Posts Tagged ‘Barbecue Duck’

Duck two ways

Duck, two ways.

Duck, two ways.

My daughter wanted to try THIS duck recipe (BBQ). But she also wanted to try THIS duck recipe (Soy/Honey/Ginger).  So, what was I to do?  I just made both.

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Duck a la Kamado

I’d say I’ve only had two kinds of duck: “Fancy French” duck, and “Crispy Asian” duck. I guess I might also add “Crappy Inedible” duck, because of that first time I tried to roast my own. So, it was with a lot of excitement, but also anxiety, that I took on barbecued duck.  Especially since I couldn’t find any consensus out there on the best way to do it.

When I read through the forums and about 10 different cookbooks, only a few things really stood out for me.

First, you have to deal with the fat.  That means either steaming in advance, which for some reason seems like cheating to me. I know that’s irrational, but who said we’re rational here? Or you need to score, pin-prick the skin and/or hang the duck while cooking.

Second, you have to cook slow, then crank the heat up at the end.  Nobody wants a duck with a saggy, gooey skin.  You need to crisp things up with heat in the final moments. Makes sense.

And finally, ducks take time.  This isn’t like cooking hot wings.

But I could know all of that, and still make a bad tasting duck.  Where were the marinades, rubs, sauces and whatnot for the barbecue?  I didn’t want to take a French or Chinese recipe and just grill it.  I wanted a BBQ Duck.

I was really happy with the recipe below.  It came off the grill crisp on the outside, not too fatty, and cooked nicely.  But best of all, it had that sweet, smoky barbecue flavor that makes the whole idea of grilling a duck seem worth it.

So, here’s my Franken-recipe for duck.

Oh….an update …. If you do want a more Asian style duck, click here for my Honey Ginger Duck.


You will need a drip pan. I went with a large, aluminum bread loaf pan.

Stabilize the grill at 200 degrees.

Make sure the coals are off to one side. I used a handful of hickory on top of the coals.

Prepare your rub:

  • 2 Tbs Dark Brown Sugar
  • 2 tsp of garlic salt
  • 2 tsp of paprika
  • 1 tsp of black pepper
  • Optional – 1 tsp of cayenne pepper

Wash the duck, pat dry, apply the rub inside and out.

Using a metal skewer, poke holes in various places around the duck, but not through the breast for aesthetic reasons.  I found it most useful to poke several holes from inside the chest cavity through the back of the duck.


  • Place the drip tray away from the coals
  • Place the duck, breast side up, away from the coals and directly over the drip tray
  • You may want to check on the duck later, to make sure the fat is draining the way you want to.  Poking a few more holes in the skin may be necessary.
  • The rule of thumb is roughly 60 minutes per pound at 200 degrees. Adjust if you’re running hotter or cooler.
  • Leave yourself 10 to 15 minutes toward the end of your cook to let the oxygen in, drive up the temperature, and crisp the skin.  Note: Keep a close eye on the duck to avoid over-cooking.
  • As with chicken, 165 internal temperature is considered safely cooked.  But given the slow cook, you should have no issue there.

I served Duck last night with a side of nothing, and imaginary sauce, then followed the meal with an ice cream sandwich.  Try getting THAT at Cafe Martinique.

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