Smoked chicken breasts are very popular these days and can be found in salads, soups, curries, and more. Sometimes, you might not even know that your dish contains smoked chicken breasts because it is so well incorporated into the overall dish. For example, when you order a salad, you might come across smoked chicken breasts which are cut into smaller pieces, instead of whole breasts. Smoking chicken breasts is an excellent way to jazz up this prime cut of chicken by lending it extra flavour. They work particularly well with BBQ recipes!
how to make the best smoked chicken breasts
Smoking meat is an age old trick to preserving meat as well as adding plenty of extra flavour to it. If you've never tasted smoked chicken breasts, you're in for a treat. They burst with rich flavours and sometimes they even carry a subtle bitterness. Smoked chicken breasts work exceptionally well for leftover recipes. You can tear the smoked breasts into smaller pieces and include them in a delicious leftover curry recipe. Or, you can cut them into small squares and prepare this smoked chicken filo tart recipe. If you feel like eating a light lunch, you can make this nutritious chicken, almond and orange salad. With smoked chicken breasts, you will make this salad even more sophisticated.
As you can see, cooking smoked chicken breasts is very useful as it is a versatile meat. There are many elements that influence the final outcome. If you want to make the best smoked chicken breasts, you'll need to pay attention to the preparation of the chicken breasts prior to the actual smoking. Give yourself an day or half a day in advance for applying the proper preparation method.
how to make brine smoked chicken breasts
Often, home cooks dread smoking cuts of meat because they are under the impression that this cooking technique will dry it out. Well, this is where brining comes into play. Before you learn how to make smoked the meat, you need to learn how to brine chicken breasts first. This is the number one trick that will make your smoked chicken breasts stand out!
smoked chicken breast brine
The brining process involves submerging the chicken breasts in a sweet and salty solution for a considerable amount of time. This encourages the water to be absorbed into the muscle cells of the chicken, making it moist and juicy once you cook it. So, before you attempt making smoked chicken breasts, leave them in a brine (in the fridge) so you avoid the risk of the chicken breasts drying out in the smoker.
You don't have to limit yourself to just breasts. You can learn how to brine chicken too. Yes, the whole chicken! You can leave the meat in the brine for a couple of hours, overnight in the refrigerator or for an entire day.
how to smoke chicken breasts in a smoker
Before you can start the smoking process, you actually need to source a smoker. There are different types of smokers: charcoal smokers, electrical smokers, propane smoker, and more. Also, you can opt for having a vertical smoker or a horizontal one. Honestly, it doesn't make much difference to this smoked chicken recipe. As long as you brine and then smoke the chicken breasts, you'll have the end result that you are looking for.
If you don't have a smoker, you can also toss the chicken breasts on an open fire grill. This way, the chicken breasts will absorb some of the smoke while they cook. Plus, they might catch a nice char on the exterior. Most importantly, for smoking any type of meat, you need the right woodchips to match your meat.
apple woodchip smoked chicken breasts
Having trouble selecting the right type of woodchips for your smoked chicken breasts? There are many types of woodchips available to the consumer, with each woodchip having a different effect on the meat. Apple woodchips work the best with poultry because they leave a sweet and smoky flavour. Similarly to apple woodchips, mulberry woodchips also leave a sweet finish, with hints of berries. If you want to take it easy with the smoky flavours, then try maple woodchips since they are mild and subtle. Most importantly, you should soak the woodchips in water for some moisture, otherwise they will burn.
To learn more about the different types of the woodchips used for smoking, click here. You'll be able to find exactly which flavours work with all types of meat.
what to serve with BBQ smoked chicken breasts
Firstly, I highly recommend pairing the smoked chicken breasts with a delicious gluten free BBQ sauce. After the smoking process you can glaze the breasts with the sauce and finish it off on the barbecue. It is best to use a brush for this step. Once your smoked chicken breasts are done, you can serve them immediately or let them cool down. The benefit of this recipe is that the smoked chicken breasts store well in the refrigerator and you can even freeze them.
In either case, you should pair these BBQ smoked chicken breasts with something fresh and crunchy, such as this vegan coleslaw. It's much lighter than the traditional coleslaw recipes as you don't have the mayonnaise element. Alternatively, you can also combine this recipe with a shredded rainbow salad. It's not only vibrant in colour, but in flavour as well.
As with any BBQ recipe, don't forget to have some cold drinks in the refrigerator. Preferably, some cold beers if you are expecting some company. A lager and smoked BBQ chicken breasts are a match made in heaven.
