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CRISPY DUCK SKIN

kc5tpy

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Hello all. Trying to crawl back into the land of the living. Good to be back here.
Thinking of trying a duck in the smoker. Id think I got the smoking method down but I would like to crisp the skin. All I can come up with is pull the duck early; salt the skin and sling it in a screaming hot oven. Anyone with experience or a better idea?
Thanks for the help.
Keep Smokin!
Danny
 

banderson7474

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I think the best way instead of pulling it early maybe pull it slightly early and use the broiler in the oven. They way it crisps faster than just using an oven in "bake" mode. You should be able to crisp it in a few mins with the broiler setting. Other than that, maybe if you can get a gas grill super hot, you could crisp it that way.
 

kc5tpy

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Hello banderson. YES! That is what I meant, the broiler. I have been away from home for 18 years. They call it a grill here. Same thing. I just couldn't remember. I can't see a better way. Maybe someone knows better. Thank you.
Keep Smokin!
Danny
 

banderson7474

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I think the only other way is dropping it in a fryer for a cpl mins but that seems like a lot just for a few mins...think the broiler is the way to go.
 

kit s

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Hmmm maybe a butane torch to put that sear on....A friend of mine had that same problem. He spatched cocked it loosened the skin from the meat but just didn't have the skin turn out as crispy as he wanted. Not sure what he may have tried,.
 

kc5tpy

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HEY! This is getting better. Break out the smoker AND the welding tools! WIN! WIN! LOL! :)
 

Bearcarver

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I haven't done any Duck, but I haven't had any trouble with Turkey Breast Skin or Chicken Thigh Skin in my MES at 275° near the end of the Smoke.

Bear
 

kc5tpy

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HELLO Bear. Long time. I hope you and yours are well. Using wood I can't "ramp it up". But we are on the same page. Only solution I can think of.
 

chilerelleno

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Your best and easiest bet for truly crispy skin is the broiler.
You can leave it on the smoker longer and pull with a higher IT when going to the broiler due to it's quickness.

A very hot grill is the other way, but it needs to come out of the smoker with a lower IT as it generally takes more time.
I do mine on the second rack over high direct heat.

Same goes for bacon wrapped items, the broiler can quickly get that bacon actually crunchy.

Now another couple of tricks for crispy poultry skin.
Baking powder and air drying.
Baking powder mixed in a 1:3 ratio with fine salt, I use 1 heaping teaspoon to 1 Tablespoon, and I make about 1C for a chicken and 2C for a turkey.
Pat your bird dry, now heavily rub all the skin with the mixture, and into the fridge uncovered for 12-24 hours to both air dry and dry brine.
Once you pull the bird for cooking you can season it as normal.
Then smoke at 300'-375', I tell ya that skin will Pop! when ya bite it.
 
Last edited:

kit s

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Your best and easiest bet for truly crispy skin is the broiler.
You can leave it on the smoker longer and pull with a higher IT when going to the broiler due to it's quickness.

A very hot grill is the other way, but it needs to come out of the smoker with a lower IT as it generally takes more time.
I do mine on the second rack over high direct heat.

Same goes for bacon wrapped items, the broiler can quickly get that bacon actually crunchy.

Now another couple of tricks for crispy poultry skin.
Cornstarch and air drying.
Cornstarch mixed in a 1:3 ratio with fine salt, I use 1 heaping teaspoon to 1 Tablespoon.
Pat your bird dry, now heavily rub all the skin with the mixture, and into the fridge uncovered for 12-24 hours to both air dry and dry brine.
Once you pull the bird for cooking you can season it as normal.
Chili
Is that 1 cornstarch to 3 salt? Just want to confirm
 

gmc2003

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I believe it was foamheart who recommends forming a good pellicle on poultry before smoking to get a crispy skin at lower temps.

Chris
 

chilerelleno

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I believe it was foamheart who recommends forming a good pellicle on poultry before smoking to get a crispy skin at lower temps.

Chris
And for the uninitiated, that pellicle is formed by either of two ways.
As I described, a dry brine and air drying in the fridge, or with a wet brine, then pat dry and air dry in the fridge or under a fan.
Also, I forgot to add, when you go to either add seasonings and/or put the bird in the smoker, oil or butter the skin.
And cook that bird at anywhere from 250°-325°.
 

GaryHibbert

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Welcome back Old Friend. Good to see you posting again.
Kevin (foamheart) recommends rubbing the skin thoroughly with cooking oil AFTER a good pellicle has formed on the skin and finishing the bird at about 300 degrees. Tried that but all I got was bite through skin on chicken thigh quarters.
Gary
 

wade

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Welcome back Danny. It is really good to see you posting again :)

Last weekend Paul (TheNegativeOne) cooked two ducks on Webers - one an indirect spatchcock and the other on a rotisserie. Both came out with good skin. They were not what I would call crisp though due to the fatty nature of the duck meat. I think that your suggestion of the hot oven would work if you want the skin particularly crisp.

Paul with his Heath Robinson rotisserie cover...
Food Prep 10.jpg
 

kit s

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Chili
One more question on your dry brine.
Does it make it salty?
 

smokin monkey

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Hi Danny, how’s it going? Hot oven to crisp the skin is the way to go.

PM me anytime.
 

kc5tpy

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Thank you guys. Many old friends offering help. Long time for me. WILL give those things a try.
Keep Smokin!
Danny
 

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