How To Make Sure The Chicken Breast Is Juicy
Now that your chicken breasts are trimmed, its time to ensure they are juicy.
While some people like to use marinades, I find the brine method works much better. Marinades are generally made with oil and vinegar and flavor enhancers like soy sauce and garlic.
Those do a great job at flavoring the meat, but they dont necessarily make it juicy. And if you leave your chicken in an acid-based marinade for too long, it will actually start to cook and will get rubbery.
Brining, on the other hand, works differently. When the chicken breast is introduced to a salt water bath, the proteins begin to break down and relax while the meat absorbs the liquid. Its like juicy chicken magic.
Brining Bonus: Brining liquid doesnt include oil, so its much healthier and lower in calories than marinades.
A typical brine is made up of water, kosher salt, sugar and seasonings. For this recipe, you dont need to make a big batch. I use a really simple technique.
Mix one bottle of room temperature water with a tablespoon of kosher salt, a tablespoon of sugar and a tablespoon of my personal Chicken Rub, which is a blend of salt, pepper, sugar, paprika, garlic, onion, bell pepper, lemon zest, chiles and natural hickory smoke.
You dont need to heat the water or anything. The salt, sugar and seasonings will dissolve just fine. Place the brine ingredients in a bowl and mix it well. Place the chicken breasts in the zip-top bag and add the brine. Seal and massage it gently. Place the bag in a bowl .
What Do I Need To Know About Pellet Grills
When using a pellet grill, youll want to make sure that the pellets are made from hardwood. Softwoods like pine will produce an unpleasant taste and can also be dangerous because they might contain harmful chemicals.
You should also know that not all pellets are created equal some brands have a higher BTU rating than others, which means that youll need less fuel to cook with. Be sure not to overfill your grill or it could cause an explosion!
How To Grill Chicken Breasts:
1. Preheat the grill on high for 10-15 minutes, then use your grill brush to scrape any previous remnants off your grates.
2. the fully thawed chicken breasts. A clean and easy way to marinate the chicken is to place it in a large plastic zip top bag, add your marinade and make sure your entire chicken breast is covered. In this particular instance, I used olive oil and added a few fresh basil leaves.
3. Here’s how long to grill chicken on a gas grill. Once you have preheated your grill for 10-15 minutes, prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat at 425-450°F and get your iGrill probes inserted into the chicken.
4. Place marinated chicken breasts on grill over direct medium heat.
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Important Things To Know When Grilling Chicken Thighs
There are a few important things to know when youre grilling chicken thighs that are bone-in and skin-on that are really important, no matter what grill youre using.
I call these the holy grail of grilled chicken thighs:
A marinade is important
While chicken thighs are much more flavorful than chicken breasts, they can get boring. So, a good marinade is important. It doesnt have to be anything fancy or complicated. Some olive oil, acid, spices, and seasoning will do the trick. Get my recipe for the Traeger grilled chicken thighs ultimate marinade in the printout below.
Cook them skin side down first, for at least 15 minutes
When Im putting my thighs on the grill, I cook them skin side down first and for longer than I cook the other side. Theres nothing like crispy skin with a kiss of smoke and char.
Dont over cook them
I use a digital read thermometer to make sure Im cooking meat perfectly. For these Traeger grilled chicken thighs, theyre done when the middle of the thickest part of the chicken next to the bone reaches 165F. Once you hit that, immediately remove them from the grill.
Let them rest before serving
Once the chicken is cooked, let it rest before serving for about 10 minutes. This helps the juices to draw back into the meat, giving you more flavor and moisture!
How To Grill Chicken On A Rec Tec Pellet Grill
Smoking and barbecuing are supposed to be hard work. In fact, some people compare smoking, grilling and barbecuing as hard as wood chopping. It involves putting in the right amount of wood chunks and getting the right temperature for the right kind of meat, poultry or fish.
Then there is another thing about keeping the temperature steady so your food doesnt get burned off. Many people have struggled when it comes to grilling chicken on their smoker. But thanks to REC TEC Pellet Grills, all this is in the past.
The REC TEC Pellet Grill makes it extremely easy to cook any kind of meat, poultry or fish you desire at the right temperature. But there are still some techniques required to make sure that you cook perfectly.
For example, using an external thermometer is often a great technique to get your chicken the right tenderness and flavor without it getting burned or dried out during the entire grilling session. Thanks to the advanced technology of REC TEC Pellet Grills, you can easily manage the temperatures to make sure the chicken is perfect every time.
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What Temperature To Smoke Chicken Breast
For tender, juicy results, 225 degrees F is a favorite smoker temperature for chicken breast at my house. Sometimes Ill smoke chicken breast at 250 degrees F to accommodate other things Im smoking at the same time.
