how to smoke a whole duck in an electric smoker

Learning how to smoke a whole duck in an electric smoker can seem intimidating. But it doesn’t have to be. With the right preparation, preheating, placement and timing you’ll soon find yourself with a deliciously smoky-flavoured meal that will leave your friends and family wanting more. So if you’re looking for something special to wow your dinner guests or just want to try out something new in the kitchen – smoking a whole duck in an electric smoker is definitely worth considering. Let’s explore how this delicious dish comes together so that you can smoke up some amazing flavours without any hassle at all.

Table of Contents:

Preparing the Duck

Preparing the duck for smoking is an important step in creating a delicious meal. Ensure that all the requisites and components are to hand before commencing your smoking of the duck, so as to guarantee a truly scrumptious meal.

First, rinse off your duck with cold water to remove any dirt or debris from its surface. Then pat it dry with paper towels before seasoning it with salt and pepper. For an added kick of flavour, try incorporating various herbs and spices like garlic powder, onion powder, paprika or cumin into the duck’s seasoning. Rub the seasonings into the skin of the bird until it’s evenly coated.

a healthy dinner

Next, prepare a brine solution by combining 1 cup of kosher salt with 4 cups of warm water in a large bowl or container big enough to fit your entire duck inside. Submerge the bird completely in this mixture for at least 8 hours (or overnight) so that it absorbs some of those flavours from the brine solution while keeping its moisture intact during cooking time later on down the line.

Once done soaking in a brine solution, take out your duck and pat it dry again using paper towels before transferring it onto a cutting board. On the cutting board, use either a sharp knife or kitchen shears to score each side of the bird multiple times. This will help release fat during cooking time which helps keep things moist while adding flavour too. Finally, place the prepared bird onto smoker racks ready for preheating.

Time to heat up the smoker – get ready for a tasty smoked duck feast.

Preheating the Smoker

Ensure your electric smoker is connected and equipped with the necessary quantity of wood chips to sustain throughout the smoking procedure prior to commencing.

Set the dial to 225°F (107°C), and fire up your smoker for preheating. This will ensure that your duck cooks evenly throughout. Insert a thermometer probe into one of the vents to keep track of your smoker’s internal temperature while cooking.

Once your smoker reaches its desired temperature, add some wood chips or pellets to create smoke flavour. You can employ any type of hardwood such as hickory, oak, or mesquite to create a smoke flavour. Place them directly onto the heating element inside your smoker and close all vents except for one at about half open to maintain airflow during smoking. The amount of smoke created depends on how much wood chips are used; more will result in stronger flavours but too much could cause bitter-tasting food due to over-smoking.

Once the smoker is heated up, it’s time to get the duck ready for smoking. To ensure a succulent and flavorful dish, proper placement of the duck in the smoker is essential.

Placing the Duck in the Smoker

Once seasoned, place your prepared duck onto a rack inside your smoker and close the lid securely. Also, adjust any vents or dampers on top of your unit so that they are open enough for smoke but not too wide where heat escapes easily. This will help maintain consistent temperatures during the cooking time which should take anywhere between 3-4 hours depending on the size and weight of the bird being smoked. You’ll know it’s done when the internal temperature reaches 165°F.

Once the duck is securely placed in the smoker, it’s time to set the temperature and adjust your cooking settings to create a delicious smoked duck dish. Now let’s move on to step four: Smoking Time.

Smoking Time

The key to success with this cooking method is knowing how long it takes to smoke a duck properly.

The amount of time needed for smoking will depend on the size of your duck, as well as the temperature you’re using. Generally, smoking times can range from two to four hours when temperatures are between 225-250°F (107-121°C). If you’re using higher temperatures, such as 300°F (149°C), then it may only take one hour or less.

To ensure that your duck is cooked through without drying out or becoming too tough, use an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast and thigh area. The internal temperature should reach 165°F (74°C) before serving. If not, return it to the smoker until the desired doneness has been achieved.

When finished smoking, your duck should have crispy skin with golden brown colouration all over its surface. If not, increase the heat slightly for another 15-20 minutes before checking again until desired results are achieved. Finally, let rest for 10-15 minutes before carving and serving – enjoy.

Once the duck is properly smoked, it’s time to add some finishing touches that will make your dish truly unique. From adding a glaze or a rub to giving it one final sear, there are plenty of options available for taking your meal from good to great. Now let’s move on and take a look at how you can finish off this delicious creation.

Key Takeaway: Smoking a duck in an electric smoker can require anywhere from two to four hours of time, depending on the heat and size of the fowl. Be sure to monitor progress and baste with butter or oil every 45 minutes for maximum flavour.

Finishing Touches

If you want something sweet to pair with your savoury main course, consider making a simple fruit compote using seasonal fruits such as apples and pears simmered in sugar syrup until soft and tender – perfect for spooning over ice cream or yoghurt. Or why not whip up some homemade cranberry sauce? It’s easy enough to make from scratch but can really elevate any poultry dish with its tartness and sweetness combined together perfectly.

Don’t forget about the presentation, no matter what sides you choose to go along with your smoked duck meal. Arrange everything nicely on one large platter so everyone can help themselves family-style – nothing says “dinner party success” quite like an impressive spread laid out on one table.

Key Takeaway: Smoking a duck is easy, but to ensure juicy slices and a successful dinner party, don’t forget to use a meat thermometer, let it rest before carving, and add flavorful sides like roasted vegetables or homemade cranberry sauce.


With the right preparation and preheating, you can have perfectly smoked duck every time. Patience is essential when learning how to smoke a whole duck in an electric smoker, but the end result will be worth the wait. So if you’re looking for something special to serve at your next dinner party, why not try smoking a whole duck in an electric smoker? You won’t regret it.

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