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Recipe  •  11 January 2022


Ted Reader's delicious wine-brined duck

A succulent and flavourful recipe from Smoking Foods.

A good hot smoke helps render the fat on duck, making the skin crispy and the meat super succulent.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Smoker Temp 275°F (135°C)
Smoke Time 3 to 4 hours

  • 1 whole duck (about 4 to 5lb [1.8 to 2.3kg])
  • Gourmet-style barbecue sauce

For the brine

  • 1 bottle (25oz [750ml]) of Riesling white wine
  • 3 cups water
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 medium orange, juiced
  • 2 sprigs of fresh sage
  • 2-inch (5cm) piece of fresh ginger, chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (3 inches [7.5cm] long each)

For the rub

  • 2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp granulated garlic
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon

In a large pot, make the brine by combining the wine and water. Stir in the salt and honey until the salt dissolves. Add the orange juice. Chop the orange rinds and add them to the pot.

Add the sage, ginger, garlic, onion, peppercorns, and cinnamon sticks. Mix well to combine. Place the duck in the brine and place a plate over the top to keep the duck submerged. Cover the pot and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Remove the duck from the brine and pat dry inside and out with paper towels. Discard the brine. Place the duck on a smoking rack and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

In a small bowl, make the rub by combining the salt, pepper, granulated garlic, and cinnamon. Rub the duck inside and out with the rub. Insert a thermometer probe into the thickest part of a thigh without touching bone.

Preheat the smoker to 275°F (135°C). Use hickory, oak, or maple wood.

Place the duck back side down into the smoker and smoke until the internal temperature reaches 185°F (85°C), about 3 to 4 hours.

Remove the duck from the smoker and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the skin and thinly slice into julienne strips. Pull the meat off the bones. Use your hands or two forks to shred the meat into little strips.

In a large bowl, combine the shredded meat, julienned skin, beer, and just enough barbecue sauce to moisten the mixture. Serve immediately.

Recipe Note: Use the reserved duck bones to make a poultry stock.

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