What Does Duck Taste Like? A Detailed Answer

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I always feel that sometimes it gets really monotonous when it comes to poultry, with all the chicken and turkey. Want more options? Then trust me, duck meat is worth a try! But, if you are a picky eater and would rather know what duck tastes like before eating it, this article is meant for you! 


Duck has a strong and gamey flavor as compared to chicken. In fact, the flavor of duck is closer to red meat as compared to poultry. Duck is fattier than various types of poultry, and if it is cooked properly, it has a delicious flavor that is a perfect combination of a tender, moist and fatty mouthfeel. 

Duck meat is extremely popular in Asian and French cuisines. There are a lot of recipes in these cuisines, especially where using duck meat is almost like a delicacy.

Duck meat is not preferred by everyone due to its stronger taste. However, with people being more open to trying different types of food, duck meat is slowly becoming popular everywhere. 

As duck is not as popular everywhere, some of you may have never tried this wonder of meat. But, if you have to attend something where duck is the only option of meat available, you don’t need to worry.

In this article, I will discuss what duck tastes like, how you can cook and store duck meat correctly, and also some nutritional information about the duck. 

Duck | From Farm To Fork

If you are into trying new food and are bored of the same old options, I am sure that this is the reason why you came to this article in the first place. Yes, there are various options when it comes to poultry.

But trust me, none of these options have the fatty mouthfeel that duck does. I know that the balance of flavors is what has probably inclined you towards trying duck meat. 

Duck meat is much fattier than certain other types of poultry and has a smoother mouthfeel. Duck is served quite often in various Asian cuisines, and one of the most famous recipes made with duck is good old Peking Duck! 

Duck meat does need to be cooked the right way and for the right amount of time, as it can get extremely chewy and rubbery if overcooked. However, there are various ways to cook duck meat, and if it is actually cooked properly with the correct flavors, it has a phenomenal taste. 

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What Does Duck Taste Like?

What Does Duck Taste Like?

Sometimes, when we intend to try new things, the thought of it can be very intimidating and overwhelming. This especially happens with trying new food and even more if you want to cook it yourself.

So, if you see duck meat in your local grocery store, don’t get intimidated and do buy it if you think you will like the flavor, as I will tell you all about its flavor and texture. 

The overall flavor of any type of duck is very close to red meat. It is gamier and denser in terms of flavor as compared to other types of bird meat due to its high-fat content. The fat content in the duck gives it a very smooth mouthfeel. But, this only applies if the duck is cooked correctly. 

In case the duck is overcooked, the excessive fat content can become troublesome rather than a good thing. The extra fat can end up creating an extremely rubbery texture. Moreover, the skin of a duck is much thicker than that of a chicken or turkey. It tastes meatier if the skin of the duck is made crisp while cooking. 

Duck fat is quite delicious, too, and the fat that oozes out of the duck once it is cooked can be used to fry various other things, just like you do with bacon fat! When we talk about the texture, raw duck meat has a darker color than other types of bird meat and is also tougher. It also has a wet but not slimy texture. 

Cooked duck meat has a dense texture which is also quite close to that of red meat. It is often greasy due to all the extra fat. Perfectly cooked duck meat is often pink on the inside with a luscious, juicy, and smooth mouthfeel. If cooked duck tastes rubbery or extremely chewy, it is most probably overcooked. 

A lot of people often say that it is okay to consume rare duck meat. However, duck, being poultry, still has chances of spreading salmonella if not cooked upto a safe temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. So, duck can be eaten medium rare and not rare; it will give you the juicy texture mentioned above when served so. 

What Is The Difference Between A Wild And A Farmed Duck In Terms Of Flavor?

Usually, most ducks that are seen at grocery stores are farmed ducks. Wild ducks are more difficult to find unless you have hunted one yourself. So, these two types of ducks are raised in different ways. The differences are in their taste and texture. 

Farmed ducks are usually slaughtered when they are 7-10 weeks of age. This is to make sure that you can get the most tender cut of duck meat. Wild ducks, on the other hand, can be of any age.

