How Long Does It Take To Smoke Chicken Breast: The Ultimate Guide

Are you craving juicy, smoky chicken breast but unsure about the timing? Look no further! In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive deep into the art of smoking chicken breast and answer the age-old question: how long does it take to smoke chicken breast? Get ready to impress your friends and family with perfectly cooked, finger-licking good smoked chicken breasts!

Why Smoke Chicken Breast?

Smoking chicken breast is a game-changer. The low and slow cooking process infuses the meat with incredible smoky flavors, while keeping it incredibly moist and tender. Unlike grilling or baking, which can quickly dry out chicken breasts, smoking ensures a juicy and flavorful result every time.

Factors Affecting Smoking Time

Before we dive into the specifics, it’s important to understand that the time required to smoke chicken breasts can vary based on several factors:

  • Thickness of the Chicken Breasts: Thicker chicken breasts will take longer to smoke than thin ones.
  • Type of Smoker: Different smokers (electric, charcoal, pellet, etc.) may have varying heat output and airflow, affecting cooking times.
  • Desired Level of Doneness: Some prefer their chicken breasts cooked to a higher internal temperature, while others prefer a juicier, slightly underdone texture.
  • Ambient Temperature: Smoking in colder weather may require longer cooking times compared to warmer conditions.

The Ideal Temperature for Smoking Chicken Breast

Most experts recommend smoking chicken breasts at a temperature between 225°F and 250°F (107°C to 121°C). This low and slow approach allows the chicken to cook gently and evenly, ensuring maximum juiciness and smoke penetration.

How Long to Smoke Chicken Breast

Now, for the million-dollar question: how long does it take to smoke chicken breast? According to reputable sources, such as Kingsford and Hey Grill Hey, the average smoking time for boneless, skinless chicken breasts is approximately:

  • 1 hour at 225°F (107°C) to reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C), which is the recommended safe minimum temperature for poultry.

However, it’s essential to note that these times are estimates and can vary based on the factors mentioned earlier. The best way to ensure perfectly cooked chicken breast is to use a reliable meat thermometer and cook to the desired internal temperature.

Optional: For a Slight Crust

If you prefer a slight crust on your smoked chicken breast, try this method:

  1. Smoke your chicken at 225°F (107°C) until it reaches an internal temperature of 115°F (46°C).
  2. Increase the smoker temperature to 375°F (191°C) and continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).

This two-step approach allows you to achieve a crispy exterior while maintaining a juicy interior.

Tips for Perfectly Smoked Chicken Breast

To ensure your smoked chicken breast turns out amazing every time, follow these helpful tips:

  • Brine the Chicken (Optional): Brining the chicken breasts before smoking can help them stay extra juicy and flavorful.
  • Use a Thermometer: Invest in a reliable meat thermometer and cook to the desired internal temperature for perfectly cooked chicken.
  • Let it Rest: After smoking, let the chicken rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat.
  • Experiment with Wood Chips: Try different wood chips like apple, cherry, or hickory to impart unique smoky flavors.
  • Sauce It Up: Slather your smoked chicken breast with your favorite BBQ sauce or glaze for an extra burst of flavor.


Smoking chicken breast is a fantastic way to enjoy juicy, flavorful poultry with minimal effort. By following the guidelines in this article and using a reliable meat thermometer, you’ll be able to achieve perfectly smoked chicken breasts every time. Whether you’re cooking for a weeknight dinner or a backyard barbecue, smoked chicken breast is sure to be a crowd-pleaser!

So, fire up your smoker, grab your favorite wood chips, and get ready to impress your guests with mouthwatering, smoky chicken breast perfection!

How To Smoke Chicken Breast On Traeger Grills


How long does chicken breast take on smoker at 250?

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.

Is it better to smoke a chicken at 225 or 250?

The best smoker temperatures for chicken are around 225 degrees. Preheat your smoker for even cooking. We’ll start low, and heat it up later to crisp up that skin.

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