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Sep 13, 2001 02:36 PM

Organizing a neighborhood cookout

  • b

We're organizing a cookout here and I wanted it to be something special (the cookout is a celebration in memory of this week, and everyone's really jazzed about it, I hope that's not seen as cold by anyone here).

I'm getting a dozen ducks to grill, and an assortment of hot dogs.

anyone have any suggestions on grilling ducks? or good accompaniments?

and anyone have any suggestions for particularly good brands of hot dogs?


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  1. I would buy any brand of kosher hotdogs. I can't recommend a specific brand, but I don't recall ever being disappointed with any that I've had. As for the duck, I would think it should be parboiled first, or treated in some other way, so as to remove the fat to prevent flair ups on the grill. Perhaps cooking it indirectly over the coals would work-just push the coals to the side of the BBQ and use the lid. Once the fat has dripped off sufficiently, you can cook it directly over the coals to get it crispy.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Mistermike
      Emily Cotlier

      Parboiling works with fatty ribs, but I think it would be detrimental to the ducks, especially to their fatty skin. I'd cut them into 1/4 portions and par-roast them first, then a) finish them on the grill, basting with a sweet sauce and b) serve them when cooked as I have seen Chinese barbecue places serve duck: chop them into manageable-size bone-in pieces with cleavers. Otherwise, it might be hard to handle/eat the duck pieces on paper plates in the street.

      I love ducks (both live and cute and on my plate and delicious) but they can be challenging to eat. One time, for a dinner party, my mom served duck portions "because none of these people know each other very well, and coping with the duck will keep them busy without too much conversation."

      1. re: Emily Cotlier

        I recently purchased a quantity of duck legs, seasoned and steamed them until tender (about 1-1/4 hours). Much of the fat and a quantity of meat juice ran off into the plate they were on. I finished them with a glaze in a hot oven, and they were very good. The meat juice was cycled into a soup. I'll do it like this again next time. I wouldn't try this with whole ducks, and certainly not duck breasts, which many prefer rare. The breasts could be boned and precooked in a pan skin-side-down-only prior to grilling to remove excess grease, if you want to use the skin, though you might find it easier to discard it. Raw duck skin will tend to flare up when being grilled, resulting in meat which is simultaneously charred and undercooked.

        I personally find it a lot harder to eat poultry that's been chopped up bone and all, rather than disjointed. Especially at a cookout, where guests may be eating with their hands. There's not much meat on carcasses, and they can be turned into a nice soup.

        1. re: ironmom

          I'm curious as to how you seasoned and steamed them. You said the juice ran off on to the plate so I'm assuming you used a bamboo steamer?

          1. re: bryan

            My default seasoning method is to sprinkle meat, fish, or poultry with kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and mildly spicy Korean red pepper flakes. When I feel ambitious I crush a clove of garlic in a mortar and pestle, and rub it in. If something is going to be baked or broiled, I'll rub it with olive oil, too.

            I have several pots with steamer inserts that I use for vegetables and small quantity dumplings, etc. I don't have a bamboo steamer, and never have extra cabbage leaves, etc on hand, so I lightly grease a plate and lay on it the item or items to be steamed. In this case, I wanted to use a dinner plate, so I steamed this in a fairly large pan with a small rack at the bottom.

            This is not always the most convenient setup, but in this case, it worked well.

        2. re: Emily Cotlier

          "I love ducks (both live and cute and on my plate and delicious)"

          that is the funniest thing I've heard all week. it should be a chowhound t-shirt slogan!

          I'll be par roasting and par boiling, if we get the numbers I'm hoping for.

          It's going to be on saturday, I'll let everyone know how it went monday when I get back in front of a computer.


      2. Wonderful idea --where will you be? I'd love to stop by :). We've always had good reports in group/mass cooking with all beef Ball Park brand hot dogs. Kogel's Viennas have gotten good marks on this board as has any of the Johnsonville brats. Ducks to dogs --great menu.

        1. I'll bring the whale and gorilla steaks. Also a few jars of "Maurice's" bbq sauce.

          1 Reply
          1. re: 2chez mike

            Thanks for a welcome laugh!

          2. Everything went really well. The guy I ordered the ducks from threw two in for free when he found out what it was for. So I invited him, and he helped me out with the par roasting.

            par roasting is DEFINITELY superior to parboiling, which somehow seemed to take moisture out of the bird.

            someone made a spicy pomegranite dipping sauce, and a bunch of people brought utz potato chips.

            The party itself started out kind of shaky. Everyone seemed unwilling to seem like they were enjoying themselves, but I think everyone was so relieved to be doing something other than keeping up with the news, and eventually people started enjoying it.

            thanks for the duck tips everyone!


            1 Reply
            1. re: ben f

              Glad your cookout was a success.

              Spicy pomegranate dipping sauce sounds interesting.... can you find out their recipe??????