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Hi, all;

I'm planning on Smokette-ing about five pounds of skin-on, not-boneless chicken breasts tomorrow, and I'm looking for some advice. I've got a gallon of Smokin' Okie's Holiday brine chilling, and I've searched through all the posts. BUT..

-for brining chicken, I see anything from one hour to twelve hours to 24 hours;

-for cook time for breasts, I see a range of one hour to four.

So far my experience with my CS is that it's always taking a little longer than I expect until When It's Done(tm). I'm thinking overnight brine, no rub, and allowing four hours cook time to 160-170 (I plan on finishing them on the grill, so I can wrap 'em in foil if they get done early). Any advice beyond that?

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Brining is good, but you can still sure use a rub to spice up white meat chicken. It's up to you. For what its worth, I have not cooked to exact cut you are using, as we use what is billed as a boneless, skinless, split breast. Usually there's a little skin and sometime a little bone, but that's a different subject!

Here is what we do, if it's any help. We rub the breasts, then drizzle a bit of vegetable oil on them to hold them rub. Then we smoke them until the internal temp of the meat reaches 165F. If you have a remote probe thermometer, use it. It can be very helpful in this process. Stick the probe in the largest cut, and you can be pretty much assurred that the other pieces are properly cooked. One benefit of the brining will be that unless the sizes of the cuts vary widely, your smaller cuts should be ok even if they are overcooked a little.

A final note... brined meat tends to cook a little quicker, so keep that in mind. Depending on your smoker, cooking temp, and a million other variables, I'd plan for about two hours. Could be more, could be less.
Hope you like them.

And Matt is right, go for whatever additional flavors you like.

And for skin on, slip some of the rub under the skin. After all, most people pull of the skin when they eat it.

The times vary because the size of the chicken varies. And bone in or bone out? Skin on or skin off?

A KEY point to remember, if you're going to cook them on the grill, take them off before 160. I'd take them off by 140 or so. The grill will continue to cook them and if you take them off at 160, and then grill, they'll definitely be dryer.

I just insert a temp probe and shoot for 160 internal. If I'm done a big batch of bone in, they can be done in about 2 hours. But I arrange them in the smoker by size because some will cook faster than others.

Another ingredient that some love is to rub them with Mayo (oil, right) and then sprinkle on the rub. Regular oil is fine also.

Brining is great,but here is an alternative.
Honey Mustard Chicken Breast.I've got this set for 10 lbs of shinless/boneless breast,but it can be modified to fit your needs,and will work fine on skin on/bonein.
It sells better for me the otherway.
Mix 1 1/4 cup honey with 1/2 cup good ol'yellow mustard,add 1/3 cup soy sauce and 1/3 cup minced garlic. Pour all of this after mixing well over your chx breast in a non-metalic container,Marinate in fridge overnight.Smoke at 225 for 60 min,using light pecan.
This should work for you if your going to finish on grill.You might reserve some of the marinade ,bring to simmer on stove and use as a mop while grilling.Give it a try I know they sell very well here.
Papa Shaka Big Grin Wink
As usual, thanks to all for the terrific advice. We just finished a really good chicken 'que dinner. I didn't go for the overnight brine, and I'm glad I didn' around seven hours in brine today, the chicken was just a little salty for my taste. Certainly no one complained, though.

I also decided to go with a rub. The Cookshack chicken rub by itself is a little too hot for my family, so I cut it with some black pepper, sweet paprika, thyme, dehydrated onion and garlic, and brown sugar. Mixed it all in mayo and it turned out pretty darn good, if I dare say. But man, throw those super-moist, mayo-rubbed chix on a hot grill after the CS and it was flame on! Glad I was paying attention...

Papa Shaka, your recipe looks great! It's definitely one to try.

Already looking forward to BBQ chicken pizza this week...smoked mozzarella, red onion, cilantro, and sauce...yum.

Hey Papa Shaka,

I tried your recipe for the honey mustard chicken. It is wonderful!

I did 6# of boneless skinless breasts, and they were a hit with everyone. Only change I made was to smoke with cherry wood (I didn't have any pecan). I will be doing them often. They are also great cold, or re-heated in the microwave.

Thanks for the recipe. Big Grin

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