How to Smoke a Duck Breast


During duck hunting season, you may find yourself with an excess of duck and a dearth of ideas about how to prepare it. The flavor of smoke pairs well with waterfowl, and smoking adds a depth of flavor to the duck which would be difficult to achieve otherwise. Smoked duck breast makes a great addition to a cured meat or charcuterie plate.

Things You'll Need

  • 4 duck breasts
  • 1 qt. apple juice
  • 2 tbsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Bowl
  • Smoker
  • Apple or pear wood chips
  • Meat thermometer
  • Make the brine. Combine apple juice, salt, thyme, garlic, black pepper and a bay leaf in a large bowl. Stir until the salt is dissolved.

  • Soak the duck. Soak the duck breasts in the brine for at least eight hours. Brining the breasts overnight is preferred. Store the breasts in the fridge while brining. Once the breasts have brined, rinse them quickly under running water and pat them dry with paper towels. Set aside.

  • Season the duck. If you want to add more flavor, salt and pepper the duck breasts before smoking. Do not oversalt the breasts, as the brine infused the breasts with salt already.

  • Add the apple or pear wood chips to the smoker and set it to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Smoke the breasts for one hour at this temperature. Check the temperature using a meat thermometer — for medium-rare breasts, cook until the internal temperature has reached 160 degrees; for well-done breasts, smoke to an internal temperature of 170 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Serve the breasts by thinly slicing them. You can serve the slices with crackers, or plate them with a side of applesauce.

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