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Holiday BBQ Duck

Prep Time: 30 Min | Cook Time: 1 Hrs


  • 1
    Whole Duck
  • 2
    Coarse Kosher Salt
  • 3
    Your Favorite BBQ Rub
  • 4
    BBQ Sauce
  • 5
    1 Orange
  • 6
    1 Honeycrisp Apple
  • 7
    1 Sweet Onion

Get into the holiday spirit with this Holiday BBQ Duck recipe. The taste is sure to leave your family's mouth watering this holiday season.


  1. First we need to start by dry brining it the night before. Be sure to fully thaw if your duck comes frozen. I decided to dry brine the duck to keep the moisture out of the skin so that it’s super crispy when cooked. If deciding to do a wet brine, be sure to add an extra night to let dry in the fridge after removing from the wet brine.
  2. The key step to smoking a whole duck is to poke holes in the skin to help the fat render during the cook. I started by patting dry all the skin with a paper towel and then poking the holes, no limit to the holes punched. Then I thoroughly coated it in kosher salt and let it sit in the fridge overnight. At least 12 hours. I placed it on a raised rack with a cookie sheet underneath to catch any moisture that escapes.
  3. It’s the next day and it’s time to get this bird ready to cook. Start by removing all the salt and excess moisture with a paper towel. I recommend letting it sit an hour or so at room temperature to let it fully dry. Stuffed the duck with the apple, orange and sweet onion slices, then coat in your favorite BBQ rub and let sit for at least 15-20 minutes. I used Duck Fat cooking oil spray as a binder. The binder of choice is up to you.
  4. While the duck is resting with the rub, let's get the smoker fired up. For this cook, I’m cooking with the temperature higher than usual. About 300-325 degrees. This is a crucial step to help the skin crisp and for the fat to render. I’m also using Apple wood, staying away from harsh woods like Hickory and Oak for poultry.
  5. Once the smoker is up to temperature, it's time to cook. I tucked the wings underneath the breast to help protect them from burning.
  6. Just like any other poultry (ex. Chicken, Turkey) shoot for 165 internal temperature in the breast. At about 155 internal, I generously coated the outside in Kosmo Q Apple Chipotle BBQ sauce to glaze the bird. It will take about another 30 minutes to reach the target temperature. I like to pull at about 161-162 because the carry over of letting it rest will bring it to 165. No one wants a dry duck!
  7. Once removed from the smoker, let rest for 15-20 minutes. Cut to your preferred preference and enjoy your wonderful Holiday Duck!

Author: SweetTuskBBQ
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