Shredded Smoked Chicken… Now this is one of my house’s most made meal prep foods. I use smoked shredded chicken in recipes for canned or shredded chicken. Salads, soups, casseroles, and just as a snack, there is no wrong way.
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The old lady is the casserole queen and the queen of meal planning. We never have waste, and making meals made with our leftover smoked meats is amazing! Before we got the smoker, she did a lot of Crockpot Shredded Chicken. Now smoked shredded chicken is prepped almost the same way.
I smoked this on my Pit Boss pellet grill, but this can also be made on a Tragear Pellet grill, charcoal smoker, or gas smoker. In my opinion, there is no wrong way to smoke; unless you burn the meat.
shredded smoked chicken breast Ingredients
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts– We use chicken breasts because there is a lot of meat, and they are not as greasy. You can use thighs if you want. The chicken breasts are what my family prefers.
Olive Oil– This helps the chicken not only to the grill racks but also helps the seasoning adhere to the chicken.
how to make smoked shredded chicken
Lay your chicken out on a plate or a platter. I used a cookie sheet this time, which was also perfect for carrying out the smoker.
Rub down with olive oil on both sides. This can be done by hand, but I also use a pastry bursh for this step, which makes for less hand washing.
Sprinkle with your chicken seasoning. Now there is no set amount this, the seasoning of meat comes down to personal preference of how much you like and what other recipes you will use the chicken in.
Allow to acclimate the chicken to room temperature. This will allow the meat to take on the smoked flavoring and reduce the cooking time when on the cooking cycle.
Start your smoker up and running on the smoke setting. This may vary by each smoker. If you do not have a specific smoke setting, set it to the lowest temperature you can. I used the Pitboss Competition blend on this smoke.
Money and time-saving tips from the old lady. If you order pellets online from Walmart and spend $35, they will drop them off at your door for free!! Their everyday price on pit boss pellets is amazing, plus the expert grill brand has a great price. (see them ->here)
Once your smoker is ready, place the chicken on the top rack. I put mine on the left as the right side of my Pitboss tends to cook hotter. This time I had enough to fill the rack, so I just rotated the chicken breasts as they were cooking.
Allow to smoke on a smoke cycle for at least fifteen minutes and then turn up to 225. I smoked mine for an hour before turning the temperature up.
Flip the chicken after about 20 minutes; you can flip it more times if you would like. If your rack is full this is a good time to rotate the chicken.
Cook to internal temperature, not for time.
Use a meat thermometer to verify your chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
Remove from smoker and shred using meat claws, hand mixer, or stand mixer.
How To Shred Smoked Chicken
You can allow your chicken to cool but I have always found it shreds faster and easier while the chicken is still warm.
Remove by hand or cutting with a knife large fat chunks or drier parts of the exterior. I always seem to ahve spots that seem to cook to hot and get to crispy.
How To Shred Chicken With Meat Claws
When I shred chicken with my meat claws I put on Disposable Vinyl Gloves, the chicken is hot and it adds a layer or protection. Also it stops from having chicken under the fingernails, and any juices in little cuts.
Lay the chicken in a bowl or a plate and then pull the chicken apart with meat claws. I personally prefer to use plastic meat claws, but the old lady has found some metal meat claws that she prefers to use.
Smoked chicken thighs will be harder to shred but will still work.
How To Shred Chicken With A Hand Mixer
This method I have never mastered, but the old lady has this down to a science.
Start by placing your chicken in a deep bowl and place the beaters on your electric hand mixer.
Protip is to push the beater into part of a chicken breast before turning it on; I always seem to fling chicken around before I can get it to shredding.
Move the mixer around the bowl slowly until it has started to shred; you can turn the speed up as you go.
How To Shred Chicken with a stand mixer
The easiest and fastest method is to use a stand mixer. The old lady has a Kitchen aid mixer, if your mixer doesn’t have a paddle, the whisk will work just as well.
Place the paddle attachment on the mixer and the chicken in the bowl.
Turn the mixer on low and allow the paddle to do the work, it takes a minute, but the shredding is fantastic.
To finely shred, you can put on the whisk; this will shred the meat into smaller pieces.
How To Store Shredded Smoked Chicken
Once the chicken has cooled off, store it in an air-tight container. Store the leftover smoked shredded chicken for up to five days in the fridge or the freezer for up to 90 days.
Storing leftovers properly requires the right tools! My preferred storage method is if the leftovers can be sealed in a food saver. If not, then an air-tight container or Ziploc bag for the fridge is the way I go. The air-tight container and a freezer Ziploc bag are the next best bet for freezing the leftovers. I also use a food scale to measure portions into serving sizes.
Pulled Smoked Chicken
Pulled smoked chicken is similar to shredded smoked chicken. For pulled chicken, the chicken is pulled off the bone.
Whole chicken, bone-in chicken breast, and bone-in chicken thighs are commonly used to make pulled chicken.
You would use a fork to pull the chicken from the bone and pull it apart further with meat claws or a mixer.
smoked shredded chicken recipes
- Leftover Smoked Chicken Salad
- Smoked Chicken Noodle Soup
- Dutch Oven Smoked White Chicken Chili
- Smoked Chicken Pot Pie
- Smoked Chicken Fried Rice
Seasoning For Smoked Chicken Breasts
If you are newer to smoking it can be hard to decide on a good seasoning. I have a post on Grilling Seasonings that has amazing seasonings listed for every cut of meat. These are some of my favorite chicken seasonings.
- Jack Daniels Chicken Rub
- Smoky Honey Habanero – Sweet and Spicy BBQ Rub
- Korean BBQ
- McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Chicken Seasoning
- Kinders Tequila Lime Seasoning
- Cabela’s Tequila Lime Seasoning
If you prefer, you can order the Spiceology Spices directly from them in the PNW -> here on their website. The Sasquatch line is delicous!
Pellet Smoker Recipes To check out
- Dutch Oven In The Smoker Recipes
- Special Occasion And Holiday Recipes
- Smoked Side Dishes
- Smoked Deli Salads
Shredded Smoked Chicken Recipe
- Lay your chicken out on a plate.
- Rub down with olive oil.
- Sprinkle with your chicken seasoning.
- Allow to acclimate the chicken to room temperature.
- Start your smoker up and running on the smoke setting.
- Once your smoker is ready, place the chicken on the top rack.
- Allow to smoke on a smoke cycle for at least fifteen minutes and then turn up to 225.
- Flip the chicken after about 20 minutes; you can flip it more times.
- Cook to internal temperature, not for time.
- Use a meat thermometer to verify your chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
- Remove from smoker and shred using meat claws, hand mixer, or stand mixer.