The Weber Kettle is an amazing tool for producing excellent foods. But many people fail to realize it is an oven, that unlike you indoor oven, can have smoke chips put in it to enhance a roasted meal like never before. Now I am not talking about the wet tender type meat of the low and slow smokers, I am talking crispy skin just like momma's oven roasted chicken, but with that ever sought after hint of mesquite in it! And so I drag out to the barbeque area to see if the BEAST is ready for some cooking.
Load her up with the fuels that she will require to perform the duck roasting. And fire off the coal.
I start to fabricate the duck while the coal comes up to heat. This is a peking duck which is an excellent roasting variety. But they need work to look good on the grill. To many people fail to truss up their birds. End up with something that looks like a bird that went through a smokey fire and then hit a windshield. Or if they laid it on its back in a low and slow, it ends up looking like a hooker ready for business. Niether of which offer the look at the table you should want for all the work you put into preparing it, take the time to truss it so it looks good on the table.
To enhance the natural taste of the duck, I want earthy items. In this case I am using oranges, raisins, onions, and figs. Along with a little garlic, salt and pepper.
All this goes inside to baste the bird in earthy flavors from the inside while the outside is roast to a nice crispy finish. A word on the internal basting, if you are going to do an aeromatic stuff, please remember to pierce the membrane inside the body cavity of the poultry or fowl you are working with at the time. I have watched so many people stuff a bird with aeromatics and never pierce the membrane. While I am sure the fire pit and grease trap love them, the bird gets about nothing from it if you don't get in there and pierce some holes with a fork or knife. Just a hint, but a big one for flavorful meat.
About all filled up.
Once you have salted, peppered and stuffed your aeromatics in, you can start to truss the victim up.
Couple of half hitches to hold those wings against the body, and a few on the thighs and legs ends will do. You are tying tight against the body so these parts don't burn up during the roasting process. Once complete it is time to get back to the fire.
Those of you used to using a kettle will understand what I am doing. For those who are newer to it. I am heating from one side of the kettle and roasting the bird on the opposite. Under the bird is the mesquite for the smoke. When the lid goes down the coal will start the mesquite smoking, the juice and fats from the bird will keep it moist enough that it will smoke and not flare up into fire. At first I keep the exit port on my weber kettle's lid above the coals. This allows the bird to expel moisture down onto the mesquite pieces, after 30 minutes I will change the lid port to be directly over the duck. This will bring the temperature around the duck close to 375 F giving me that crispy skin that only a duck can produce!
After one and a half hours the duck starts to take on the look of fine roasted dinner.
For side dishes I am doing cranberry, corn, and cornbread stuffing. Pretty simple but a nice quick meal with the smoke and using the weber kettle as the oven.
Off the Weber and onto the plate. This duck is ready to be sliced and eaten.
And this was dinner tonight.
'til we talk again, explore that kettle, they are just a big outdoor oven. And the can cook just as fast as an indoor oven if you want them too.