Cook delicious chili smoked chicken breasts on a Traeger or pellet grill. Chicken is basted with a simple seasoning, then smoked and grilled to finish!
Here’s another easy smoked and then grilled chicken breast recipe for the ol’ pellet grill. We love to try new recipes on our Traeger, and really enjoyed this one, that uses boneless, skinless chicken breasts!
This past summer we enjoyed making Smoked Chili Rib-Eye Steaks, and so I decided to use the same chili-flavored basting sauce on boneless skinless chicken breasts. The result? Some really good tasting chicken! Here’s how easy this recipe is to make!
Scroll Down For A Printable Recipe Card At The Bottom Of The Page
Make The Chili Basting Sauce
It’s very easy (and quick) to make the chili basting sauce that will be applied to the chicken. The ingredients are chili powder, worcestershire sauce, olive oil, brown sugar, ground cumin, minced garlic and salt (I used sea salt).
Start by placing finely chopped fresh garlic and the salt into a small bowl. Use a fork, and mash these two ingredients together until it forms a thick, paste-like mixture.
Add the other chili sauce ingredients to the bowl of garlic and salt mixture, and stir well, to fully combine. That’s it… your basting sauce is now ready. See? That’s how quick the sauce comes together!
Prepare The Chicken
Brush the chili sauce over all sides of the boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Use all of that tasty seasoning sauce! Once done, cover the chicken and let it refrigerate for 1 hour. NOTE: The chicken can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours, if necessary. Remove chicken from the fridge about 30 minutes before putting it on the grill, to take the chill off of the meat.
Time To SMOKE The Chicken Breasts!
Okay… now it is time to smoke the chicken! Set the Traeger grill to the SMOKE setting. Keep the lid open and let it go for about 4-5 minutes, until the fire is established and the grill is smoking. We used mesquite pellets in the hopper, but use whatever you have on hand!
Now turn the temperature gauge to 225°F, and preheat (lid closed), for about 10-15 minutes (or until it reaches temperature). Once the grill is at 225°F., you’re ready to smoke the chicken! Place the chicken breasts directly on the grill grate, and let them smoke (lid closed) for 25 minutes.
Once the chili smoked chicken breasts are done “smoking”, remove them from the grill (and wrap to keep them warm). Turn the temperature setting on the grill to HIGH (450°F), and preheat for about 10 minutes (or until it reaches temperature).
Time To GRILL The Chili Smoked Chicken Breasts!
Once the grill is at the HIGH grill setting (450°F), place the chili smoked chicken breasts back onto the grill. Grill the chicken for 5 minutes on High, then flip the pieces over, and grill the other side for 5 minutes. This will help sear the chili basting sauce to the chicken.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Since pellet grills often vary quite a bit temperature-wise and have fluctuating heat levels, it is best to check the internal temperature of the chicken breasts once you flip them. Place the temperature probe into the thickest part of the chicken. Remove the chicken once it reaches 165°F (it will continue to cook a bit as it rests off the heat).
Let Chicken Rest Before Serving
Let the chili smoked chicken breasts rest for 3-4 minutes before serving, to let the juices redistribute inside the meat. I think we can all agree that juicy chicken is perfect!
I hope you enjoy this simple, but delicious recipe for chili smoked chicken breasts. We sure did! They are not too spicy, but have a great depth of flavor from the mesquite pellet smoking, and the chili basting sauce.
Any leftover chicken will keep for a few days in the refrigerator. The leftover smoked chicken tastes great sliced and added to the top of a mixed green salad or added into quesadillas! Yum! Hope you enjoy this recipe, and trust you will have a good day!
Looking For More TRAEGER Recipes?
You can find all of my recipes in the Recipe Index, located at the top of the page. A few favorite Traeger recipes include:
- Traeger Roasted Chicken
- Roasted Turkey Breast
- Grilled Chocolate Lava Cake
- BBQ Baby Back Ribs
- Berry Cobbler Traeger Grill Style
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Original recipe source for chili seasoning sauce: https://www.traegergrills.com/recipes/beef/chili-rib-eye-steaks
↓↓ PRINTABLE RECIPE BELOW ↓↓
Cook delicious chili smoked chicken breasts on a Traeger or pellet grill. Chicken is basted w/ a simple seasoning, then smoked and grilled to finish!
- 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts , fairly thin (approx. 5 ounces per piece)
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons chili powder
- 2 Tablespoons worcestershire sauce
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar (packed)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
Place finely chopped garlic and salt into a small bowl. Use a fork to mash these ingredients together until it forms a paste-like mixture. Add remaining chili sauce ingredients to mixture, and stir well, to combine. Brush sauce over all sides of chicken. Cover chicken and refrigerate for 1 hour. NOTE: Chicken can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours, if necessary. Remove chicken from fridge about 1/2 an hour before putting on grill, to take the chill off the meat.
Set temperature gauge to SMOKE setting. Keep lid open and let it go for about 4-5 minutes, until fire is established and grill is smoking. Now turn temperature to 225°F, and preheat (lid closed), for 10-15 minutes (or until it reaches temperature). Once grill is at 225°F., you're ready to smoke the chicken! Place chicken breasts directly on grate, and let them smoke (lid closed) for 25 minutes.
Once done "smoking", remove chicken from grill (and wrap to keep them warm). Turn temperature setting on the grill to HIGH (450°F), and preheat for 10 minutes (or until it reaches temperature). Once grill is at 450°F, place chicken back onto grill. Grill for 5 minutes, then flip over, and grill other side for approx. 5 minutes. This helps sear the chili basting sauce to the chicken.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Since pellet grills often vary quite a bit temperature-wise and at times have fluctuating heat levels, it is best to check the internal temperature of the chicken breasts once you flip them. Place the temperature probe into the thickest part of the chicken. Remove chicken from grill once it reaches 165°F (it will continue to cook a bit as it rests off heat).
Let the chili smoked chicken breasts rest for 3-4 minutes before serving, to let the juices redistribute inside the meat. Serve, and enjoy!
NOTE: If using large chicken breasts (thick), you may need to adjust the grilling time (cook longer) to bring to internal temperature of 165° F.
Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!
I’m new this kind of grilling. Definitely gonna try chili rubbed chicken breast. Would love have more recipes too!!
I just made these for the family and their response was “These are the best chicken breasts we’ve ever had! They are perfect!” This has become a pretty consistent response from them on my Traeger meals 🙂 Thanks!
I tried this recipe and it turned out so good! We cooked a bunch of chicken for the week and are loving it!
Family loved it. Chicken breasts on a grill don’t ever turn out well but these smoked are wonderful. Don’t be afraid of the chili powder. Not spicy but balanced seasoning with the blend of garlic and cumin. Cooked perfectly. A winner for my first smoker attempt!