Smoked Chicken Breast – How Long to Smoke (Bone-in & Boneless)


Smoked chicken breast is one of the most delicious tastes out there. Whether you’re using bone-in or boneless chicken breast, smoking it can add a unique flavor and texture that you can’t get any other way. But with a lot of temperature and chicken choices, here’s how long to smoke a chicken breast.

As a general rule, a boneless chicken breast will be fully cooked on a 225°F smoker for 60 minutes, whereas a bone-in chicken breast will take up to 90 minutes. But use a meat thermometer to verify if the internal temperature of the chicken breast reaches 165 degrees F.

The cooking time will vary depending on whether you use bone-in or boneless chicken. And different chicken breasts can vary a lot in weight too.

Still, it’s essential to pay close attention to the smoker and the meat’s internal temperature to ensure it is adequately cooked. With the proper technique, you can create a delicious and juicy smoked chicken breast that will please even the pickiest of eaters.

How long do you smoke bone-in chicken breast compared to boneless?

Temperature 160°F 200°F 225°F 250°F 275°F 300°F
Bone-in Chicken Breast (minutes) 120-135 90-120 75-90 60-75 50-60 40-50
Boneless Chicken Breast (minutes) 75-90 60-75 45-60 35-45 30-35 25-30

As a general rule, bone-in chicken breasts will take longer to smoke than boneless ones. The difference in smoking time between these two types of chicken is that the bone-in chicken breast has more fat and connective tissue than the boneless chicken breast. Also, the bone acts as a conductor of heat, helping to cook the meat from the inside out.

However, the exact smoking time will depend on several factors, including the size and thickness of the chicken breasts, the moisture content of the meat, the temperature of the smoker, and the desired level of doneness. For bone-in chicken, this smoking process can take anywhere from 1 to 3 hours, depending on the size of the chicken breasts.

On the other hand, boneless chicken breast is much leaner and has less fat and connective tissue, so you can cook it more quickly at a higher temperature. When smoking boneless chicken breast, the smoking time is usually around 1 to 2 hours, depending on the size of the chicken breast.

When smoking either bone-in or boneless chicken breast, it is essential to remember that the internal temperature of the meat should reach a target temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74 degrees C) before you consider it fully cooked.

To ensure the chicken is cooked correctly, use a temperature probe to check the internal temperature at the thickest part of the breast before serving.

Whether you’re a casual griller or a pit master, you have various smokers’ options. From traditional charcoal smokers to electric and gas models, there’s something for every taste and budget.

But if you still need help selecting the perfect smokers for a one-of-a-kind culinary experience, then you need to visit my most recent article. Here I addressed 15 of the best budget smokers under $375 that are an excellent investment for your money.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

How long do you smoke chicken breast at 300 degrees?

25 minutes to 1 hour. Smoking chicken breast at 300 degrees can be a tricky task to perfect, but once you do, you can enjoy flavorful, crispy chicken. You’ll want to plan for a longer smoking time of up to an hour to ensure that the chicken is cooked to the center and maintains a juicy, tender texture.

The exact time for smoking chicken breast might vary depending on the cut, thickness, and size of the chicken breast. As always, to ensure your chicken breast is cooked to perfection, insert a digital meat thermometer at the thickest part of the meat to test the internal temperature.

If you need to add a smoky flavor to your chicken breast, the best way is to add wood chips to the smoker.

Hickory, mesquite, and maple wood chips are all excellent choices for smoking chicken. Don’t forget to add the wood chips for 5- 10 minutes before cooking the chicken. This will give the wood chunks time to start smoldering and produce smoke.

When smoking a chicken breast at 300 degrees, it is essential to use indirect heat. You should not place the raw meat directly over the heat source. Instead, a pro tip is to place chicken breast on the grill rack, away from the heat source.

This will help ensure the chicken cooks evenly and prevents it from burning.

Also, it is vital to keep the smoker covered during the cooking process. This will help maintain a uniform temperature and prevent the smoke from escaping. Smoking chicken breast at 300 degrees is a great way to introduce extra flavor to your meal. You can achieve perfectly smoked chicken breast every time with the proper techniques and patience.

Grills and smokers are essential equipment for any outdoor cooking enthusiast, allowing you to whip up delicious meals that are sure to tantalize your taste buds.

With various grills and smokers available in the market today, it can take time to understand the perfect one suited for your needs and budget. 

But not to worry, I got you covered in my recent article.

In the post, I explained the different types of grills and smokers available and the difference between a grill and a smoker. If you need to know if you can use charcoal in a gas grill, the article also addressed that.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

Can you smoke a whole chicken? (and how long does that take?)

Yes, you can. Smoking whole chicken is a great way to get a flavorful and juicy bird. Of course, it takes longer than grilling or roasting a chicken, but the reward is worth the wait.

The longer you smoke the chicken, the more succulent and tender it will be.

The first step to smoking a whole chicken is to prepare the bird. Begin by selecting your whole chicken, rinse it off and wipe it with paper towels before rubbing it down with your favorite seasonings inside and out.

Some popular seasoning blend for smoked chicken includes dry rubs like garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, thyme, and rosemary.

Once the bird is prepared, you will need to light your smoker. The time it takes to smoke a whole chicken will depend on the size of your bird and the type of wood pellets you are using. As a general rule, it should take 1-2 hours per pound of chicken.

So, if you’re cooking a 4-pound chicken, it should take 4-8 hours.

When smoking the chicken, you must maintain a consistent temperature of 225-250°F. This is important for food safety and flavor. It is also essential to close the pellet grill lid as much as possible.