So, the tenderness of their meat will completely depend on how much of a body part is exercised and how old the duck is. The more tender the duck meat, the better flavor it imparts. 

Does Duck Actually Taste Good?

So, we all know that duck is closer to red meat in terms of flavor when compared to various types of poultry. However, someone who has never eaten red meat, may always wonder what duck tastes like.

Duck actually does taste really good for any meat lover out there. Duck is a much more flavorful and juicy meat alternative to regular poultry such as chicken or turkey. 

Does Duck Taste Like Liver?

A duck has a gamey flavor; many people do have a misconception that it may taste like liver or any other type of offal. However, duck meat is extremely juicy and fibrous and does not taste like liver at all.

Duck meat can taste like liver only in cases where it is overcooked. So, it’s important to remember that duck should be cooked to a medium-rare stage, just like steak. 

Does Duck Taste Like Turkey?

Does Duck Taste Like Turkey?

Turkey and duck, both a type of poultry, are often teamed in the same way when it comes to flavor. However, although duck and turkey are both types of poultry, there are major differences in the flavor of the two. 

Turkey has a rich taste and a firm texture compared to other types of poultry, such as chicken. But, turkey is not as juicy as duck is.

Duck meat has much more fat content, which gives you a smoother mouthful as compared to turkey. Moreover, duck meat is also tougher and closer in flavor to red meat. So, it does not really taste like turkey. 

Does Duck Taste Fishy?

There are various incidents where people have talked about duck meat tasting fishy. How can this happen, though, considering duck is a type of poultry. However, despite being a type of poultry, there are certain types of ducks that can taste fishy. 

Ducks are usually divided into two categories: dabblers and divers. Dabbler ducks mostly feed on grain, whereas diver ducks feed on fish and other aquatic animals.

So, in case you are eating diver duck’s meat, there are chances it will have a fishy taste. The amount of fishy flavor mostly depends on the amount of fish in a duck’s diet. 

Does Duck Taste Like Chicken?

Chicken and duck are scientifically classified into the same category, which is poultry. But, duck meat is much darker than chicken meat and is also denser, having a taste and texture more similar to red meat.

So, although both these birds come under the same category, chicken has a much leaner flavor and texture as compared to duck meat. Duck meat is much more intense and tastes nothing like chicken. 

Does Duck Taste Like Beef?

Duck meat is classified as poultry meat. However, it is much closer to red meat as per its characteristics. So, when we talk about the flavor of duck meat and compare it with the flavor of red meat, it can be safely said that duck does taste similar to beef. 

Does Duck Taste Like Steak?

Duck meat is often compared with red meat such as beef, due to its flavor and the fatty mouthfeel that it has. It is compared with steak by quite a lot of people. However, are there actually any similarities in their flavors?

Duck meat is cooked quite similar to steak, until it reaches a medium-rare stage. So, the way it is cooked and the fatty mouthfeel of duck meat is quite similar to that of steak. 

Does Duck Taste Like Goose?

Does Duck Taste Like Goose?

Duck and geese are both a type of gamey meat. They are both classified under poultry. However, they have a more robust and intense flavor as compared to other types of poultry, like chicken and turkey.

So, it is natural to think that a duck may have a flavor just like a goose. However, despite the many similarities, duck and goose have different flavors. 

Goose meat has a sweeter flavor and is much leaner than duck meat. Duck, on the other hand, is more robust and has a more meaty flavor, which is closer to the flavor of beef as compared to other types of poultry.

Goose meat also contains more fat than duck meat, making its meat juicier. The differences in flavor between the two have got to do with their diets and body composition. 

Does Duck Taste Like Gamey Meat?

Duck is considered to be gamey meat, as it has a strong flavor. However, what does gamey meat even taste like? And does duck taste like gamey meat? Let me answer these questions for you. 

Gamey meat has a strong and savory flavor which can be slightly sour too. It also has a very lean yet tough texture due to the muscular activities of gamey wild animals. Duck does have a gamey flavor and texture.