The bonus here is that a lot of good smoked side dishes like smoked queso and smoked red potatoes can be cooked at the same temperature, so you can really make a meal with easy to make smoked food for dinner.
Dipping Sauce For Smoked Chicken Wings
There are a few different dipping sauces that Ive used for smoked wings, and they really compliment the chicken and bring all the flavors together. Barbecue channel How to BBQ Right has a great recipe with 1 cup of mayonnaise, 1 tbs of lemon juice, half a cup of sour cream and 4 oz of blue cheese. Another really simple dipping sauce recipe that works well is 1 cup of sour cream, half a cup of feta, and salt and pepper.
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How Long To Smoke A Whole Chicken
The cooking time for a smoked whole chicken will depend on how you’ve prepared it, the temperature you’ve set, and the final product you’re looking for. The method above will give your bird a smoky flavor, but may not result in crispy skin if not roasted at a higher temperature. “The higher the temperature, the crispier the skin,” says Matt Pittman of Meat Church BBQ.
350 degrees F for 60-75 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. See recipe.
375 degrees F for about 60 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. See recipe
To measure the temperature of a whole chicken, insert a digital thermometer into the thickest part of the breast. The chicken is ready to take off the grill when the temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
What Is Spatchcock Chicken
Spatchcock chicken is a fancy name for a flattened chicken. It looks complicated and intimidating to use the spatchcock method to prepare a chicken but the cooking process is actually very easy. Shhh Dont tell anyone my secret! Simply remove the neck and backbone, slice into the chest bone, flatten, season, and cook using your desired method.
Not only will your chicken be evenly cooked, it will have more surface area to catch the smoke from your pellet grill. Spatchcocked chicken is flattened in a way that exposes all of the skin, allowing it to evenly crisp in your smoker without risking ripping it or having soggy pieces.
Time is precious! Smoke this spatchcock chicken in a fraction of the time that it would take to cook a whole intact chicken. The meat is evenly spread, covering a larger surface area and ensuring more even heat distributionavoiding dry/leathery bits.
Apply Baking Powder To Chicken Skins
Baking powder can also help you achieve crispier chicken skins on your pellet grill when applied directly before baking. The baking powder raises the chicken skins pH level, which breaks down peptide bonds and results in beautifully browned, crispy skin.
This method works best with chicken wings or thighs since you can toss them in a bowl to coat with the baking powder.
When applying the baking powder, you also mix in seasonings like:
You can also add salt to the mix to help dry out the skins, and if you dont have baking soda, cornstarch will work. And always apply baking powder immediately before smoking!
How Long To Grill Chicken Breast
How long to grill chicken breasts will vary depending on your grill and even the thickness of your chicken breasts. If you have a thick chicken breast, it is going to take a lot longer than a thinner breast.
What I like to do is to slice the chicken in half to make it half as thick as a typical breast. Youll get more consistent and better results, with less of the rubbery skin issue that people often struggle with on pellet grill chicken breasts.
The guide I go off of is making sure you reach for your meat thermometer and testing to ensure the chicken reaches 165°. To do this, find the largest part of your chicken breast to insert the thermometer. I test this over a handful of the chicken breasts to ensure each piece is fully cooked.
Check out all of my Easy Pellet Grill recipes here!
How Long Does It Take To Smoke A Whole Chicken
It can take as long as six hours to smoke a chicken at 225F until it’s safe to eat which is an awfully long time to wait.
Smoked whole chicken needs to come to a safe internal temperature of 165 degrees. So instead of smoking for the entire time, we smoke for the first hour and then roast the chicken to our desired finish temperature.
The additional roasting encourages the chicken to have crispy skin that retains the delicious smoke flavor. This method makes some of the juiciest smoked chicken breasts I’ve ever tasted. It’s so satisfying when you remove the thickest part of the breast and it’s just dripping with juices.
Now that you’ve mastered chicken on the pellet grill, you should consider trying to cook a turkey on a charcoal grill. This recipe shows you how to do a delicious smoked turkey when you’re ready to do a bigger bird! It also makes an amazing chicken salad! If boneless chicken is more your style, this chicken Cordon bleu recipe is a crowd-pleaser and tastes delicious when cooked on a pellet grill!
Glaze For Smoked Chicken Wings
Most competition style wings apply a glaze in the last stages of the cook. For a glaze to set, it only needs about 10-minutes in the smoker at the very end. There are dozens of glaze recipes that work well with chicken, otherwise you can keep it simple by using a hot sauce or an Asian sauce.
