Why is sous vide duck the way to go?
Duck. When cooked well, it is ridiculously delicious. Crunchy skin on the outside and juicy on the inside, duck is rich in flavor and loaded with protein. But when duck is overcooked it’s flavorless, chewy, dry and generally hard to eat. So duck is often a meat that people never cook at home with traditional cooking methods. But sous vide cooking creates a restaurant quality duck dish every time.
The reason that sous vide works so well with tender cuts of meat like duck is that the amount of heat being applied never rises above the finished temperature. Plus all the juices and extra fat stay close to the meat which adds to the dish’s flavor.
Given duck is best eaten medium rare, cooking it sous vide is a no brainer. This is probably why sous viders love cooking duck in their own kitchens to rave reviews from their families and guests.
So what can you do with this very tasty bird?
You have plenty of options when it comes to cooking duck sous vide. Cooking duck breast is often the first thing cooks think about. But there are other delicious options as well. These include:
- Sous Vide Confit Duck – you can confit the legs and the wings
- Sous Vide Duck Legs
- Sous Vide Whole Duck – our tip here is to use all parts of your duck BUT do not cook it whole. This is because different parts of the whole bird taste better at different times and temperatures. Here is a detailed recipe from Foodie Moment complete with pictures of breaking your duck apart before cooking it sous vide.
Sous vide duck goes well with sweet or sour flavors that cut through the fatty meat deliciously. So try serving your duck with a zesty side dish. Check out these some perfect side dish partners from Maple Leaf Farms.
Can you eat rare sous vide duck?
As with any poultry, there is always a chance that duck harbors harmful bacteria. But cooking duck is a little different than cooking other poultry like chicken and turkey. That is because it is actually a red meat. As with other red meats some people prefer to eat duck medium or medium rare.
Sous Vide Duck Breast
Interestingly, some say that cooking duck breast sous vide is not as good as a properly cooked pan seared duck breast. The key argument here is that you can’t render enough fat without over cooking the meat. But there are plenty of sous viders out there who swear by their amazing sous vide duck breast cooking results!
Great British Chefs has a quick video that walks you through preparing your sous vide duck breast step by step.
Brown before or after your sous vide cook?
To top off your delicious sous vide duck dish have a think about when you will brown the meat. There is one big advantage of browning a chilled duck breast, skin side down in a cold pan for a few minutes before dropping it in your water bath. It reduces the amount of time it takes to get nice crispy duck skin before serving.
The downside of browning first is that it does tend to shrink the duck a bit. But most sous viders think it is still worth searing your duck pre-cook because it means that the duck breast will spend less time in the pan at the end of your sous vide cook to keep it medium-rare.
The Best Sous Vide Duck Cooking Resources
We all know how popular it is to take pics of your delicious food. In the sous vide cooking world, duck falls into the category of “I just want to reach in and take a piece of that” category.
There are plenty of great guides out there to help you cook your sous vide duck perfectly. Here’s some links to the most comprehensive guides available:
The equipment you need to cook sous vide duck:
You just need the usual sous vide tools to cook duck sous vide:
Added extras (but by no means essential):
- A clamp to hold your duck food pouch under the water in your water bath
- Water balls which act as an insulator over the top of your water bath
Key Sous Vide Duck Hints and Tips
Tip 1. Save any fat that renders from your duck cooking. Duck fat is really expensive and can be used for loads of other cooking projects.
Tip 2. Remember that thick skin is where a lot of the flavor comes from so you need to remember to render it down in a hot pan before or after it goes in your sous vide water bath
Tip 3. Consider adding smoke paprika to bring out the richness in the duck along with some fresh thyme to add some bright herbal notes
Tip 4. Crisp your duck in the pan instead of using a grill or torch. This means you can use the fat left in the pan for finishing whatever you are eating with the duck or making a sauce
Sous Vide Duck on Socials
Sous vide duck isn’t as popular as sous vide steak but the pics that are out look to die for. Check out the following socials to see what people are raving about.
Sous Vide Duck Hashtags on Instagram
Use #sousvideduck. You will find some great photos and tips to take on board
Reddit’s take on sous vide duck
Reddit has a super large sous vide forum which is really helpful when you need a little sous vide cooking advice. Check out these links about cooking duck sous vide for more inspiration:
Recommended Facebook Group for Sous Vide Duck
One of the better Sous Vide Groups to join on Facebook is Exploring Sous Vide Public Group. You will find a passionate sous vide cooking community helping one another to up their sous vide cooking game here. Not only will you be able to ask all the sous vide duck recipe questions you like, but you can hear and contribute to posts from other sous vide lovers around the world.
YouTube clips showcasing sous vide duck
There are a bucket load of sous vide duck cooking Youtube clips online. So if you are a visual learner, then tune in to some of the following videos for some great hints and tips on cooking your duck beautifully:
Check out this Sous Vide Duck Breast Perfection from Sous Vide Everything…
And this crispy, juicy looking duck dish from the team at ChefSteps…(approx 2 minutes)
More Sous Vide Duck recipes
Looking for some succulent sous vide duck recipes? Check out a range of sous vide recipe websites for inspiration.
We’d love to hear your sous vide duck cooking hints and tips so we can share them with the ever growing group of sous vide enthusiasts out there. Feel free to leave comments in the section below.
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Pan Roasted Duck Recipe (non sous vide)