Instant-Read probe type thermometer: This tool is the only way you will really know what’s going on inside the grill. All fowl must be fully cooked! Be safe and ensure the meat has reached the ideal temperature of 165°F (74°C).
Tongs: A good pair of tongs are indispensable when handling duck. Long and strong is the secret, so we suggest the professional type Lodge Camp Dutch Oven 16-Inch Stainless Steel Tongs, or the Oxo Good Grips 16-Inch Locking Tongs. Good tongs are important, but more often we use… Insulated Food Gloves: These things are fantastic for smoked duck, or your roast! We love insulated barbecue gloves for fast, no-burnt-fingers, out of the smoker, onto the platter, ease.
NOTE: Never use the forked, sharp, pokey thing that seems to come with all backyard barbecue tool sets. It will pierce the meat and allow the juices to run out.
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) dark brown sugar (packed). We prefer “turbinado sugar” for ease of use, but either one works fine.
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) sweet paprika (Hungarian, if you can get it)
- 3 tbsp. (45 ml) kosher salt
- 1 tbsp. (15 ml) ground pepper (fresh peppercorns recently ground if possible)
- 1 tbsp. (15 ml) garlic powder or 2 tbsp. (30 ml) granulated (not garlic salt)
- 1 tbsp. (15 ml) onion powder
- 1 tbsp. (15 ml) chili powder (no, it will not be “hot”)
- 1 tbsp. (15 ml) cayenne powder
NOTE: Duck should be always kept in the refrigerator (below 40°F/4.4° C) until you are ready to put it on the fire.
- Take the thawed duck out of the refrigerator, clean and rinse all pieces thoroughly – pat dry.
- Mix together thoroughly the ingredients.
- Apply the rub generously over the pieces, all sides and under the skin, if you can. We like to do this at least a couple of hours, and preferably 1-3 days, before cooking for the maximum effect.
- For this recipe you can use Cherry wood Bisquettes, however, everyone one of the flavors work well, with the traditional Hickory and Mesquite being the least favorite for fowl. Try to alternate Apple, Cherry and Whiskey Oak. Be creative. Fire-up the Bradley and get the temperature to about 220°F (104°C) and prepare to keep that temperature as steady as you can. Maintain the temperature between 180-220°F (82-104°C) for the ideal smoked duck. NOTE: The top vent should remain open.
- Place duck in the smoker, breast side down to start. After 1 1/2 to 2 hours, turn it over to finish. NOTE: Resist peeking! You’re losing precious heat and smoke.
- You have time! If you have judiciously maintained the cooking temperature, peeked, and turned the duck quickly, you can leave your station several times before the bird(s) are done. When smoking duck, think 4+ hours ’til end-of-shift.
- Check the duck at the meatiest part of the breast between the bones, looking for 160°F (71°C) to be the magic number.
- Remove the bird(s).
- Let it rest for at least 10 minutes to allow it to “finish” (allows the juices to return to the bird’s center).
For your personal taste, smoking duck has all the flavor you need but… many folks like a “finishing sauce”. This is nothing more than a barbecue sauce, of your choice, served as a side dish (or two), for the folks who would like to add more flavor to the duck.