However, if cooked properly, this texture disappears. Once the duck is cooked properly, it becomes juicy and fatty with hints of sweetness, as compared to gamey meat. 

What Does Duck Egg Taste Like?

Duck eggs are very popularly used in various parts of the world. This is especially true for places where duck farming is more predominant than chicken farming. But, for some of us folks that have never tasted duck eggs before, it may be a mystery as to what they taste like. So, here is the answer to this mystery!

Duck eggs actually taste very similar to chicken eggs. Most people claim that there is barely any difference in the flavor of the two. However, some people have also claimed that duck eggs have a slightly richer flavor than chicken eggs.

The yolks of duck eggs are usually creamier than chicken eggs, and duck eggs have more albumen. The extra albumen in duck eggs makes baking with them really great as they give baked products a better structure. 

What Does Duck Breast Taste Like?

What Does Duck Breast Taste Like?

Duck breast is the most commonly consumed part of duck. Most people prefer using duck breast over other parts, as it has a fatty layer which gives it a smooth mouthfeel. So, we all know what the overall flavor of duck is like. But, let me tell you about what this particular part of a duck tastes like. 

Duck breast is a boneless cut of meat taken from the chest area of a duck. It is similar to chicken breast, however, it has a darker color and a more robust flavor.

The flavor is often described as something between chicken and beef. The flavor is stronger than chicken, but not as strong as beef. Duck breast is also fatty, which gives it a smoother mouthfeel. 

What Does Duck Fat Taste Like?

Duck meat is extremely fatty. The extra fat in the meat makes it easy to sear duck meat without the addition of any extra fat to it. Many people also use the leftover duck fat to sear their vegetables or make eggs. This is because duck fat is delicious! 

Duck fat has a flavor that is slightly sweet and extremely rich. Unlike refined oils, which tend to have a neutral flavor, animal fat, or duck fat, in particular, is not refined, which gives it a rich flavor and aroma that it imparts to other ingredients. This is why many people also use duck fat in baking to give baked goods an added flavor.

Types Of Duck And Their Taste

Types Of Duck And Their Taste

Everything has a lot of different types when it comes to food, whether it is meat or vegetables. Just like that, there are various types of ducks in the world that are bred for their meat. Not all these varieties are popular everywhere, however, I have mentioned a few that are most popularly used in various parts of the world. 

Type Of DuckFlavor
Pekin DuckGamey with extra richness from fat
Moulard DuckRobust and gamier than pekin duck
Muscovy DuckLean with a slightly subdued flavor
Aylesbury DuckSoft and lean meat with a tender flavor
Rouen DuckRich flavor with high-fat content

Various Methods To Cook Duck Meat And How It Affects Their Flavor

Duck, being a different type of poultry meat as compared to chicken or turkey, has a different way of preparation. Duck meat can never be cooked the same way as chicken, as that will end up making the meat dry and rubbery. So, let me tell you about some different ways in which duck meat is prepared and how the method of cooking affects the meat. 

1. Pan-Searing

Pan-seared duck meat is quite a common preparation. Pan searing gives duck meat a crispy skin as the fat renders out. The best way to pan-sear duck meat to get that perfect crispy skin is to make sure your duck does not have any moisture. It is also advised to pierce the skin before putting it in the pan as that will bring out the fat and give you extra crispy skin. 

2. Braising

Braising duck meat is usually done for cuts that are on the bone. Braising duck meat in red or white wine will give the meat a tender texture and help it fall off the bone easily. It will also add to the flavor of the meat. 

3. Roasting

Roasting a whole duck is one of the easiest ways to prepare duck meat. You can season it just the way you would season any other form of poultry and let it roast in the oven for 2 hours in the oven at around 420 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure you flip the pan halfway through roasting to get tender meat. 

4. Grilling

Boneless duck breast can be grilled in the same way as steak on a pan. Make sure you grill the duck breast on both sides just for a few minutes to get it to a rare medium stage. The medium rare cooked duck will have a tender bite to it and will not be tough. 

