How To Cook Duck


Duck is a wonderful bird to cook with the meat being rich and intensely flavored. The high levels of fat present in duck meat make it a perfect option for roasting, grilling or pan-frying. However, cooking duck is undoubtedly a bit more challenging than cooking other types of poultry, such as chicken or turkey. Fortunately, with a bit of knowledge and patience, anyone can learn how to cook duck and enjoy a mouth-watering meal.

In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to cook duck and ensure that it is juicy and delicious.

Preparing the Duck

Before cooking the duck, you need to prepare it correctly. You can start by removing the giblets and neck from the cavity if these organs are included in your bird. Then rinse the duck under cold running water, and pat it dry with paper towels.

Afterward, you can choose to marinate the duck with your preferred seasonings and spices for at least four hours or overnight before cooking. Marination enhances the flavors of the duck, tenderizes the meat, and ensures it remains moist. However, if you are pressed for time, you can skip this step.

Roasting Duck

Roasting duck is a fan-favorite way of cooking it. The following is a step-by-step guide on how to roast a duck.

1. Preheat your oven to 375°F.

2. Use a sharp knife or fork to pierce the skin of the duck, being careful not to pierce the flesh. This step will allow for the fat to escape during cooking, resulting in a crispy skin.

3. Place the duck on a roasting rack in a roasting pan, breast side up.

4. Roast the duck for 60 to 70 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165°F.

5. Remove the duck from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before carving. This resting period allows the meat to reabsorb the juices, resulting in a juicy piece of meat.

Pan-Frying Duck

Pan-frying duck is another mouth-watering method of cooking. It is a great option when you are short of time, as it allows for quicker cooking times. The following is a guide on how to pan-fry duck.

1. Preheat a skillet over medium-high heat.

2. Season the duck according to your preferences.

3. Once the skillet is hot, place the duck on the skillet, skin side down, and cook for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until the skin is crispy.

4. Flip the duck and continue cooking until the desired internal temperature is achieved. This cooking method results in a flavorful and crispy duck

Grilling Duck

Grilling is yet another excellent way to cook duck. The grilling method results in a smokey and delicious flavor and crispy skin. The following is a guide on how to grill duck.

1. Preheat your grill to medium heat.

2. Season the duck according to your preferences.

3. Place the duck on the grill, skin side down, and cook for 6-7 minutes.

4. Flip the duck and continue cooking for another 6-7 minutes or until the desired internal temperature is achieved.

5. Remove the duck from the grill and let it rest for ten minutes before carving and serving.


1. How long should I marinate the duck?

It is recommended to marinate the duck for 4 hours or overnight to allow enough time for the marinade to penetrate the meat and enhance its flavors fully.

2. How can I tell if the duck is fully cooked?

The best and safest way to determine if the duck is fully cooked is to use an instant-read thermometer to measure its internal temperature. The internal temperature of fully cooked duck should be 165°F.

3. Should I remove the skin before cooking duck?

No. The skin of duck is an essential part of the cooking process, keeping the meat moist during cooking and creating a flavorful and crispy finish. However, you can trim any excess fat or skin if desired.

4. How do I store leftover duck?

Place any leftover duck in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. The leftover duck will last two to three days in the fridge. You can also freeze it for up to three months.


Duck meat is a flavorful and rich alternative to other types of poultry. While it can be challenging to cook, it is incredibly rewarding when done correctly. The above guidelines on roasting, pan-frying, and grilling should provide you with an excellent starting point for how to cook duck. Remember to always use a meat thermometer to check for safe internal temperatures. With patience and practice, you will be enjoying a delicious duck dinner in no time.

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