I’ve revised a Chinese method to cooking a whole Duck. The Chinese duck is steamed first, and then it’s roasted until it’s crispy. You can do the same thing on the grill or in a smoker. First smoke the duck on low temp with a water pan inside the smoker, then remove the water pan and turn up the heat until the skin is nice and crispy. The rational behind steaming the duck is to melt as much of the fat as possible while keeping the meat nice and moist.
Here is the recipe:
1 whole duck
1 tbs Chinese five-spice powder
For the Cavity-fresh ginger, scallions, orange peel, half an onion, 3 garlic cloves
1/2-cup Orange Marmalade (the kind with the orange peel included)
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Trim the excess fat from the neck and body. Rinse the duck, inside and out, and pat dry with paper towels. Make the rub by combine the Chinese five-spice, sugar, and salt in a small bowl. Rub the spice mixture all over the duck, inside and out. Stuff the duck cavity with the: the ginger, garlic, scallions, onion, and orange peel. Fold the wing tips back under the duck and tie the legs together with kitchen string. Poke the duck all over with a fork, piercing the skin but not the meat. This will allow the fat to escape.
Smoke the duck with a full water pan directly below the bird for about 2 hours at 225-250 degrees. Meanwhile prepare the glaze as follow: in a saucepan combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, a dash of the Chinese five-spice, and the orange marmalade. You can also add some minced ginger and garlic to the glaze if you prefer. Heat the mixture until it pulls together.
After 2 hours of smoking (and steaming the duck), remove the water pan and turn up the heat to 350 degrees. Apply the glaze during the last half hour of cooking. If you apply the glaze too soon, the sugar will burn the skin. Roast the duck until the skin is nice and crisp and the meat to your preferred doneness.
Of course, you can always smoke the duck all the way, but you won’t have a crispy skin. You can also rotisserie cook the duck; Steve has a great recipe for rotis. duck in “How to Grill” Page #266.