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Can You Eat Duck Rare? The #1 Shocking Truth

Can You Eat Duck Rare? While there are some meats that can be eaten rare, such as steak and sushi, this practice is generally ill-advised due to the risk of food borne illness.

But some adventurous people insist that rare meats contain more natural flavoring and continue to order their meat rare whenever they can.

Even rare ground beef is considered a delicacy, which may lead you to wonder whether you can eat duck rare. But then again, you certainly can’t eat rare chicken without risking salmonella. And wouldn’t duck be considered poultry, too?

If you are considering sampling rare duck, but want to double check whether you can eat it rare, the answer to this question may come as a surprise- albeit a pleasant one.

Can You Eat Duck Rare?

Although duck is technically considered poultry, the texture of the meat is similar to beef, so you can indeed eat medium-rare duck. However, you are still at risk of food-borne illness when you consume rare duck. So, you may want to consider alternative methods of preparing duck.

Can You Eat Duck Meat Rare?
Can You Eat Duck Meat Rare?

Duck Can Be Eaten Medium Rare

Duck meat is much darker than that of chicken or turkey and its texture is closer to that of beef. So, duck is often cooked in the same manner as beef and restaurants will usually serve duck medium rare.

Actually, many people consider duck to be red meat, even though it would technically be classified as poultry. Ducks also have very thick muscles and tendons similar to cows, which are braised in the same way as harder meats to produce a more delicate finish.

If you prefer your steaks rare or medium-rare, then you probably understand why duck is usually prepared this way. Medium rare duck is said to be more tender, just, and more flavorful than a duck that has been cooked longer.

To prepare a good medium-rare duck, you should cook your duck until the internal temperature reaches 135 degrees Fahrenheit. For best results, slowly braise and simmer the duck.

Medium Rare Duck is Said to Be More Tender and More Flavorful Than Longer Cooked Duck
Medium Rare Duck is Said to Be More Tender and More Flavorful Than Longer Cooked Duck.

The Difference Between Duck and Chicken

While it’s up for debate as to whether duck should be classified as poultry or red meat, the fact is that duck is still a bird. And you probably never heard of chicken or turkey being served medium-rare.

Duck is Considered Poultry, But Is Often Treated Like Other Red Meat In Cooking
Duck is Considered Poultry, But Is Often Treated Like Other Red Meat In Cooking.

So, why is it that duck can be served medium rare, but chicken can’t be? First of all, chickens are farm-raised whereas many ducks are wild-caught. Freshly caught meats aren’t processed and can sometimes be consumed raw- if absolutely necessary.

But chicken is mass-produced in factories where it may be exposed to bacteria and environmental contaminants, so it needs to be thoroughly cooked and cleaned before you can eat it.

Chicken meat also has a softer texture than a duck. Even if you tried to eat medium-rare chicken, it probably wouldn’t turn out right or taste good.

And then there’s the risk of salmonella poisoning. While you could possibly get sick from salmonella after eating medium-rare duck, this bacteria is mainly associated with undercooked chicken.

Of course, ducks can also be raised on farms, and any type of poultry or fowl could potentially contain bacteria. So, you may still be left with questions. If nothing else, people eat medium-rare duck because it tastes good, whereas fried chicken is a national favorite.

Health Risks of Eating Rare Duck

Even though you can eat medium-rare duck, and many restaurants serve it like that, you can still become sick from foodborne illness when you consume any type of undercooked meat or eggs. Yes, that includes medium-rare duck.

While you could possibly get salmonella poisoning from eating undercooked duck, the risk isn’t nearly as high as it is with chicken. However, you could still get another form of food poisoning.

Undercooked duck meat may carry the campylobacter bacteria, which will make you sick with diarrhea, stomach pain, nausea, and a fever for about a week. Most cases are mild and people usually recover on their own or with antibiotics, but this type of food poisoning can be deadly for children and the elderly.

Alternative Ways of Preparing Duck

If a medium-rare duck can make you sick, then why are restaurants still serving it? Well, duck meat tastes delicious when prepared medium-rare, and if customers continue to order it and write rave reviews, restaurants will continue to serve it that way.

There are risks involved when you eat rare or medium-rare steak, but many people prefer it undercooked. And restaurants will prepare it as ordered.

Aside from the fine print at the bottom of your menu warning you about food-borne illness, no one is going to stop you from enjoying your food the way you like it.

So, if you want to order your duck medium rare, more power to you! But if you are concerned about campylobacter poisoning, it’s recommended to cook your duck until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

To get the most flavor out of a medium-well duck, prepare it with a spice rub or sweeten it with honey, orange, and/or ginger.

Use Spices, Fruits and Aromatics to Get the Most Flavor Out of Your Medium Rare Duck
Use Spices, Fruits, and Aromatics to Get the Most Flavor Out of Your Medium Rare Duck.

Conclusion to Can You Eat Duck Rare?

If you enjoy the increased flavor of rare meat, you were probably pleased to learn that duck can be eaten medium-rare. Actually, that’s the way that it’s often served. And medium rare duck is just about as safe to eat as a rare t-bone steak. But there’s still a risk of food poisoning.

While many people may be willing to take that risk for the sake of taste, there are alternative recipes that can help you prepare a delicious roasted duck without worrying about being sick in the morning.

But then again, they say that you only live once, so if you aren’t concerned about the risks, go ahead and enjoy that juicy medium-rare duck!

The Risks of Eating Medium Rare Duck are About the Same as Eating a Rare T-Bone Steak
The Risks of Eating Medium Rare Duck are About the Same as Eating a Rare T-Bone Steak.

Frequently Asked Questions on Can You Eat Duck Rare?

What are the side effects of eating duck?

Although duck may seem to be relatively low in saturated fats when compared to other meats, eating duck can still significantly raise your cholesterol, which places you at a higher risk of heart disease and stroke.

What are the health benefits of eating duck?

Duck has a high protein and iron content, which is essential for energy, growth, and healthy blood vessels. Just one serving of duck contains half of the recommended daily amount of iron.

Is duck meat healthier than chicken?

Chicken is considered to be healthier than duck, simply because duck meat is higher in calories and fats. Although chicken has a higher concentration of calcium and magnesium, duck meat actually contains more vitamins and minerals. Surprisingly, dark meat chicken is slightly higher in cholesterol than duck.