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Easy Traeger Smoked Chicken Breast

256 Reviews

Smoked chicken breast doesn’t get any better or easier than this! We are obsessed with smoking on our Traeger smoker, and with a few tricks these smoked chicken breasts turn out perfectly tender and moist every time.

Looking for more? Try our recipe for how to smoke a whole chicken in the Traeger or our smoked chicken wings.

A photo of whole smoked chicken breasts and sliced smoked chicken breasts on a charcoal gray plate with lemon wedges and kale on the side.

Unlike other chicken breast recipes, these are totally flavorful chicken breasts that never come out dry! We are letting you in on all our smoking tips as well as our smoked chicken rub recipe. Don’t miss it!

Ok, have you used a Traeger grill yet? Or seen it be used? They always have Traeger demos going on here at our Costco, so go check it out at your local Costco or wherever you can find Traegers. And the next time you find a deal on a Traeger, get on board the Traeger train with us! These beauties are life-changing!

We’ve already shared our Brazilian Smoked Tri Tip, Smoked Pulled Pork, and Apple Pecan Smoked Turkey, so we were definitely due for a smoked chicken recipe!

Let’s skip all the small talk and get right to the details of smoking the best chicken breasts of your life!

A photo of whole smoked chicken breasts and on a charcoal gray plate with lemon wedges and kale on the side.

Smoked Chicken Rub

This recipe starts with our smoked chicken rub recipe that adds loads of flavor to these smoked chicken breasts. There is a little sweet, a little salt, a little heat, and every flavor you are looking for in the perfect traeger smoked chicken breast. Here is what you will need:

  • Brown Sugar
  • Turbinado Sugar (if you can’t find turbinado sugar, just use more brown sugar)
  • Celery Seed
  • Paprika
  • Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder

Pat dry the chicken breasts and then smother the top of them with half of this chicken rub. Then let them rest for 15 minutes or up to a half hour in the refrigerator. If you let them rest longer than 15 minutes, wrap them with plastic wrap.

A photo of whole smoked chicken breasts and sliced smoked chicken breasts on a charcoal gray plate with lemon wedges and kale on the side.

How to Make Smoked Chicken Breasts

Now it is time to let the Traeger work its magic! Heat your smoker on “smoke” (on Traeger use the “super smoke”) with the lid open for 5 minutes. Then turn the heat to 350 degrees and close the lid for 15 minutes to allow it to warm up.

Place the chicken spiced side down and then liberally coat the underside with the rest if the smoked chicken rub. Close the lid and allow it to cook for 12-13 minutes. Then turn the chicken over and allow it to cook for another 10-12 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 165-170 degrees.

A photo of sliced smoked chicken breasts and on a charcoal gray plate.

The Key to Perfectly Smoked Chicken Breasts

The key to smoking meat is to give it plenty of time at a low temperature and then plenty of time to rest on the counter as well. The muscle fibers get all worked up with cooking so you really need to let them relax again on the counter in order for the juices to redistribute, otherwise when you cut into the meat, or start to pull it apart in this case, all of the juices will run out which is a big mistake.

Once the chicken has reached temperature, remove the chicken from the grill and lay foil over the top of it on a cutting board. Let the chicken rest for 3-5 minutes before slicing.

How Long Does it Take to Smoke a Chicken at 350 Degrees?

All you need is about 40 minutes to have smoked chicken breasts. No waking up at 2am to start the smoker with this one! It is so quick and easy!

How Can You Tell if Chicken Breast is Cooked?

I love this little trick my mom taught me years ago. Touch your pointer finger and thumb together and the palm of your hand will tell you how a cooked chicken breast should feel. If it’s still jiggly it needs more time. Also, if you oiled your grill or the meat it should release from the grill grates when it is cooked. 

A photo of whole smoked chicken breasts and sliced smoked chicken breasts on a charcoal gray plate with lemon wedges and kale on the side.

Can Chicken Breast Be a Little Pink?

The USDA says that as long as all parts of the chicken have reached a minimum internal temperature of 165°, it is safe to eat.  Color doesn’t indicate doneness. Smoked meat often leaves a pink hue but if it has come to temperature it’s fine. 

What Traeger Pellets Should I Use?

For this smoked chicken breasts recipe, we used a combination of apple and mesquite Traeger pellets. We like to try different pellets all the time, so try different ones to see which wood you like best, each adds a unique flavor.

Which Traeger Grill Should I Buy?

We have been given the opportunity to try out a few Traeger grills and we’ve decide the Texas Elite 34 Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker Traeger grill is our favorite.