This will help keep the smoke and heat inside the smoker.

Does a skinless chicken breast smoke faster than a skin-on chicken breast?

Yes, it does. When smoking a chicken breast, the skin acts as a barrier that helps keep the moisture in the meat. This means a skin-on chicken breast will take longer to smoke because the skin has to be cooked before the meat is cooked.

In contrast, a boneless skinless chicken breast will smoke faster because there is no barrier between the heat and the meat. This allows the smoke to penetrate the meat faster, resulting in a faster cook time.

However, this also means that a skinless chicken breast will dry out faster than a skin-on chicken breast. So, if you’re looking for a juicy, flavorful crispy chicken skin side, the best way is to go with a skin-on chicken breast.

Another thing to remember when smoking a chicken breast is that the size of the breasts will affect the cooking time. Larger breasts will take a long time to smoke than smaller breasts. So, if you’re looking for a faster cook time, a great option is to choose smaller chicken breasts.

Finally, the type of smoker you use can make a difference in the cooking time. For example, charcoal smokers will take longer to smoke a chicken breast than electric or gas smokers. So, if you’re looking to cook chicken breasts in less time, a gas or electric smoker may be the best option.

Overall, a skinless chicken breast will smoke faster than a skin-on chicken breast.

However, if you’re looking for a juicy, flavorful piece of meat, you may want to go with a skin-on chicken breast. The size of the breast and the type of smoker you use can also affect the cooking time, so keep that in mind when smoking a chicken breast.

Do you flip chicken breasts on a smoker?

Yes, you can. But this depends on the type of smoker you are using and the type of chicken breasts you are cooking. Flipping the chicken breasts can be beneficial if you use a direct smoker. This helps ensure that the chicken cooks evenly.

Additionally, it prevents any parts of the chicken from burning or becoming overly dry.

On the other hand, if you are using an indirect smoker, it is not necessary to flip the chicken breasts. An indirect smoker works by heating the air around the food and circulating it around, so the food cooks evenly without having to be turned over.

This means that the chicken breasts will cook without needing to be flipped.

The type of chicken breasts you are cooking will also determine whether or not you should flip them. For example, if you are cooking boneless, skinless chicken breasts, flipping is not necessary. However, if you are cooking bone-in chicken breasts, flipping them will help ensure crispy skin that is also evenly cooked.

The type of smoker you are using will also determine whether or not you should flip your piece of chicken. For example, if you use a smoker that uses wood chips or pellets, flipping the chicken breasts will help ensure that the smoke flavor is evenly distributed.

When flipping the chicken breasts, a favorite way is to use tongs or a spatula to ensure they don’t fall apart. It’s also noteworthy to keep an eye on the smoker’s temperature to ensure it doesn’t get too hot. The chicken breasts can dry out and become tough if it gets too hot.

Smoked chicken is a delicious and convenient way to enjoy a meal without too much effort. But one of the questions many people have is how long does smoked chicken last?

You should visit my most recent article if you have a similar question.

In the post, I addressed the ideal duration you can store your smoked chicken, if your smoked chicken needs to be refrigerated and if a smoked chicken would last longer than a cooked one.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

What is the best rub or marinade for chicken breasts on a smoker?

When it comes to smoked chicken, the best chicken rub or marinade will enhance the meat’s flavor without overpowering it. You want something that adds a unique smoky flavor and allows the chicken’s natural taste to shine.

For an excellent rub for chicken breast meat, you’ll want to start with some sugar baths, like brown sugar or turbinado.

Then, you’ll want to add some kosher salt to help pull the flavors out of the chicken as it cooks. After that, you can add whatever spices you like to create your desired flavor profile.

Some favorite rubs are garlic powder, black pepper, smoked paprika, cumin, chili powder, and oregano.

If you instead go with the marinade chicken breast recipe, there are many good options. A good marinade for chicken breasts will typically include some acidic ingredients, like citrus juice or vinegar, as well as some oil and herbs.

In addition, you can add some BBQ sauce and spices to create your desired flavor profile.

Some good marinade options for smoked chicken breast recipes on a smoker include a citrus-based marinade with olive oil, garlic, oregano, and chili powder. You can also consider a spicy beer marinade with Worcestershire sauce, garlic, chili powder, and cumin.

No matter the option you choose, make sure to give your chicken plenty of time to soak up the flavors.

For a dry rub smoked chicken recipe, you’ll want to let the dark meat sit with the rub on it for at least an hour, preferably overnight. For a marinade, you’ll want to let the seasoned chicken breasts marinate for at least a few hours, but preferably overnight for the best result.

Final Thoughts

Smoked chicken breasts are a great way to add flavor to your meals, but if you want to create some truly delicious dishes, you need to know how long to smoke these chicken breasts.

You can achieve the perfect smoked chicken breast with the right amount of time and temperature. Whether you choose bone-in or boneless, you can expect a flavorful and juicy chicken breast when you smoke it for 1 to 2 hours at a temperature of 250-275°F.

Enjoy your smoked chicken breast with your favorite sides and sauces, and you will have a meal that is sure to please. But whether you choose a rub or a marinade, give your chicken plenty of time to soak up the flavors before you start smoking it.


Image by Inno Joseph from Pixabay and Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

Jeff Campbell

Jeff was a leader for Whole Foods Market for over 2 decades and is now a recovering foodie. When he's not spending time in the kitchen, he can usually be found with 3 daughters, practicing martial arts, making music, or blogging on his other sites. Click to learn more about me

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