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How to Smoke a Duck?

smoking duck step-by-step
3-2-1 Method Smoked Pork Ribs Recipe
Smoked Ham with Honey Glaze Recipe

​Special occasions and holidays are more memorable with fantastic food on the table. Those who like excellently prepared meat knows that smoked duck tastes great. If you would want to try something elegant and a little bit different, then this recipe is right for you.

Flavorful, rich, slow-cooked duck is a perfect dinner that will surely please you. Making it properly takes a little time and effort, but with the high-rated electric smoker and this recipe, it will be easy to prepare it. When you try it for the first time, you will be amazed at its delicious taste.

If you want to know more about how to smoke a duck, all you have to do is read on and follow our instructions.

Duck Meat

Barbecuing is unquestionably a disorderly field, which is precisely why the numbers can bring a certain comfort. That just might be the thing that explains the popularity of the so-called 3-2-1 ribs-cooking method.
Are you not familiar with this method? Basically, it's a process divided into three separate time blocks - the first lasts for three hours, the second for two, and the final one for just one hour.
In this article, we'll be taking a closer look at this popular recipe, examining it in details, analyzing its advantages and downsides, and we'll also take a look at some variations and alternatives to it. Read on!
The most convenient way to smoke your food is by using a high-quality electric smoker. The best thing about this product is that they are convenient, easy to use and will save you time and money. You just need to place the food into it, set the right temperature and leave it to do the job for you.
Ham can be a fantastic meal when it is adequately smoked. It’s not the easiest task, but if you follow our step by step smoked ham recipe, you will have the best possible results. Anyone can make this delicious meal because there are no tough preparations or complicated steps.
This honey glazed ham is a mouth-watering dish that is ideal for the festive season. Your whole family will love this meal, and it will become their favorite. It is slow-cooked to the perfection and serves eight to ten people.
It is best to cook this honey glazed ham in advanced, so you get the most flavors.

When cooking a whole chicken or turkey, you need to balance the doneness of the lean white meat of the breasts and dark leg meat. The great thing about duck is that it is all dark meat which makes it easier to cook. All you need for the smoking process is the right heat to dissolve the fat properly.

So, to prepare this meal adequately, it needs a higher temperature. We recommend to smoke it at 300 to 325 degrees F. The minimum heat is 165 degrees F, which is the same as for other poultry. Just track the temperature during smoking, and verify its pull heat so you can get a good quality cooked meat.

Bear in mind that the meat can look pink, even when it is adequately prepared. If you have a thermometer to measure the right temperature and monitor it, then you shouldn’t worry. And because of the duck's size, it won’t take long to be done. It will be ready for about two to three hours, depending on the smoker you have.

Needless to say that this meat is also very nutritious and healthy.

"The nutrient value of the duck food is really surprising. The meat encapsulates a number of important nutrients and minerals including phosphorous, magnesium, calcium, potassium and sodium. In terms of the vitamins, it contains niacin, folate, Vitamin E, K, and B together with a number of other nutriments. At the same time, the duck is also considered to be a rich source in terms of its protein value." according to The Poultry Guide.




  • ​Whole duck, 5 – 6 lb.
  • 2 tbsps. Honey
  • 1 small, quartered onion
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 small, quartered mandarin oranges
  • Pepper and salt to season the meat

For Glaze

  • 1 tbsp. molasses
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsps. Orange juice
  • Zest of orange (only of one)
  • Pinch of pepper and salt

Make sure to have the thermometer and meat probes so you can monitor the temperature and cooking process. Use a cherry or apple wood chunks or chips for smoke.

We gave this method a try a few days ago, and we immediately understood its appeal - it results in meat that's so tender that it looks like it will slide off the bones! It comes with a couple of layers of flavor that immediately associate one with the taste of a great barbecue. We don't even have to say that the whole process can be done within a (very predictable) time frame of just six hours.
Those that follow the directions are guaranteed to avoid ending up with ribs that are too dry or too tough, which makes the 3-2-1 method a very fail-proof process. Almost 100% of people who taste the ribs cooked by this method will react with delight, and might even declare you a barbecue maestro. If all of this sounds pretty tempting (and we're sure that it does), have a look at the following recipe.
Smoked, bone-in ham, 1 10 pounds
Light brown sugar, 1 ½ cups
Clover honey, ½ cup


First, you need to prepare duck the day before. Trim the neck’s skin leaving about the one-inch flap, and remove the wing’s tips. Also, you need to remove the giblets from the cavity of the duck and use paper towels to pat it dry. Slash or pierce the skin, through the layer of fat so that you can render it out. Don’t go through the meat.

