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Smoked and Braised Duck Legs

Smoked and Braised Duck Legs

By Traeger Kitchen

Rich, savory, and fatty braised duck leg meat falls off the bone, almost like pulled pork, with this smoke and braise method. Get ready for a feast of flavor. Plan ahead–the duck legs need to cure in the refrigerator overnight before cooking.

Prep Time

30 Minutes

Cook Time

2 Hours




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Units of Measurement:
6 Large duck legs
2 Tablespoon kosher salt
2 Tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 Teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
As Needed Canola oil
2 dried bay leaves
1 Bunch fresh thyme
1 Sprig fresh rosemary
2 Medium yellow onions, halved
2 Large carrots, sliced lengthwise
2 celery stalks
2 garlic cloves
2 Cup red wine
3 Quart stock of choice


  • 1

    The night before you plan to cook, set a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet. Pat the duck legs dry.

    • 6 Large duck legs

  • 2

    In a small bowl, mix together the salt, pepper, brown sugar, and chopped thyme.

    • 2 Tablespoon kosher salt

    • 2 Tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

    • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar

    • 1/2 Teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

  • 3

    Rub the duck legs with the cure, place on the rack, and refrigerate, uncovered, overnight.

  • 4

    When ready to cook, place a large cast iron pan on the grill grates. Set the Traeger temperature to 450°F and preheat with the lid closed for 15 minutes.

    450 ˚F / 232 ˚C

  • 5

    Remove the duck legs from refrigerator, rinse with cold water, and pat dry with paper towels.

  • 6

    Pour enough canola oil into the hot cast iron pan to coat the bottom. Place the duck legs in the pan, skin-side down. Close the grill lid and cook until the skin is crisp and the color of mahogany, 10-15 minutes. Flip the duck legs and cook for 5 minutes more.

    450 ˚F / 232 ˚C

    • As Needed Canola oil

  • 7

    Flip the duck legs so the skin side is down again. Add the bay leaves, thyme bunch, rosemary, onions, carrots, celery, and garlic to the pan. Pour in the red wine and enough stock to cover the duck three-quarters of the way.

    • 2  dried bay leaves

    • 1 Bunch fresh thyme

    • 1 Sprig fresh rosemary

    • 2 Medium yellow onions, halved

    • 2 Large carrots, sliced lengthwise

    • 2  celery stalks

    • 2  garlic cloves

    • 2 Cup red wine

    • 3 Quart stock of choice

  • 8

    Reduce the Traeger temperature to 350°F. Close the lid and braise the duck legs until very tender, about 1 hour and 40 minutes.

    350 ˚F / 177 ˚C

  • 9

    Reduce the Traeger temperature to 180°F and continue cooking for 20 minutes to infuse the legs with more smoke flavor.

    180 ˚F / 82 ˚C

    Super Smoke

  • 10

    Transfer the duck legs to a serving platter and tent with foil to keep warm.

  • 11

    Strain the braising liquid into a medium saucepan, reserving the vegetables and discarding the herbs. Cook over medium-high heat until slightly reduce and thickened.

  • 12

    Season the duck legs with salt and pepper. Serve with the sauce and braised vegetables. Enjoy!

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