Can You Reheat Duck? (Preserving Taste and Texture)

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If you love red meat but want to eat something a little healthier, duck meat is the perfect option for you.

Duck is fattier than chicken, which makes it closer to red meat than white meat. When cooked just right, the duck is tender, moist, and absolutely flavorful on its own. 

The tenderness, juiciness, and strong flavor of duck are all thanks to its high-fat content. However, this high-fat content can also bring forth negative consequences when it comes to leftover duck.

For one, foods with more fat spoil faster because of oxidation. More than that, there is a right way to reheat foods with higher fat content, especially duck meat.

So, can you reheat duck? And if so, what is the best way to preserve as much of its flavor and texture as possible?

Let’s find out!

Can You Reheat Duck?

image of you Reheat Duck

Yes! In fact, there are a number of ways you can reheat your leftover duck. Here are several methods that you can try:

1. Reheating Duck in the Microwave

The easiest way to reheat duck–or any type of food, for that matter–is to pop it in the microwave for around 3 to 5 minutes.

  1. Put your duck in a microwave-safe dish.
  2. Set the level at medium-high and the timer at 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Cover the dish with a paper towel or plate to prevent splattering.

However, we do not recommend microwaving duck since it can leave cold spots in the middle of the meat. 

These cold spots can allow harmful bacteria to grow. And as we’ve mentioned earlier, duck is high in fat, and foods high in fat are more prone to spoilage.

2. Reheating Duck in the Oven

To preserve as much flavor and texture as possible, we highly recommend reheating your duck in the oven. 

  1. Place your leftover duck in a lightly-greased oven-safe dish.
  2. Add spices, marinades, or sauces if you wish (this can help make up for any lost flavor).
  3. Set the oven at 350F and pop your duck in.
  4. Wait until the meat reaches optimum temperature. Baste if necessary.

How long you should reheat your duck in the oven depends on big the pieces are. If you’re heating up one whole duck, set the timer to around 20 to 25 minutes.

Important: Stick a meat thermometer in the middle of the meat. The temperature must reach 165° F to kill harmful bacteria(*)

If the duck is cut up into small pieces, about 5 to 15 minutes will do. Check the oven from time to time (but don’t open the door to keep the heat inside); if the meat is steaming, it’s time to take out your duck.

3. Stir-Frying Duck

Another great way to reheat your duck is to stir-fry it in a pan. You can also use this method to turn your leftover duck into a whole new dish if you wish.

  1. Cut your duck into small pieces.
  2. Toss it into a greased pan on high heat for about 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add other ingredients, such as sauces, vegetables, spices, etc.

All of these reheating methods have varying effects on duck meat’s taste and texture. That said, here’s another thing you need to know:

What Does Reheated Duck Taste Like?

Reheated duck often tastes different from freshly-cooked duck. However, this doesn’t always mean it’s bad.

When done right, reheating duck in the oven can preserve most of its original flavor and texture. Sometimes, reheated duck can be even more flavorful because it had time to soak in the ingredients.

In some cases, however, reheating can make leftover duck dry, less flavorful, and have an unpleasant fatty taste. Luckily, we have some tips to help you avoid that:

  • Don’t Set The Temperature Too High. When you’re reheating your duck in the oven, set the temperature to 350F maximum. Any higher than that and you risk drying out your duck.
  • Pan Fry Quickly. If you’re stir-frying your leftover duck, toss it on high heat just enough for the meat to reach a safe temperature.
  • Don’t Overcook Duck. Avoid overcooking your duck the first time. This will help preserve the flavors and moisture of the leftovers.
  • Consume Leftovers ASAP. Leftover duck is safe to store in the refrigerator for about 2 to 3 days at most. But the longer it sits there, the less tasty and juicy it will be when you eventually reheat it.

FAQs

1. Can You Freeze Leftover Duck?

Yes, you can keep cooked duck in the freezer for about 4 to 6 months. However, freezing duck will create ice crystals inside the meat, which will then bleed upon thawing and make your meat dry. (*)

To keep as much moisture as possible, we recommend thawing frozen duck overnight in the refrigerator. 

2. How Many Times Can You Reheat Duck?

We do not recommend reheating cooked duck more than once. Keep in mind that duck is high in fat, making it spoil faster even after reheating.

3. How Fast Does Cooked Duck Spoil?

In general, it is safe to store cooked duck in the refrigerator for up to 2 to 3 days (or around 4 to 6 months in the freezer).

However, duck cooked with ingredients that spoil easily (e.g. coconut milk, vegetables, berries, etc.) will go bad much faster. In this case, it’s best to eat your duck within 1 to 2 days.

Final Thoughts

Can you reheat duck? Yes! Will it taste the same? When you do it right, your leftover duck can be even more delicious!

The best method of reheating duck is putting it in the oven at 350F for 20 to 25 minutes. This is the best way to conserve as much moisture, fat, and flavor as possible while getting the meat to a safe temperature.

If you want to learn more about food safety, head on over to our blog where we talk about food, nutrition, cooking, and much, much more!

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