Chicken jerky is a convenient, healthy snack. Make your own chicken jerky at home with your smoker for a long-lasting snack. Your smoked chicken jerky will be a portable snack for long camping or hiking trips, a healthy option for school lunches or a thoughtful, homemade part of a gift basket. Experiment with different marinades until you find the recipe you like best.

Things You'll Need

Marinade the Chicken

Slice chicken thin (1/8 inch). Freeze or partially freeze the chicken prior to slicing to make this easier.

Combine all marinade ingredients in large container. Add chicken and place in refrigerator.

Allow chicken to marinade for two to four hours or overnight if desired. Mix every one to two hours to make sure chicken is coated evenly.

Smoke the Chicken

Drain chicken in a colander. Pat dry with paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible.

Select smoking method based on your smoker’s capabilities: hanging, setting on wire racks or lying in mesh smoking baskets. Baskets or hanging will be the fastest method.

Set smoker at 140 degrees F to dry chicken without smoke for one hour. If using wire racks, turn chicken after 30 minutes.

Add smoke and raise temperature to 160 degrees F. Smoke for two to three hours.

Continue to raise temperature to 185 degrees F. This final stage should take three hours for the chicken to completely dry.

Check the jerky. It should have lost about 50 percent of its bulk and should not snap when bent.

Cool jerky to room temperature and then refrigerate or freeze it for storage.


  • Experiment with different methods of making chicken jerky. Use your oven instead of a smoker. Consider using a food dehydrator.

  • Try using different meats. Beef, turkey, fish or even lean ground meats can be used in place of chicken.