FAQ: Duck Meat & Its Preparations

Cooking duck may seem like a daunting task, especially if you are not familiar with it.
We have taken the liberty of answering some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs), helping you on your way to becoming a master in duck preparation!
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Is duck difficult to prepare?

No, duck meat is surprisingly easy to prepare and very versatile. It can be paired with various flavours and therefore used for many different occasions. Please refer to our Recipe tab for delicious and easy-to-prepare recipes.

How do I know if duck meat is fresh?

Study the colour of the meat. Although duck meat is darker in colour than other poultry, spoiled duck meat takes on either a yellowish-greenish or greyish tone. The texture of the meat should feel firm and slightly moist, but not slimy. Fresh duck meat is naturally a bit gamy, but spoiled duck meat assumes a putrid odour.

What is the best way to store duck?

Keep frozen duck in a freezer at -20°C (degree Celsius). If you have thawed (defrosted) the raw duck, do not refreeze it, unless you have cooked it. Once defrosted, keep raw meet refrigerated at not more than 5°C and use within 3 – 4 days.

How do I defrost duck the best way?

It is best to defrost a whole duck in the refrigerator, as opposed to defrosting it on a counter. Smaller pieces, like a breast, will defrost overnight, but a whole duck can take up to two days or more. For faster defrosting, submerge the duck in cold water. Note however that the water should be changed every half an hour.

How long does it take to cook duck?

Panfried duck breast is the quickest dish to prepare, flash frying it on either side for about 3-5min and resting the fillet for a further 5min.

Duck legs are best enjoyed slow-cooked and make a wonderful casserole or potjie. Braise for 3 hours at low heat (about 120°C) in a closed roasting pan or potjie.

The general rule when cooking a whole duck is 40 minutes for every kilogram (40min/kg) at 180°C, depending on the oven. However, it is important to let the duck rest for about 20 minutes once it has been removed from the oven. The resting should take place before you portion the duck into smaller pieces. This ensures that the juices are retained.

Is duck healthy?

Yes, duck meat is a healthy and flavourful meat, rich with proteins and other nutrients. Read more about its Nutritional Facts.