Some Popular Duck Recipes To Try

As mentioned earlier, duck meat is a delicacy in many places all around the world. At places where it is more popularly eaten, there are certain standard recipes that are followed by people from everywhere. So, let me tell you about some of the most popular duck recipes from around the world that you can try for yourself. You can click on the name of these dishes to check out their recipe and try all these recipe at the comfort of your home.

1. Peking Duck

Peking duck is a Chinese classic. Peking duck is a dish with crispy duck skin and tender meat of a whole duck. This dish is usually served with hoisin sauce, pancakes, and certain garnishes. 

Peking duck is originally from Beijing in China. The most predominant part of peking duck is the thin and crispy skin. Quite often, the most authentic experience of peking duck is that mostly the skin of the duck is served, with very little meat.

Another astonishing thing about peking duck is that it is usually sliced right in front of the diners, by the cook. The most common garnishes served with peking duck are spring onions and cucumbers.

2. Duck A L’Orange

Duck a l’orange is a classic dish that consists of whole roasted duck with an acidic orange sauce. The orange sauce works really well with all the duck fat and gives it an overall tangy flavor. 

There is also a variation of duck a l’orange, where the meat is braised, rather than roasted. However, the roasted version is generally more popular in countries outside of France.

The best part about duck a l’orange is that it can be served with sides of your choice. This meaty, protein-rich dish is most often served with a side of starch and vegetables.

3. Duck Confit

Duck confit is a classic French dish. This dish involves marinating and poaching duck meat in its own fat, along with herbs and spices. Duck confit is often served with various sides. 

To prepare duck confit, the meat is rubbed with salt and garlic, along with certain herbs, which acts as a preservative. After resting the meat for close to 36 hours, it is then cooked in the oven in a deep container, so that it cooks in its own fat.

Duck confit is another dish that is protein rich and served with sides like vegetables and starch. The sides are often cooked in the rendered duck fat, to add to the flavor.

4. Foie Gras

Foie gras is made with the liver of ducks that are force-fed. It has an extremely strong and meaty flavor and is often served with melba toast, jams or even used as a filling in various types of pastries.

Foie gras is quite often made with goose liver. However, making it with duck liver is also a popular method. Foie gras is a french classic which has a flavor that is like no other.

Although a slightly acquired taste, duck foie gras is descried to have a flavor that is rich and buttery. Foie gras is often sold as it is, or in variations like pate and mousse.

How To Choose The Best Duck In The Market?

None of us want to eat food that is stale or spoiled, especially when it comes to meat, as that can be lethal. So, for this reason, it is important to know what fresh duck meat is supposed to look like before you buy it. To pick out the best duck meat in the market, only one parameter applies, whether it is fresh or not. Let me share some tips on how you can tell if duck meat is fresh and pick the best. 

1. Color

Duck meat is much darker in color than chicken, however, spoiled meat tends to have a greenish-yellow or gray color. Moreover, fresh duck meat will not have any bruises or lesions on it. 

With any sort of meat, it is very important to have a look at its color. Although the color may vary slightly, depending on what cut you purchase, the overall color is darker than any sort of poultry.

2. Texture

Fresh duck meat tends to have a wet surface, but in no case should it be slimy. Slimy skin is a result of bacteria growth that tends to metabolize the meat. 

The wet surface of a duck is quite similar to how chicken can be, when it is fresh. It is always a little wet du to the water released from the meat. However, even if the meat is a little slimy, it should not be bought.

3. Aroma

Stale or spoiled duck meat tends to have a rotting aroma. Fresh duck meat should smell clean and should not have any sort of lingering smell. 

Most of us know that spoiled or rancid meat tends to have a very off smell. Any sort of fresh meat should always have a bvery neutral smell. If you feel the meat is even slightly off smelling, it is best not to buy it.

In case you have purchased duck meat that by any chance you feel has gone bad, you should immediately discard it. Make sure you sanitize all the utensils and surfaces that the meat was kept on with bleach or hot soapy water. 

