What Does Duck Taste Like? Different Types, Breeds, And Parts

When talking poultry meat, chicken is the most widely eaten. Second on the list is duck, but it is not as readily available as chicken meat. Moreover, there is a high demand for white meat because it is low in fat and a rich source of lean protein.

Duck meat is a common ingredient in Asian and French cuisines. If you have tried any of these cuisines, chances are you have had duck breasts, but you did not know (especially if you did not order your meal yourself).

Also, you may have knowingly eaten duck meat, but you cannot find the words to describe this meat.

Whichever of the above categories you belong to, I believe you are here to find the exact words that best describe the taste of duck meat. You will get that and more. Just don’t stop reading.

What does duck meat taste like?

Duck meat tastes nothing like other poultry birds. It tastes gamey and more like red meat. It has a strong flavor and contains more fat, which makes it tender and moist. The best comparison for duck meat is liver or steak.

This meat has a strong flavor. If prepared correctly, the skin is supposed to be crisp from thorough cooking. Duck skin is fattier and thicker than chicken skin. When cooking, the fat melts, seeps into the meat, and adds to its flavor.

However, not everyone appreciates the crispiness and fatty skin of ducks. So, some people prefer to eat their duck meat skinless. Also, the type of duck and how you cook duck meat determines its taste.

What do duck eggs taste like?

Duck eggs taste like chicken eggs but are more flavorful. The rich taste is because of the duck’s robust omnivorous diet.

Ducks eat so many things that are majorly high in protein. This makes them equally high in protein, and the flavor rubs off on their eggs and meat.

Also, the yolk of the duck’s egg has more cholesterol, fat, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids.

What does duck fat taste like?

Duck fat is the secret behind its rich, juicy taste. It is slightly sweet and creamy with a somewhat luxurious flavor.

Duck fat is high in monosaturated and saturated fats, making it stable during cooking. This fat content also makes it soft and a little loose.

What does duck sauce taste like?

The taste of duck sauce depends on your recipe – the constituent ingredients. It is a common sauce served in Chinese restaurants. Generally, duck sauce should have a sweet, fruity taste with spicy notes.

The typical recipe contains garlic, mustard, apple, and brown sugar. Duck sauce is a type of apricot sauce that is caramelized, savory, and spicy. It can be smooth or chunky with fruits, but it should be thick and jelly-like like orange marmalade.

Does duck taste better than chicken?

Your preferred poultry depends on your taste preference as both have unique taste profiles. Duck is fattier, which makes it more tender and flavorful than chicken.

Also, duck meat maintains a uniform taste all through. In chicken, the taste depends on the part you are eating. For instance, the thighs will taste differently from the breasts and wings.

Does duck taste better than turkey?

Duck has a richer taste than turkey, which is milder. Some people prefer the mild sweetness of turkey to the gamey taste of duck meat.

Why does duck taste like beef?

Duck is poultry meat, but it shares more similarities with red meat, which is why it tastes like beef. This could also be because of its well-rounded diet that might include what cattle eat.

Why does duck taste like steak?

Duck tastes like steak because it is prepared the same way as steak.

The ideal cooking stage for duck is medium-rare like most steaks. So, it is most likely the reason why they have similar fatty and juicy mouthfeel.

Types of duck and their tastes

Wild duck

Wild ducks have stronger tastes and are gamier. They have a wider range of food to eat without restrictions.

These ducks make long flights, which helps them to build lean, strong muscles. You cannot tell their exact age and they are always tougher than their farmed counterparts.

Farmed duck

These ducks are raised with specific diets and environmental conditions. They are usually raised to a certain age (7 to 10 weeks).

Farmed ducks are not raised to have very tough meats. They have a layer of fat, but the meat is not as flavorful as wild ducks.

Ducks breeds and their taste

Pekin duck

The Pekin duck tastes gamey and rich from its layer of fat that melts from the skin into the meat as it cooks. This duck breed is raised primarily for its meat.

Pekin duck is the main ingredient in the Peking duck dish, a traditional Chinese dish made with duck and served with pancakes, cucumbers, spring onions, and Hoisin sauce.

