Without a doubt, people who love chicken appreciate its versatility. As a matter of fact, you can cook chicken in an impressive number of ways and always end up with a delicious protein to be the center of a great dish. However, true lovers of smoked chicken breast know that there is a way to get flavorful, aromatic, juicy and tender results every time, and that is with a Traeger grill. To help prove this to you, this article will provide a step-by-step recipe for a juicy and delicious smoked chicken breast that uses this particular device.
Why Smoke a Boneless Traeger Chicken Breast
Without a doubt, chicken is one of the most delicious and beloved types of meats out there. Tender, satisfying and incredibly versatile, chicken meat is a worldwide favorite. Boneless chicken breast, in particular, is loved by people of all ages, everywhere. Ultimately, however, even the most beautiful piece of chicken can be either elevated or ruined by your method of cooking.
Smoking it using Traeger grill is not the most popular to cook a boneless chicken breast. However, most people who try it find it hard to go back to more traditional methods afterward. The reason? Smoked boneless chicken breast is incredibly juicy and tender. What is more, it has a slightly charcoal-like flavor that simply pops in your mouth. Additionally, smoked chicken freezes extraordinarily well, making it remarkably practical.
If you are not particularly delighted by chicken breast, don’t worry. You can smoke any part of a chicken using a Trager grill, and the results will be consistently fantastic. Chicken thighs and wings are very often smoked in addition to chicken breasts. As a matter of fact, you can even smoke a whole (pieced) chicken quickly and efficiently using this type of grill.
About Traeger Grills
Ever since it started becoming popular in the 1990s, the Traeger grill has been used to prepare classic American-styled dishes. Using wood pellets to cook the meat, these grills are capable of smoking your food slowly and yet consistently, resulting in flavorful, aromatic and tender pieces of meat (and vegetables) that you will be hard-pressed to produce using any other method.
Pros and Cons of Traeger Grills
- Simple and convenient cooking system.
- They produce indirect heat.
- They produce a natural charcoal flavor.
- They help bring out natural flavors in the food.
- Reliable and consistent.
- Hard to find.
- Wood pellets also can be hard to find.
- Somewhat difficult to clean and maintain.
Why a Traeger Grill is Great for Smoking Chicken
Because the device produces an indirect and yet consistent source of heat, smoking a chicken breast on a Traeger can have fantastic results. Slowly, this type of grill will cook the chicken meat, sealing its juices inside while deliciously roasting its skin.
Even better, the smoke provides the chicken meat with a lovely charcoal-like flavor that really brings out and highlights its flavor. Additionally, this manner of grilling the chicken will cook it through very consistently, resulting in a perfect looking (and tasting) dish.
How to Prepare a Juicy and Delicious Smoked Boneless Chicken Breast
- 6 pieces of boneless and skinless chicken breast.
For The Chicken Brine
- 2 quarts of water.
- 1/2 cup of table salt.
- 1/2 cup of white sugar.
Optional Brine Ingredients
- 1/4 cup of soy sauce.
- A small amount of lemon juice.
- One tablespoon of olive oil.
For The Chicken Rub
- 2 tablespoons of paprika
- 2 tablespoons of chili powder.
- 1 tablespoon of thyme.
- 1 tablespoon of garlic powder.
- 1 tablespoon of onion powder.
- 2 tablespoons of cayenne pepper.
- 1 tablespoon of kosher salt.
- 2 tablespoons of freshly-cracked black pepper.
Traeger Chicken Breast - Step-by-Step Instructions
To prepare this Traeger chicken recipe, follow the next steps:
Step One: Prepare the Brine
First, pour two quarts of cold water in a bowl or large container. Then, add half a cup of table salt and half a cup of white sugar. Then, pour a bit of olive oil into the liquid. Mix well using a large spoon. Make sure that both the sugar and the salt dissolve completely in the water. Additionally, you may add a quarter of a cup of soy sauce and a bit of lemon juice. Now, you have your brine mixture ready. Set it aside.
Step Two: Brine the Boneless Chicken Breasts
Next, take your boneless chicken breasts and put them into the large bowl or container with the brine. Make sure that all the pieces are fully covered by the liquid. Then, without covering it, place the container in a place where it won’t be disturbed.
If you can, leave the chicken brining overnight so it can absorb as much flavor and moisture as possible. If you don’t have the time, however, you can brine the chicken breasts for as little as 30 minutes.
Step Three: Prepare the Rub
While your chicken is brining, make the rub that will be used later. In a small bowl, place the paprika, chili powder, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, kosher salt and black pepper. Then, simply mix the ingredients with a fork until the rub is homogeneous and consistent. That quickly, your rub is ready to be used.
Step Four: Apply the Rub
At this point, you are ready to apply the rub to the boneless chicken breasts. Take the chicken pieces out of the brine and dry them individually with paper towels. Try to remove as much moisture as possible in order for the rub to stick to the chicken properly.
Put the chicken pieces on a baking sheet and use a spoon to cover it with the rub. Then, using your hands, rub the spices into the meat. Rub thoroughly and vigorously until all the pieces are completely covered in the rub. At this point, your chicken breasts are ready to be smoked. If the grill isn’t ready yet, however, put them back in the refrigerator until it is.
Step Five: Prepare the Traeger Grill
It’s important to know that, in order for this smoked chicken breast to recipe properly, the Traeger grill needs to be properly readied. That means that you should fire your grill up at least half an hour before putting the chicken in it. Before getting it going, though, make sure that your Traeger is perfectly clean.
Step Six: Grill the Chicken
To properly smoke boneless chicken breasts, you need to get your Traeger grill to 250°F. Use your thermometer to make sure this is the case. Once you reach the temperature and you see that it’s stable, put the chicken pieces in the grill. Close the lid and leave everything be for 45 minutes. It’s important not to lift the lid during this time.
After 45 minutes of grilling, check the interior temperature of your Traeger grill. Ideally, it should be at least 165°F. If it isn’t, make sure to elevate it to around 200°F. After that, close the lid again and let the chicken grill for an additional 15 minutes.
After that time has elapsed, you are ready to take the chicken pieces out of the grill. Don’t be too quick to slice the pieces open, though, as this will cause the internal juices to escape and the meat to dry. Instead, wait for a good five to ten minutes.
Without a doubt, a smoked boneless chicken breast is one of the best things that you can make with a grill. Tender, juicy and incredibly flavorful, this way of cooking chicken produces excellent results consistently. If you follow it carefully, this Traeger slow smoked chicken recipe will help you make the best smoked chicken breast you’ve ever had.