« Take Me Back
Prep Time:
60 Minutes
Marinade Time:
24 to 36 Hours
Grill time:
60 to 120 Minutes

BBQ Peking Duck

With Homemade Spring Pancakes

Posted on by Andrea Alden
BBQ Peking Duck
Serves 4
Prep Time:
Marinade Time: 24 to 36 Hours
Grill time: 60 to 120 Minutes

BBQ Peking Duck is popular Asian inspired recipe, found in many restaurants. Often romanticized – you just can’t get authentic Peking Duck, unless you go here – you can now make it at home. This recipe is a little labor intensive and requires some patience when going to make it, but the wait will pay off when you bite into that crisp skin and succulent meat. Serve your BBQ Peking Duck with hoisin sauce, sliced cucumber, and green onion, on fresh spring pancakes.

The secret to a perfect Peking Duck is to allow the skin to dry. Much like our recipe for Grilled Pork Belly, airflow and time are integral to the process. Another trick is to separate the skin from the meat. To do this, most professionals use an air compressor to literally inflate the duck. Now, unless you’re a DIY-er or something, you likely won’t have one of those on hand, however, I used a cheap air pump that I found at the dollar store for inflating soccer balls. Just make sure to wash it before and after.

Blanch, marinade, hang
Blanch, marinade, hang
Once dry, prep for rotissing
Once dry, prep for rotissing
Look at that golden hue
Look at that golden hue

BBQ Peking Duck

Serves: 4       Total Time: 3 Hours + Marinade Time


For the Peking Duck:
  • 1 whole fresh duck
  • 2 tbsp. five spice powder
  • 4 star anise
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 3-inch knob of ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • sea salt to taste
  • 2 cups water
  • apple or cherry wood chips
For the Marinade:
  • ¼ cup Shao Xing cooking wine or sake
  • ¼ cup liquid honey
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
For the Pancakes:
  • 2 cups plain flour plus extra for dusting
  • pinch of fine grain table salt
  • pinch of onion powder
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • sesame oil
To serve:
  • hoisin sauce
  • 1 cucumber cut into strips
  • pepper (sweet or hot), bean sprouts, cucumber, and green onions, sliced into strips


Step 1
Begin by cleaning your duck of any remaining feathers using a pair of clean pliers or tweezers. Remove the neck and any gizzards that are in the body cavity too – save these for an amazing stock later. Season the cavity with 1 tbsp. of five spice powder, then fill it with 2 star anise, ½ of the sliced orange, half of the sliced ginger, and garlic. Use a skewer to “sew” the duck cavity shut.
Step 2
Using an air compressor or a manual air pump insert the nozzle into the neck cavity, under the skin. Squeeze the skin tight around the nozzle so that no air escapes and inflate that duck. You may need to do this for both the front and the back, at the neck and at the tail. This step goes a long way to making the skin incredibly crispy, however you CAN skip inflating the duck and move right to step 3.
Step 3
DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP! In your Napoleon Stainless Steel Wok, combine the remaining five spice, star anise, orange slices, ginger slices, salt, and 2 cups of water. Bring the mixture to a boil. While the water and spices are heating, thoroughly pat your duck dry with paper towel. Use meat hooks or butcher’s twine to create a handle by tying string under the arms of the duck. Make sure there’s slack so you are not touching the duck when holding the handle. Use a wood skewer to prop the two wings apart. This stretches the back skin flat making it crispier in the end.
Step 4
When the water is boiling, hold the duck by the handle you created, then carefully ladle the boiling mixture over the duck while holding it above the wok. It helps if you have someone to help you with this part.
Step 5
For the marinade, combine the cooking wine, honey, and soy sauce. Holding the duck from the handle over a plate or a tray, brush on a couple coats of the marinade.
Step 6
Hang the duck upright in the fridge if you can, placing something under it to catch drips and excess marinade. If you cannot make room in your fridge to hang the duck upright, place it on a wire rack over a deep baking dish. Let the duck dry for at least 24 hours if not 36 hours. The longer the duck dries for, the better the results. If you can, do this step in the evening, for example on a Friday, then cook the duck on the Sunday. The duck skin will become slightly tacky and change from pale to a deep, red-amber color.
Step 7
Preheat your grill to 375°F using the rear burner. Fill your Napoleon Smoker Tube with soaked wood chips. Place the tube over one of the outside burners. Light the burner and turn it to low.
Step 8
Remove the duck from the fridge and remove the butcher’s twine handle. Place the duck onto the spit, being careful to balance the load. Place the spit onto the grill and turn on the rotisserie motor and place a pan underneath to catch the drips. Roast the duck for up to 60 minutes before checking the temperature with an instant read thermometer. The goal is 135°F inside. When the duck reaches 125°F to 130°F, turn the rear burner to high to hit that skin with one last blast of heat before it reaches finished temperature.
Step 9
While the duck is on the grill, make the spring pancakes. In a bowl, mix the flour, salt, and onion powder. Add the boiling water, and mix with a spoon until you have a sort of shaggy dough. Flour your hands and a work surface, then turn everything in the bowl onto your work surface. Knead everything together until it’s cohesive. Refrigerate for 5 to 15 minutes to allow the dough to cool a little.
Step 10
Divide the dough into 12 to 14 equal balls and then using a floured rolling pin, roll them out until they’re about the thickness of a crepe. Brush one side with sesame oil and place onto a sheet of waxed paper. Repeat until you have used all of the dough. Fry the pancakes for about a minute per side over low heat, until they resemble a cooked crepe.
Step 11
To serve, remove the back skin, then the meat. Flip the bird over and remove the breasts, skin and all. Slice the breasts thinly. Serve on a spring pancake smeared with hoisin sauce, topped with veggies, then duck, and extra crackling skin.
Succulent meat, crispy skin
Succulent meat, crispy skin
What an amazing meal
What an amazing meal
It tastes so good!
It tastes so good!

This recipe is definitely a lot more work than usual, however, I think you will agree that the end result of BBQ Peking Duck was worth the effort. If you can find them, do purchase the pancakes. I had to make my own because I couldn’t find them in a store. Although they added to the authenticity, I would have preferred to have one less step, and certainly won’t judge if you choose to do the same. Tell us about your biggest labor-of-love recipe by sharing on social like our Napoleon Facebook or Napoleon Grills Instagram pages. Use the hashtags #IntenseBBQrecipe and #NapoleonGrill.

Happy Grilling!

Featured In This Recipe