How to Defrost a Duck

Written by monica patrick
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How to Defrost a Duck
The fatty part of the duck is concentrated in the skin. (John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

According to top chef Gordon Ramsay, a duck "is a fantastic bird for a Sunday roast." Since fresh duck is not readily available everywhere, some duck lovers must rely on frozen birds. Poultry must be cooked thoroughly -- a tough task when your duck meat is frozen. The first step in frozen duck preparation is defrosting. You need to have time for thawing and allow the duck ample time to come to room temperature.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


    Sink Method

  1. 1

    Fill a sink nearly full with cold water. Place the packaged frozen duck in the water.

  2. 2

    Set a timer for 30 minutes, allowing the duck to rest in the water for the full time. Remove the still-frozen bird.

  3. 3

    Drain and refill the sink with cold water and replace the duck. Set your timer again for 30 minutes. Do this until the duck is fully defrosted, 4 to 6 hours before cooking.

    Microwave Defrosting

  1. 1

    Read the packaging to determine how many pounds your bird is. Place the duck in a microwave-safe bowl or tray.

  2. 2

    Microwave the duck using the defrost setting according to the bird's weight.

  3. 3

    Cook the duck immediately after defrosting in the microwave.

Tips and warnings

  • Defrost duck breast in the refrigerator overnight. A whole frozen duck will take two days to thaw.

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