Pro tip: You don’t often think about having the best tools for handling the meat, but these these Dragonn tongs for grilling are the best rated on Amazon and we love them too!

We can’t wait for your to try this smoked chicken recipe! It is great on its own, but we also love it in our Smoked Chicken Kale Salad! Oh, and I haven’t mentioned that it’s healthy too!


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A photo of whole smoked chicken breasts and sliced smoked chicken breasts on a charcoal gray plate with lemon wedges and kale on the side.

Easy Smoked Chicken Breasts

3.82 from 256 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Additional Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 43 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Easy smoked chicken breasts on a traeger smoker that with a few tricks turn out perfectly tender, moist and unlike other chicken breast recipes, totally flavorful chicken breasts!


  • 4 Chicken Breasts Large Boneless, Skinless
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Turbinado Sugar * See Note
  • 1 Teaspoon Celery Seed
  • 2 Tablespoons Paprika
  • 2 Tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Garlic Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Onion Powder


  • Mix together all of the dry ingredients in a bowl.
  • Pat the chicken breasts dry on both sides and drizzle each side with a little olive oil.
  • Sprinkle the rub on top of the chicken breasts liberally. Allow to rest in the fridge for 15 minutes, or up to 30 minutes (place plastic wrap over the top if over 15 minutes of rest time.)
  • Heat a smoker on smoke (on traeger use the super smoke) with the lid opened for 5 minutes. Turn the heat to 350 degrees and close the lid for 15 minutes while it warms up.
  • Put the chicken, spiced side down on the grill and liberally season the underside of the chicken. Cook for 12-13 minutes with the lid closed.
  • Turn the chicken over and cook another 10-12 minutes or until cooked to 165-170 degrees.
  • Remove the chicken from the grill and lay foil over the top on a cutting board. Let the chicken rest for 3-5 minutes before slicing.


If you can't find turbinado sugar just use more brown sugar in equal amounts
Smoked chicken can be kept in the refrigerator for 7 days, or 1 month in the freezer.
Nutrition Facts
Easy Smoked Chicken Breasts
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 351 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 145mg48%
Sodium 3761mg164%
Potassium 1008mg29%
Carbohydrates 14g5%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 50g100%
Vitamin A 2000IU40%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Calcium 50mg5%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

A photo of whole smoked chicken breasts and sliced smoked chicken breasts on a charcoal gray plate with lemon wedges and kale on the side.


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Healthy Habits That Help Me!

About the authors

carrian feik cheney oh sweet basil

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

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Recipe Rating


  • Why are you preheating the traeger with the lid open??? All that is doing is allowing heat and smoke to escape into the air. And 350 is above the temperature threshold for what I’d consider smoking…. thats grilling. That being said your spice rub sounds appealing and the pictures look good.

    • Reply
    • Their wording wasn’t the best but they’re saying:
      -start traeger with lid open for 5 min until fire is going
      -close lid and preheat for 15

      • Reply
  • Just so you know… This has become a staple on the Traeger week in and week out. The absolute best tasting chicken – quick smoke, but tons of flavor, and the family loves it! Any more Traeger smokes for a weekday meal? I would love it.

    Thanks again from NC. – Great job

    • Reply
    • This makes my day Chuck! We are so obsessed with everything Traeger! Do a search for Traeger on our site and all our recipes will be there.

      • Reply
  • I made this last night on our Traeger — my first time every cooking on one! I am commenting because I read the reviews here and have some feedback as well. First, the chicken was phenomenal. I cannot say that enough — tangy, sweet, spicy and most importantly, the chicken was incredibly juicy and soft. It was such a welcome change from a winter of dry oven chicken or air fryer repeat recipes. Second, to the other reviewers’ points, I will say that I only used 1 tablespoon of salt in fear of over-salting and that was enough. Next, I used two large chicken breasts and the cook time was definitely longer — I flipped after 13 minutes and after the next 12, I probably had to let them cook for another 15. Just an FYI. Regardless, we will definitely make this again and it was a great recipe to get my feet wet with!

    • Reply
    • Thank you so much for the feedback and I’m so glad you enjoyed the chicken!

      • Reply
  • man! this was an absolute winner! Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
    • Thank you Freddie!!

      • Reply
  • Took twice as long on the trager as the recipe says and it was way too salty.

    • Reply
    • Sorry for the disappointment! Were you using the Traeger in cooler weather? Sometimes that can extend the cooking time. The salt can always be adjusted to taste. Regardless, we appreciate the feedback and apologize for the frustration. We haven’t ever had an issue with it taking longer.

