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How To Reheat Peking Duck – I Test 5 Methods [Pics]

It would be a shame to let Peking duck go to waste, all those savory spices and tangy goodness.

But can it be saved as leftovers and reheated? Absolutely!

And I’m going to show you how.

I’ve collected a few tips for reheating Peking duck in five different ways, including by traditional oven, microwave, air fryer, stovetop skillet, and deep frying.

But first, what is the best way to reheat Peking duck?

The best way to reheat Peking duck is in the oven. Arrange the duck in a baking pan and braise with melted butter. Place the skin on top of the meat and heat at 350°F (180°C) for 5 to 10 minutes. Then use the broiler to crisp the skin to taste – about 2-3 minutes.

A note about my experiment

As Peking duck is a delicacy and time-consuming to make, I opted to order a couple of entrees from my favorite Chinese restaurant for this experiment.

After nibbling a bit (okay, quite a lot), I let the food cool to room temperature before storing the duck in the refrigerator overnight.

The next day, I started my experiment using several different reheating methods, including a:

  • traditional oven – (the best way)
  • microwave – (fast, okay for the meat, leaves skin soggy)
  • air fryer – (quick and tasty, for both the meat and skin)
  • skillet – (good, but a two-step process)
  • hot oil – (good if you’re experienced, but adds oil and clean up time)

Now for the taste test!

I evaluated each method based on how well it heated the duck meat and whether it left it juicy or dry.

I also noted the texture and crispness of the skin.

Finally, I noted how easy and time-consuming the five different methods were, and how much I had to clean up afterwards.

Reheating Peking duck in the oven

To reheat Peking duck in the oven, arrange the duck in a baking pan and braise with melted butter. Arrange the skin on top of the meat and heat at 350°F (180°C) for 5 to 10 minutes. Use the broiler to crisp the skin to taste – about 2-3 minutes.

How to Reheat Peking duck in the oven:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Spread melted butter or olive oil lightly on the duck pieces and skin.
  3. Arrange the skin on top of the duck meat and place it in the oven.
  4. Heat for 5-10 minutes until thoroughly warm.
  5. Turn the broiler on to crisp skin to your preference for the last 2-3 minutes.

The butter adds moisture to the dried-out meat and helps to crisp the skin. It also adds a beautiful flavor.

If you don’t like butter, oil will also do the trick.

Layering the skin on top of the meat means any leftover fat can drip down onto the chicken, adding to the juiciness.

Not sure about adding butter or olive oil to your diet? 

An alternative heating method is to wrap the meat in foil, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of chicken stock or water to keep it moist, and then heat the uncovered skin separately to allow for crisping. 

My verdict

Reheating Peking duck in the oven was my favorite method. 

The oven kept the meat moist and the skin crisp, all in one tray! 

I also tested wrapping both the skin and the meat in foil, but this resulted in lackluster skin so I don’t recommend that method.

Note: the oven is the only option to reheat a whole Peking duck properly, but more on that later.

Reheating Peking duck in a skillet

To reheat Peking duck in a skillet, heat the pan on a medium heat and add the duck meat. Add 1-2 tablespoons of stock or water and cover the pan. Steam the meat for 4-5 minutes. Remove the meat, and turn the heat up to high, lightly oiling the pan. Crisp the skin to your liking.

Heating the meat and skin separately means you get moist meat and crispy skin.

How to reheat Peking duck in a skillet:

  1. Set the stovetop to medium heat.
  2. Add the duck meat only to a nonstick pan.
  3. Sprinkle in 1-2 tablespoons of chicken stock or water.
  4. As the liquid starts to steam, cover with a lid.
  5. Heat the meat for 4-5 minutes until thoroughly warmed.
  6. Remove and dry the pan.

 To reheat and crisp duck skin:

  1. Increase the heat setting to high.
  2. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the dry skillet.
  3. Gently arrange the skins in the pan with room around each.
  4. Fry the skins until crispy.
  5. Serve the meat and duck skins together.

Make sure to add sufficient water to create steam because this moisturizes the meat, leaving it juicy and reinvigorating the spices.

I also tested frying the meat and skin together, but this left me with dried out duck meat and meant there was less room to fry the skin.

When crisping the skin, it’s best to lay the pieces flat in the skillet.

My verdict

This was a good method for reheating leftover Peking duck. 

It provided savory, moist meat and crispy skin. And, it was easy to control how crisp the skin got.

But, as it was a two-step process, this method required more work and more clean-up.

Reheating Peking duck in the microwave

To reheat Peking duck in the microwave, arrange the duck meat in a microwave-safe dish and moisten with chicken stock, or lightly drizzle with melted butter or olive oil. Cover with vented plastic and microwave for 30-60 seconds. Use the broiler to crisp the skin to taste – about 2-3 minutes.

Alert: only reheat the meat in the microwave as this method completely ruins the skin. It turns it soggy and rubbery.

How to reheat Peking duck in the microwave:

  1. Arrange the duck meat in a microwave-safe dish. Microwaves make the duck skin soggy and rubbery.
  2. Add about one tablespoon of chicken stock or water, or lightly drizzle melted butter or olive oil over the meat to keep it moist.
  3. Cover the dish with plastic wrap.
  4. Pierce the plastic wrap to allow for steam.
  5. Microwave for 30-60 seconds, depending on portion size.

