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Spice-Rubbed Smoked Duck

Smoked duck is a classic and this easy recipe infuses warm spices and a hint of smoke with a bourbon glaze for a perfect feast.
Course Main Course
Cuisine barbeque
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Resting Time 10 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 40 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 1354kcal


  • 5 lbs duck
  • 1 onion
  • 1 head garlic
  • 2 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Pepper
  • ½ teaspoon Garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Clove
  • 1 Star Anise pod

For the glaze

  • 5 oz Duck fat
  • 4 tablespoon Orange juice
  • 2 tablespoon Soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • ¼ cup Brandy
  • Several fresh Thyme sprigs


Dry the Duck:

  • Pat duck very dry and allow to sit exposed to air on a wire rack to dry out completely, about 1 hour.

Prep the Smoker:

  • Meanwhile, prep your smoker for indirect heat to hold a temp around 250 degrees.
  • Make sure to have a drip pan below the duck to catch any rendered fat.

Rub the Duck:

  • Blend the cinnamon, pepper, garlic powder, clove, and anise pods in a mortar and pestle until finely ground and mixed thoroughly.
  • Rub the bird with a liberal layer of salt, outside as well as inside the cavity, and under the skin, using your hands to pull back the skin and work the salt under it.
  • Rub the cinnamon mixture evenly all over the duck.
  • Slice the onion and garlic in half and place inside the cavity.
  • Prepare your duck, as needed for your smoker. If using hangers, hang appropriately according to your manufactures directions.
  • When ready to smoke, add your wood to the smoker and place the duck over the cooler side fo the grill.

Make the Glaze:

  • Place a small 6” cast iron skillet over the fire and melt the duck fat.
  • Whisk in the orange juice, soy sauce, honey, and brandy.
  • Add the tyme sprigs and any garlic cloves that may have escaped their duck to the orange juice and brancy mixture.

Smoke the Duck:

  • Smoke the duck for 2 to 2 ½ hours until the duck reaches a temp of 170 degrees with an instant-read thermometer, basting occasionally with hte brandy mixture.
  • Remove from the smoker, cover and rest for 10 minutes before serving.


  • Garnish with fresh greenery and orange slices to serve.


  • I hang my poultry in my pit barrel cooker to smoke. I make sure not to hang the bird over any wood chunks and on the cooler side of the grill with a drip pan underneath to avoid unnecessary grease flare-ups.
  • I love using fruit woods for duck. I cherry being my top pick followed by an apple or even peach! However, this is a quick smoke, so don’t skimp on the wood or you won’t pick up as much of that savory smoked flavor as you would like.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 1354kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 129g | Saturated Fat: 43g | Cholesterol: 233mg | Sodium: 2176mg | Potassium: 653mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 493IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 7mg