Best smoked chicken breast on Traeger grill is here! With bbq sauce on top and a dry rub while cooking, this white meat gets tender and moist just like our smoked chicken thighs but with white meat.
Traeger chicken breasts are a great dinner choice during the summertime or year round really. If you love cooking outside you will want to try these. Use just our rub, or a sauce of your choice. I love barbecue and teriyaki is wonderful too. Just one of our favorite smoker recipes. (affiliate links present)
How Long to Smoke Chicken Breast
There is a range as far as how long this will take, from 30-60 min. If you look at 2 breasts, even from the same bird, they are never exactly the same. I like to suggest that you choose organic, free range medium size pieces. The first two things is because the texture is better and of course the health benefits too. If not just make sure they are not huge.
Buying all the same size though is the most important so the cook time overall is the same, or at least pretty darn close. Bone-in will of course take a bit longer than boneless chicken breasts. Either one you choose, just make sure they have skin on to ad to the moisture and keep them as tender as possible. Even if you take it off at the end it is best for cooking, with every cut, even smoked chicken drumsticks.
Traeger Smoked Chicken Breasts
You don’t have to coat with our seasonings listed below. We do have a lot of dry rub recipes to choose from, or you can just salt and pepper and leave it at that. For me I like a thicker coating on all my meats no matter whether it is poultry or beef I am cooking. Hands down it makes everything better, with or without sauce.
- Chicken breasts
- Dry rub for chicken ingredients;
- Garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- Bottled bbq sauce or make your own Homemade Honey BBQ Sauce with the following ingredients;
- 1 c chili sauce
- Apple cider vinegar
- Brown sugar
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
You are going to let the seasonings do the work for a while before adding sauces nearer to the end. Or just wait until done and then brush some on. Benefit to adding some with the heat is that it will sorta’ bake on and caramelize a bit which is great.
Smoked Bone In Chicken Breast
Your best bet when smoking meats is to have a plug in thermometer that is hooked into your machine. Better yet if it has a wifi ability it will alert you when your pieces hit the temperature you set. That means you don’t have to sit by it, it will even text you if more pellets or wood chips are needed along the way.
Totally on top of things? You can soak in our smoked chicken brine ahead of time which will make it super duper moist with lots of flavor.
- In a small bowl mix Rub ingredients together
- If cutting a whole bird, split chicken breasts in half so you have two of them apart from one another.
- Blot meat dry with paper towels, rub a bit of olive oil on and coat chicken rub all over meat. Fill smoker with hardwood BBQ pellets. Prepare smoker by placing 2-3 long sheets of aluminum foil along the bottom of the smoker element, underneath the rack, for easy cleanup.
- Brush grill rack clean. Set smoker to smoke.
- Once it starts smoking, set temperature to 225° for more of a smoky flavor, 350 for crispier skin.
- Place chicken breasts on smoker, skin side up. (for kids you could put on some smoked chicken lollipop drumsticks for them)
- In a small saucepan, combine sauce ingredients and simmer over medium heat until thickened, approximately 6-8 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Baste chicken with sauce.
- *There may be sauce left over for dipping, so spoon or pour the sauce onto the chicken vs dipping the brush in and out of the sauce after touching uncooked chicken.
- When internal temperature reaches 165 degrees (approximately 60 minutes for 225 and 35 minutes for 350 degrees)
- Remove from smoker, and allow to rest 3-5 minutes. Serve with remaining sauce and side dishes if desired.
** For crispy chicken skin, you can increase temp to 400 for last 5 minutes, put into a pan and under the broiler for 2-3 or in air fryer at 400 for 3 minutes to crisp.
Smoked BBQ Chicken Breast
If I am feeding a larger crowd I might opt for a few of these and maybe a smoked spatchcock chicken to boot. Whole takes longer but is kinda’ nice because once the second hunger wave arrives the other is about done and ready to be enjoyed.
For a cheaper selection, think about buying pieces with more than one attached like chicken quarters smoked. If you mix and match giving people a choice between light and dark meat you may be surprised that many prefer the more inexpensive choices.
About 1 hour. Of course each piece is going to vary in size so your best bet is to find those that are similar so they smoke at the same rate. Bone-in chicken breasts smoked will take a bit longer than boneless as well so keep that in mind. Having a wireless meat thermometer is helpful to know when it reaches 165 F.
If you use a low temperature like 225 degrees F the skin will be more rubbery than if you cook it at 350 F. Another way to “fix” the issue and give you more crispy skin is to smoke but then the last 10 minutes raise the temp. to 400 F.
When it comes to poultry in general you really don’t want to over-cook chicken or it will become dry. Remember that once removed from heat source it will continue to rise 5 degrees or so when resting and you always want to let it sit for a good 10 minutes to keep the juices in.
Smoked Chicken Breast Recipe
If you only want to cook outside, I get it. There are many things you can stick on the grate alongside this so you can have a complete meal done around the same time. Our smoked bread is probably our most popular. You can chop up veggies and throw into a tray with some butter and do that too if you want it all.
Want to see a few of my favorite things that I am totally obsessed with?? Take a peek and see how many you might already have…twinsies!
Smoked Chicken Breast
- 1 smoker
- In a small bowl mix Rub ingredients together. Blot meat dry with paper towels, rub a bit of olive oil on and coat chicken rub all over meat. Fill smoker with hardwood BBQ pellets. Prepare smoker by placing 2-3 long sheets of aluminum foil along the bottom of the smoker element, underneath the rack, for easy cleanup.
- Brush grill rack clean. Set smoker to smoke. Once it starts smoking, set temperature to 225°. Place chicken breasts on smoker, skin side up.
- ** You can set to 350 for a shorter time and crispier outsides, for closer to 35 minutes if you'd rather
- In a small saucepan, combine sauce ingredients and simmer over medium heat until thickened, approximately 6-8 minutes. Stir occasionally. Baste chicken with sauce. *There may be sauce left over for dipping, so spoon or pour the sauce onto the chicken vs dipping the brush in and out of the sauce after touching uncooked chicken.
- When chicken reaches temperature, 165°(approximately 60 minutes), remove from smoker, and allow to rest 3-5 minutes. Serve with remaining sauce if desired.
- ** For crispy chicken skin, you can increase temp to 400 for last 10 minutes, or put into a pan and under the broiler for 2-3, or in air fryer at 400 for 3 minutes to crisp.