Smoked Whole Duck with Maple Bourbon Glaze

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This smoked duck makes an excellent centerpiece for your holiday dinner.

When served correctly, duck is soft and juicy, and it has more flavor than chicken.

Duck is normally roasted in the oven, but this recipe for smoked entire duck elevates the tastes with a smoky finish and a maple bourbon glaze that perfectly matches the smoke flavor.

How to choose your duck

Smoked Whole Duck with Maple Bourbon Glaze

Duck, like chicken, is marketed whole or in parts such as breast, wings, and legs. Whole duck and duck breast are the most often offered items in retailers.

We used a Pekin duck from Maple Leaf Farms for this dish. Their ducks are kept in a cage-free, free-roaming habitat without the use of growth hormones or antibiotics. They have a moderate taste and a meaty texture, making them ideal for roasting or smoking.

I suggest looking for one that weighs between 4-6 pounds and has meaty breasts and firm skin.

If you purchase a frozen duck, be sure it has time to thaw in the refrigerator before cooking.

Similar to a turkey, you should allow 4 hours for every pound of meat, thus a 6lb duck should take roughly 24 hours to properly thaw in the fridge.

How to cook a whole smoked duck

1. Prick the skin

To prepare your duck for smoking, first pierce the skin on the breast.

Puncturing the skin aids in the rendering of fat and allows the skin to cook more evenly. We just puncture holes in the breast with a toothpick.

2.Dry brine

The technique of salting food and allowing it to rest before cooking is known as dry brining. Dry brining may provide the same outcomes as regular wet brining while taking up less refrigerator space.

While conventional wet brines are still widely used, there are certain drawbacks to the method. You face the danger of waterlogging your meat, and controlling the quantity of salt that enters the flesh is tough.

Dry brining creates a brine by using the moisture that is already present in the muscle. The salt will suck moisture from the meat, and the moisture will dissolve the salt and form a brine throughout the period of brining. You have better control over the process with a dry brine.

We covered the duck with Kosher salt for this dish because of its thick texture, which is ideal for dry-brining. It does not clump like table salt or other fine salts and is simple to sprinkle evenly over your bird.

The quantity of salt you use is determined by the size of the meat you are brining. It’s impossible to offer an exact quantity, but the goal is to cover the bird with a thin, equal coating of salt.

Simply set your duck on a wire rack and refrigerate it overnight (8 to 12 hours) to brine.

Remove the brined duck from the fridge, brush off any extra salt, and pat it dry. It is not necessary to rinse the duck with water.

Before smoking, I like to cut up some apples and oranges and insert them inside the cavity of the duck.

Once the cavity is stuffed with fruit, simply tie the legs together with a bit of twine.

3. Fire up the smoker to 275°F

The duck was smoked at 275°F on the Pitboss Pro Series 1600 for this recipe. We used apple wood for this meal, but any fruit or nut wood would work nicely; just avoid anything too strong.

Place your duck straight on the smoker’s grates. You can trap all that liquid gold fat by placing a drip pan underneath the duck on the smoker as it is cooking. You can use duck fat to produce the finest roast potatoes you’ve ever had.

Allow the duck to smoke at 275°F for approximately 30 minutes per pound, for a total cooking time of 2 to 3 hours. You aim to cook the duck to 160°F in the breast, but you’ll raise the smoker temperature once it reaches 140°F.

4. Make the glaze

After roughly an hour, you should make your Maple Bourbon Glaze.

In a small saucepan, whisk together the glaze ingredients. Allow to come to a simmer and gradually decrease to ensure they are thoroughly integrated.

5. Crank the temperature

roughly the 2-hour mark, raise the temperature of your smoker to roughly 350F to ensure all of the fat renders.

At this stage, begin covering the duck with the Maple Bourbon glaze.

During the final 15 minutes of cooking, baste it with the glaze every 15 minutes or so, until the duck achieves an internal temperature of 160F.

When the temperature reaches 160°F, toss the entire duck under the broiler to crisp up the skin on both sides.

Like a nice glaze, try these recipes

Burnt ends of smoked salmon with a hot honey glazeCranberry and port glaze on smoked turkey breastBBQ sauce glaze on smoked meatloafSpiral smoked ham with pineapple maple glaze

Smoked Whole Duck Recipe


How long should you smoke a duck?

A duck takes around 2-3 hours to thoroughly smoke (depending on size). When cooking duck, the internal temperature of the breast flesh should be 160 degrees F. I estimate 30 minutes per pound of duck.

What is the best temp to smoke duck?

Traditional smoking temperatures range from 200 to 275 degrees Fahrenheit (93 to 135 degrees Celsius). However, duck requires a higher temperature to render the fat properly. It is advised to cook at a temperature of about 300°F (149°C°C).

How do you prepare a duck for smoking?

Remove the rear bone from the entire duck by cutting up on both sides of the bird. Place the duck skin side up on a chopping board. When the smoker is heated, lay the duck on the grate and smoke for 3 12 hours. Remove the duck from the smoker and put it in a 4000F oven for 20 minutes to render the residual fat from the breast skin.

How long does it take to smoke a 6 lb duck?

Allow the duck to smoke at 275°F for approximately 30 minutes per pound, for a total cooking time of 2 to 3 hours. You aim to cook the duck to 160°F in the breast, but you’ll raise the smoker temperature once it reaches 140°F.

Should I brine a duck before smoking?

It’s worth it since the brine fills the duck with flavor and keeps it juicy and delicate throughout the smoking process.

What is the best wood to smoke duck with?

For smoking dark meats like duck, the Online Grill advises using fruity hardwoods like maple, apple, cherry, or pecan. These give the meat a great sweetness. Soft woods, such as pine and cedar, should be avoided, according to Oklahoma Joe’s. These don’t go well with meals and will impart a weird taste to your meat.

Should I brine a whole duck?

Should you brine your ducks? Yes, brining duck meat helps to regulate moisture and soften any gamey taste. Mallards and other big entire birds should brine for 12 to 15 hours. Soaking them in brine for 24 hours will not hurt them, but any longer may make them overly salty.

How long does it take to cook a whole duck?

Prick the skin around the legs of the duck. Season the duck with salt and pepper all over. Place the duck on a rack in a roasting pan and cook for 40 minutes per KG + 10 minutes extra. Cover the duck with foil and let aside for 10-20 minutes before serving.

What side dishes go with smoked duck?

What Should You Serve With Duck Garlic Mashed Potatoes?
Rice with Vermicelli.
Mushrooms and onions sautéed.
Cherry Tomatoes with Asparagus.
Mushrooms with Garlic Butter.
Carrots, roasted.
Beans in green.

Why do you pour boiling water on duck?

The skin of the duck is perforated throughout the roasting process, the oven temperature is maintained extremely high to release the fat, and boiling water is poured directly over the duck to keep it moist and prevent the fat from splattering.

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