How To Smoke Chicken Breasts

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The perfect smoked chicken breast

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How many times have you gone to grill chicken breast and ended up with a dry, burnt piece of cardboard like chicken? Well, I have the perfect solution to your problem. Smoked chicken breast! These bad boys are tender and juicy with an amazing smokey flavour. Even better there are only two ingredients! Forget about everything you thought you knew about bbq chicken I will change your life with this one.

This recipe is one of my favourite chicken recipes. It’s easy peasy and delivers a flavourful, juicy and tender breast with only two ingredients. Perfect for those of you who simply just don’t have the time to prepare and smoke a whole bird.

The Secret To Smoking Chicken

I’ll let you in on a little secret, the key to a really good smoked chicken breast is the oil that is used in the marinade. In my opinion avocado or olive oils deliver the best result. Obviously timing and temperature are also very important to the cooking process, however, the oil is something that many people overlook or just plain forget about. For this recipe we are using a fairly simple marinade, this is because we are using hickory wood, this wood gives off an amazing flavour so we don’t need to overpower that with a strong marinade. For this recipe specifically I am using a roasted red pepper olive oil vinaigrette, it’s just delicious!     

How To Smoke A Chicken Breast

This recipe serves about 4 hungry guests. If you do not like the sound of this marinade you can swap out for your favourite, however, I would advise you to go for something that does not have a very overpowering flavour. You really want the beautiful flavour of the hickory to stand out in the breast!

Smoking chicken breast is a really fast and simple way to eat really healthy, good tasting chicken. For this recipe, all you need to do is simply lay your chicken on a large piece of grill foil and drizzle the vinaigrette over one side. Wrap the foil tightly around each breast and place in the fridge until your smoker is preheated.

Smoking each breast with a healthy amount of the marinade and wrapped individually creates a perfect moist environment for a tender and juicy breast. Be sure not to open the parcel until a couple of hours into the cooking to keep all the goodness inside for the duration of the cook.  

Once the chicken is in you want to maintain a temperature of 250ºF, if you need to add in more hickory throughout the duration of the cook please do so.

Pretty simple stuff right?

Now you have all afternoon to spend with the kids or working on that ‘to-do’ list the wife has got prepared for you.


Smoked Chicken Breast

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 5 minutes


  • 4-5 large chicken breasts
  • cup of roasted red pepper olive oil vinaigrette (or your favourite marinade)


  1. Thoroughly wash and dry the chicken breasts, then lay them out on a piece of heavy duty aluminum foil.
  2. Drizzle the marinade over both sides of the chicken, making sure to get a good cover, this will keep the chicken nice and tender while cooking.
  3. Wrap each breast individually and place in the fridge.
  4. Prepare your smoker and preheat until 250ºF.
  5. Once your smoker has got to tempreture, add the hickory chunks to the smoker box and wait until you get a good smoke.
  6. Once you have got a good smoke, add the foil parcels to the smoker, close and leave for around 2 - 2 ½ hours. (no peeking!)
  7. After 2 - 2 ½ hours check the internal tempreture of the chicken breast, you are looking for 160ºF.
  8. Once cooked let rest for 5 - 10 minutes then slice & serve.

Final thoughts

This smoked chicken is guaranteed to become a favourite with your family over summer. It’s a perfect fast recipe you can put on then go and enjoy the evenings with the kids. One of my favourite ways to eat this smoked chicken breast is on top of a simple salad with avocado, cherry tomatoes, crunchy lettuce, roasted beets and a healthy crumble of feta! And how could I forget a beautiful slice of toasted crusty sourdough?

Something that my kids really love is taking leftover smoked chicken sandwiches to school, they are the envy of everyone at lunchtime.

This recipe can easily be adjusted different smokers, such as an electric smoker, gas smoker and pellet smokers. This recipe can also be adjusted for turkey breast very easily, smoked turkey breast is an even healthier alternative to chicken. For turkey add on another 30 minutes for cooking before checking the internal temperature the first time.

I hope you enjoy this recipe, if you have any variations or special additions that you have, please let me know. I am always interested in finding out other people takes on my receipies, tihs helps me evolove my own cooking and skills.

Happy smoking


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