is supported by our Pitmaster Club. Also, when you buy with links on our site we may earn a finder’s fee. Click to see how we test and review products.

Grill Roasted Peking Duck Recipe

Share on:
Smoked and sliced Peking duck

If I had to describe this dish in one word it would be “deculent,” a perfect marriage of decadent and succulent. Or is that “duck-ulent”? 

Reportedly created during the Ming Dynasty, roasted Peking duck is a cornerstone of Beijing cuisine and is considered a national dish of China.

For me, my love affair with Peking duck began approximately 20 years ago during a business dinner at one of New York’s finest Chinese restaurants. Arriving at the table whole, the duck was a rich mahogany color with perfectly crisped skin that immediately begged to be devoured.

The waiter sliced the duck right before our eyes, inviting us to wrap the tender meat and crisp skin in a thin Mandarin pancake along with Hoisin sauce and sliced green onions. The first bite brought a symphony of flavors perfectly melding rich duck with tangy sauce, crunchy skin, and zesty green onion.

Fast forward to my first attempt at replicating the dish at home. After roasting the whole duck for several hours on the grill, the skin was perfectly browned and the meat mouthwateringly juicy. When cut in to, however, the skin was still flabby and full of fat. Intent on perfecting the grilled Peking duck dish, I spent several hours researching a variety of tips for obtaining the cracklingly crisp skin that is the hallmark of great Peking duck. Eventually, I settled on a series of techniques that, although time consuming, are well worth the effort.

You begin by gently working your fingers under the skin to separate it from the flesh. Next, blanch the duck with hot water in order to tighten the skin and begin rendering the thick layer of fat beneath it. After blanching, pierce the duck skin all over to help drain off the fat as the duck cooks. Then you glaze the skin with a soy, vinegar, and honey mixture for flavor and extra crispness (the honey helps with crisping). Finally, you dust the duck with a combination of baking powder and salt to help remove excess moisture while the duck air-dries for several hours before roasting.

Grill Roasted Peking Duck Recipe

Smoked Peking duck
Tried this recipe?Tell others what you thought of it and give it a star rating below.
3.67 from 95 votes
Roasted Peking duck is a cornerstone of Beijing cuisine and is considered a national dish of China.

Serve with: hot tea or a Chinese beer such as Tsingtao.

Main Course


Servings: 8 servings


Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Refrigeration: 14 hours


  • 1 whole duck approximately 5 pounds (2.3 kg)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon  Morton Coarse Kosher Salt 
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Mandarin pancakes
  • hoisin sauce
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced
About the rice vinegar. This is less strong, about 4% acetic acid, than most commercial white vinegars or even cider vinegar, which are often 6% or more. Most good groceries sell it as either plain or seasoned. Get the plain. If you must use white vinegar or cider vinegar, add a couple of tablespoons more water.
About the salt. Remember, kosher salt is half the concentration of table salt so if you use table salt, use half as much. Click here to read more about salt and how it works. 
About the baking powder. Seasoning duck with a combination of baking powder and salt is a technique inspired by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt of The mixture not only helps draw additional moisture from the duck but also raises the pH level, thereby ensuring evenly browned and crispy skin during the roasting process.
About the Mandarin pancakes. Sometimes labeled moo shu pancakes or Chinese pancakes, these small, thin pancakes are available at most international grocery stores. Alternatively, there are countless recipes for home made pancakes including this one from
About the Hoisin sauce. This thick sweet and salty sauce is a common glaze and dipping sauce in Chinese cuisine. It can be found in the international section of most major grocery stores.
Metric conversion:

These recipes were created in US Customary measurements and the conversion to metric is being done by calculations. They should be accurate, but it is possible there could be an error. If you find one, please let us know in the comments at the bottom of the page


  •  Prep. Remove the giblets, neck, and sauce packet from the duck’s cavity.
  • Starting on the cavity side, gently work your fingers under the skin to separate the skin and flesh.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Set the duck on a rack in the sink and ladle the hot water over the duck to tighten the skin, flipping it halfway through the process.
  • Prick the skin of the duck all over with the tip of a paring knife or metal skewer to help the fat drain more easily.
  • Combine the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and honey in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 15 seconds to liquefy the honey. Stir well to combine the ingredients. Brush the mixture all over the duck.
  • Combine the salt and baking powder in a small bowl. Mix well and sprinkle the mixture over the entire duck.
  • Refrigerate the duck uncovered on an elevated rack for at least six hours and up to overnight so that the skin can air dry.
  • Fire up. Place a disposable aluminum roasting pan in the center of the grill’s charcoal grate to avoid flare-ups from dripping duck fat. Arrange hot briquets on both sides of the pan. Adjust the grill vents to bring the temperature to about 325°F (162.8°C). Add 2 to 3 chunks of your favorite smoking wood to the charcoal for flavor. If you’re using a gas grill, remove the main cooking grate and place a disposable aluminum pan on one side of the grill directly on top of the burner covers. Replace the main cooking grates and adjust the temperature knobs so that the side containing the aluminum pan (the indirect side) is off and the other side is heated enough to maintain a temperature of approximately 325°F (162.8°C) on the indirect side.
  • Cook. Place the duck breast side up directly above the aluminum pan. Set the lid on the grill with the top vent fully open.
  • Allow the duck to roast for approximately 2 1/2 hours until the skin is golden brown and crispy and the internal temperature of the breast has reached 165°F (73.9°C).
  • Serve. Remove the duck from the grill. Wrap the pancakes in a layer of moist paper towels and microwave for 15 seconds to warm them and to make them easier to separate. Thinly slice the duck and serve along with the pancakes, hoisin sauce, and green onion.