What would you use smoked chicken breasts for?Print
Smoked Chicken Breasts
- Total Time: 60 minutes
- Yield: 8 1x
Once you try these smoked chicken breasts, you'll never go back to plain chicken. You can include this juicy meat in salads, curries, soups and rissotos.
- 8 brined chicken breasts
- Salt and pepper
- Apple or cherry wood chips
- For a very basic brining method, check out my How To Brine Chicken article.
- Preheat the Char-Broil Big Easy Smoker on the High setting and fill the smoking box with wood chips.
- Wait for 10 minutes until the chips begin to smoke, then change the heat setting to Low.
- Arrange the chicken breasts on the top and bottom shelf of the wire basket and place in smoker.
- Close lid and cook until the chicken’s internal temperature is 75°C (165°F). This takes about 40-45 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the smoker and wrap the chicken in foil, letting it rest for about 20 minutes before eating.
- To cook the chicken evenly, halfway through the cooking time you can place the bottom pieces in the top shelf and vice versa.
- I preferred using the low setting because cooking meat can sometimes lead to rubbery/tough textures.
- The cooking might differ from the above because it depends on the size of the chicken and heat setting you use. For best results, use a meat thermometer!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Category: Main Course
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 112
- Sugar: 2.9 g
- Sodium: 41 mg
- Fat: 2.5 g
- Carbohydrates: 4.1 g
- Protein: 17.5 g
- Cholesterol: 47 mg
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They would be delicious with some bacon and salad tossed together.
The question has changed so my favourite way to enjoy lamb is roast lamb and mint sauce.
Would have with jacket potato and salad with dressing
My god, my mouth is watering! This looks delicious
I like lamb quite simply, roasted with mint sauce! I'm also signed up for the newsletter 🙂
I would serve it with potato wedges and a side salad
I'd serve with a jacket potato and roasted veg!
with potato and veg
Bacon wrapped chicken breasts with roasted red potatoes.
would use with jacket potatoes, spinach and some coleslaw
I’d use them on a ceaser salad for all the family
I'd love to serve the smoked chicken pulled apart and as part of a fajita!
These chicken breasts would be ideal for a meal for a family gathering to be held soon.
I’d use the chicken on salad
I would use them in a salad with pesto and halloumi
with potatoes or chips and peas
I'd serve them with a cousin cousin salad
Would serve them drizzled with pesto and stir fried veg
Definitely with pasta and Alfredo sauce x
On crusty bread!
A lovely curry xx
I would use smoked chicken breast to make a tasty salad!
It would be for a delicious chicken curry
Salad and new potatoes!
I think I'd have it with a nice light salad
T serve with roasted winter vegetables
A smoked chicken breast salad with mango
To put on top of a pizza
Lovely in a sandwich with lots of lettuce and mayonnaise x
With some bacon and roast vegetables.
I think my partner would love smoked chicken breast with salad. I don't like smoke flavoured things so I wouldn't be using for anything. But that's okay, Lisa would eat it all.
For a main meal with some mashed potato.
for tea with some potato wedges
I would love these with salad
id have it with some rice and salad mmm
I'd serve sliced smoked chicken breasts with a salad
So versatile but I would put them in some thickly sliced bread, with a pile of tasty tomatoes and a little mayonnaise.
In a warm salad would be tasty!
Shredded and served in tacos
For some smoky chicken and vegetable fajitas
I'd use them in a salad.
I'd use them in a warm salad.
To top a mozzarella and bacon pizza
Some delicious Fajitas in soft Tortillas
I'd slice them onto a simple salad
I would enjoy them with an avocado salad.
I'd tear them and top a pizza
I'd simply serve them with steamed asparagus and a chilli and cherry tomato chutney.
I think they woud be really tasty in a salad.
Jacket spuds and cheese
pasta and salad or a chicken layer pie
Lovely with a salad
I would serve them plain with a homemade BBQ dip, then service with mac or potato salad
These would be lovely in a stuffed pepper
i think i'd use them in salads and with pasta
I would make some Enchiladas
To liven up a green salad 🙂 I love a basic salad with chicken and smoked chicken would add a lovely "extra"
This pesto would be great with some homemade pasta, and some sliced smoked chicken on top, but then the pesto pasta would be great on its own or with any lovely meat sliced on top (rather than mixed in)
Amy Jo mclellan
Served for dinner on a bed of rice 🙂
I'd have chicken fajitas in a lettuce wrap.
On warmed flatbreads, with thinly slice tomatoes, cracked black pepper, oregano and olive oil
In a salad
I would serve with jacket potatoes and seasonal veg.
I'd use them in salads
I would make a chicken and mushroom pie with this smoked chicken.