Perfectly roast duck on your Traeger Grill for yummy crispy duck skin, tender meat, wood-fired flavor with cherry wood pellets, and seasoned with rosemary, garlic, and shallots. Traeger Duck is easy to make and you'll never have grilled whole duck any other way.
I wouldn't call this Traeger Smoked Duck because we are cooking it at a higher heat than you would with a traditional smoker. One advantage of pellet grills is that you can still get a wood smoky flavor even at higher temperatures. It is not the same as the smoke you get at 225 degrees, but the wood-fired smoke's flavor is great. The indirect heat helps to melt the duck fat away, the cast iron pan, achieves crispy skin and you have an option to then deglaze the pan and create a flavorful glaze to serve it with.
Prepare the Whole Duck
Remove the duck from the packaging. Rinse the entire duck with cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Remove any pieces or organ meat from the cavity of the duck. The first step is to cut out the breast bone with kitchen shears. It is almost like you are going to spatchcock it, but we are going to cut it into two halves. Once the breast bone is removed, continue through the bottom with a thick butcher knife so that there are two separate duck halves.
Next cut slits in the top of the duck breasts of the fatty skin. Cut through the skin but not deep enough to cut the meat. This will help to render the fat and crisp the skin. Since duck is almost 40 percent fat, we do want to trim off any excess pieces of fat along the edges of the halves. I also like to cut off the tip section of the wings to keep them from burning as we cook the duck.
Ingredients for Traeger Duck
Whole Duck - Prepare the duck as mentioned above. You will need sharp kitchen shears or a strong sharp butcher knife. Always make sure to use a cutting board.
Shallots - I feel shallots have more of a gentle flavor than onions. Dice these up nice and small so that you can spread them over the duck evenly.
Garlic - Garlic has such a great flavor, especially in roasted-style dishes. The raw sharpness of garlic just seems to melt the flavor away into the meat. Finely mince the garlic or run it through a garlic press.
Kosher Salt and Black Pepper - The staple spices. These are always needed in every dish.
Rosemary - One of my favorite combinations with garlic. Fresh is best if you have it, but dry will work as well. Give it a quick mince with your knife.
Olive Oil - Just a little to help crisp up the duck skin.
Important Equipment - You will need a cast-iron pan for this recipe. For safety, if you cook this directly on the grill grates or the wire rack, you will have a grease fire in no time at all. For texture and presentation, the cast iron pan will help you to achieve that beautiful crispy skin that we think of when we think of duck.
Traeger Duck Recipe
Step One: Put the duck into your cast iron pan. Drizzle olive oil over both all sides, then add all the other ingredients. Rub the garlic, rosemary, shallots, and sprinkle salt and pepper thoroughly all over both sides. Be sure to also season the inside body cavity part of each piece.
Place the duck in the cast iron pan skin side down. The goal is to have the skin of the duck in contact with the cast iron pan so that it will crisp up. One of the best parts of cooking duck is crispy duck skin. If you have time, cover the pan with plastic wrap and let it marinate in the refrigerator for up to two hours, or you can give it five min and start cooking. Whatever you have time for.
Step Two: Once your Traeger Grill or pellet grill is preheated to 400 degrees F, put the cast iron tray into the smoker. Make sure the breast skin side is down. Cook the duck for thirty minutes, then flip the pieces over to crisp the other side. You will continue to cook the duck on the grill until the internal temperature reaches 140°F. Use a meat thermometer to have a constant read on the internal temperature of the duck.
Optional Sweet and Sour Glaze for Smoked Duck Recipe
Pour off the excess fat from the drip pan along with any burnt pieces. Then deglaze the pan with a cup of balsamic vinegar. Add a tablespoon of butter, and a quarter cup of honey or maple syrup, season with salt and pepper, and cook until the mixture is flavorful and thickened. Use to pour over the Traeger duck as you serve. If you want to use a fruit-flavored balsamic for a unique flavor, give it a try.
You can also use orange juice in place of the honey and soy sauce in place of the salt for an Asian flare.
Once your duck is cooked to your desired doneness, let it rest under an aluminum foil tent for five minutes so that it retains the natural moisture of the meat then carve with a sharp knife serve.
What to Serve with Traeger Duck
Check out what to serve with our Smoked Duck Breast recipe:
Boursin Mashed Potatoes or Traeger Baked Potatoes
Green Beans, Brussel Sprouts, or Broccoli
Can I use other types of wood?
Yes, of course. You can really use any type. Pecan and apple wood are my two other top choices after cherry pellets.
- Traeger Grill or other smoker
- 1 whole duck 5 lbs
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 shallot minced
- 1 tbs rosemary
- 1 tbs kosher salt
- 1 tbs black pepper
- Rinse the duck with cold water and pat dry. Remove anything from the duck's cavity.
- Cut the duck in half. First, remove the breast bone, then cut through the back of it. Remove any pieces of excess fat and cut off the tips of the duck wings.
- Cut shallow slices into the breast skin side of the duck.
- Place duck halves in a cast iron pan and rub with olive oil, shallots, rosemary, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for two hours.
- Preheat Traeger Grill to 400°F. Put the cast iron pan into the grill. Make sure that the breast side is skin-side down in the pan. After 30 minutes, flip the duck pieces over to the other side and continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches 140°F. It will take about a 90 minutes of total cooking time.
- Once the duck is done. Remove it from the grill and let it rest for about 5 minutes. Then serve.
- To serve, remove the wings and the duck legs. Then remove the breast and slice it. Serve it with the optional Sweet and Sour Glaze.
More Traeger Poultry Recipes