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Rotisserie Duck, Peking Style

Rotisserie Peking Duck

Rotisserie Peking Duck

Peking duck is a classic recipe at the Chinese-American restaurants I grew up with.  Much to my surprise, it’s an authentic Chinese recipe as well.  This post was inspired by Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations in Beijing.  The Li Qun Roast Duck Restaurant cooks their ducks by hanging them over a roaring fire in a huge wood fired oven.  I took one look at the ducks browning over the fire, and I knew I had to try it myself.
*If you’ve enjoyed Tony’s books and TV shows, you might want to check this out.  His…well, warped sense of humor is in full view in: Anthony Bourdain’s Alternate Universe.  It’s the Tony Bourdain cartoon!  Just don’t say I didn’t warn you about the “warped” part…

Recipe: Rotisserie Peking Duck




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Rotisserie Peking Duck

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Prep Time: 8 hours
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 9 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2-4 1x


Rotisserie Duck, Peking Style – a Chinese classic on the grill.


  • 1 (6-pound) duck
  • 3 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt (or 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt)

For the cavity

  • 1/2 tangerine (or orange)
  • 2 scallions, trimmed and cut into 1” pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 slices of ginger (each roughly the size of a quarter)
  • 1/2 tsp five spice powder
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil


  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • Juice of 1/2 tangerine (or orange)


  1. Dry Brine the Duck: 24 to 48 hours before you want to start cooking, salt the duck evenly, inside and out. Put the duck on a rack over a roasting pan or baking sheet, and store in the refrigerator, uncovered. (This dries out the skin to help it crisp up, and gives the salt time to dry brine the duck.)
  2. Prep the duck: One hour before cooking, remove the duck from the refrigerator. Put all the stuffing ingredients except for the half a tangerine into a small bowl. Toss the stuffing ingredients until well coated with the oil and five spice powder. Pat the duck dry with paper towels, then poke the skin on the breast and thighs all over with a paring knife, being careful not to pierce the meat. (I do this by coming at the duck from a very low angle, almost parallel to the skin.) Stuff the duck with the half a tangerine and the stuffing mix. Finally, truss the duck, and skewer it on your rotisserie spit. Let it rest at room temperature while you prepare the grill.
  3. Set the grill up for indirect medium-high heat: Set the grill up for rotisserie cooking at medium-high heat (400°F). For my Weber Summit, I remove the grill grates, turn the two outer burners (burners 1 and 6) to high, and turn the infrared burner to high. Then I put my drip pan in the middle, over the unlit burners, and let the grill preheat for ten to fifteen minutes.
  4. Make the sauce: While the grill is preheating, put all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine.
  5. Cook the duck: Put the spit on the grill, and cook the duck with the lid closed for 1 to 2 hours. After 45 minutes, check the duck; if the duck is browning well, turn off the infrared rotisserie burner (or reduce the heat to medium – 350°F). The duck is done when it reaches 180°F in the deepest part of the thigh, about an hour and a half of total cooking time. Brush the duck with sauce, close the lid, and cook for another five minutes to tighten up the sauce. Brush the duck with another layer of the sauce, then take it off the grill.
  6. Carve the duck: Remove the duck from the rotisserie spit (carefully – it is branding iron hot), and cut away the twine. Let the duck rest for 10 minutes. Cut off the wings and legs, and serve them bone in; carve the breasts off the carcass, and slice them into 1/2″ thick slices. I like to serve by putting the carved pieces of duck on a platter and drizzling with a little of the sauce. Then I give everyone a little bowl of sauce for dipping, and let them serve themselves from the platter.
  • Category: Rotisserie
  • Cuisine: Chinese


Ready to stuff the cavity

Ready to stuff the cavity

Trussed, spit, and ready for the grill

Trussed, spit, and ready for the grill

Done, ready to carve

Done, ready to carve

Carved and ready to serve

Carved and ready to serve

*I serve this with a side of white rice and a stir-fried vegetable or two.  Any leftover sauce is great drizzled on the rice.

*For Peking duck in the style of your local Chinese restaurant,  you should also serve Chinese pancakes and scallion shreds on the side.  You should be able to find the pancakes at your local asian market.

Questions? Suggestions?  Ideas?  Leave them in the comments.

Related Posts:
Rotisserie Duck
Stir Fried Bok Choy
Basic White Rice

Adapted From: Steven Raichlen’s Rotisserie episode of “Primal Grill”


Check out my cookbook, Rotisserie Grilling.

Everything you could ask about the rotisserie,
plus 50 (mostly) new recipes to get you cooking.

It’s a Kindle e-book, so you can download it and start reading immediately!

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Filed under: Rotisserie


Hi! I’m Mike Vrobel. I’m a dad and an enthusiastic home cook; an indie cookbook author and food blogger with a day job, a patient spouse, and three kids who would rather have hamburgers for dinner.


  1. Dan P says

    Delicious!!! We did this over charcoal on my basic 22″ Weber with an EZ Que rotisserie. 2 hours was spot on, and done perfectly. Thanks for posting this sir, we will for sure do this again for friends and family!

  2. Matthias says

    I was considering (based on a recipe from Cooks Illustrated) to “steam” the duck prior to putting it on the rotisserie… The idea being that you can get rid of some of the fat and also get it partially cooked. Not sure if the added moisture would kill your chances of getting crispy skin… Thoughts?

    • I think it will give you crispier skin, as long as you dry the skin afterwards. It seems like a lot of work, and not worth the effort – that’s why I’ve never tried it.

  3. Mark says

    Hey Mike. Duck is my desert island protein! Great recipe. I’m planning on doing this on my Weber gold (charcoal) with the rotisserie, which renders some seriously tasty chicken in about an hour. Do you think the duck carcass can be used to make a duck soup the day after? Also Steven Raichlen has a killer recipe for Scallion pancakes that I’ve used for years. A little more effort than buying buns but so worth it!

  4. Paul Hunter says

    Mike – first inspire to make this recipe when I bought your book. Found this updated version, made some comparisions with Raichlen’s recipe, and ran with this one with just a few personal small tweaks. This one is a keeper!
    This just might be a great base for Chinese BBQ ribs!!!
    Oh and the Crow Canyon Enamelware Roasting Pan is a must own!
    (BTW the book is a great inspiration for dinner ideas!).

  5. John says

    Delicious, Very Very close to the au authentic Beijing Peking duck

  6. Horatio Magellan says

    For your regular rotisserie chicken recipe, you salt under the breast skin. Is this not done here? In other words, do you salt over the skin?

    • It’s a real pain to separate the duck skin from the meat, so I skip it. That said, if you’re willing to do the work to separate it, it can’t hurt.

  7. Martin says

    Hi Mike…maybe u should include that step in the method. Seems to me it would add great flavour and crispiness.

  8. MrLucyTheBoxer says

    Hi, do you marinade the duck in a sauce or anything before you put it on the bbq? Is the colour of the skin in your photos just the natural browning of the skin? 

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