BBQ FAQ Section 10.3.1


10.3.1 Breasts


[Can someone please give me a good method for smoking chicken breasts?]


Chicken breasts are one of the easiest meats to barbecue. Put them in the hot smoker at 240-250F with light smoke. Breasts with bone and skin will take about 1 1/2 to 2 hours and skinless and boneless will take about an hour. On the boneless breasts, overlap the thinner ends so these do not get over cooked. The secret to perfectly-smoked chicken is to not overcook it. Here is where you need at good meat thermometer. Take the breasts off the smoker when they reach 160F internally.

Note: smoked chicken will be pink even when it is done. Go by internal temperature, not color, to determine doneness.



Here is my recipe for smoking spicy chicken breasts.

Marinate 6 Chicken breasts in refrigerator 24 hours or longer.

Spicy Chicken Marinade


Measure Ingredient Preparation Method


cup your favorite barbecue sauce


cup soy sauce
Jalapeno sauce 6 Jalapenos in 1/4 cup vinegar
blended on liquefy

Mix ingredients and let the chicken marinate at least 4 hours.

Smoke at 200F for two hours (cooking time depends on your smoker and thickness of meat). After 2 hours transfer to grill and heat to 350F for 7 minutes turning the chicken at 3 1/2 minutes.


Bill Wight--

I smoked a batch of chicken breasts using the following method and the family said it was the very best chicken they'd ever had. I used lemon wood in the NBBD. This produced a really flavorful, tender and tasty chicken. We ate the leftovers cold and they were the best cold chicken we'd ever eaten. The meat was still tender and tasty and moist. Brining is the only way to go. The combination of the smoke flavor with the lemon-pepper was outstanding. I used Tones brand of lemon pepper. It has much more dried lemon peel than pepper in it.

Bill's Lemon-Pepper Smoked Chicken


Measure Ingredient Preparation Method


cup Wishbone Italian dressing


tablespoons lemon pepper (Tones brand)


tablespoons Willingham's W'HAM regular seasoning


teaspoons thyme ground


cup apple juice


cup vegetable oil


tablespoons lemon pepper (Tones brand)

Recipe makes enough for 6 large chicken breasts.

Brine the chicken breasts (I used Dan Gill's brine recipe) for 2 hours in the refrigerator. Remove breasts from brine and rinse in cold running water. Pat breasts dry on paper towels. Marinate breasts in the Italian dressing in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Generously sprinkle on rub on both sides of breasts and under skin if possible. Let breasts sit in refrigerator for 1 hour. Smoke chicken breasts 240-250F with strong to medium flavor wood. Mop every 30 minutes on both sides. Remove from smoker when internal temperature in thickest part of breast reaches 155F, about 2 hours for the largest breasts.

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BBQ FAQ Ver 1.0, 2.0 1997, 1998 William W. Wight. All rights reserved.

Thursday, November 25, 1999
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