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Smoked Duck Breast

Get ready for a smokin’ good time, folks, because today I’m here to spill the beans on one of my absolute favorite dishes – Smoked Duck Breast! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve whipped this up and had my taste buds do the happy dance. So, grab your apron, your smoker, and a devil-may-care attitude as we dive into this culinary adventure.

smoked duck breast

How to Make Smoked Duck Breast

Let me tell you, making smoked duck breast is a real game-changer. It’s like a flavor bomb went off in your mouth! Here’s the lowdown on how to do it:

  1. Prep the Duck Breast: Start by getting yourself some plump, boneless duck breasts. Pat ’em dry and remove any extra fat. You know, that duck doesn’t need any extra padding!
  2. The Magic of Brining: To get that amazing flavor and tenderness, you’ve got to brine the duck. Mix water, salt, sugar, and some herbs and spices. Dunk your duck breasts in there and let them have a good soak for a couple of hours. It’s like a spa day for ducks!
  3. Fire Up the Smoker: While your duck is chilling in the brine, fire up your smoker. Get it to a steady 225°F (that’s around 107°C, my friends). Use some fruitwood like apple or cherry for that fantastic smoky flavor.
  4. Time to Smoke: It’s showtime once your smoker is dancing with smoke! Remove those duck breasts from the brine, pat them dry (again), and place them on the smoker grates. Let them smoke for about 90 minutes to 2 hours, or until they reach an internal temperature of 135°F (around 57°C). That’s where the reverse sear comes into play!
  5. Reverse Sear the Duck: The reverse sear is what takes your smoked duck breast to a whole new level. Fire up your grill or a hot skillet and give those duck breasts a quick sear on both sides. This crisps up the skin and locks in all those smoky juices. It’s like crispy duck bacon, folks!
  6. Slice and Serve: Let the duck breasts rest for a few minutes, then slice ’em up and serve. It’s like a work of art on your plate. You’ve earned the bragging rights, my friend!


Brining is like the secret sauce to making incredible smoked duck breast. Not only does it infuse the meat with flavors, but it also makes it oh-so-tender. It’s like magic in a brine bucket!

how to make smoked duck breast

Expert Tips 

Now that you’re well on your way to becoming a smoked duck breast aficionado, here are some expert tips to ensure your culinary masterpiece is a resounding success:

  • Quality Matters: Get yourself some high-quality duck breasts. Trust me; it’s worth the extra bucks!
  • Don’t Skimp on the Brine: A proper brine can make all the difference. Don’t rush the soaking process.
  • Temperature Control: Keep a close eye on your smoker’s temperature. Steady and low is the name of the game.
  • Crispy Skin Rules: The crispy skin is what makes duck breast unforgettable. Don’t skip the reverse sear.

What to Serve

Now, let’s talk sides! You can’t just have a star like smoked duck breast without a supporting cast, right? Here are some delightful options:

  1. Wild Rice Pilaf: The nuttiness of wild rice complements the duck perfectly.
  2. Roasted Vegetables: Go for seasonal veggies, roasted to perfection.
  3. Cranberry Compote: A sweet and tart cranberry sauce pairs beautifully with the richness of duck.
  4. Citrus Salad: A fresh, zesty salad adds a burst of freshness to the meal.
  5. Red Wine Sauce: If you’re feeling fancy, whip up a red wine reduction to drizzle over the duck.

Cooking smoked duck breast is more than just a meal; it’s an experience. The smoky aroma, the crispy skin, and the tender meat all come together in harmony. And as you savor each bite, you’ll know your efforts have paid off.

smoked duck breast recipe

So there you have it, my fellow foodies! How to make smoked duck breast, from the brining to the reverse sear, plus some top-notch tips and serving suggestions. I hope this guide inspires you to get your smoker smokin’ and your taste buds dancin’. Thanks for hanging out, and remember, “When in doubt, add more duck!” Quack on, my friends!

Smoked Duck Breast

Unleash your inner chef with our tantalizing smoked duck breast recipe. Elevate your cooking skills and impress your guests with this delectable dish.

Course Main Course
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Brining Time 2 hours
Servings 2


  • 2 boneless duck breasts
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 garlic cloves smashed
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • Fruitwood chips apple or cherry
  • Salt and black pepper to taste


Brining the Duck Breast

  1. Combine 4 cups of water in a large pot, kosher salt, brown sugar, bay leaves, smashed garlic cloves, black peppercorns, and thyme. Stir until the salt and sugar dissolve.
  2. Place the duck breasts in the brine, ensuring they are fully submerged. You can use a plate to weigh them down if needed. Cover the pot and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. The longer, the better!
  3. After brining, remove the duck breasts and pat them dry with paper towels. This step ensures crispy skin during smoking.

Smoking the Duck Breast

  1. Prepare your smoker and get it to a steady 225°F (around 107°C). Use fruitwood chips (apple or cherry) for that delicious smoky flavor. Soak the chips in water for about 30 minutes before adding them to the smoker.
  2. Once the smoker is ready, place the duck breasts directly on the grates. Close the lid, and let them smoke for approximately 2 to 2.5 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 135°F (around 57°C). This slow smoking infuses the duck with fantastic flavor.

Reverse Searing for Crispy Skin

  1. While the duck is smoking, prepare your grill or a hot skillet. Get it super hot!
  2. Once the duck breasts reach the desired temperature, carefully transfer them to the hot grill or skillet. Sear each side for about 1-2 minutes or until the skin is crispy and golden brown. This reverse searing step locks in those delicious smoky juices.
  3. Use your meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature of the duck reaches 145°F (around 63°C).

Rest, Slice, and Serve

  1. Remove the duck breasts from the grill or skillet and let them rest for a few minutes. This step allows the juices to redistribute for maximum flavor.
  2. Slice the smoked duck breast into thin, elegant pieces.
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