Can You Eat Duck Rare? What About Medium-Rare and Raw?

From rare to medium-rare to thoroughly done, if you’re an avid chicken or steak-eater, you probably have a preferred texture for your meats. Your preferences don’t have to change when preparing and eating duck meat.

Because duck meat has a darker hue than chicken and turkey, people consider it red meat. So, the idea is that since you can eat red meats rare, you can cook and eat duck rare.

Although there might be a minor problem with eating duck rare; it may not be entirely safe to eat duck prepared rare; come with us as we explain in detail.

Can you eat duck rare?

Yes, you can eat duck rare. However, there’s a but.

It is not always safe to eat rare duck meat because there’s a chance that it harbors salmonella.

Most factory-raised ducks, unlike factory-raised chickens, are raised in cleaner conditions that may inhibit the spread of salmonella strains. However, some factory-raised ducks are reared in unsanitary conditions and are more likely to contain the salmonella strain.

The USDA doesn’t consider duck safe to eat when it is rare because it has the potential to cause food-borne illnesses.
Duck meat can be cooked to various levels of doneness, including rare. Rare duck meat is cooked to an internal temperature of 135°F (57°C), and the meat is still pink and slightly bloody in the center. Eating duck cooked to rare has some benefits, such as more tender meat that retains its natural flavors.

Consuming rare duck meat comes with some risks. There is a potential for exposure to bacteria and viruses, such as Salmonella and Campylobacter, which can cause food poisoning. The risk of bacterial contamination is higher with duck meat than with other meats due to the way ducks are raised and the environment they live in.

Therefore, it is important to take safety precautions when cooking rare duck meat. Proper storage and handling of duck meat is essential, such as keeping it at a safe temperature below 40°F (4°C) before cooking, and using a separate cutting board and utensils to prevent cross-contamination with other foods. Using a food thermometer is crucial to ensure the internal temperature of the meat reaches 135°F (57°C) to kill harmful bacteria. Serving rare duck meat immediately after cooking also reduces the risk of bacterial contamination.

Can you eat duck medium-rare?

Yes, it is OK to eat duck medium-rare.

Medium-rare is the best way to cook duck breasts. The reason why medium-rare duck meats are okay within the culinary sphere is that most factory-reared ducks have a lower chance of being salmonella carriers because they are reared in sanitary environments.

Alternatively, some ducks are reared in unsanitary conditions and may be carriers of salmonella or other disease-causing microorganisms. Ultimately, we’re implying that you should ensure it’s from a reliable source.

Medium-rare means the meat is cooked to an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C), and the center is still slightly pink and juicy. Cooking duck to medium-rare has benefits, such as tender and juicy meat that retains some of its natural flavors.

However, cooking duck to medium-rare still poses some risks. There is still a potential for exposure to bacteria and viruses, such as Salmonella and Campylobacter, which can cause food poisoning. Therefore, it is important to take safety precautions when cooking duck to medium-rare.

To safely cook duck to medium-rare, proper storage and handling of duck meat is essential, such as keeping it at a safe temperature below 40°F (4°C) before cooking. Using a separate cutting board and utensils to prevent cross-contamination with other foods is also important. Using a food thermometer to ensure the internal temperature of the meat reaches 145°F (63°C) is crucial to kill harmful bacteria. After cooking, letting the meat rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving can help the juices distribute evenly.

Can you eat raw duck?

No, it would be best if you did not eat raw duck.

It would be best if you weren’t considering this diet choice because it’ll do you more harm than good.

Eating raw or undercooked duck meat puts you at risk of food poisoning caused by salmonella or campylobacter. The aftermath of being infected by these includes symptoms like diarrhea (sometimes bloody), headaches, bloating, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, loss of appetite, dehydration, abdominal pain, fever, etc.

For campylobacteriosis, these symptoms usually begin to show up between two to five days of ingesting the campylobacteria and often last for about a week.

For salmonella infection, the above symptoms begin to show from 6 hours to 6 days after ingesting the salmonella bacteria. These symptoms can last from about four days to a week.

Raw duck meat is not commonly consumed, and there are risks associated with eating it. Raw duck meat may contain harmful bacteria and viruses, such as Salmonella and Campylobacter, which can cause food poisoning. Therefore, consuming raw duck meat is not recommended, and proper safety precautions should be taken if it is consumed.

However, there are potential benefits to consuming raw duck meat, such as retaining the natural flavors and textures of the meat. Additionally, duck meat is high in protein and other nutrients, making it a potentially healthy food choice when consumed safely.

