Hello and welcome to another exciting edition of the smoking meat newsletter!

As shocking as it may seem, I do like other foods that are not smoked and some of my favorites are in the Asian cuisine category.

I have a very special place in my heart for Thai food.

Every time my wife and I go to one of our favorite Thai restaurants for a date, we always end up ordering these Thai chicken satays with some sort of peanut sauce to dip them in.

So the peanut sauce is really good but the last time I had them I got to thinking that you could do this in a smoker with rub and barbecue sauce and it would really be amazing.

You could also grill them over high heat but I love to cook things slow and give the smoke a chance to do it’s thing so.. I had my challenge.

If you’ve never had satays, they are marinated strips of meat on a stick and it’s considered street food in many Asian cities. I love any kind of food on a stick and I think you will thoroughly enjoy these either as an appetizer or even as a main course.

You could also create a peanut based dipping sauce for these and it would go really good with the smoke but that is not what I was after in this episode. Maybe next time.

What You’ll Need

  • (2) packages of chicken breast tenders. (mine had 10 pcs per package)
  • 1/2 gallon of water
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar (dark will work if it’s all you have)
  • 1/4 cup of Hellman’s REAL mayonnaise
  • (1) batch of Jeff’s rub recipe (purchase recipes)
  • (1) batch of Jeff’s sauce recipe

Note: the breast tenders were about 1/4 inch thick or so. You could also buy whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts and cut them into pieces yourself.

Get the Recipes for Jeff’s Rub and Sauce

recipe-ad-rubMy rub is not only great on ribs and all pork, but it is absolutely amazing on poultry, beef, fish, seafood and even vegetables like corn!

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Brine the Breast Tenders

Estimated time: 2 hours

Brining chicken and especially the breast meat, is such an important part of making sure it ends up juicy and tender. The fact that it’s so easy to do means you never have to serve dry chicken breast meat again in any form.

To brine:

Mix the 1/2 gallon of water with 1/2 cup kosher salt and 1/2 cup of brown sugar until the water is clear and all ingredients are dissolved.

Place the breast tenders in a zip top bag and pour in enough brine to cover. Zip the bag closed.

Place chicken breast tenders into a ziptop bag with brine

Place the bag down in a bowl to prevent the risk of leakage and place it in the fridge for 2 hours.

Set bag into a bow to prevent leakage

Note: About 1 hour into the brine is a great time to go get the smoker ready. You are looking for about 240 degrees if possible.

Once the brining process is finished, pour off the brine and rinse the chicken with cold water.

Rinse off the brine

Seasoning the Breast Tenders

Estimated time: 5 minutes

Here lately I have been using mayonnaise instead of mustard on chicken to help the rub to stick. If you think about it, mayonnaise is basically oil and eggs and you really can’t ask for a better combination on the chicken.

Since this recipe calls for 20 pieces, you’ll need about 1/4 cup of mayonnaise to get the job done right.

A dollop of mayonnaise to help the rub to stick

Stir the chicken around mixing it with the mayonnaise using a spoon or your hands if you like to get messy with it.

Stir the mayonnaise onto the chicken

Pour on about 1/4 cup of my rub for great flavor

Add the rub

Once again, stir the meat to mix the mayonnaise and rub and get a coating on the chicken.

Mix and mayonnaise to coat chicken

Getting the Chicken onto a Stick

Estimated time: 5 minutes

I did not get a good picture of this but it’s pretty easy, just hold one of the breast tenders in one hand and push a stick through the center of the piece lengthwise.

Lay the completed pieces onto a Bradley rack as shown in the picture below:

Lay completed pieces onto a Bradley rack

I recommend that you get the smoker going while the chicken is brining but if you did not, you might want to place the chicken back in the fridge if it’s going to take more than 30 minutes.

It is very important that the smoking temperature is as close to 240 degrees as possible and that you are able to hold this for about 30 minutes. Our main concern at this point is that the chicken does not overcook so I highly recommend that you stay right there with it while it cooks.

Note: I usually make a few extra pieces as testers

Getting the Smoker Ready to Cook

Estimated time: 30-60 minutes (depending on what type of smoker you are using)

As I say in almost every newsletter here lately.. all of my recipes are designed to be used in ANY smoker with no regard to whether it is electric, charcoal, gas or wood.

I have written some helpful information on the operation and getting the most out of several popular smokers below however, there is no substitute for experience. Like anything else, you will find that the more you use your smoker, the better you will get at controlling the temperature and making it work for you in the way that it should.

Note: In colder weather, it is advisable to preheat the smoker at least an hour or more before you are wanting to use it. Keep the door closed as much as possible and even skip basting if necessary to maintain proper smoking temperatures.

Smoking the Chicken Satays

Estimated time: 25-30 minutes

I wanted to use my gas smoker for these due to the inclement weather but I discovered that I was out of propane (bad planning on my part) and so I decided to use my reverse flow wood burning smoker by Meadow Creek for these.

I poured in an ample amount of lump charcoal and used 3 pieces of firestarter to get the coals going.

This is when it started raining and then sleeting!

Raining and sleeting on wood smoker

It took about 2 hours for the smoker to overcome the 20 degree temperature and the cold rain and pieces of ice hitting the smoker but I finally got it up to 240 degrees. I fed it hickory splits to build up a big bed of hot coals.

Once the smoker was holding steady, I grabbed the satays from the kitchen counter and quickly placed them in the smoker trying to not hold the lid of the smoker open any longer than I had to.

The temperature dropped slightly but quickly recovered.

