 165 degrees or above.

    Check the internal temp of chicken breast

    Step 16: Bring it right over to the plate

    Once the chicken has rested and reached 165 degrees, it’s time to plate up. Serve with the tornado potatoes and zesty watermelon salad and enjoy this super easy taste sensation.

    Step 17: Rest, slice, and serve

    The beauty of using a Z Grill to smoke chicken breast is that you’ll notice the chicken develops a gorgeous golden color and the juices of the meat will be dripping off it, making the meat tender and juicy. There really isn’t anything better on a hot summer’s day! Combine it with the citrus notes of the salad and the heat of the potatoes, and wow, it really is unbeatable! If you’d like to make this recipe, it’s worth investing in the Z Grills 11002B WiFi Pellet Grill.  And once you’ve got yourself the grill you can explore more finger-licking backyard BBQ recipes from The Gallery Backyard BBQ & Griddle here, or try this recipe out for yourself by watching our video tutorial here.

    What to Serve with Smoked Chicken Breast?

    Smoked Chicken Breast

    Servings 4
    Prep Time 15 mins
    Cook Time 3 hrs
    Total Time 3 hrs 15 mins

    Ingredients

    Instructions

    • Preheat the Z Grills smoker to 225℉ with cherry wood pellets or your choice of flavor.
    • Combine all the rub ingredients together in a container.
    • Give the meat a good coating of the rub, above and under the skin.
    • Place the chicken breast into the smoker, and smoke until the internal temperature of the chicken breast reaches 165℉.
    • While the meat is smoking, make tornado potatoes for side dishes. Push the skewer through the entire potato until it’s right bang in the middle, and then use a knife to slice around the skewer without cutting through.
    • Season each tornado potato with olive oil, kosher salt, black pepper, granulated garlic, and some rosemary.
    • Place the potatoes into the smoker and smoke until the internal temperature of the potatoes reaches 165℉.
    • To make summer watermelon salad for side dishes, cut the watermelon into bite-sized pieces and add bite-sized red onions to the watermelon.
    • Add your desired amount of feta cheese, cucumber, and mint. Chill in the fridge.
    • After 2 hours, brush the potatoes and chicken breasts (optional) with garlic and butter mixture.
    • Once the chicken breast has reached 163 degrees, pull them off the smoker and let them rest to allow for carryover cooking.
    • Plate and serve.

    Video

    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: Chicken, Smoked

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