To safely consume raw duck meat, it is important to ensure that the meat is fresh and properly stored. Freezing the meat before consuming it can reduce the risk of harmful bacteria. Avoiding cross-contamination with other foods is also important. Consult with a healthcare professional before consuming raw meat to ensure that it is safe for you to consume. In general though, it is advised that you stay away from it even if you are the least uncertain.

Can pregnant women eat medium-rare steak?

Pregnant women should not eat medium-rare steak or meats in general as it can also harm the baby. When a pregnant woman eats medium-rare steak, she is at risk of being infected with salmonella, listeriosis, and toxoplasmosis.

Salmonella poisoning

Poorly-cooked meat puts a pregnant woman at risk of being infected with salmonella. Some noticeable symptoms are headaches, vomiting, diarrhea, high temperature, abdominal cramps, and nausea. These symptoms can start showing from six hours to six days after the salmonella infection. It can last for about a week.


Pregnant women are highly susceptible to listeriosis, a bacterial infection caused by listeria found in uncooked or poorly cooked meat. Listeriosis harms the baby as well as the mother.

A significant concern with listeriosis is its ability to have asymptomatic effects in some cases and symptomatic impact in others. This attribute makes listeriosis problematic.

Nevertheless, some indications of listeriosis include vomiting, headaches, nausea, fever, and muscle aches.

Severe listeriosis can often lead to a miscarriage, a stillbirth, or preterm labor.

Listeriosis can cause cognitive and intellectual disability, blindness, kidney or heart issues, seizures, and paralysis in the baby.


Like listeriosis, toxoplasmosis can harm the baby and the pregnant woman.

Toxoplasma gondii causes toxoplasmosis, and mild cases are often asymptomatic.

Toxoplasmosis symptoms usually develop some weeks after infection. Some symptoms include fever and a high temperature, sore throat, fatigue, muscle aches, etc.

In most cases, the infection doesn’t impact the baby. However, in some cases, it can cause congenital disabilities in the baby. Toxoplasmosis can ultimately lead to stillbirth or miscarriages.

Does duck need to be fully cooked?

You don’t always have to cook duck thoroughly, even though the USDA advises that duck is well-cooked to avoid salmonella infection.

The decision to not fully-cook duck should depend on how it was reared and processed; if you aren’t sure how hygienic it all was, you should cook the duck well-done to avoid food poisoning.

If you are sure the source of the duck meat is reliable and sanitary, you can enjoy your duck medium-rare without concern.

Dangers of undercooked duck and chicken

Raw duck meat can be carriers of campylobacter, a bacterium that causes campylobacteriosis. Symptoms usually start some days after the infection and can last for about a week.

Raw or undercooked duck and chicken can cause salmonella poisoning. You can begin to notice symptoms after six hours or six days of being infected. The symptoms can last for a week.

In pregnant women, two food-borne illnesses can occur; toxoplasmosis and listeriosis. Both can affect the mother and the baby and lead to stillbirths or miscarriages.

Toxoplasmosis is a food-borne illness caused by toxoplasma gondii. Symptoms don’t show in mild cases, but the baby can be born with physical disabilities in severe cases.

Listeria is a bacterium found in undercooked meats that can be harmful to pregnant women. Some cases are asymptomatic, while others aren’t. Listeriosis can lead to congenital disabilities like cognitive impairment, blindness, and paralysis in the baby.

All four infections mentioned have similar flu-like symptoms, such as nausea, high temperature, vomiting, headaches, stomach aches, muscle aches, diarrhea, fatigue, etc.

Five best wild ducks to eat

We’ve outlined the best wild ducks to make your next gourmet dish memorable.


Scaup ducks are pretty delicious when prepared right. However, Scaup duck needs some prior preparation before cooking. Before cooking, scaup meat should be left to soak in saltwater for about three to four days.

Can You Eat Duck Rare? What About Medium-Rare and Raw?


This intensely-flavored poultry has worldwide popularity. You should marinate it in saltwater brine for about a day like scaup.

Green-winged teal

Unlike the others, the green-winged teal doesn’t have a wild flavor, but it needs to be soaked in saltwater brine for two days before cooking. However, it has a nice texture and can easily pass off for beef.


Although its flavor has a slightly wild tone, it is juicy and tender-textured. You should soak the pintail in salt water brine for about 24 hours.


When you grill wood-duck, it has a flavor comparable to prime rib. Its meat is juicy and tender-textured.