At the 25 minute mark, I quickly opened the lid and grabbed one of the chicken satays from the grate and closed the lid again.

It was perfectly done, and it was very tender. If you check it at 25 minutes and the chicken is not quite done, just put it back in and check it again every 5 minutes or so.

It is very easy to overcook these so be careful or you will have chicken jerky on your hands.

Smoked chicken satays finished cooking

Serve the smoked chicken satays with sauce on the side or already brushed on.. your choice.

Serve them up


Due to the meat being so thin, it is difficult to use a probe thermometer to get an accurate reading on the chicken. I slightly overcooked my first batch trying to do this but it is the only safe way to really tell that the chicken is safe to eat.

You might be better off using a thermometer with a much smaller probe to test for the chicken being done.

Regardless of what method you use, be sure the chicken reaches 165 degrees in the center.

If your chicken is a different thickness or the smoker is running at a different temperature, this will affect the length of time that it takes to get the chicken satays done. Make adjustments accordingly.

If you are wanting the charred look on the chicken satay then simply smoke them for about 15 minutes then finish them off on the hot grill with just a couple of minutes per side.

Probe Thermometers

Maverick ET-732

If you do not have a probe thermometer, you can find them on or even at your local store for as little as 15 dollars. If you want one that tells you the temperature wirelessly via a monitor that you carry with you into the house, it will run you about $60 dollars.

I have both types and I have to say that I am very spoiled by not having to run out to the smoker to check the temperature of both the smoker and the meat. I use the Maverick ET-732 and it is a huge time saver for me and so worth the cost in my opinion.

The Maverick ET-732 has (2) probes, one for the smoker temperature and another one for the meat temperature. The sending unit sits on top of the smoker and the receiver stays in your pocket or sits on the table top or counter up to 300 feet away.


  1. Brine breast tenders for 2 hours
  2. Rinse breast tenders and coat with mayonnaise and rub
  3. Place breast tenders onto skewers
  4. Smoke cook for about 25-30 minutes at 240 degrees
  5. Serve with brushed on sauce or sauce on the side


Get the Recipes for Jeff’s Rub and Sauce

jeffs-rub-framed-250x169 jeffs-sauce-framed-250x169
***Note: you get the Texas style rub recipe free with your order!

If I could give these recipes away, I would do that. I really want you to have them! But, then, this is how I support the newsletter, the website and all of the other stuff that we do here to promote the art of smoking meat.

Read these recent testimonies:

Love the sauce and rub
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
Love the sauce and rub recipes. So far I have used them on beef ribs, pork ribs, and different chicken parts. Can't wait to do a beef brisket. Texas rub is great as well! ~Peter S.
I tried the rub on a beef
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
..I tried the rub on a beef brisket and some beef ribs the other day and our entire family enjoyed it tremendously. I also made a batch of the barbeque sauce that we used on the brisket as well as some chicken. We all agreed it was the best sauce we have had in a while. ~Darwyn B.
Love the original rib rub
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
 Love the original rib rub and sauce! We have an annual rib fest competition at the lake every 4th of July. I will say we have won a great percent of the time over the past 15 years so we are not novices by any means. However, we didn't win last year and had to step up our game! We used Jeff's rub and sauce (sauce on the side) and it was a landslide win for us this year! Thanks Jeff for the great recipes. I'm looking forward to trying the Texas style rub in the near future! ~Michelle M.

You see the raving testimonies and you wonder, "Can the recipes really be that good?"

No worries! Make up a batch and if it's not as good as you've heard.. simply ask for a refund. Now that's a bargain and you know it. Let's review:

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Well.. what are you waiting for.. click on the big orange button below to order the recipes now.

Order the Recipes for Jeff's Rub and Sauce

I really, really appreciate the support from my newsletter friends and be sure to let me know if you have any questions about this.


Got Questions? Need Answers Fast?

If you love drool worthy pictures of smoked meat (and I know that you do) and you love instructions on how to smoke meat (and I know that you do) and.. you love to get your questions answered really fast (and I know that you do) then it just seems logical to me that you would absolutely love our forum.

It has been said that we have one of the nicest,  most knowledgeable, most well-run forums on the internet..

I personally invite you to be the judge of that.

Here are some things that you see on other forums that you will NOT see at SMF (as we call it):

  • Name calling
  •  Telling you to go search for the answer (my own personal pet peeve)
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Here’s what you WILL encounter:

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And, I’m only touching the surface.. you really have to experience it to believe it!

Come on over to the forum, you can browse around without becoming a member but I’d sure like it if you would just take a few minutes to create a username and password, sign in and say hello and give us a chance to welcome you to the forum!

Click Here to go there NOW..

I will look forward to seeing you there!


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About the Author

Long time Industrial Engineer turned self-proclaimed fire poker, pitmaster and smoke whisperer and loving every minute of it!

3 Comments on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Dan September 20, 2015 at 6:56 pm - Reply

    I have made these twice… At least a variation. I have substituted the mayo for plain greek yogurt! At least it sounds a little healthier. I will never cook another chicken with out brining it first.

  2. Mavis Dale May 30, 2013 at 3:08 am - Reply

    Thankyou very much Jeff, my reputation for the best smoked food barcecues in town can now be restored. I am about to start on the chicken satay, with your rub and sauce and my Bradley smoker I am looking forward to a very pleasant evening with friends. Thanks again. 

  3. nick May 6, 2013 at 3:48 pm - Reply


    i am a bbq caterer in pgh pa .I am also trying a road side gig.

    the problem i am having holding ribs and chicken for any length of time

    any ideas



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