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Apr 8, 2014 09:25 AM

duck press

looking for a used duck press, Any thoughts?

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  1. You and me, both mangiamarco.

    There've been a couple real duck presses sold on eBay lately, that went in the $1K range. If you price them new, they start around $1,800 and go up past $15K. The problem is that if the seller knows what it is, they know what they sell for new.

    There are also the vintage American "sausage stuffer/fruit press" type, that look like they're stout enough and like they'd work OK. They can go for $100-$200. I've also looked at very small wine presses, but they look too flimsy for me.

    I'm concluding that--to get one at a reasonable price--you have to stumble onto an ignorant seller.

    If you find one let me know! I think they'd be great for crustacean butter and stocks, too.


    1 Reply
    1. re: kaleokahu

      Check out this video on duck presses: From La Tour D'Argent, capitol of pressed duck! Google for more!

    2. This one looks very, very nice...and if you are truly in the market for what appears to be the real deal, I'm not sure you can beat this.

      2 Replies
      1. re: josephnl


        For that kind of cash, you could have two made of solid sterling.

        1. re: alarash

          I suppose that if your weeknight service is silver and for weekends and/or more formal soirées you use gold, they might make you a special deal on two duck silver plated, and one in gold...and if you include some custom Limoges dinnerware, who knows what a bargain you might get!

      2. there's probably an opportunity in creating a time-share duck press network...

        1. Ok, I don't know a whole lot about buying a duck press, so this thread got me looking around at them--out of curiosity. I have no comment on the quality of various presses, but the reviews on the Bourgeat press at Amazon made me chuckle:

          One thought that did cross my mind was, what about an old-fashioned cider press? Could something like that work as-is or be modified to work?

          18 Replies
          1. re: jljohn

            Hi, Jeremy: "[W]hat about an old-fashioned cider press? Could something like that work as-is or be modified to work?

            I've already kinda scoped this out. Traditional cider press has wooden slats making up its basket that are too widely spaced. You would have to use mesh press bags or nylon stockings to strain the liquid. You can find really small "tabletop" cider/wine presses with perforated SS baskets, but the worm gears and armatures are quite flimsy, and the perforations are still pretty large.

            I think the only reasonable substitute is one of the older American fruit/sausage presses with a solid outer structure and a perforated insert.

            I recently saw a real one one go for $132 on eBay. The basket and spout on that one looked like they needed work. I should have bought it, though, because it was the real deal strength-wise, AND it was copper-plated!


            1. re: kaleokahu

              copper-plated? Does that mean it is more conductive? :)

              1. re: paulj

                Hi, Paul:

                Shirley you jest.

                No, the body of the press was cast iron and copper plated (beautiful patina), but the cup/spout were thin brass. I would have replaced the latter and had the inside tinned. At $132, it still would've been affordable to do that. If it comes up again, I'll buy it.


                1. re: kaleokahu

                  Next step - where are you going to get a strangled duck?

                  and have you seen

                  Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?

                  1. re: paulj

                    Hi, Paul: "[W]here are you going to get a strangled duck?"

                    I'm such a bad shot that my dog brings them back for me alive to strangle. I haven't checked for pre-strangled *Muscovy* ducks yet, but I'm sure I could find some in Seattle's Chinatown markets. If not, maybe buy them live? I'm happy to kill them myself, but draw the line at gavage.

                    No I have not seen that movie, although I would personally submit to being duck-pressed to death at the hands of Jacqueline Bisset of the 1970s. Do you recommend it?


                    1. re: kaleokahu

                      Let me know if you don't take it, I have a friend who can grab it for me there.

                  2. re: kaleokahu

                    Good morning, K,

                    Not to belabor Paul's point, but what's the deal with copper-plated cast iron? That's completely oxymoronic and is so the wrong way to cook a goose.

                    1. re: DuffyH

                      Good Morning, Duffy:

                      The copper plating served no functional purpose other than protection of the iron from rust (and to obviate the need to dry it thoroughly).

                      Besides that, it was purely cosmetic. It had a wild, well-used patina that I admired, is all. I should have bought this press, and I'll still try to track its new owner down somehow to buy it.

                      If you think about it, rendering these entirely of brass (or plating them in nickel or silver) serves no purpose other than the two above, either.


                      1. re: kaleokahu

                        Hey, Kaleo,

                        Does it maybe help to muffle the noise? Or do you find it much simpler to wrap the duck's beak with duct tape?

                        1. re: DuffyH

                          My, you're in a silly mood this morning. I'm not sure how to respond in a silly way that's not macabre.

                          1. re: kaleokahu

                            This is what happens when the snarky people take early retirement. WAY too much free mental time, which is not good for anyone.

                            Dude's mowing the lawn and it's either this or take a shower. Playing with you is much more fun than a shower. I can do that anytime. :-)

                            1. re: DuffyH

                              OK, let's be macabre. I have a special duck gag for the beaks to keep the noise down, and I keep 6 decoys in the kitchen so the duck won't want to appear un-drake-like in a crowd.

                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                Leave it to you to go with an OTP duck gag when most dudes would rather use duct tape whenever possible, IME.

                                Still, sheer genius (and bonus points!) to use peep pressure to keep them in line. Chicks don't think like that.

                                1. re: DuffyH

                                  I'm passing out of my Red Green phase.

                2. re: kaleokahu

                  Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Just my opinion, but I wouldn't press a duck in a wooden press a second time! Nonporous metals have a HUGE advantage here such as not carrying over flavors, but even more critical is sanitation. That, plus I'm not convinced a wooden press would be up to the task. Juice from apples or grapes, yes. Blood and marrow from the ultra rare bony sinewy carcass of a duck? I don't think so!

                  Secondly, if one doesn't have access to a freshly strangled Rouen duck that is NOT drained of it's blood in the plucking/cleaning process, pressing a commercially processed duck can never produce the required quantity of "duck juice" a pressed duck recipe calls for. On the other hand, if you have a duck pond in your back yard, carry on! Just don't press your duckies in a wooden press! If it would work well, Chef Frederic at Tour d'Argent would have commissioned one way back then!

                  And by the way, the recipe for "Duck in Blood Sauce" (Tour d'Argent) is not at all as weird and unusual as many recent articles about pressed duck make it out to be. Blood was a common thickener for gravies and sauces in both haute cuisine and home cooking until meat and poultry production became so heavily industrialized post WWII. I can remember my great grandmother catching the blood from poultry for sauces when she killed her own birds when I was a young child. She was a GOOD cook. And all home cooks of her day were ATHLETES!

                  1. re: Caroline1

                    So true. My grandmother didn't believe in "modern" groceries and only bought and killed live poultry. What a lot of work! And yes, chickens do run around after their heads are chopped off.

                    1. re: law_doc89

                      Yeah, they do! And if you were lucky, your grandmother always gave you a chicken foot to play with. My brother and I each got one, then used it to see who could pull the tendons/ligaments best to make the claw grasp and hold a stone. Hey, dinner and an anatomy lesson all in one fell swoop!

                      1. re: Caroline1

                        Yes, that is true, as she carefully pulled out and separated the edible from the inedible innards.


                I posted this appeal a few months ago. I had no luck locating one that was reasonably priced. If there was more demand somebody would make on for a couple hundred dollars. I'm keeping my eyes out for French restaurants that are going out of business.