Brush the meal with one tbsp. soy sauce and two tbsps. Honey. Use pepper and salt to season the duck on all its sides. With onion and quartered mandarin, stuff the cavity of the duck. Place the poultry in the refrigerator and leave it overnight, without covering so it can dry brine. It may seem like a lot of work, but don’t worry, you will love the result.

When you are ready to smoke the duck, set up your electric smoker at 300 to 325 degrees F and add wood chunks or chips into it. Use cherry or apple wood to add that fruity, delicious flavor to the meat. Put a water pan under the cooking grate of a smoker to catch any drips and to create a humid environment.

Close the door of the unit and leave the smoke to develop. That will probably take twenty minutes or more. In the meantime, prepare the glaze for the meal. In a bowl mix pepper, salt, orange zest, balsamic vinegar, orange juice, molasses and honey. Use this glaze to brush it all over the meat.

In the center of the duck's breast, set the meat probe. Place the poultry onto the grate, in the smoker, and attach the meat probe to the thermometer. This way you will know exactly what is happening to the meal you are smoking.

Remove the meat from the unit and leave it to rest for about fifteen to twenty minutes. After this step, it is time to serve the duck. When it is perfectly cooked, it will be juicy and tender. The meat has a rich flavor that everyone will adore. We must admit that this is one of the best meals that you can serve for some occasion or holiday dinner.

Step #1 - The first step consists of preparing the ribs. Prepare them for the 3-2-1 method by carefully removing the membranes, after which you can apply some of your rib rub.
Step #2 - It's time for the first time block. Set your smoker at 225F (110C) and place the ribs (bone-side down) into it. Cook them for the duration of three hours.
Step #3 - After those three hours, get the ribs out of the machine and wrap them in some aluminum foil. Do it as tightly as you can in order to form an airtight seal. Return the ribs to your smoker and smoke them for two hours.
Step #4 - Now would be the time to un-wrap the meat and return it to the machine for one more hour.
Step #5 - During the last half an hour of the cooking time, you can, optionally, apply some sauce to the ribs. To prevent the burning, you'll have to make sure that the cooking temperature is no higher than 265F (130C). Also, don't forget to apply the sauce in a couple of thin layers.
smoked duck on plate
To place a large roasting pan, adjust the racks. With a shallow roasting one, fit the pan. Before start preparing this meal, preheat the oven to three hundred and fifty degrees F.
Under the cold water, rinse the ham, after you have unwrapped it. Put it in the roasting pan on the rack.  Use the foil to cover it and cook the meat for one hour and forty minutes. In the meantime, mix the honey and brown sugar in a saucepan and cook until the sugar has dissolved and mixture becomes smooth, over medium heat.
Use the brown sugar glaze to pour it over the meat and roast it for another one hour and forty minutes. Make sure you baste it with the drippings in the roaster, at least twice while it’s cooking. Calculate twenty minutes for one pound of meat, to adjust the right roasting time for larger or smaller meat.
Use a meat thermometer to check if the meat is done. Place it into a meaty area, but make sure it’s not touching the bone or it’s not in the fat spot. The device should register the temperature of one hundred and sixty degrees F.
Before slicing the ham, leave it to rest for about fifteen minutes. That way you are allowing the juices to set correctly.
The Advantages and Downsides of the 3-2-1 Method
How to Smoke a Ham?
This process is guaranteed to give you ribs that are tender ("fall-off-the-bone"), which is something that many people consider to be the climax of smoked ribs. On the other hand, it probably won't help you win any sort of barbecue competition.
And the reason behind that is the fact that some people have an entirely different opinion on what a good rib is. For some, a well-cooked rib comes with meat that doesn't stick to the bone but still holds to it. To put it more simply, they think that, when you're biting, the meat should be removed away cleanly from the bone - and not fall off.
However, if you're not considering getting into a barbecue competition, you shouldn't worry - just follow this method and your guests will surely be pleased.
The first thing you need to know when buying a ham is that it is always better to pay a little more money for a product that hasn’t 1/3 water weight. Choose the spiral sliced, bone-in, cooked meat that weighs about ten or more pounds.
The next thing is to keep your meat fresh before you want to smoke it. Just place it in the fridge and leave it to rest. When you are ready to prepare smoked ham, remove it from the refrigerator and set aside.
Place it on the baking sheet, use yellow mustard and squeeze it all over the meat to add a little flavor to the ham. Grab a handful of the brown sugar and rub it. Or you don’t have to use any additions if you don't want to, that depends on your personal preference. After you have done that, turn on the smoker.
Put the meat into the unit, on the center rack, flat side down. Set the temperature between two hundred and two hundred and twenty-five degrees F. It is essential to reach the internal temperature of hundred and forty degrees F, so it’s wise to use a digital thermometer.
Leave the meat to smoke for about an hour, hour and a half. Make sure you are checking it so that the ham’s bottom doesn’t get too done. Lower the heat if you notice that it is dark brown.
Take the meat out of the appliance at 2 ½ hours and put it on aluminum foil (double thickness). It is essential that you have enough of it to wrap the whole ham. But, before you do that, use orange juice to spray the meat’s outside.
The next step it is to use the remains of the brown sugar and sprinkle it over the food and then you can wrap it. Return it to the unit until the internal temperature reaches one hundred and forty degrees F, for about one hour.
When it is done, take the meat out of the appliance and leave it to rest for about twenty to thirty minutes, while it’s still wrapped. When you remove the foil, there will be juices on it. But, don’t throw it, because you can use it to pour over the ham right before you serve it.

