Grilled Duck Breasts

Grilled Duck Breasts

Duck is a protein we aren’t cooking enough. These grilled duck breasts are seasoned with a bold Chinese five-spice-inspired paste before they head to a grill fueled by the sweet smoke of applewood. The result is nothing short of flavor-packed, tender, and juicy duck breasts with crispy, crackling skin!
Servings 4
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes


  • Z Grills 7052B Wood Pellet Grill with Wi-Fi
  • Z Grills Apple Wood Pellets
  • wire rack
  • Baking Sheet
  • Blender
  • Cast iron skillet
  • Tongs
  • Probe Thermometer


  • 4 duck breasts, skin-on
  • ½ yellow onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground star anise
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves


  • Pat the duck with paper towels to dry, then place the breasts on a wire rack over a baking sheet. Leave to dry out at room temperature for 30 minutes. This will result in super crispy skin.
  • Meanwhile, blend the onion, garlic, salt, orange zest, and spices into a paste using a high-speed blender.
  • Preheat your Z-Grills (preferably with branded wood pellets) or other wood pellet grill to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Once hot, transfer a cast iron skillet or griddle to the grill to heat up. Any duck fat that renders will make a mess of your pellet grill if you don’t use a skillet or griddle.
  • Apply the paste to the duck breasts, then transfer them to the skillet/griddle skin-side down, close the lid, and grill for 15 minutes or until they are a beautiful golden brown.
  • Transfer the breasts directly to the grates skin-side up, close the lid, and grill for 15 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 135 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Remove from the grill, rest for 10 minutes, then slice and serve.


If you don’t have a probe thermometer, you can use the finger test to determine doneness. To test, press the duck breast with your finger. It should feel firm yet tender and spring back slightly.
Calories: 490kcal
Cost: 50
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Grilled, Poultry

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Z Grills

Z Grills is a grill manufacturer with over 30 years of experience within the industry. With over 650,000 pellet grills sold and 85 million cooks made, trust us.

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