This is a delicious and different way to enjoy chicken breasts, with plenty of smoky flavor! Brining the chicken before smoking allows it to stay moist and flavorful. They are a great addition to a salad, on a sandwich, or just by themselves!

Recipe Summary

prep:
5 mins
cook:
4 hrs
additional:
4 hrs
total:
8 hrs 5 mins
Servings:
3
Yield:
3 servings
Advertisement

Ingredients

3
Original recipe yields 3 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Brine:
Dry Rub:

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Combine water, kosher salt, brown sugar, and apple cider vinegar in a large bowl. Stir until salt and brown sugar are dissolved. Place chicken breasts into brine, cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

    Advertisement
  • Preheat an electric smoker according to manufacturer's directions to 225 degrees F (110 degrees C) using maple wood chips.

  • Remove chicken breasts from brine and rinse under cold water. Pat dry. Combine salt, black pepper, paprika, brown sugar, garlic powder, and onion powder in a bowl. Sprinkle dry rub all over chicken breasts and place skin-side up on a grill rack in the preheated smoker. Place a drip pan underneath.

  • Smoke chicken breasts in the preheated smoker until chicken is no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear, about 4 hours, adding maple wood chips as necessary to keep the smoke continuous. An instant-read thermometer inserted near the bone should read 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).

Editor's Note:

Nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of marinade ingredients. The actual amount of marinade consumed will vary.

Cook's Note:

You will need about 3 large chicken breasts (4 pounds) for this recipe.

Nutrition Facts

729 calories; protein 126.2g; carbohydrates 14.9g; fat 14.6g; cholesterol 344.8mg; sodium 8680.6mg. Full Nutrition
Advertisement

Reviews (4)

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
04/06/2020
I used a Weber smoker at 250° so it took less than 4 hours. The brine made it moist and delicious. I used my own rub and hickory chunks and briquettes for smoking. Next time I would cut down on the amount of wood and perhaps try cherry. Read More
5 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 4
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
02/23/2021
Chicken breast came out perfect! I used boneless skinless chicken breast and found that it absorbed just the right amount of smoke, be careful with the density of the spice coating, it's easy to put too much powder on the chicken which results in a chalky mouth feel. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
04/06/2020
I used a Weber smoker at 250° so it took less than 4 hours. The brine made it moist and delicious. I used my own rub and hickory chunks and briquettes for smoking. Next time I would cut down on the amount of wood and perhaps try cherry. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
04/29/2019
Five stars if done the follow way. With smoking a chicken using a pellet grill you've got to pick if you want heavier smoke flavor or crispy skin. It is almost impossible to get both. Some folks will smoke at 225 for a while (45 minutes.) and then turn up the smoker to 375 (The last 15 minutes.) to finish for a crispy skin. I like a dry brine (AKA: Rub only.) chicken smoked at 325 or 350 the whole way. Use a Thermopop to test doneness. Here's another twist. How about smoked fried chicken? Smoke it first then flour it and fry it Read More
Advertisement
Rating: 2 stars
07/23/2020
I used a huge package of Drumsticks and needed to double the brine. Unfortunately the overnight brine was too much. The salt was overwhelming. The chicken was definitely moist. I used my pellet smoker and started at 200 (for some smoke) for a spell (0.75 hrs) then move to about 225 for about another 0.5 hrs and the last 0.75 at 375. All in all I cooked about 2hrs. Tasty but not a keeper for me. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
09/15/2020
I was so impressed with this recipe. We are trying to cook with more chicken to be a little healthier and we love cooking with our smoker. I only ended up marinating for 3 1/2 hours and we smoked it with apple wood for about 3 hours we had three 1 lb boneless chicken breast Read More