Cooking Smoked Duck: Step-By-Step Recipe

This article highlights the deliciousness of smoked duck and the ease of the recipe. With this smoked duck recipe, the other fowl has never been easier.
Jeremy Bivens
Jeremy Bivens
Research Writer
Jeremy Bivens is a passionate writer and grilling enthusiast. He's been working as a freelance journalist for over 15 years now and has a particular interest in food writing read more
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Bruce Williams
Bruce Williams
Expert Consultant
Claims that grilling is the art that he has been learning all his life long and is not planning to stop. Has been grilling for as long as he can remember. Author of numerous read more
Last updated: September 19, 2023
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Smoked duck. Smoked ham. Smoked bacon. Smoked beef brisket. Smoked pulled the beef oyster blade. Smoked chicken breast. There’s an extensive list of the meat that can be smoked. Each recipe supplies a tantalizing way to preserve the flavor and moisture of the cut.

The whole smoked duck itself is a traditional holiday meal but hasn’t been as common in the modern age. Duck specifically is a protein that doesn’t get enough attention or credit. Given its tradition, is it complicated to make smoked duck at home? The answer is yes, but it’s worth it, even if it’s the first attempt at making duck of any kind.

How to Make the Perfect Smoked Duck?

To cook a great smoked duck, it is important to take into account the temperature, cooking time, follow the chef’s tips and also know where you can buy a whole duck.

Chef’s Tips for Smoking Duck

Duck seems like the kind of meat that’s set aside for 5-star chefs or professionals. Below are tips from chefs for amateur smokers. That’s not the case. Smoking meat is a terrific way to bring out the flavor of any meat. This is especially true when it comes to cooking duck. Smoked duck is one of the best ways to cook and enjoy duck meat.

Where Can One Buy a Whole Duck?

Cooking Smoked Duck: Step-By-Step Recipe
Cooking the whole duck takes a long time: it has much fat to melt away completely.

Regardless of the time of year, it’s simple to find a whole duck ready for cooking. Walmart, maple leaf farms, as well as a local butcher shop are all perfect places to get duck meat. For the freshest meat, it’s always suggested to go to the local butcher. Better yet, see if there’s a local duck farmer in the area. The closest to the source, the fresher (and usually cheaper) the meat. Whether it’s a whole duck, just duck breasts, that are needed, the local butcher will find the perfect cut.

Another possibility is finding a wild duck hunter. The difference between a farm-raised duck and a wild duck is that wild ducks are extremely lean meat, and the taste is directly impacted by the bird’s diet, as explained by Foodprint Trusted Source Real Food Encyclopedia | Duck | FoodPrint Learn everything you need to know about the foodprint of duck to find out what impact your food has on the environment, animals, and people. . Additionally, wild duck is only in season in the fall, whereas farmed ducks are available year-round.

What About the Temperature?

Temperature, as with every meat, is essential.

The temperature determines how thoroughly and how quickly the meat is cooked. Preheating is also important as it allows the meat to cook evenly.

An added benefit to smoking a duck is that the duck is mainly breast and is very aerodynamic. This means that the whole duck will cook more evenly.
Cooking Smoked Duck: Step-By-Step Recipe
The best way to check the temperature of a duck is to stick an instant-read thermometer in the meatiest part of the thigh.

The internal smoked duck temperature will tell when the duck breast is finished. Taking a meat thermometer, it’s best to have an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit or 71 degrees Celsius. Without a thermometer, there is another way to tell if the duck is cooked enough. Wiggle the leg. It sounds odd, but the joints in the leg are a good indicator of how cooked the meat is. If the leg is loose, it usually means that it’s cooked.

The wood used in a smoker provides heat as well as additional smoky flavor depending on the wood used. Best wood chips for smoking duck or other meats, in general, are typically hickory, alder; maple; mesquite, walnut; peach, pear, cherry wood, oak chips, as well as a blend of different wood chips.

How Long Does a Duck Have to Be Smoking?

Depending on the size of the bird, it can take anywhere between 2 and 3 hours to smoke a duck fully. The rough estimate is a half-hour for each pound of duck. If the duck is six pounds, then it’ll take 3 hours to cook.

Smoking the meat in a combination smoker, such as the 2021 upgraded ZGRILLS-LL600D pellet grill, provides a great degree of control and ease with temperatures ranging from 180 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. This grill provides a controller, direct flame access, and an enclosed storage cabinet, making it a perfect grill to multitask a duck with sauces and sides.