      • Reply
  • Googled “smoked chicken breast recipe” and came to your website. I followed the recipe for the most part. I doubled the brown sugar because I didn’t have turbinado sugar. I also left out the celery seeds because I didn’t have those. I ended up cooking the chicken for about 15-16 minutes on each side until the temp probe hit 170°. I had some big pieces of chicken. It turned out SO good. The chicken was nice and juicy and I loved the taste/aftertaste. I will definitely be using this recipe more often! I also looked you guys up on the gram, so many good looking recipes! Can’t wait to try more! Thank you!

    • Reply
    • Thank you so much Jared and we appreciate the support! So glad you enjoyed the smoked chicken breasts! Thanks for taking time to leave us a comment!

      • Reply
  • EXTREMELY SALTY!!! Ruined perfectly good chicken with this recipe!!!

    • Reply
    • Just 2 tablespoons of salt in the rub. It shouldn’t be too salty.

      • Reply
      • Oh my what a wonderful recipe I made this for my parents tonight and they said save this and make this again! It was so moist and smoky!! Thank you so much for this idea will be making more of your recipes if they are as good as this one which I bet is the case.😋😋😋😋

      • Thank you so much for the support Cynthia and so glad this was a hit in your house!

  • This was wonderful! The rub made a perfect flavor and no bbq sauce needed. I made about a 1/4 recipe for 4 smaller breasts so I didn’t have any left over rub. I was out of celery seed, so I used Beau Monde seasoning (which is mostly celery seed and salt) and just omitted the salt, which worked perfectly. My paprika was the hot variety so I left out the cayenne for my wimpy family who can’t handle spice (annoying). Will save and use this as our new go-to chicken recipe, thank you so much!

    • Reply
    • Thank you so much Lyrica! I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe! We make it all year long!

      • Reply
  • Great! Followed recipe and cooked to temp. Everyone in my family loved it. I will be making this regularly this summer.

    • Reply
    • Yay!! I’m so glad!!

      • Reply
  • Great recipe! We volunteered to
    provide the protein for a cookout at my BIL’s house, which is a bit daunting because he makes amazing meats of all sorts on the grill and smoker. I prepared chicken breasts and thighs using your recipe. It probably marinated approximately 2 hours, but it turned out awesome. Everyone loved it. Thank you for sharing!

    • Reply
    • Awesome!!! I’m so happy it was a hit! Way to goo!!!

      • Reply
  • Really good! Chicken was moist and tender and the flavor was yummy!

    • Reply
    • Thank you so much Valerie!

      • Reply
  • We followed the recipe exactly (even the turbinado) and it came out perfectly. Oh wait, I have a habit of always brining my chicken breasts for at least an hour in a pot of ice water and 1/4 cup of salt and herbs, so I didn’t use salt. Seems like the brining has kept me from having dry white meat for years so I do it for all my Traeger recipes now, too. We will be making this again.

    • Reply
    • Thank you so much! So glad you enjoyed it!

      • Reply
  • Worthless recipe – have you actually tried what you posted?

    • Reply
    • This recipe is phenomenal! I do make everything I post because I photograph everything myself. This one is a family favorite!

      • Reply
  • Chicken breast at 225 will not be done in 40 minutes.  Get the facts straight

    • Reply
    • The recipes says to set the temperature to 350 degrees. That is plenty of time to reach temperature!

      • Reply
  •  I don’t think y’all get the purpose of the smoke setting on a Traeger because many of your recipes have you heating the grill on smoke but then not having any food on there until you crank the setting up to 350, but by that time the super smoke is gone. Aren’t you supposed to light it on super smoke leave it on smoke setting for 20 minutes to heat up and then put your food on there for a third of the cook time before changing the temperature? 

    • Reply
    • The smoke is best with that much time but still fills with less so moms in a hurry can shortcut but if you have more time, go for it!

      • Reply
  • way too salty, and WAY too much Paprika. comment below said they messed up, should be 2 Tsp, not a 1/4 cup, but they didn’t ever update recipe

    • Reply
    • The recipe card was updated previously. It should be 2 Tablespoons of paprika.

      • Reply
  • SALTY SALTY SALTY. Cut the salt in half. 

    • Reply
  • I followed the recipe, 1/4 cup paprika, and my chicken definitely didn’t look like yours. It was dark, looked like it had been dropped in the dirt, and the flavor of paprika overpowered everything else.

    • Reply
    • Hi David! I’m so sorry! It should be 2 Tbsp of paprika. I apologize for that! Updating the recipe card now!

      • Reply

Healthy Habits That Help Me!