Can You Eat Duck Rare? What About Medium-Rare and Raw?

Read also: What Does Peking Duck Taste Like?

Five best duck breast accompaniments

Let’s help you find a suitable side dish for your suck breast meals.

Sweet Potato mash

This filling side dish gives your duck breast that sweetly-rounded flavor you didn’t know it needed. 

Brussels sprouts

If healthy diets are your thing, serving duck breasts with a side of Brussels sprouts might be the best diversity for your healthy diet.

Mushroom, spinach, and pomegranate salad

This sweet and sour side dish would add flattering flavors to your duck breast. As a result, it pairs nicely with duck breasts and any other word.

Plum sauce

Still, plum sauce introduces sweet and tart flavors to your dick breast on the sweet and sour conversation. To activate the taste, you have to pour the plum sauce on the duck breasts.

Orange sauce

This easy-to-make sour sauce does a lot for duck breast. It gives duck breast a balanced flavor with its tanginess.

Read also: What Does Duck Breast And Fat Taste Like? Like Goose Or Chicken?

How to cook duck meat

You can cook duck by roasting, pan-searing, or braising, but we focus on roasting in this post.

You’ll need a whole duck, salt and pepper, and olive oil.


  1. Cut out the tips of the wings and get rid of any unneeded fat.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Rinse the duck and make piercings into its skin and fatty layer with a small knife.
  4. Season the duck by adding salt and pepper to its insides and outside.
  5. Place the duck on a rack in a roasting pan, with its breast facing you.
  6. Add about 3 cups of boiling water to the roasting pan.
  7. Insert the roasting pan with the duck into the oven and cook for three hours, flipping the duck at thirty-minute intervals.
  8. Remove the duck and check for its internal temperature using a cooking thermometer. For example, a well-roasted duck should be about 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

How to safely cook duck eggs

You can cook duck eggs the same way you cook chicken eggs; they can be boiled, poached, and scrambled.

Duck eggs have a lighter and fragile shell and should constantly be kept at room temperature. Boil for about nine minutes to achieve a hard-boiled duck egg.

When cooking duck eggs, you should ensure that the eggs are thoroughly cooked and not runny, as you are at risk of getting a salmonella infection if you eat runny duck eggs.

How to cook frozen duck

It would help if you thawed frozen duck before cooking. Then, when it has finished thawing, remove excess fat from it and poke it, making sure you only pierce the skin and the fatty layer, not the flesh. Once you have done this, use it in any duck recipe.

What temperature does duck need to be cooked to?

USDA’s official recommendation is that duck should cook to 160 degrees Fahrenheit at the very least.

What kind of duck is served in most restaurants?

Pekin ducks. Pekin ducks are the staple duck breed used for most duck-based dishes in many restaurants. Pekin ducks have a unique tender feel and a mild taste.

Why is duck okay to eat pink?

Duck, like other poultry, can be okay to eat pink if it is cooked to a safe internal temperature. The reason for this is that the main concern when cooking poultry is to kill harmful bacteria, such as Salmonella and Campylobacter, which can cause food poisoning. These bacteria are typically found on the surface of the meat, and they can be killed by cooking the meat to a high enough temperature.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends cooking duck to an internal temperature of at least 165°F (74°C) to ensure that harmful bacteria are killed. However, this temperature will result in fully cooked meat that may be dry and tough. Cooking duck to a lower temperature, such as 135°F (57°C) for rare or 145°F (63°C) for medium-rare, can result in more tender and juicy meat that still meets safety standards.

Cooking duck to a lower temperature can be safe as long as it is done properly. The meat should be stored and handled properly to reduce the risk of bacterial contamination, and a food thermometer should be used to ensure that the internal temperature of the meat reaches a safe level. By following these safety precautions, it is possible to cook duck to a lower temperature while still ensuring that it is safe to eat.

Is duck poultry or red meat?

Duck is poultry, not red meat.

However, it is comparable to red meat because of its taste and texture.

Also, sometimes, it is considered red meat because it doesn’t use the same preparation as other types of poultry, and it has a darker color.

0/5 (0 Reviews)
By Luong Tan

Luong Tan, the creative and passionate founder of Bourbono, is a multi-talented individual with a deep love for the culinary arts. An accomplished food blogger, cookbook author, and former Ambassador of US cuisine in Vietnam (2015-2016), Luong has been on a mission to share his appreciation for food with the world.

Related Posts