Whole Smoked Duck Recipe

Whole Smoked Duck Recipe

Smoking whole might be the most versatile thing you can do with a duck. It can be served warm straight off the smoker, cooled for a charcuterie board, or incorporated into some other dish like duck ravioli. This also uses the entire animal, which the MeatEater crew always tries to do. Even after you’ve removed all the meat, the carcass can be used for a stock.

A whole smoked duck with orange feet hanging off a charcuterie board is quite the conversation starter, so I encourage you to share this dish with others.

smoked duck breast

Serving size

2 as main course, 6 as appetizer

Time to make

2 hours


1 gallon of water

1/2 cup salt

1/4 cup sugar

2 tbsp. pink curing salt #2

2 bay leaves

6 garlic cloves, finely minced or crushed

4 thyme sprigs

2 rosemary sprigs

4-6 sage leaves

1/3 lemon, sliced

Also works with

Any waterfowl

Special equipment

Smoker, large stock pot


  1. Pluck the entire duck (be careful not to remove the skin). Remove the innards and rinse out the body cavity with cold water.
  2. In a large stock pot, bring water to a boil and stir in the salt and sugar. Once the salt and sugar are dissolved, add the remaining ingredients and stir until fragrant, approximately 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Remove brine from heat and allow it to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate. Add the whole duck to the cooled brine and place a heavy bowl on top of the duck to keep it submerged in the liquid. Refrigerate for 24 hours.
  4. After the duck has been submerged for 24 hours, remove it from brine. Rinse the duck with cold water. Heat the smoker to 200 F.
  5. Place the whole duck on the smoker for roughly 2 hours until the internal temperature is 150 degrees.
  6. The duck can be served sliced, either warm off the smoker or once it has cooled. I recommend serving it cooled and sliced thinly on a charcuterie board.

Feature image via Bryan Gregson