Related articles

Published On: 12/2/2017 Last Modified: 10/26/2021

Share on:
  • Clint Cantwell - Clint Cantwell is's Senior Vice President of Whatever, charged with creating recipes, writing articles, shooting photos, and a little bit of everything else. He was named one of the "10 Faces of Memphis Barbecue" by Memphis Magazine and was the winner of Travel Channel's "American Grilled: Memphis".


High quality websites are expensive to run. If you help us, we’ll pay you back bigtime with an ad-free experience and a lot of freebies!

Millions come to every month for high quality tested recipes, tips on technique, science, mythbusting, product reviews, and inspiration. But it is expensive to run a website with more than 2,000 pages and we don’t have a big corporate partner to subsidize us.

Our most important source of sustenance is people who join our Pitmaster Club. But please don’t think of it as a donation. Members get MANY great benefits. We block all third-party ads, we give members free ebooks, magazines, interviews, webinars, more recipes, a monthly sweepstakes with prizes worth up to $2,000, discounts on products, and best of all a community of like-minded cooks free of flame wars. Click below to see all the benefits, take a free 30 day trial, and help keep this site alive.

Post comments and questions below


1) Please try the search box at the top of every page before you ask for help.

2) Try to post your question to the appropriate page.

3) Tell us everything we need to know to help such as the type of cooker and thermometer. Dial thermometers are often off by as much as 50°F so if you are not using a good digital thermometer we probably can’t help you with time and temp questions. Please read this article about thermometers.

4) If you are a member of the Pitmaster Club, your comments login is probably different.

5) Posts with links in them may not appear immediately.



Click for comments...

Create perfectly crisp and juicy peking duck on the grill.


These are not ads or paid placements. These are some of our favorite tools and toys.

These are products we have tested, won our top awards, and are highly recommend. Click here to read how we test, about our medals, and what they mean.

Use Our Links To Help Keep Us Alive

A big part of this site is our unbiased equipment and product reviews. We love playing with toys and we have no problem calling them the way we see them. Some companies pay a finder’s fee if a reader clicks a link on and buys a product. It has zero impact on our reviews, zero impact on the price you pay, and the sites never tell us what you bought, but it has a major impact on our ability to keep this site alive! So before you buy, please click our links. Here’s a link that takes you to a page on Amazon that has some of our favorite tools and toys:

Compact Powerful Sear Machine For Your Next Tailgater

Char-Broil’s Grill2Go x200 is a super-portable, fun little sizzler made of heavy, rust-proof cast aluminum. The lid snaps shut. Grab the handle and you’re off to the party! Char-Broil’s TRU-Infrared design produces searing heat while reducing fuel consumption. A 16 ounce LP gas canister is enough to keep you flipping burgers for hours.

Click here to read our detailed review and to order

Surely you know somebody who loves outdoor cooking who deserves a gift for the holidays, birthday, anniversary, or just for being wonderful. There he is, right in the mirror! Here are our selections of best ideas, all Platinum or Gold Medalists, listed by price.

Click here to see our list of Gold Medal Gifts

GrillGrates Take Gas Grills To The Infrared Zone

GrillGrates(TM) amplify heat, prevent flareups, make flipping foods easier, kill hotspots, flip over to make a fine griddle, and can be easily moved from one grill to another. You can even throw wood chips, pellets, or sawdust between the rails and deliver a quick burst of smoke.

Click here for more about what makes these grates so special

Our Favorite Backyard Smoker

The amazing Karubecue is the most innovative smoker in the world. The quality of meat from this machine is astonishing. At its crux is a patented firebox that burns logs above the cooking chamber and sucks heat and extremely clean blue smoke into the thermostat controlled oven. It is our favorite smoker, period.
Click here for our review of this superb smoker

Fireboard: The Ultimate Top Of The Line BBQ Thermometer

Fireboard Labs Product Photo Shoot. Kansas City Commercial Portrait and Wedding Photographers ©Kevin Ashley Photography

With the ability to monitor up to six temperatures simultaneously with either Bluetooth or Wifi on your mobile phone, tablet, or computer, Fireboard is the best digital thermometer we’ve tested.
Click here to read our detailed review

Bring The Heat With Broil King Signet’s Dual Tube Burners

3 burner gas grill

The Broil King Signet 320 is a modestly priced, 3-burner gas grill that packs a lot of value and power under the hood. Broil King’s proprietary, dual-tube burners get hot fast and are able to achieve high, searing temps that rival most comparatively priced gas grills. The quality cast aluminum housing carries a Limited Lifetime Warranty.

Click here to read our complete review

The Efficiency Of A Kamado Plus The Flexibility Of The Slow ‘N Sear Insert

kamado grill
Built around SnS Grill’s patented Slow ‘N Sear charcoal kettle accessory, this 22-inch kamado is a premium ceramic grill that brings true 2-zone cooking to a kamado.

Click here for our article on this exciting cooker