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Enter the Duck

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  • Mike Nilsen
    Club Member
    • Feb 2016
    • 79
    • Houston, TX

    Enter the Duck

    I'm cruising the asian grocery store looking for something awesome to smoke. They had all kinds of stuff, but in the end it was all just different cuts from the same old animals. Then this beauty caught my eye...

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    A whole duck you say? Well shoot...

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    I'll take two.

    I've never made duck before, and I'm not used to seeing my food with so much "face" and "feet". #firstworldproblems.

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    I don't hunt, so I don't know what a naked bird should look like, but this is about as unattractive sight as they come.

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    Daffy and Donald lost their heads and their socks, and found themselves spatchcocked. Slits were made across the entire body, being careful not to cut the meat. I failed miserably and hit the breast really bad once. Didn't make any difference thankfully. One got salt n peppa, and the other got salt, pepper, and asian five spice I bought at said super market. It seemed appropriate.

    The extra fat around both body cavities, as well as the skin from the trimmed spine/head was saved, rendered...
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    And used for potatoes and cracklin'. I'm not a cracklin' fan, but iffen I were, I'd eat the heck outta these. Alas, the dog gets her treats, and I get my fat.

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    Into the fridge overnight...

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    In the smoker at 3:43 @ 325 degrees. no drip pan...

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    An hour and a half later, I peeked and the birds looked awfully done. The probe read 170 in the thigh, so I yanked them.

    These are the last known photos of Daffy and Donald. Both were devoured by three couples in a matter of minutes. I didn't even get a plate and ate at the cutting board. We could have fed one more person as we had many sides, but one duck per three people was about right for us. The five spice bird was amazing. The skin on the legs and thighs were bite through crisp. the breast still had about 1/8" layer of fat, which I think is acceptable for duck. The drums were the best meat in my opinion.

    Tomorrow, duck omelets!

    May the smoke be with you.
  • kmhfive
    Club Member
    • Mar 2017
    • 3006
    • Northern Illinois
    • Weber Kettle -- 22.5" (In-Service Date June 2015)
      Slow-n-Sear/Drip-n-Griddle/Grill Grates (In-Service Date March 2016)
      Pit Boss 820 (Retired)
      GMG Jim Bowie WiFi (In-Service Date April 2017)
      Maverick ET-733

    That's an awesome story. I'd like to try that soon. Good job!


    • Mr. Bones
      Birthday Hat Master
      • Sep 2016
      • 8745
      • Kansas Territory
      • Grills / Smokers

        Kingsford 24" grill (Free) 'Billy'
        Brinkmann Smoke n Grill
        Oklahoma Joe Highland, gaskets, LavaLock baffle / tuning plate. 'Big Joe'
        Weber 18" Kettle ($30 CL) 'Lil' Feller'
        Weber Smokey Joe ($25 CL) 'Lil' Brother'
        Weber 22.5 Master Touch '93 P Code Blue($85) from fellow WKC member Bmitch 'Elwood'
        Weber 22.5 Bar-B-Q Kettle '69-'70 "Patent Pending" Red ($80) from fellow WKC member dwnthehatch 'Maureen'
        Weber 22.5 OTS DD Code Black ($40 CL) 'DeeDee'
        Weber 22.5 OTS DO Code Black ($15 CL)
        Weber 22.5 OTS E Code Black ($20 CL
        Weber 22.5 OTS EE Code Black ($20 CL

        Weber "C" Code 18.5" WSM '81 ($50 CL) 8-0!!!
        Weber "H" Code 18.5" WSM '86 ($75 CL)
        Weber " " Code 18.5" WSM

        Weber 26.75, $199 NFM clearance !!!
        Weber SJS AH 'Lil' Brother'
        Weber SJS AT 'Lil' Sister'
        Weber SJS DE Code (FREE) 'Lil' Helper'
        Weber SJG M Code 'Lil Traveller'
        Weber SJS AH Code 'Kermit'
        (Lime Green)
        Horizon 20" Classic, w/baffle/tuning plate (FREE)
        Good One Open Range, (FREE), Monthly Prize from AR giveaway!!!!

        Ol' Skool Bi-metal probe pocket thermo, that has checked / served ~ 1,000,000 meals in my possession, easily...
        Maverick ET-732, (Black)
        Thermopops, (Red, Yellow, Green)
        ThermaPen Mk4 (Black), THANKS!!! to jgjeske1
        Blue ThermaPen Mk4
        Orange Thermapen Mk4
        Pink Thermapen Mk4
        ThermoWorks IR-GUN-S
        ThermoWorks Smoke
        ThermoWorks Open Box Smoke
        4 Pro Series cable extensions
        Smoke Gateway

        2 Slow 'N Sears, Slow 'N Sear XL, Grill 'N Griddle
        BBQ Vortex, 2 Hovergrills, Top Deck
        Warming shelf
        MyWeigh KD-8000Kitchen Scale
        Backyard Grill marinade injector
        Acoustic Guitars/Electric Guitars/Basses/1928 National Duolian/Harmonicas/Banjo Washboard, Spoons, kazoos, pocket comb with wax paper, egg shakers ;-)
        Bear Paws
        Meat Rakes
        BBQ Dragon/Chimley of Insanity, Dragon Wing Shelves (x2 ea.)

