Traeger Smoked Duck Breast

Want to make tasty smoked duck breast using a simple smoke-and-sear method? It’s a great way to elevate your duck dish for family and friends.

Whether it’s a special occasion or a weeknight dinner, this recipe is super easy yet extra tasty. Just remember the essential steps: dry brine for crispy skin, smoking, and the final year for that delightful crispiness.

This recipe is easy to follow, but it’s not as simple as throwing it in the smoker. Don’t worry, we’ll guide you through the steps below.

my duck breasts resting after being smoked on my traeger

Why You’ll Love This Smoked Duck Breast Recipe

What people don’t realize is that smoking duck breast is so easy, one of the things you can smoke in a Traeger can be done at home.

The ingredients are easy to source and you can achieve that restaurant-quality duck in the comfort of your own home.

What You’ll Need to Cook Smoked Duck Breast

  • Duck Breast
  • BBQ Rub

How to Smoke Duck Breast on a Traeger

Step 1: Set Your Traeger to 225°F

Add your chosen wood chips to your smoker set it to 225°F and give it time to heat up.

Step 2: Prep Your Duck

While the smoker is heating up, prep your duck by lightly scoring the fat in a cross-hatch fashion. Then season both sides of the breast with your BBQ rub. You can season it at least an hour before smoking or overnight for more flavor.

Step 3: Smoking The Duck

The smoker should now be at 225°F. Leave breasts in the smoker for 45 minutes, or until the internal meat temperature of the meat hits 130°F. You can attach your probe to a breast to monitor the internal temperature.

Step 4: Searing The Duck

Let the breast rest for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, crank up the flame broiler. We want to get a nice sear on the duck breast for 1 to 2 minutes on each side. If you want it to be extra cooked, you can cook the breast until 140°F for medium doneness.

What Temperature to Smoke Duck Breast at

You’ll need to heat the smoker to 225°F before putting in the duck. 

What Internal Temperature You Need to Reach For Smoked Duck Breast

After smoking in the smoker for at least 45 minutes, the duck meat should reach 125°F–130°F. You can stab a thermometer in a single breast and keep it attached to the meat for reference while it’s cooking. 

How Long to Smoke Smoked Duck Breast

The duck breast will need to be smoked for at least 45 minutes. 

How To Store Leftover Traeger Smoked Duck Breast

The best way to store duck breast is in the fridge for up to three days. 

My Favorite Wood Chips for Duck Breast

The best wood chips for smoking duck breast are fruity wood chips like Cherry, Maple, Apple, or Pecan. You can combine wood chips as well, for example, cherry offers mild to medium smoke that is sweet slightly fruity, and ties in well with oak wood.

What To Serve With Smoked Duck Breast

Nothing beats serving smoked duck breast with salads and tasty carbohydrates. Some things I would serve with smoked duck breast are:

Looking for more sides for your duck?

What Rub Should I Use For Duck Breast

Any combination of herbs and spices that you enjoy makes a good rub for smoked duck breast.

Duck breast is very similar to beef steak so even using a steak rub from your local butcher is totally doable and many people do it.

If you like adding a bit of heat to your dish, you can try a chili rub, if not there are plenty of rubs out there that can be sourced from your local butcher or supermarket that complement duck meat well.

Coat both sides liberally when you’re coating the meat. It’s a good idea to leave the rub to sit on the meat so the rub can have a moment to stick to the meat.

Preparing Duck Meat For Smoking

It’s a good idea to prepare your duck meat before throwing it straight into the smoker. Simply rinse the duck meat with water, then pat it down with a paper towel and go ahead and pluck any loose feathers. 

An easier way to get rid of excess feathers on your duck is to grab a hand-held torch and lightly scorch the duck skin. If you’re doing this make sure you’re using a flame-safe chopping board and be sure not to cook the duck skin or meat, just lightly scorch it so the feathers burn off. If you don’t feel comfortable torching off the feathers, you can manually pluck them.

Once all the feathers are reasonably removed, you can begin scoring. 

How To Score Duck Breast?

Scoring is a very easy step. Simply take a sharp knife and lightly cut lines into the fat of the duck. Lightly press the knife into the meat, there’s no need to apply too much pressure when scoring.

The score lines should only cut about halfway through the duck fat so if you can see the actual meat, that’s how you know you’ve scored it too deeply. Score as many lines as you can, the more lines you have scored in your duck meat the better.

Starting in a diagonal line, the score parallel lines up the breast with about a small finger space between each score. 

Once you’ve done a row, cross them over with another set of lines so it looks cross-hatched. 

How To Sear Duck Breast

Searing the duck is when you crank up the flame broiler so flames are visible and are used to effectively sear the meat.

For this recipe, I only do mine for a couple of minutes on each side but you can sear them for longer if you like your skin crunchy, just be sure not to burn the skin if left on for too long. 

You can use a pan for this process which is called pan searing. You’d just need a cast-iron pan which would need to be heated up on the flame broiler and the breasts transferred to the pan to be seared on. I don’t include this in my recipe because not everyone has a cast iron pan, so I’ve made it friendly for those who don’t!

How To Tell When A Duck Is Finished Cooking

Duck breast is naturally darker than chicken, so it should be a dark brown color when cooked. The best way to know when the duck is finished cooking is by using an instant-read thermometer or a temperature probe, but the fat should be nice and crisp and the meat itself should be tender and dark brown.

Want More Duck Recipes?

Duck Poppers

Whole Smoked Duck

my duck breasts resting after being smoked on my traeger

Smoked Duck Breast Traeger

Charlie
Want to make tasty smoked duck breast using a simple smoke-and-sear method? It's a great way to elevate your duck dish for family and friends.
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 45 minutes
Resting Time 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Course lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American, Barbecue, bbq, dinner
Servings 4 serves
Calories 506 kcal

Equipment

  • Traeger Grill

Ingredients
  

  • 4 whole Duck breasts
  • 2 tbsp BBQ rub

Instructions
 

Step 1: Set Your Smoker to 225°F

  • Add your chosen wood chips to your smoker set it to 225°F and give it time to heat up.

Step 2: Prep Your Duck

  • While the smoker is heating up, prep your duck by lightly scoring the fat in a cross-hatch fashion. Then season both sides of the breast with your BBQ rub. You can season it at least an hour before smoking or overnight for more flavor.

Step 3: Smoking The Duck

  • The smoker should now be at 225°F. Leave breasts in the smoker for 45 minutes, or until the internal meat temperature of the meat hits 130°F. You can attach your probe to a breast to monitor the internal temperature.

Step 4: Searing The Duck

  • Let the breast rest for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, crank up the flame broiler. We want to get a nice sear on the duck breast for 1 to 2 minutes on each side. If you want it to be extra cooked, you can cook the breast until 140°F for medium doneness.
Keyword Duck, Smoked Duck, smoked duck breast

Smoke On!

Charlie

Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I have been meat-smoking and grilling for the past 15 years. I have an array of different smokers, thermometers, and have a love for finding the right wood and charcoal combo My favourite recipes are my EXTRA CRISPY smoked pork belly, juicy pulled pork, smoked brisket, duck poppers, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill).

I loves sharing his tips with beginners, helping them navigate the world of smoking. I find it’s not just about cooking; it’s a quest for that perfect smoky flavor.

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling recipes with you!

You can read more about me on our About Us page.

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