Chipotle-Cherry Smoked Duck (You Will Forget All About Chicken)

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This delicious smoked duck recipe is so simple! Anyone can make it and have EPIC results (even if it’s your first time cooking duck!!).

Smoking duck is a foolproof way to ensure it packs lots of flavor and moisture! This duck will be a big hit at your next cookout or family dinner. The sauce is so delicious that you can’t help but go in for seconds.

Note: This recipe is a little heavier on the heat, so if you like things a little milder, tone down the black pepper, white pepper, cayenne pepper, chili powder, and chipotle chilies. 

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

You might have thought smoking duck was tricky, but this tried-and-tested recipe will ensure you end up with super juicy duck every time. You will also get deliciously crispy skin, making this a perfect holiday table centerpiece or a dinner party favorite.

The cherry chipotle sauce is almost as tasty as the duck, but if you prefer a simple smoked duck, you can leave this out. However, I have found that this sauce is always a hit with kids and adults.

What You Need For This Recipe

  • Whole duck thawed giblets removed.
  • cinnamon stick
  • shallot
  • cinnamon ground
  • cumin ground
  • salt coarse sea or kosher
  • ground black pepper
  • sugar
  • extra virgin olive oil

Cherry Chipotle BBQ Sauce

  • chipotle peppers
  • cherries
  • yellow onion chopped
  • garlic
  • tomato sauce
  • brown sugar
  • orange juice
  • apple cider vinegar
  • molasses
  • butter
  • mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How Long Does Duck Take to Smoke?

A 5-pound duck will take around 4 hours to reach the USDA recommended temperature of 165°F. Cooking time for ducks will change slightly between each smoker and the temperature at which you are smoking.

Where Do You Put The Thermometer in A Duck?

You must check the temperature of the duck in the thickest part, which is generally in the breast of the bird.

When checking temperature, do not touch the bone, pierce the whole way through the bird, or take a temperature reading just inside the skin.

Want Crispy Skin On Your Smoked Duck?

This recipe is better when you allow the bird to air dry in the refrigerator for 24 hours; it’s not essential. However, you will get a crispier skin this way, so plan ahead!

What Goes With Smoked Duck?

Smoked duck is a hearty dish, so some of my favorite sides for duck.

Looking for some more dishes to serve with your smoked duck?

How to Use Your Smoked Duck?

These are so many ways to use smoked duck, below are some of my favorites

Smoked Duck Poppers

Smoked Duck Pancakes

Smoked Duck Tacos

smoked duck recipe(1)

Chipotle Cherry Smoked Duck Recipe

Are you looking for a delicious smoked duck recipe? Duck is best when complemented by something equally big on flavor, and this chipotle cherry bbq sauce is perfect for that.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Resting Time 10 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Barbecue
Servings 6 serves
Calories 485 kcal


For The Duck

  • 1 whole Duck thawed giblets removed 5 to 6 pounds
  • 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

Chipotle Cherry BBQ Sauce

  • 3 chipotle peppers
  • 1.5 tbsp adobo sauce
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 2 cups cherries pitted and diced
  • 5 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 can tomato sauce 15 ounce can
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • 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.
  • 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 oil. Once coated sprinkle the remaining rub over the duck, making sure to rub it right into the skin.
  • Set up and preheat your smoker to 250ºF following your manufacturer's instructions. If smoking with wood I would recommend cherry wood for this recipe. If you can not get that any wood of your preference will be fine.
  • 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.
  • When the bird hits 145ºF 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 and the skin has developed a good crunch. This should take around another 1 – 1 /2 hours. However, please do check periodically to avoid overcooking. You are looking for an internal temperature of 165ºF.
  • 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!

Chipotle Cherry BBQ Sauce

  • In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and butter and stir periodically until soft and slightly browned.
  • Add in garlic and cook for a further 1 minute making sure to stir to avoid burning the garlic.
  • Stir in ketchup, vinegar, orange juice, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, molasses, honey, chipotles, black, white, and cayenne pepper, mustard, adobo sauce, and cherries one at a time.
  • Bring to a boil and reduce back to a simmer. Simmer for around 25 minutes or until it has thickened and everything is well combined.
  • f you prefer it smoother (which I recommend) blend to your preferred texture using your choice of blender.
Keyword Duck, Smoked Duck

Smoke On!


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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