Smoked and grilled duck breast

Duck breasts with lemon curd

Duck breasts have great flavor which is somewhere between game and domestic meat. In this recipe they are first smoked, then grilled using a lemon curd glaze. Citrus goes very well with duck.

Servings 4
Cook Time 1 hour
Start the grill 30 minutes


  • 2 duck breasts (12-14 oz each)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp lemon curd
  • 2 wood chunks for smoking


  • Start by removing the duck breasts from the plastic packaging. They usually come packaged in pairs. Rinse with cold water and pat them dry with a paper towel. Place them skin side down on a plate and apply a dry brine by sprinkling the salt evenly over the meat. Let them rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours before cooking.
    Raw duck breasts
  • Fire up your grill, prepare it for indirect grilling. Have it running at 225° – 250° F. Use the snake method if you’re using a kettle grill, or even better, a Slow ‘N Sear. Brush half the lemon curd on the meat side of the duck breasts and place them on the indirect side, skin side down. Add some wood chunks on the glowing embers for smoking and close the lid.
    Duck breasts glazed with lemon curd
  • Leave the meat until the inner temperature is 131° F. It usually takes 30-40 minutes. Remove the lid from the grill and stoke the fire to get it red hot. Place them skin side down over the glowing embers. Give them a good sear for 30 seconds, then flip and sear the meat side. Keep flipping a few times until the meat reaches 140° F. The skin is fatty, so watch out for grease fire.
    Duck breasts being seared over direct heat
  • Remove them from the grill and let them sit for a few minutes. Then brush the other half of the lemon curd on the meat side, wrap in aluminum foil and a towel, and let them rest for 10 minutes before serving.
    Grilled duck breasts
  • Duck breasts are best cut across in thin slices. Serve it with some oven roasted carrots and parsnips, and a nice red wine sauce.
    Grilled and smoked duck breasts with oven roasted veggies and a red wine sauce

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