Moulard duck

Moulard duck is more robust and tastes gamier than the Pekin duck. It has a distinct flavor that sets it apart from other duck breeds. The rich flavor of this duck meat comes from its very high-fat content (it is the fattiest duck).

Muscovy duck

Muscovy duck is lean and does not have a rich flavor like the Pekin and moulard ducks. It is one of the large duck varieties and costs more.

Raw muscovy duck meat is redder than other varieties. This makes it easier to identify it among others.

Rouen duck

Rouen ducks have a rich flavor and higher fat content. They are not egg-laying ducks, so they are bred for their meat instead.

They are heavyweight birds that can produce large quantities of meat. However, they are slow to mature.

Aylesbury duck

This duck breed produces soft, lean meat with a milder flavor. Aylesbury ducks are domesticated birds raised for their meat and eggs.

They grow as big as 10 lbs and mature quickly. Their eggs are used in baking and as a garnish for salads because of their rich, creamy, and delicate flavor.

Different duck parts and their taste

Duck breast

Duck breasts are the most common and highly prized duck cuts. They are best-served medium-rare to make them tender and juicy.

These parts have a fat layer between the skin and the meat. As they cook, the fat melts into the meat. This results in crispy skin and juicy, moist meat.

Duck wings

Duck wings are great appetizers and sides. They are meaty, succulent, and flavorful with their gamey taste.

Unlike chicken wings, duck wings do not need a lot of ingredients to enhance their taste. Serve duck wings with sauce or marinate them in sauce and bake them.

Duck leg quarters

Duck confit is made with duck leg quarters. To get the leg quarters, the legs and thighs are cut together.

Just like chicken, the leg quarters have a richer flavor than the breasts. They are fattier and require slower and longer cooking to make them tender and juicy.

Duck necks

Duck necks have a rich intense flavor and they taste great in sauces and stocks. They add their intense flavor to sauces and gravies.

If you would rather not use them as meats on meals, use them to make stock to enhance the flavor of your meals.

How to cook duck meat

How you cook your duck largely influences the taste. Here are some of the best ways to cook duck to get the most out of it:


Roasting duck renders the fat underneath the skin and makes the meat juicy and flavorful. This is the best way to bring out all the natural flavors of the duck.

When roasting duck, use a roasting rack for better airflow and to make the skin crispy.


Grilling is another way to cook duck meat. It adds a smoky flavor to the meat and keeps all its natural flavors. Grilled duck is also juicy and tender.


Braising duck is best for recipes that do not need the gamey taste. The meat takes on the flavor of the braising liquid instead.

Braised duck is tender and tasty and is best done in a slow cooker or a Dutch oven. The best liquids for braising are broth or wine to add flavor to the meat.


Pan-searing works well for duck breasts, especially if you want to cook them with sauces. The high heat makes the skin crusty and adds a depth of flavor to the meat.

For even heat distribution and to enhance the flavors, cook the meat in a cast-iron skillet.


Sauteing is a quick and easy way to get meats to form a crisp, brown exterior with a moist and juicy interior. Use a non-stick pan and season the meat with honey and red wine vinegar to create an exciting flavor.

Is duck meat healthy?

Duck meat is a rich source of lean protein and many other nutrients. Its high-fat content also contributes to its health benefits. Some of the benefits associated with this poultry are:

  • Duck meat supplies the body with protein, which supports daily functioning and keeps muscles strong
  • It is also rich in B vitamins and selenium, which are immune boosters. Selenium also enhances proper thyroid function
  • Duck meat is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Adding it to your diet can help prevent chronic diseases, such as asthma, cardiovascular diseases, and certain types of cancer
  • Duck meat provides 50% of the required daily allowance for iron. Iron also helps to boost immunity and can help reduce fatigue

Best recipes to make with duck meat

Duck confit

Duck confit or confit of duck is one popular duck recipe. It is made by submerging and cooking duck legs in oil or rendered duck fat.

The meat is cooked on low heat to make the meat tender with all the natural duck flavors. This dish is best served with mashed potatoes or salad.

