Yield:
Serves 4

Chase the flavor with this killer smoked duck recipe, courtesy Isaac Toups

Lacking dinnertime inspiration? Break the mold and barbecue some duck. Isaac Toups of Toups Meatery shares his go-to recipe with us, and we think you’re going to love it as much as we do. The recipe is Smoked Duck with a Brown-Sugar-and-Soy Glaze, and it comes with a kick. (Boy, does it ever.) Toups’ recipe calls for brown sugar, whole black peppercorns, bay leaves, oranges, and soy sauce—a flavor profile that’ll have you shouting hallelujah. The preparation starts with a long, salty brine bath for your duck. How long? 24-48 hours long. It’s worth it, because that brine infuses the duck with a megawattage of flavor and it keeps the duck moist and tender throughout the smoking process. Have some fun and smoke a duck—you won’t be disappointed. As Isaac Toups says, “Not only do you get to smoke the whole duck, you look real cool doing it.”

How to Make It

Step 1

BRINE THE DUCK

Combine the 2 cups brown sugar, 2 cups salt, peppercorns, bay leaves, orange zest, juice, beer, and water in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.

Put the brine in the 4-gallon container or cooler, and add enough ice water to measure exactly 3 gallons. (It’s important to keep the salt-to-water ratio for brines. You’ve already got the salt, so the amount of ice water you need to add will vary according to how much liquid you lost when boiling the brine.) Dunk the duck in the brine and refrigerate for 24 hours, stirring once halfway through.

After 24 hours and when you’re ready to cook (if the duck brines a little longer, that’s okay), remove the duck from brine and pat dry with paper towels, both the skin and inside the cavity. Let sit out for 30 minutes to come to room temperature.

Step 2

SMOKE THE DUCK

Smoke duck at 225 degrees for five hours or until back leg bone comes easily out. 

Isaac Toups