The Best Way to Cook a Frozen Duck

Proper thawing is the secret to well cooked frozen duck.
Image Credit: Vladimir Mironov/iStock/GettyImages

There are several different breeds of ducks that are cooked and served in the United States: white Peking, moulard, Muscovy and mallard. Ducks yield white meat and are classified as poultry.


Since they're harder to raise, duck meat isn't as common as chicken, geese or turkey. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), duck is usually imported from Asia, so it's sold frozen. Thus, to cook frozen duck well, it's important to thaw it properly.

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Things You'll Need

  • 1 whole duck

  • Cold water

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon rock salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • Skewer

  • Basting brush

  • Roasting tin

  • Meat thermometer


  1. Thaw the duck in the refrigerator for at least a day.
    • Alternately, put the frozen duck in a leak-proof bag and immerse it completely in a large bowl of cold water. Change this water every 30 minutes with cold, clean water. A whole duck can thaw in about 3 to 4 hours using this method.
  2. Mix together the olive oil, salt and pepper and set aside.
  3. Prick the duck using a skewer so that it can cook well throughout. Making shallow holes in the duck also allows the fat to penetrate the duck completely, making it juicier.
  4. Apply the seasoning all over the duck, using a basting brush.
  5. Grease a roasting tin all over and place the duck in it.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit.
  7. Place the roasting pan in the oven and allow the duck to roast for about 30 minutes.
  8. Insert a meat temperature into the thickest part of the duck to check the temperature. The duck is thoroughly cooked when it is 165 degrees Fahrenheit in its fleshiest part.
  9. Remove from the oven and serve whole or cut into smaller pieces.


Cooking duck on a grill or through direct heat isn't recommended. Always use an oven or skillet to cook duck.

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