        Probably a ton of cast iron, mostly very old...still cookin'
        G'Ma's Piqua skillet, :-)( They went out of business in 1934~)
        '60's Revere Ware (Mom's), + others found elsewhere
        60's CorningWare 10-cup percolator (Mom's) Daily driver
        50's CorningWare 10-cup percolator (G'Ma's), for a backup! ;-)
        Carpy Wally World stock pots, in approx 2 gal/3gal sizes, blue speckledty-porcelain enameled
        Tramontina 6.5 qt Dutch Oven

        Cutlery, etc.:
        Shi*-ton of kitchen/chef knives, most sharper than my straight-razors are. (Better steel!) Chicago Cutlery, Old Hickory, various, including some nice German stuff ;-)
        Dexter 12" slicing knife, 6" Sani-Safe boning knife
        Smith's Tri-Hone Natural Arkansas Knife Sharpening System
        Multiple steels, from all over the planet
        Crock sticks
        Diamond stones, various
        Lansky Sharpening System

        Daily driver:Washington Forge Mardi Gras, Navy / Cobalt Blue
        Dinner: Guests: Washington Forge, Town and Country
        Fancy / Formal: Family silverware

      What the Duck!!!!!!
      Those look Fantastic, Mike Nilsen !!!
      Seein' 'em in those Supermarket packages almost makes me ferget bitin' down on lead buckshot, alla my childhood, whilst enjoyin' some Duck.


      • Willy
        Willy commented
        Editing a comment
        For me, it was pheasant and shot. ;«)
    • RonB
      Club Member
      • Apr 2016
      • 12146
      • Near Richmond VA
      • Weber Performer Deluxe
        Pizza insert
        Smokenator 1000
        Cookshack Smokette Elite
        2 Thermapens
        lots of probes.

      Looks very good to me.


      • MBMorgan
        Club Member
        • Sep 2015
        • 6040
        • Colorado
        • > Weber Genesis EP-330
          > Grilla Grills Original Grilla (OG) pellet smoker
          > Pit Barrel Cooker (gone to a new home)
          > WeberQ 2000 (on "loan" to a relative)
          > Old Smokey Electric (for chickens mostly - when it's too nasty out
          to fiddle with a more capable cooker)
          > Luhr Jensen Little Chief Electric - Top Loader circa 1990 (smoked fish & jerky)
          > Thermoworks Smoke
          > 3 Thermoworks Chef Alarms
          > Thermoworks Thermapen
          > Thermoworks IR-GUN-S
          > Anova sous vide circulator
          > Searzall torch
          > BBQ Guru Rib Ring

          > Favorite Beer: Guinness Extra Stout, Fat Tire, Anchor Steam, or Alaskan Amber
          > Favorite Wine: Klinker Brick Old Ghost Zinfandel or Matetic Corralillo Winemaker's Blend
          > Favorite Whiskey: Balvenie Double Wood Scotch or Jameson Irish

        Great job! If you try it again, duck LOVES MMD!


        • Steve B
          Club Member
          • Jun 2016
          • 2861
          • Rockland county New York
          • Lonestar Grillz 24x36 offset smoker, grill, w/ main chamber charcoal grate and 3 tel-tru thermometers - left, right and center
            Yoke Up custom charcoal basket and a Grill Wraps cover.

            22.5 copper kettle w/ SnS, DnG, BBQ vortex, gasket and stainless steel hinge kit.

            Napoleon gas grill (soon to go bye bye) rotting out.

            1 maverick et-733 digital thermometer - black
            1 maverick et-733 - gray
            1 new standard grilling remote digital thermometer
            1 thermoworks thermopen mk4 - red
            1 thermoworks thermopop - red

            Pre Miala flavor injector
            taylor digital scale
            TSM meat grinder
            chefs choice food slicer
            cuisinhart food processor
            food saver vacuum sealer
            TSM harvest food dehydrator

          Awesome write up Mike Nilsen I'm not a huge duck person but your pics and write up are making me think about having duck. Excellent job brother.


