Duck on the Grill...
- JugglerDave Nov 4, 2005 11:27 AM
...ain't no surpirse
This weekend I'm going to try a whole duck on the gas grill. I've done whole roast duck in the oven, so I know about scoring the skin and my plan is to turn on the rear burner (of 3) and put the duck near the front so that the dripping fat won't catch fire. I'll try to do 325 degrees for about 2 1/2 hours, and put some hickory chips over the fire for some smokey flavor.
Lastly I've read that I can do a final skin-crisp for 10 minutes on high direct heat.
Any additional tips or suggestions or additional flavorings to try?
You are going to have God's own mess in there, but the duck will be worth it! They don't just drip, they SPATTER, but at least with a gas grill you will be able to keep the heat down enough to avoid an excess of that. I did one on a charcoal-fired Weber kettle (duck in an iron skillet over indirect heat) and it was a stunning success, but I didn't think to put anything under the grill to catch the drippage, and to this day there's still a circular grease-stain in the porch's concrete floor! Unless the new owners have found some way to remove it...
As for seasoning, I'd rub it down with S&P, but that's it
Unless you've got a pretty big duck, I'd go lower temp or shorter time.
I season mine with salt, pepper, allspice, cayenne, clove, and a bit of brown sugar.
I put the duck on a rack, put the duck/rack in an inexpensive metal lasagna size pan. I put some liquid in the pan, I have tried: wine, water, beer, and a combo of those, included seasonings too; my usual is just 1 quart of inexpensive beer. I season the duck with seasoning salt, put a piece of apple inside the duck, celery too if I have it.
The liquid will evaporate, and duck fat will replace the liquid. Be careful if you use this method, (I once dropped the liquid filled pan in the kitchen).
Be careful with the duck too, it may have hot liquid inside.
I use a hotter heat (350/375), over mesquite and check at ~75 minutes, I cook until a leg will pull off, usually takes ~90 minutes. My ducks come out crisp, so I don't finish over direct heat. Times are from memory, I like my poultry "falling apart" tender.
I do this in a weber kettle and a Komado. The komado is direct heat, but the pan deflects the heat, I have added liquid to the pan when cooking in the komado, until there is enough fat to prevent the pan from scorching. I have scorched a few inexpensive metal pans, I throw them away.
Indirect heat is a GOOD idea given the fat situation, and keep an eye on it. I was at an elegant New Year's Eve party once and the host was grilling duck breasts. Everyone was seated around a long table, having multiple courses each paired with its own wine, when we looked out the glass to the deck and saw their grill completely, completely engulfed in flames. I think everyone burst out laughing and we all ran out in ties and heels to douse the flames. Incredibly, they were still edible, albeit smokey, and delicious in a port and dried cherry sauce.
You can do a beer can duck. I have never tried this recipe in particular but everything i have ever made from Reichlin's cookbooks has been excellent. I have made numerous beer can chickens and am goign to do a turkey on thanksgiving. This duck might be very good too
I used a v-shaped rack over an aluminum foil pan. Back burner on high, middle burner had to be turned on low to keep the temperature.
I basically did 350 degrees for almost 2 hours, turning the duck twice, with the hickory smoke box on top of the rear burner.
After the 2 hours, I did a quick finishing directly on the grill (HIGH heat) for a few minutes per side to crisp the skin.
results: light smoky flavor, good crispy skin. Not that different than cooking in a plain old oven, though.
We served it with a side of homemade applesauce made from Stayman apples picked only a few hours earlier.
thanks to all for the advice.