​Duck Smoking Time

A smoked duck will take you about two to three hours, depending on the type of smoker you are using, its temperature and the weight of the meat. You can place aluminum foil over the food for the last thirty minutes to speed up the smoking process. That will help if the internal temperature of your appliance can’t quickly reach the right temperature.

As we said earlier the minimum temperature needs to be 165 degrees F. And if you want your duck to be adequately cooked, than we recommend to smoke it at 300 to 325 degree.

The Variations
This technique has been mainly designed for the pork ribs - the timing works best for this type of the meat. Those that prefer the baby back ribs should give a try to the so-called 2-2-1 method. Otherwise, they will be risking having the baby back ribs overcooked and dried out - you certainly don't want that to happen!
If you're interested in long-term smoking, you could try placing the wrapped ribs into your oven, after which you could finish them off on a grill (at a low temperature). Due to the fact that most of the smoke flavor is usually delivered in the first couple of hours, this technique won't have an adverse effect on the overall outcome.
All meat has high levels of protein. Ham is pork meat, and it has about 18 g of protein. Protein in beneficial in keeping you full longer. Eating 1 serving of low sodium ham 1 or 2 times a week could help you lose weight. Ham is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. The nutrients found in ham are: Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Potassium, Phosphorus, Riboflavin, Thiamine, and Zinc.

The Conclusion

When prepared in a quality electric smoker, the duck is a fantastic meal you can serve your family and friends. We are sure that this delicious smoked meat will be their new favorite recipe because it tastes incredible. It might take some effort and time to prepare, but it is worth it. The great thing is that you can just set up your appliance and let it do the job for you. Bon appetite!

As you can see, the 3-2-1 technique for the pork ribs is easy-to-do and guaranteed to leave you with meat that looks and tastes great. It comes with a predictable time frame and doesn't require any unique ingredients or equipment, and the results are sure to impress your guests.
A word of advice, though - this technique is good only for two or three racks of pork ribs. If you intend to smoke just one rack, the whole process probably won't last for entire six hours. For the really small racks, try the 2-2-1 method.
With our perfect smoked ham with honey glaze recipe and the right electric smoker, you will learn how to make this incredible meal in no time. Surprise your friends and family with this delicious dinner and amaze them. We are sure that this would be their new favorite meat recipe because it’s just perfect.
It doesn’t take much time to prepare it and it’s very easy to smoke the ham. Good thing is that you can just set the smoker and let it do the rest for you. Feel free to explore and experiment with the ingredients and spices. That way you will learn from the first hand, which of them you can combine and which not. Enjoy your meal! Bon appetite!
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