Charcoal Roasted Duck

Normally I’d call this “barbecued” but, since this requires indirect cooking in a kettle barbecue, “charcoal roasted” seems to be a more accurate description. This is simply a pleasant way to cook a duck so the fat runs out and the skin goes crisp (we hope). It should look after itself for two hours so go for a relaxing walk in the sunshine while it cooks gently and you work out what veggies to have with it.


serves: 2
preparation time: 30 mins
cooking time: 2 hrs


  • 2 – 2½ kg duckling
  • salt & pepper


First of all, fire up the charcoal. I use a charcoal funnel and it takes about 30 minutes to burn up.

While the charcoal is burning up, slash the duck’s skin into a diamond pattern; about 1cm between the slashes. Try not to cut through the fat layer to the flesh but do go through the skin. Remember to do the sides and underside of the duck and not just the top.

When the charcoal is ready, tip it into the side rails/bins of your kettle barbecue and place a drip tray in the centre. Season the duck well with salt and pepper nd put it in the centre of the barbecue over the drip tray. Cut the air controls back to about a third to keep the temperature a little lower to cook the duck gently and allow the fat to run.

Go for a walk in the woods or along the canal for about 1½ hours. This will give you time to prepare some veggies after your return and before you rescue the duck after cooking for 2 hours.

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