Chicken Breast ~ Pop's Brine ~ Warm Smoke ~ Sous Vide Finish

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Master of the Pit
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Dec 1, 2019
The Cowboy State - Wyoming
Boy, the title is a mouthful....., but a good mouthful. At least once a month I cure and smoke boneless/skinless chicken (or turkey) breasts for sandwiches during the week, or to be used in a cobb salad or added to pasta etc. Boneless makes for perfect cross-grain slices, and skinless eliminates rubbery skin. Here are some photos from a couple of days ago. Pop's brine is my go-to and I use a slightly less salt and sugar than the standard recipe and I add pepper to the curing brine, and again after the rinse, which makes them similar to smoked turkey breasts in Texas BBQ joints. My brine time is 24 to 30 hours. My drying time is 2 to 4 hours. I use a Big Chief box smoker, with pellets and keep the smoker temp between 140° and 160° for 2.5 hours turning once. This puts my internal temp in the 100° range. My finish is one of 3 styles: 1) Raised direct on my Big Green Egg until the internal temp is 157° - 158° (and held for 40 seconds, which is no problem), or 2) Same set-up as above (or in the oven), but a wrapped finish with some butter broth, also to 157° - 158° for a finish, or 3) A sous vide finish at 147° for 90 minutes. This time I used the sous vide finish.

Here we are after the Big Chief warm smoke.
And into the sous vide bath
I had to have a sample while still hot, quality control and all
Next, the chicken gets an icy bath
And here is a shot of the chilled meat the next day
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You nailed it! Pop's brine makes almost everything taste better. Next turkey breast I am going to brine with pop's than use SmokinAl SmokinAl smoking method!

God bless you Pop
You are correct, and I tend to treat poultry differently if it's going to be a main meat for dinner, or in this case chicken I want to slice for sandwiches. When I do the whole breasts I do inject some and use the remainder to cover. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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