Ways To Preserve Duck For Best Flavor

Ways To Preserve Duck For Best Flavor

At this point, I am sure you all are aware of what duck tastes like and also about its texture. Some of you may have ordered a duck dish from a restaurant already, and some of you might also have thought about preparing duck at home. However, before you do buy that duck, it is important to know the correct way to store it, just to be safe!

In The Refrigerator:

  1. In case you buy a piece of duck and plan to cook it within two days, you can safely store the duck in the coldest part of your refrigerator.
  2. The best way to store duck in the refrigerator is to first remove all the packaging and wipe the duck clean with a paper towel. 
  3. Once the duck is wiped clean, place it in a container that is deep enough to collect any blood or juices that may seep out from the raw meat.
  4. Cover the container with foil.
  5. Make sure you do not place the container near cooked meat or anything that you plan to eat raw. 
  6. To store leftover cooked meat, you can store it in an airtight container, away from any sort of raw meat.
  7. You can store it in the refrigerator for upto three days. Make sure you reheat the duck only once.

In The Freezer:

  1. In case you plan to use the duck, later on, you can safely store it in the freezer with its packaging on. 
  2. Duck meat will stay good in the freezer for upto a month.

Health Benefits Of Duck Meat

Duck meat is a great source of protein, mainly and various other vital nutrients. Though it has a high-fat content, there are various health benefits revolving around eating duck meat. Let us discuss some of these health benefits. 

  1. Duck is a great source of selenium, which helps improve and boost the body’s immune system. 
  2. Selenium present in ducks also supports thyroid function. 
  3. Duck meat has a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids, which are said to prevent certain chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, asthma, and certain types of cancer. 
  4. Duck meat is a vital source of protein that is required for daily functioning and helps keep the muscles strong. 
  5. Duck meat is rich in B-vitamins, which help aid the immune system.  
  6. Duck is rich in iron, which is important for making hemoglobin

Nutritional Content Of Duck Meat

Duck meat is quite popular in various places in the world. One of the reasons for its popularity is its high protein content that it has. Duck meat is nutritious and a great source of iron. There are various health benefits attached to eating duck, such as protecting bones and boosting the immune system along with helping the heart stay healthy. 

So, if you are calorie conscious or just want to know the nutritional contents of duck meat, this section is worth a read. Once you know the nutritional values, you can decide better whether you want to include duck meat in your diet or not.

NutrientAmount (Serving size 100 grams or 3.53 oz)
Calories337 kcal
Total Fat28 grams
Saturated Fats10 grams
Cholesterol84 milligrams
Sodium 59 milligrams
Potassium204 milligrams
Carbohydrates0 grams
Fiber0 grams
Sugar0 grams
Protein19 grams
Iron 15 % DV
Magnesium4 % DV
Calcium1 % DV
Vitamin B610% DV

(Note- Here, DV denotes the Daily Value, and the percentage denotes the amount a nutrient can be a part of your recommended daily intake.)


Duck meat is dark in color and has a gamey and strong flavor as compared to other types of poultry. The flavor of duck meat is often compared to that of red meat. Duck meat is nutritionally dense and a great source of protein and iron. Although it has a high-fat content, duck meat makes a good addition to the diet. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What does duck taste like?

Duck has a strong and gamey flavor, similar to red meat.

Is duck meat nutritious?

Yes, duck meat is packed with protein and various other vital nutrients.

Can you eat duck meat rare?

No, duck meat should not be eaten rare and should be cooked to the medium-rare stage. 

How can you tell if duck meat is fresh?

Fresh duck meat is odorless and wet but not slimy. It has a dark color which is not gray or greenish-yellow. 

How do you store duck meat?

Depending on when you plan to use it, duck meat should either be stored in the refrigerator or the freezer. 

Is duck meat healthier than chicken?

Duck meat does contain more vitamins and minerals than chicken. However, it also contains more fat. 

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