Frozen Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by ddave, Jun 2, 2008.

  1. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    My wife buys the frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts from Costco and wants me to smoke some. Since they are frozen, is it necessary to brine them first. Can I smoke them frozen? Should I thaw them and then brine them? Or should I just buy some not frozen and brine and smoke those and save the frozen ones for the grill?

    Thanks.

    Dave
     
  2. tn_bbq

    tn_bbq Smoking Fanatic

    They seem to be brined already. I recall defrosting them only to find them swimming in a pool of "juice."

    With chicken breasts, I'd suggest NOT smoking. I don't think they have enough fat for the smoker. Instead, I'd grill them (I like to marinate chicken breasts in Italian dressing).
     
  3. brentman0110

    brentman0110 Meat Mopper

    Agreed. I smoked some a few weeks back and they are usually so small, as compared to a big ol hunk of pork, that they cook very very quickly and seem to be a bit rubbery and dried out. Just my two cents...

    Brent
     
  4. sumosmoke

    sumosmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If you're wife wants the "smoke" flavoring on the chicken, you might try to put a few pieces of wood-of-choice in some aluminum foil, poke some holes in it, and stick it down near the grilling grate to generate that smoke. Might give it a touch of smokey-goodness [​IMG]
     
  5. tn_bbq

    tn_bbq Smoking Fanatic

    I find that the grilling over charcoal (lump or briquets) adds a nice smoky flavor and works better for chicken breasts, steaks & fish.
     
  6. seaham358

    seaham358 Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Thaw and cook or you can brine if you want. But like they say they can dry out. I rub on OO then a rub, wrap in bacon and that helps keep them more moist. Not the best piece of bird to smoke skinless.
    Now try smoking boneless, skinless thighs and you will not think about smoking another breast ever again.
     
  7. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Next time try and get bone in and skin on, brine and they will not be as dry.
     
  8. geek with fire

    geek with fire Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I smoke them quite frequently. Just fashion some "chicken boats" out of foil. These basically just cover the bottom and most of the sides of each breast. Coat them with EVOO and a good chicken rub (or just salt, CBP, garlic powder, and chili powder). Lay them in the boats with a strip of bacon across the top. Smoke them at 225°-250° until the internal temperature is no higher than 165°. I pull them at 160°, but you must be the judge of what is safe for you and your family. Wrap them in foil and let rest for 30 minutes.
     
  9. erain

    erain Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    i like that boat idea!!! sometime when i grill some chicken(with wood on the coals) just put season all and rub it in, evoo and grill. baste everal times with evoo while grillling. good stuff!!!
     
  10. tn_bbq

    tn_bbq Smoking Fanatic

    I prefer to smoke chicken in a foil pan too. Then I'll glaze and finish without the pan.

    I've pretty much gotten away from chicken breasts altogether.
     
  11. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks for all of the suggestions.

    Lots of new ideas to try. I like the boat idea. I'l have to give that a whirl. [​IMG]

    Dave
     
  12. forcedsquint

    forcedsquint Fire Starter

    Agreed, I always grill on my weber kettle unless time is just too much of a concern and then I'll use the weber gasser. For boneless chicken breast (wife requested, I like thighs) I brush on EVOO and coat kosher salt, coarse ground pepper, and chopped garlic. Sometimes I'll coat with a rub like Billy Bones.
     
  13. Oh yes........skinless chicken breasts are awesome, smoked or grilled........

    My best method is in a tumbler basket on a rotisserie, THICK slice some sweet white onions and add to the basket. You can even thaw the chicken breasts and slice into long thick fish stick shapes 1" x 1" x 4-5"
    to help with a quicker cooking.

    Marinade in italian dressing, the sweet onion, and some cilantro, YUM!
     
  14. fishawn

    fishawn Smoking Fanatic

    HeapOmeat, I smoke them all the time as well. They are great if not overcooked. I like to EVOO them, season them (Arthur Bryants poultry rub is my fav), smoke them & then shred them, then vacuum pack the shreddded meat. We use the shredded breasts for salads, tacos, nachos, sandwiches, enchiladas, everything!....My kids love it on crakers with cream cheese (I really like that also, with Tabasco Chipotle hot sauce). They can be a bit dry if overcooked, but I think they are totally underated & probably more healthy than the majority of the stuff I (probably you also) smoke & cook. I would like to hear some other ideas on using smoked chicken breasts.
     
  15. I know this is an old thread but this is something I do ALL THE TIME with my Traeger and with excellent results.  Sure, starting with fresh chicken and going forward is 5 times easier, takes less time, and tastes better.  But using your Traeger on those frozen breasts from Costco is the ONLY way to fly!

    I modified the usual as follows:

    Rub frozen with favorite rub.  Has a hard time sticking, so save some to apply during cook.

    Traeger set at 350.

    This part is somewhat hands-on compared to traditional:

    I cook at 350, flipping frequently, for roughly 15 a side until chicken is thawed through...you can tell when you flip it.  This feels more like traditional grilling but must be done evenly.

    Once thawed, I go with "Basic Traeger Chicken Breast" method which is 30 minutes total cooking time, turning once.  I've done this at 350 for the full 30, and I've also cranked the hit to max (400-415) and cooked about 12 on each side.

    I just did this today and with great results...remember, you are starting with what I feel is probably one of the plainest tasting pieces of cheap chicken breast you can get and I STILL get tender and juicy chicken that tastes good.

    It's always better on the Traeger - period.

    See photos.

      This is just finished...took about 45-50 minutes total cooking time to account for the frozen.

    And here is the end-result...hopefully this photo does it justice:


    This is one cut in half with the juicy factor clearly visible.  Again, if you have a freezer bag full of these, this is the only way to cook and eat these things!  
     

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