Roast duck

Make a switch to your Christmas table with roast duck. You can make two or three ducks, so the meat goes round. Roast duck is cooked slowly over low heat to bring out all the natural flavors and to make the skin crispy.

Before roasting duck, score the skin (make small slits on the body) to allow the fat to escape and prevent the skin from swelling outwards.

Pekin duck

Pekin duck is one of the most popular duck dishes. It originates from Beijing, China, and is commonly served in Chinese restaurants.

The whole duck is served with Hoisin sauce, spring onions, cucumbers, sweet beans, and pancakes.

The bright red color of the duck comes from Hoisin sauce. The duck is cut into thin slices of meat that are wrapped in the pancake with the cucumbers and onions.

Duck Ragu

Duck Ragu - millenora

Duck Ragu is an Italian meal made with pappardelle pasta, cinnamon, orange zest, white wine, and duck meat. It is easy to prepare and perfect for a Sunday family dinner.

Duck ramen

Duck ramen - millenora

This meal is easy to prepare. The ramen soup is made with duck stock. Feel free to garnish with any other ingredient you add to your regular ramen noodles. Serve with the cooked duck meat.

Duck a l’orange

Duck l'orange - millenora

Duck a l’orange is a dish of whole roasted or braised duck served in an acidic orange sauce. The orange sauce adds a tangy flavor to the meat and enhances its flavor. Enjoy this dish with your choice of vegetables.

Duck fat potatoes

Baked fat potatoes - millenora

Instead of throwing away the fat you get from rendering duck, keep it for roasting potatoes. The potatoes come out thick, craggy, and crunchy. They are also hearty and perfect as a side during dinner.

Duck tacos

Duck tacos - millenora

Switch up your regular taco recipe with shredded duck legs. You will need tortilla wraps, taco seasoning, and any other ingredient you add to your tacos. This meal is time-consuming, but it will be worth it eventually.


Cassoulet - millenora

Cassoulet is a French meal made with white beans, different types of meat, and spices. Make a meat combination with duck legs, beef ribs, tenderloins, sausages, and salami.

Add beef broth for more flavor and spice it up with bay leaves, thyme, parsley, and garlic.

Duck with red wine pie

Duck red wine pie - millenora

Duck with red wine pie is a crispy puff pastry with fillings made with merlot red wine sauce, duck legs, bacon, shallots, carrots, corn flour, tomato puree, and leeks.

The pastry is baked in a 356°F (180°C) preheated oven until it is golden brown.

Portuguese duck rice

Portuguese duck rice - millenora

This recipe is made with whole duck, basmati rice, coriander leaves, bay leaves, anise, chorizo, leek, onions, and olive oil.

The duck is cooked in the spices and orange zest to create a stock that is used to cook the rice afterward.

Portuguese duck rice is served with shredded duck meat (without bones). Serve with salad if you like.


Why does duck meat taste fishy?

Duck meat may taste fishy because ducks eat fish and other aquatic organisms. Your meat may also taste fishy if it is already going bad.

Why is duck meat not as popular as chicken?

Duck meat is not as popular as chicken meat because it costs more. It is easier to raise chickens than ducks.

Ducks require more space than chickens. You need about three square feet per duck, whereas one chicken needs one square feet.

Also, ducks do not produce as much meat as chickens do. They grow and reproduce slowly. They are highly priced in restaurants that serve them because they require a thorough cooking process.

Is duck a luxury food?

Duck meat could be considered a luxury food in some parts of the world and everyday food somewhere else.

Asia has the highest demand for duck meat. Also, in French cuisine, duck meat is a common meat used in cooking different meals. Other regions that eat duck meat are North America, Europe, and Australia.


Many people eat duck meat with the hope that it will taste like chicken or turkey meat. They are all poultry, but each meat has its unique taste and texture.

Of the three, duck meat has the most distinct taste. It tastes gamey and more like red meat.

Moreover, just like with chicken and turkey, the taste of this poultry depends on the cooking method and ingredients. Most importantly, duck meat is nutritious and healthy. Enjoy it with any of the dishes on the list of ideas.

Also, find out what deer meat tastes like and how to cook it.

Thanks for reading.