Smoked Duck with a Honey Balsamic Glaze

Smoked whole duck with a honey balsamic glaze with mesquite or hickory wood.

I love duck and I am unsure as to why it has taken me this long to smoke one in my Bradley Smoker. I have often thought of smoking a whole duck ever since I got my Bradley in the spring of 2011, but it wasn’t until this past week that I actually did it.

My folks came up to Toronto to celebrate American Thanksgiving. Yes I know, I am not an American, but I love any excuse to make a feast and watch a bunch of football. The smoker was going crazy for 2 days while I made ribs, atomic buffalo turds, smoked beans, and brisket (recipe to come!).

I wanted to use a nice sweet glaze on the duck and I looked in the pantry for some maple syrup. Since I was out I decided on a honey balsamic glaze and it worked out great. The duck came out of the smoker moist and tender with a wonderful smokey flavour.

Smoked whole duck with a honey balsamic glaze with mesquite or hickory wood.

Smoked Whole Duck with Honey Balsamic Glaze

Smoked whole duck with a honey balsamic glaze with mesquite or hickory wood.
4.50 out of 5
2 reviews
Smoked whole duck with a honey balsamic glaze with mesquite or hickory wood. Easy simple step by step instructions and recipe for how to smoke duck.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours
Servings: 4


  • 1 whole duck
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • wood of choice for smoker


  • Start the smoker and set it for 275F using wood of choice (I used hickory).
  • Place the duck in the smoker and smoke for around 2 1/2 - 3 hours or until the internal temperature of the breast and thigh each reach a minimum of 165-170.
  • Make the glaze by mixing the honey, balsamic vinegar, salt and cayenne pepper. Brush the glaze on the duck after each hour of smoking.
  • Remove the duck from the smoker and let it rest 15 minutes before carving.


Smoked whole duck with a honey balsamic glaze with mesquite or hickory wood.

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4.50 from 2 votes (1 rating without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  • 4 stars
    I just smoked 2 home-grown old ducks on our Barrel House Cooker, but mine I stuffed a rub mixture of salt and chilli powder under the skin, then basted it with maple syrup mixed with redwine vinegar and chilli powder. My concern had been that being older birds, they might come out tough. B ut just like my 9lb chickens, they came out tender as pulled pork! I cooked mine too long as our tractor ended up getting stuck, and the temp clocked out to about 200, had cooked maybe 5 hours at 220 degrees. I think had I caught it at 175 I think both breast and leg meat would have been spot on!

    • Reply
  • Steve

    I wanted to ask if you used an internal temp gage for this duck? If so what is the ideal temp?

    PS its Brad the Pats Fan haha

    Thanks in advance

    • Reply
    • Hey Brad! Good to hear from you (and no comment from me regarding the Pats – lol). Cooking a whole duck is an interesting situation. Duck breast is best at a medium rare temp. I cook mine to 150F but I know many people that prefer it even lower. Problem is that 150F is way too low for the dark meat of the duck. I would cook till the dark meat is around 165-170F. The dark meat will be amazing, but you will find that e breast meat is on the dry side. Still tart though!! It is difficult to cook/smoke a whole duck where both breast and legs are at their optimal temperature. That being said I still do love smoking a whole duck.

      • Reply
      • Awesome man thanks!! ?

        • Reply
  • No seasoning on the duck before going into the smoker? 1st hour it goes with nothing on it? Did you do anything about the fat in this bird, or did it just render while smoking? It looks really good!

    • Reply
    • actually I did not put any seasoning on the duck when it first went in the smoker. The honey, balsamic vinegar, salt and cayenne brushed on each hour gave it a great glaze with nice seasoning. Worked out well. I suppose you could sprinkle some salt and pepper on before you throw it in the smoker.

      • Reply
      • OK, thanks for the response. I’ve just bought my own smoker. Gonna start with a simple rack of baby-backs this weekend, but I defninitely want to try this duck.

        • Reply
        • Ribs are so amazing in the smoker!! One of my favorite cuts of meat to smoke! Just an FYI – Here is my recipe to smoke ribs if you are interested.

          • Reply
          • I am new to the Bradley smoker but I love this site and the recipes on it. My problem is that when I turned off the smoker for a few hours to cook without the bisquettes, the smoker seemed to stop cooking and the temperature went way down. What do you think the problem is?

          • hmmm – not sure. I would recommend calling their customer service and see if they can identify the problem,

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