When people hear the word chicken, they do not think about smoking chicken breasts. They think of fried, roasted, or grilled chicken breast.
However, smoking chicken is special, especially when it’s cooked at 225°F. Smoke your chicken breast at 225°F for an hour, and you will be pleasantly surprised.
Why Smoke Chicken Breast?
There are multiple reasons why you should smoke chicken breast. For example, smoking chicken breast gives it an authentic smoky flavor. This smoky flavor cannot be recreated by any other cooking method.
Smoking also helps tenderize the chicken breast creating a moist, flavorful breast. Smoking the chicken breast cooks it low and slow, giving you perfectly cooked chicken breast.
Smoked chicken breast is versatile. You can use the leftover smoked chicken breast in many dishes. For example, you can use smoked chicken breast to make sandwiches or even add it to mac and cheese to give it a subtle smoky flavor.
Is It Better to Smoke Chicken Breast Skin on or Off
Chicken breast skin on or skin off is a widely debated question in the smoking world. The skin responds differently to the smoking process than the meat.
Most people leave the skin on because they think it will become crispy during the smoking process. However, we are smoking chicken breasts at 225°F. So the skin will be tough and leathery instead of crunchy and crispy.
225°F is too low to crisp the chicken skin. This temperature cannot pull all of the moisture out of the skin. Therefore, it becomes chewy and tough.
Therefore, I would not recommend leaving the skin on if you are smoking the chicken at 225°F.
Alternatively, you can increase the smoker’s temperature to a temperature between 300°F-350°F. The higher temperature will draw the moisture out of the chicken’s skin and crisp it up.
However, by raising the smoker’s temperature, you run the risk of drying out the meat. Dry meat equals tough, chewy chicken breast. So, proceed with caution if you increase the smoker’s temperature.
You can also crisp the chicken skin by using the broiler or grilling the smoked chicken breast. Remember to pull your chicken breast off the smoker a few degrees before it is cooked to prevent it from overcooking as you sear the skin.
Additionally, grill or broil the chicken for 1-2 minutes or just until the skin is crisp. If you grill or broil it too long, the skin could burn.
Furthermore, you won’t have as much of a smoky flavor as if you were to smoke it at 275°F.
Ultimately if you want crispy skin, leave the skin on. In contrast, remove the skin if you want a robustly smoky flavor.
How Long to Smoke Chicken Breast at 225
Chicken breast’s smoking time depends on the size and type of chicken breast you are using. A 2 oz. chicken breast will cook faster than a 4 oz. chicken breast. A bone-in chicken breast takes longer to cook than a boneless chicken breast.
Generally speaking, it takes about an hour to smoke chicken breast at 225°F.
Nevertheless, you always use a meat thermometer to test the chicken breast for doneness. Cooked chicken breasts have a temperature of 165°F.
Alternatively, you can remove the chicken breast from the smoker when it has a temperature between 155°F and 160°F. The chicken breast must rest. If it does not rest, the juices will evaporate, creating chewy, dry chicken.
Because of carryover cooking, the chicken breast’s internal temperature will continue to rise as its rests. The chicken breast should have a final temperature of 165°F.
How Long To Smoke Bone-in Skin-On Chicken Breast At 225
Since it is bone-in skin-on chicken breasts, it will take longer to cook. The bone prevents the chicken breast from drying out. Plus, the chicken breast adds flavor and works to keep the meat moist.
However, this does not mean you should leave the chicken breast in the smoker for a long time. The meat will eventually start to dry out.
It can take up to 4 hours to smoke chicken breast, depending on the size of the breast. However, start checking the temperature after 1 1/2 hours.
Use an instant-read thermometer to test the chicken for doneness. Make sure the probe does not touch the bone, as it may cause an inaccurate reading. Remove the chicken breast from the smoker as soon as it has a temperature of 165°F.
How Long to Smoke Boneless Chicken Breasts at 225
Since they are boneless chicken breasts, they will smoke much faster.
Depending on the chicken breast’s size, they should take an hour to cook at 225°F. However, if your chicken breasts are thicker, they may take 2-3 hours to cook.
Check the chicken breast’s internal temperature after 1 hour. If the chicken is not done, check the temperature every 15-30 minutes, depending on how close the temperature is to 165°F.
How to Smoke Chicken Breast at 225
Smoking chicken breast at 225°F is relatively easy. First, smoke your wood chips in water for 30 minutes. Next, drain the wood chips and put them into your smoker.
Preheat your smoker to 225°F. Once the smoker is hot, add the chicken breasts.
Do not place the chicken breast right next to each other. Leave about 1-2 inches of space between each chicken breast. It enables air circulation and helps cook the chicken breast evenly.
Smoke the chicken breasts for 1 hour or until they have achieved an internal temperature of 165°F. Remove the chicken breast from the smoker and place them onto a plate.
Tint the chicken breast loosely with foil. Let them rest for 5-10 minutes. Next, slice the smoked chicken breast and serve.
The secret to smoking the perfect chicken breast is smoking it at the correct temperature for the right length of time. Smoke your chicken breast at 225°F for 1 hour. You will have juicy, moist chicken with an irresistible smoky flavor.
I have been smoking and grilling meat from an early age and enjoy sharing my knowledge and expertise through the hundreds of articles I have written about BBQ. I hope to make everyone’s BBQ journey that little bit easier.