          • Henrik
            Founding Member - Moderator Emeritus
            • Jul 2014
            • 4079
            • Stockholm, Sweden

            Great write up indeed! I'm glad Daffy and Donald lost their head(s) and socks. Good call. Duck is one of my favorite meats, because of the flavor and duck fat. I haven't cooked a whole bird though, must try it soon. Nice photos!


            • HorseDoctor
              Charter Member
              • Sep 2014
              • 1149
              • Central Iowa

              Great job!!! Love domestic duck! Wild duck, not as much. Apples & oranges different from each other. Good job saving the duck fat. Makes the best roast potatoes ever!!!


              • jgreen
                Charter Member
                • Oct 2014
                • 2684
                • Winnipeg Manitoba Canada
                • Cookers:
                  Broil King XL
                  Broil King Smoke
                  Weber Kettle 26
                  Grilla Pellet smoker
                  Capital 40 natural gas
                  Napoleon Pro 22 kettle

                  Maverick 733
                  Thermapen (ok..4 thermapens)
                  Thermo works DOT (or two)
                  Fireboard (probably my favourite)
                  Thermworks Smoke (or two)

                  SnS (original, plus and XL)
                  DnG pans, 6 or 7 of these
                  and, maybe some other toys as well

                I would have been a bit nervous the way they came as well, but it looks like you really got the trimming and the cooking figured out nicely. Congratulations.


                • Buck Flicks
                  Club Member
                  • Jul 2017
                  • 341
                  • Dee Eff Dub, TX

                  I love Duck. I love H-Mart. One of my favorite things to get there is the marinated pork belly - it's great with some steamed rice and kimchi.

                  I also love Five Spice, but I can never find the right amount... a little bit goes a LONG way. I did make a pork tenderloin with a five-spice dry rub a couple weeks ago and think I finally found the right ratio.

                  How was the skin? The best part of duck is the crispy skin, which is pretty easy to obtain in a fried duck or a breast pan-roasted skin down in a screaming hot cast iron skillet then finished in the oven. I'm wondering if smoking it prevents the skin from becoming delicious bird bacon. But in general, smoked duck sounds delectable and I can't wait to try it.
                  Last edited by Buck Flicks; July 7th, 2017, 11:46 AM.


                  • Sephon
                    Sephon commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Hi Buck! Welcome to the Pit from the NW PA.

                  • Buck Flicks
                    Buck Flicks commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Many thanks!! Love reading the site - thought I'd join the Pit!

                  • Mike Nilsen
                    Mike Nilsen commented
                    Editing a comment
                    The skin on the legs was awesome. No special preparation required. The breasts still had a bit of fat under the skin, but that was delicious in its own right, though nowhere near as crispy as the legs. i munched on a wing because it was just all crispy skin, and not much good meat.
                • Sephon
                  Club Member
                  • Jan 2017
                  • 197
                  • NW, PA
                  • Setup
                    • Primo Oval XL
                    • Charbroil 990 w/ Custom Firebox
                    • Fireboard w/ Fireboard Drive
                    • Pit Viper Fan
                    • iGrill 2
                    • Thermapen Mk. 4
                    • FOGO Premium Lump Charcoal
                    Beer: Sam Adams Octoberfest
                    Whiskey: Bulleit ; Weller 12
                    Cook: Wings or Spare Ribs
                    Hobby: Saltwater Fly fishing; Warhammer 40k

                  Dude. These look fantastic. Goose season starts here on 9/1. You've inspired me to try this with a Greater Canada Turd Bird.


                  • fowlsuds
                    Club Member
                    • Jun 2017
                    • 29
                    • Ft. Worth TX
                    • Oklahoma Joe's Highland smoker

                    Those look great. I may have to try that next duck season. I generally just fillet out the breast and grill them wrapped in bacon.


                    • HorseDoctor
                      HorseDoctor commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Do NOT expect wild duck to even remotely resemble the taste (or fattiness) of domestic duck! As I said above: apples vs. oranges difference!!!
                      Medium rare for wild duck unless you really like the taste of liver!

                    • gcdmd
                      gcdmd commented
                      Editing a comment
                      HorseDoctor has a great point. Treat wild duck or wild goose breast like a good steak. Somewhere I have an old (pre-internet) article about that. I will try to find it and post an update if pertinent. I used to hunt geese here in south Texas and tried it. It was delicious.
                  • JCGrill
                    Club Member
                    • Mar 2017
                    • 1687
                    • Minneapolis / St Paul burbs
                    • Charcoal - 22" Weber Kettle
                      Gas - Saber
                      Smoker - Green Mountain Daniel Boone
                      Portable - Charbroil Tabletop Propane Grill

                    I like my duck medium rare, then crisp up the skin. Pretty much reverse sear. Having said that, those look pretty good.




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