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Boneless Skinless chix breasts-smoked

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Looking to smoke some boneless skinless chix breasts today. I'm looking for info on it. About how long it may take so I can start in time for dinner etc... also, what IT should be before it's done. Thinking I am gonna try either apple chips or Jack Daniels' wood chips. Figured I will cook it at about 225* for somewhere between 2-3 hours? Sound about right? 

post #2 of 9

I would brine them and then lightly coat them with olive oil and hit with your favorite dry rub.  The smoke until done by internal temperature.


A quick and simple brine for boneless skinless chicken would be:


  • 2 quarts of cool water
  • 1/2 cup table salt
  • 1/2 cup white sugar


This should make enough brine for 8 breasts halves.  Let them sit in the brine for 30 to 60 minutes before smoking.


Your time of 2 to 3 hours is way off.  I would expect them to hit the 160-165 mark in around an hour (or slightly over depending on how thick they are).  If they are done early, just keep them foiled in a warm oven. Either way you need to cook by internal temp with chicken and not total time.  USDA guideline is 165*, but I usually pull mine when they hit 160* as they will coast upwards while resting.


The thing with skinless is you don't want to dry the outside out, the brine helps with moisture retention and also adds flavor.

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reply. I was reading other posts that said it was taking them 2-3 hours. Wasn't sure if it was for chix breasts or whole chix or what. I am buying the breasts from my butcher already seasoned with lemon pepper. I am just looking to do a quick smoke to add some more flavor rather than just grilling them.  I will try the brine next time with some plain breasts. 

post #4 of 9
This is helpful, and wondering if brining adds a lot more sodium to final grilled product, as trying to cut down on sodium in diet.
post #5 of 9

Hey, Mike,


To me, brown sugar is way better tasting than white. That's first. Adding some more aromatics could bring it to the next level - try garlic, allspice, bay leaf, scallions... I also put in few lemon slices. Makes one hell of a brine. 


And as a rule of thumb, I'd always brine a chicken breast, smoking or grilling. Otherwise it turns out on the dry side no matter what you do with it.


Experimenting is the key. Enjoy!





post #6 of 9
Originally Posted by TJ2000 View Post

This is helpful, and wondering if brining adds a lot more sodium to final grilled product, as trying to cut down on sodium in diet.




I've cut down on the salt, and it worked fine. I did it because the meat was kosher, and that means already salty as hell.


Some basic chemistry, if I may... When brining, you're looking to create a highly concentrated solution, so that the osmosis process between the meat and the brine kicks in. At the beginning, it'll pull out liquids from the meat out, but then, since the osmosis aims to equalise the concentration on both sides, the liquids along with tastes and aroma will be pulled back into the meat. 


To make a long story short, you can use more sugar than salt, for example. You may end up with a bit sweeter brine, but to my taste, as long as you don't make it candy sweet, it's gonna be fine :).




post #7 of 9
Thanks so much for the advice and info.!
post #8 of 9

Just to totally confuse you , I don't brine my poultry for health and texture reasons. I don't like the extra salt and sugar and I think it gives a pasty texture to the chicken. I find if you don't overcook it, the chicken remains moist. Just cook it until 165 F and take it off.


On the other hand, I will marinade chicken for a couple of hours to add flavour.


The hard part of all this is that it is just personal preference. I think I am in the minority not brining, it is just what I like.



post #9 of 9

Hey , how ya doing:icon_question: You won't have them in for much over an hour (1.5 maybe) , but go by temp.  165*F IT is your goal . This will keep them from drying out .


Use your probe therm. (if you have one ) or check each 20min. after 45min.


Have fun and . . .

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