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Smoked Honey Duck


The biggest challenge with Duck is to render the fat without overcooking. Duck skin has so much more fat than chicken skin and so needs more intentional rendering. Without rendering the skin properly, the duck skin will be rubbery, chewy and gross.
To help with rendering, we will score the skin across the breast and use a higher temp than we normally would when cooking low and slow, but be careful! The high heat and delicate skin can easily overcook, so keep a close eye on it.


  • 1 large duck, about 4 lb.
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 stick cinnamon

  • Coconut rice

  • 2 cups jasmine rice
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 T white sugar


1. Score the breast of your duck to help render the fat. Cut through the skin, but not into the meat of the breast. Scoring doesn’t have to be pretty, but it is a good opportunity to help your guests eat with their eyes!

2. In a medium sized bowl, mix all duck marinade ingredients together before transferring to a brine bucket or a large snap lock bag. Fully submerge the duck and marinade overnight in the refrigerator.

3. Preheat your smoker to 300F and place duck directly on the grills, indirect to the heat source. Place your favorite, mild smoking wood.

4. Smoke for 2 hours, until the duck breast reads 160F.

5. After adding the duck to the smoker, add the marinade to a medium sized pot and bring to a boil for 1 minute. Baste the duck every 30 minutes or so with the warm liquid. If needed, add the duck to a foil pan and pour in some of the marinade to help keep it juicy.

6. The high temperature, of the smoker and the sugars in the honey can lead to the duck getting dark too quickly, especially on the wings and legs. If this happens, cover those areas of the bird (Or the whole foil pan) with foil.

7. When the duck is getting close to finished, ramp up the temp to 350F until the skin renders. You will see that the skin becomes a deep caramel brown and decreases significantly in thickness.

8.Remove from the smoker and rest for 20 minutes.

9. Carve the duck and serve!

For the coconut rice, Over a medium heat, combine all coconut rice ingredients and bring to a rolling simmer. Stir once and then lower the heat and place a lid on the pot. Cook on low for 15 minutes before removing from heat and resting for 10 minutes. While the rice cooks and rests, avoid the temptation to stir!
Method picture


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