Duck is one of those meats that a lot of people stay away from. It has a strong flavour and not to many people know how to cook it. Personally, duck is a meat that I truly love. I have even converted the kids from being dedicated chicken lovers too. They agree with me 100% when I say
Nothing beats smoked duck with beautiful dark crispy skin!
I can almost guarantee this smoked duck recipe will be a big hit at your next cook out or family dinner, the sauce is so delicious that you can’t help but go in for seconds.
If you like a little bit of heat, try adding in a pinch or two of Cheyenne pepper or chilli flakes!
This recipe is better when you allow the bird to air dry in the refrigerator for 24 hours, its not essential, however, you will get a crispier skin this way. So plan ahead!
Chipotle-Cherry Smoked Duck
- 1 cinnamon stick 3 inches
- 1 small shallot
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon ground
- 1 teaspoon cumin ground
- 2 teaspoons salt coarse sea or kosher
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil add more as needed
- 1 Duck thawed giblets removed (5 to 6 pounds)
Chipotle-Cherry Barbecue Sauce (not a nessescity but highly reccoemnded)
Thoroughly rinse the duck inside and out under running cold water. Dab with kitchen towel until dry. Be sure to double check the cavity for any additional fat or parts. Trim back the neck skin, making sure to leave a 1 ½ inch flap. Fold the flap and with a toothpick pin it to the back of the duck. Fold the wingtips back under the duck then prick the duck all over with a fork, toothpick or needle. You are looking to penetrate the skin but not go through the meat.
Place the duck on a wire rack and let air dry in the refrigerator for 24 hours. 24 hours not essential, however, the longer you leave it the crispier skin you will get.
Making the rub (this is essential!)
Combine the Cinnamon, cumin, pepper, salt, and sugar in a bowl and stir thoroughly to mix. Season the front & main cavity of the duck with half of the rub mix. Inside the cavity pop in the shallot cut in half and the cinnamon stick.
Brush the outside of the duck with olive oil. Once coated sprinkle the remaining rub over the duck, making sure to rub it right inot the skin.
Set up and preheat your smoker to 250ºF following your manufacturer's instructions. Add your favorite wood for gamey meats.
Set up your drip pan and add your duck. You are looking to cook it until it has reached an internal temperature of 145ºF on a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the duck's thigh. This should take around 2 – 2 ½ hours.
Up the smoker temperature to 350ºF (or as close to as possible). Rub the duck with any drippings from the drip pan, if there are no drippings just use a little more olive oil. Continue to smoke until the duck is thoroughly cooked. This should take around another 1 – 1 /2 hours. Check periodically to avoid overcooking.
Once cooked transfer the duck to a cutting block and rest for at least 10 minutes. Once well rested carve and serve immediately with the cherry BBQ sauce. Yum!
Charlies Hot Tips:
1. When checking the ducks temperature with a meat thermometer, make sure that you don't have the end of the probe touching the bone. This will give a false reading.
2. I usually use my Traegar Tailgater 20 for this recipe, I find that you really need a smoker that holds it heat. The last thing you want is one that drops and leaves you with chewy, half cooked duck! I have the 20 is the one of the best pellet smokers on the market in 2018.
Don't Forget To Pin
Charlies Hot Tips:
If your family isn't too keen on duck, why not try chicken? It's a safe bet and also absolutely delicious in the smoker
My kids loves my smoked chicken wings & my wife loves my smoked chicken breast recipe. FYI, much sure you read the chicken breast recipe carefully, it can easily turn into cardboard!