A great way to get extra crispy chicken wings is to apply cornstarch to the chicken. Another popular method is to sprinkle baking powder on the wings when you are adding the rub. However, if you want crispy chicken skin, the most important thing you can do is to make sure the wings are dry before smoking. Dry the wings with a paper towel and remove as much moisture as possible. Also, when cooking, keep the temperature of the smoker above 275°F, otherwise the chicken skin will come out soft and rubbery.
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What Are The Benefits Of Cooking Chicken On A Pellet Grill
Ease of use:
The pellet grill is easy for many people because it requires little effort on their part. No need to worry about turning food over or checking its temperature just set the timer and wait until you hear that familiar ding sound!
Dont have time? Then dont worry! Pellet grills take care of everything for you so that you can relax and enjoy your meal.
Not only is the pellet grill perfect for chicken, but it can also be used to cook other poultry such as duck or turkey. In fact, many people use their pellet grills to smoke brisket, pork shoulder, and even salmon!
Pellet grills are known for their efficient cooking, which means that youll be able to cook your food evenly without having to worry about hot or cold spots. This also results in less wasted fuel, so you can save money in the long run!
Many people like to cook chicken on a pellet grill because the heat is evenly distributed, which results in perfectly cooked food every time. You wont have to worry about undercooked or overcooked poultry when using this cooking method!
The ignition process on a pellet grill is typically very easy. All you need to do is turn the knob to the desired heat and wait until the pellets have been lit!
How Often Should You Flip Wings On A Pellet Grill
If youre cooking wings in the 300°F range, flip the wings once after 45-minutes, then cook for another 45- minutes to an hour. Turning the wings will give the skin on both sides a chance to crisp and brown. If chicken isnt turned over, the side facing down will cook in the moisture and the skin will be rubbery. If your pellet grill has a hot spot, you may need to rotate the wings around so they all cook evenly.
Read Also: Meat Probe For Traeger Grill
How Long To Grill Chicken Wings On A Pellet Grill
Further reading: Smoking times and temperatures chart
White Chicken Chili Recipe
This White Chicken Chili recipe is a warm and cozy option for leftover chicken. And it’s incredibly easy. Just add chicken broth, leftover chicken, white beans, salsa, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt/pepper to taste to an oven-safe pot. Bake in your oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for four hours.
Pour into bowls and top with avocado, sour cream, and chopped cilantro.
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Tips For Smoking A Whole Chicken On A Pellet Grill
Using a pellet grill for the first time can be intimidating. What kind of pellets should I use? Where do I place the pellet grill? What temperature do I cook chicken at?
In this article, well cover everything you need to know about cooking a whole chicken on your pellet grill. By the end, youll love cooking a whole chicken, and you may want to consider cooking a beer can chicken.
Well, lets get into further detail.
Meal Prep Chicken Breasts
The reason I love chicken so much is because it is incredibly versatile. From wraps and salads to easy entrees, having pre-cooked chicken in the refrigerator makes for quick weeknight dinners or easy meal prep lunches.
Pack up your smoked chicken breasts and vegetables in your favorite meal prep containers for easy meal prep.
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Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Pellet grills are one of the best ways to cook chicken. The temperature is even throughout the cooking process and is easy to control.
- Smoking chicken on a pellet grill makes it super juicy, moist, and SO flavorful.
- A whole smoked chicken is an economical way to feed your family or a large group of people. I buy chicken when it goes on sale. It’s always great to have one or two in the freezer!
- Smoking a chicken is a great way to give it fantastic flavor. It is WAY better than a rotisserie chicken from the store.
- Easy to make.
- Hands-off cooking. Set the temperature on the electric smoker and forget it. No turning or flipping is required.
- The chicken is never charred or dried out like it can be when cooking it on a gas grill.
Season The Chicken Legs
The hardest part of this recipe is figuring out what you want to use to season the legs. For this batch of legs I used Kirklands Sweet Mesquite seasoning but there are a thousand other rubs that will work just fine. Heck, sometimes I cook these with just salt and pepper and they turn out great.
If you need a rub recipe then here is our Award Winning Chicken Rub that you can use.
Award Winning Chicken Rub
Just toss the legs with the rub to get an even coating.
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How Long Does It Take To Smoke Wings On A Traeger
It should take about 1.5 to 2 hours to smoke wings on a Traeger if the temperature is between 275°F and 300°F. The time may vary depending on the size of the wings, the weather conditions and the amount of times you opened the lid of your Traeger. Pre heat the Traeger to about 300°F before adding the wings and dont open the lid until you need to flip the wings about 45-minutes in. Monitor the temperature of the pellet grill and make the necessary adjustments if the weather is causing temperature fluctuations. Probe the wings after about 1.5 hours and remove when the wings hit a 165°F internal meat temperature.
World Brisket Champion Harry Soo is now sharing his secrets with hisCompetition Meat Rubs.