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How To Smoke Chicken Breasts (If You Love Them Tender & Juicy)

​How many times have you gone to grill chicken breast and ended up with a dry or 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 smoky flavor It's easy peasy and delivers a flavorful breast with only two ingredients.

This is perfect for those of you who simply just don’t have the time to prepare and smoke a whole bird.

Two Chicken Breasts on A White Plate

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.

Charlie's Hot Tip

For this recipe I am using a roasted red pepper olive oil vinaigrette, it's a family favorite!

Smoked Chicken Breasts in Your Pellet Smoker

This recipe serves about 4 hungry guests.

Note: We prefer to use a pellet smoker for this recipe but we have also used an electric smoker with great success (so the family tells me), so I have included the variation below

If you do not like the sound of this marinade you can swap out for your favorite, however, I would advise you to go for something that does not have a very overpowering flavor. You really want the beautiful flavor of the hickory to stand out in the breast!

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.

Note: I like to use my Traegar Tailgater for smoked chicken!

Pretty simple stuff right?

Charlie's Hot Tip

​You will find that due to the high temperature the ​chicken breasts cook at you will HAVE find yourself the best BBQ gloves you can find!

Smoked Chicken Breasts

The Tastiest Smoked Chicken Breast Recipe

Smoking chicken is one of the easiest, tastiest and healthiest ways to add a tonne of flavour. This recipe will result in delicious juicy chicken with a deep smoked flavour. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine Barbecue
Keyword chicken, Smoked Chicken
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Resting time 10 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Servings 4
Author Charlie


  • 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.

Charlie's Hot Tip

For this recipe we are use a fairly simple marinade. We found that hickory wood, gives off an amazing flavour so we don’t need to overpower that with a strong marinade.

Smoked Chicken Breasts in Your Electric Smoker

Sometimes you just don't have the time for pellets, charcoal or wood! My wife is also a fan of smoking chicken breasts in our electric smoker. Its means she can just plug it in, set the temp and carry on with her day. 

Preheat your electric smoker to 250ºF.

Similar to the pellet smoker recipe above you want to marinade your chicken breasts with your choice of oil or vinaigrette (make sure you this is more than enough liquid to cover them and more for them to sit in.

Once you have your smoker to temp add your parcel to the electric smoker

After about 2-2.5 hours (make sure you don't open them below!) check the internal temp, you want to see at 160ºF. My always left the chicken sit for at least 5 minutes! 

Charlie's Tasty Tip 

My wife and kids looooove chicken! After my smoked chicken breasts they also love when I cook my spicy smoked chicken wings as well when I do ​beer can chicken in the smoker.

 I find the beer cooks off enough that it is ok to feed to my kids. If you want some more information I would suggest checking out
Can Kids Eat Things Cooked in Beer?

traeger chicken breast

Final Thoughts

This smoked chicken is guaranteed to become a favorite with your family over summer.

One of my favorite 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?

If you have any variations or special additions that you have, let me know. I am always interested in finding out other people takes on my recipes, this helps me evolve my own cooking and skills.

Don't Forget To Pin

The Easy Way To Smoke Chicken
4.8 (95.38%) 13 votes


You will more often than not find me tinkering around in my backyard. I will have one hand tightly gripped around a can of beer and the other hand tightly gripped around my spatula. Not so long ago (almost 8 years now) I got obsessed with Grilling, smoking and BBQ-ing. I can't get enough of it.. and neither can my family!

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