Cooking Smoked Duck: Step-By-Step Recipe 3

Smoked Duck-Recipe

Bruce Williams
Having a perfect duck recipe is a wonderful place to start when cooking delicious fowl. Below is everything needed to create a scrumptious meal of smoked duck breast.
The right grill and smoker for the job are vital. According to most reviews from regular meat smokers, the ZGRILLS-550C is one of the best on the market for its 8-in-1 cooking versatility, heavy-duty steel construction, and overall durability.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Servings 8 people
Calories 271 kcal


  • 6 lbs. whole duck
  • 1 onion
  • 1 head garlic
  • 2 tbs salt
  • 1 tbs pepper
  • 1-2 oranges small
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp orange juice
  • ½ cup maple syrup


  • Start the duck with a dry brine to not only season the meat but to bring out the moisture from the duck skin. This step requires the duck skin to be pierced to bring out the moisture. This can be done with a sharp skewer or even the end of a meat thermometer. Not only does this bring out the moisture but also the flavor of the meat. Then take salt, preferably high quality and coarse salt, and sprinkle it over all the sides of the meat.
    Cooking Smoked Duck: Step-By-Step Recipe 5
  • Let the salted duck rest in the refrigerator in a baking pan uncovered. Let it sit for 3 hours per pound of duck.
    Cooking Smoked Duck: Step-By-Step Recipe 7
  • After its time resting, brush off any excess salt and pat that fowl dry. The duck doesn’t need seasoning afterward besides several sliced half oranges into the chest cavity.
    Cooking Smoked Duck: Step-By-Step Recipe 9
  • Pop the duck into the smoker that’s preheated to 275 degrees. Slowly smoke it to render the fat that’s between the duck’s skin and breast.
    Cooking Smoked Duck: Step-By-Step Recipe 11
  • Glaze the duck in a beautiful, sweet glaze once it comes out of the smoker.
    Cooking Smoked Duck: Step-By-Step Recipe 13
  • Finally, broil the meat to bring out all the ducks’ tantalizing juices. Don’t forget to preheat the oven before allowing it to boil for 2-3 minutes to finish caramelizing the glaze, crisping the meat, and rendering the fat.
    Cooking Smoked Duck: Step-By-Step Recipe 15
  • Once the duck is fully cooked and its skin is crispy, place it on a serving tray to rest for 10 minutes before serving to allow all the flavors to settle.
    Cooking Smoked Duck: Step-By-Step Recipe 17
  • Add a drizzle of an orange maple glaze for more moisture and aesthetics.
    Cooking Smoked Duck: Step-By-Step Recipe 19



  • Duck is very nutritious meat. Combined with the brine and glaze, it’s sweet, salty, and so delicious. According to the BBC Trusted Source What is duck? | BBC Good Food Rich and full of flavor, duck meat is extremely nutritious, with high levels of protein, B vitamins and minerals such as zinc, potassium, magnesium, and iron. , duck meat is an excellent source of high-quality protein, amino acids, as well as vitamins and minerals, including iron, phosphorus, zinc, thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and vitamin b.


Calories: 271kcalCarbohydrates: 66gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 8mgPotassium: 392mgFiber: 1gSugar: 58gVitamin A: 232IUVitamin C: 57mgCalcium: 114mgIron: 1mg

Sauces for Smoked Duck

Smoked duck is very versatile, and so are its sauces. Sauce for smoked duck is a large and diverse topic. It depends on preferences, of course, but there are so many different options.

Traditionally, sauces for smoked duck are often sweet with various fruits such as oranges, plums, apricots, pineapples, apples, or peaches. Keeping this in mind, there are several appetizing sauces, including cherry sauce, sweet blueberry sauce, orange sauce, or simple plum sauce.

There are several different options beyond sweet fruity sauces. If one decides to pair the duck with a savory sauce, hot sweet sauce, hot honey mustard, brandy sauce, or a parsley sauce is a perfect different combination.

What to Serve with Smoked Duck?

What to serve with smoked duck is a tricky question as duck is not prominent in-home cooking. As with any meal, the right sides are crucial. When it comes to creating a smoked duck for a meal with sides and desserts, best smoker grill combo is a great investment to save not only time but money and effort.

This beautiful smoked duck deserves equally beautiful and delicious accompaniments that tantalize the taste buds but also complement the main dish. Duck goes well with so many different recipes for vegetables and sides.

Cooking Smoked Duck: Step-By-Step Recipe
Any greens are perfectly combined with duck meat, and you can also pour it with cranberry, apple, orange, or nut sauce.

Try a light and sweet avocado tomato salad, or sesame potato salad, asparagus spring rolls, or herb fried parsnips to make it a meal to remember. More examples include cabbage, roasted vegetables, roasted chestnuts with butter and rosemary, mashed potatoes with caramelized mushrooms and onions. The options are endless.

Final thoughts

Duck is a versatile and delicious dish. Bringing forth a delightful smoked duck recipe that’s not only straightforward but supplies a diversity in meal planning. This is a worthy experience from buying the bird, bringing the bird, prepping the bird, smoking the bird, glazing the bird, broiling the bird, finally plating and serving the delicious smoked whole duck.


Real Food Encyclopedia | Duck | FoodPrint
Learn everything you need to know about the foodprint of duck to find out what impact your food has on the environment, animals, and people.
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