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Grilled Duck

Grilled Duck

Download the recipe PDF. View the YouTube video.

Serves 4 to 6.
By Dennis W. Viau; modified from several Internet recipes.

For my first attempt at grilling on my new Weber grill I chose to spatchcock (butterfly) a whole duck and grill it.


For the marinade and barbecue sauce:
1 cup (237ml) apple cider vinegar
1 cup (237ml) bourbon
3 to 4 cloves garlic; minced
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
¼ cup packed (45g) brown sugar (light or dark)
1 teaspoon Wright’s Liquid Smoke (hickory or mesquite)
3 ounces (85g) tomato paste (half a 6–ounce can)
For the duck:
1 duck, about 5 pounds (2.27kg)


Combine all the marinade ingredients except the tomato paste in a bowl. Blend well. Transfer about half to a 1-gallon (4 liter) ziplock bag positioned inside a bowl. Close and set aside.

Add the tomato paste to the remaining mixture and blend well. Transfer to a saucepan and heat to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook 10 minutes, stirring often. Cover and set aside to cool.

Using poultry shears or a sharp sturdy knife, cut along both sides of the duck’s backbone, through the bones, and remove the backbone. Discard or set aside for making stock later.

Open the duck and place on a clean surface, skin side up. Press down firmly to flatten the duck, breaking bones as necessary. Slit or pierce the skin the allow fat to render during cooking. Remove the wing tips if desired. Place the duck in the ziplock bag prepared earlier. Seal the bag and allow the duck to marinate 30 minutes, turning the bag over after 15 minutes to flavor the meat evenly.

Heat the grill with charcoal, wood, or gas. Clean the grill grate if necessary and rub with a paper towel dipped in vegetable oil. Grill the duck 2 to 3 hours, or longer if necessary (cooking time will depend on the heat of your grill), away from the hot coals. During the last 30 minutes of grilling brush the duck with barbecue sauce on each side several times. Cook the duck to an internal temperature of at least 160°F (71°C) when checked with a meat thermometer in the breast or thigh meat, avoiding a bone. To finish, the duck can be moved above the hottest coals to crisp the skin. Watch closely to avoid burning.

Serve with your favorite side dish.

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