To crisp the skin:

  1. Turn on the oven broiler.
  2. Place the skins on a baking sheet.
  3. Place the baking sheet into the oven on the top or middle rack.
  4. Heat for 2-3 minutes or until crispy.

Broiling the skin is the quickest and easiest way to crisp it up, so it’s ready almost as quickly as the meat. 

Or, for a little culinary flair, use a blowtorch (if you have one) to crisp the skins. 

Use a slow sweeping motion, never staying in one spot for too long. The high heat re-crisps the skin for a perfect crunch.

My verdict

The duck meat stayed moist and juicy, and the texture was good, but the skin was soggy and pretty inedible after its stint in the microwave.

You can fix this by using the broiler, but for me, that ruins the point of the microwave being a quick and easy method.

Reheating Peking duck in an air fryer

To reheat Peking duck in the air fryer oven, lightly moisten the meat with chicken stock or water and wrap it with foil, keeping the skin separate. Place the wrapped meat and uncovered duck skin in an air fryer for 3-5 minutes at 350°F (180°C).

 You’ll soon have a delicious recreation of yesterday’s lunch or dinner.

How to reheat Peking duck in an air fryer:

  1. Set the air fryer to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Lightly sprinkle chicken stock and water on the meat.
  3. Wrap the meat in foil.
  4. Put the foil packet in the air fryer.
  5. Spray the skin with some oil to help it crisp up (optional).
  6. Place the uncovered skin into the air fryer next to the foil packet.
  7. Heat for 3-5 minutes.

Wrapping the duck meat in foil is essential as air fryers tend to dry out foods out, and you don’t want dry duck meat. 

The same drying effect is great for the skin, but check on it often to make sure it doesn’t burn.

My verdict

The air fryer was a fast and reliable method for reheating Peking duck. 

Wrapping the duck in foil kept it moist. I also tried reheating without the foil, but the duck came out chewy, so I don’t recommend that.

Reheating Peking duck using hot oil

To reheat Peking duck by deep-frying, fill a deep pan with oil and heat to 350°F (180°C). Place sliced Peking duck pieces, both meat and skin, into a frying strainer. Dip the duck in and out of oil 3-4 times, then place it on a paper towel to cool and drain the excess oil.

This is a traditional method of reheating Peking duck, but it requires quite a lot of effort and is hard to get right. 

How to reheat Peking duck using hot oil:

  1. Place enough oil in your fryer (or deep pan) to completely cover the duck when dipped.
  2. Heat oil up to 350°F (180°C).
  3. Place the sliced Peking duck pieces (with skin) in a frying strainer.
  4. Dip the duck in and out of the hot oil 3-4 times.
  5. Place the duck on a paper towel or wire rack to cool and drain the excess fat for about 30 seconds.

Caution: hot oil will splash and burn. Also, water can cause hot oil to splatter. 

Ideally, you should use a thermometer to test the temperature of the oil. 

If you don’t have a suitable thermometer, you can use the wooden spoon trick.

Gently place a wooden spoon in the hot oil. If ‘bubbles’ start rising to the surface right away, the oil is hot enough.

However, I would caution against this because the duck will absorb lots of oil and taste horrible if the oil is even a bit below temperature. 

My verdict

I wouldn’t recommend using this method to reheat your Peking duck.

It crisped the skin really well, but the meat was a total letdown for me.

You could tell it had been dipped in oil – not to mention the extra calories!

Also, the setup was a lot of work for not a lot of reward.

How to store Peking duck

To store Peking duck, first let it cool to room temperature to prevent condensation from building up. Then tightly wrap the pieces in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container and store the duck in the fridge. Peking duck will last 3-4 days in the fridge. 

Keeping the duck for longer than 3-4 days in the refrigerator may dry out the meat, and it may also spoil or be unsafe to eat.

Can you freeze Peking duck?

Yes, you can freeze Peking duck. After cooling to room temperature, portion the pieces for easy handling and reheating. Tightly wrap the duck pieces in plastic wrap, then again in foil, or put them in a freezer bag. The duck will last 4-6 months in the freezer before the quality starts to deteriorate. 

If you have a home vacuum sealing system, use this. Vacuum sealed meat will last much longer than duck kept in a freezer bag. 

Note: the duck meat will fare much better than the skin.

The skin will never be the same, but you should be able to get some crisp back into it by reheating it in a dry oven.

How to freeze Peking duck:

  1. Portion the duck for easier handling and reheating.
  2. Tightly wrap Peking duck pieces in plastic wrap.
  3. Place wrapped duck in foil or a freezer bag. 
  4. Squeeze as much air out of the packaging as possible.
  5. Place the duck in the freezer and let freeze completely.
  6. Use within 4 – 6 months.

The easiest thing to do to remove the air from a freezer bag is to get a straw and suck it all out.

If you can’t find a straw, another trick is to submerge the (open) bag in water.

The pressure from the water will squeeze all the air out, and you can close the bag.

Removing the air is vital to prevent freezer burn.

Letting the meat cool completely is also important to prevent condensation from ruining the meat.

Ice crystals will form on the skin and flesh if there’s too much condensation, leading to wet skin and stringy meat.

How to thaw Peking duck

To thaw safely, remove it from the freezer and place frozen Peking duck in the refrigerator. Depending on the amount, it can take 2-4 hours for a few pieces or up to 24 hours for a whole duck. You can speed up the thawing process for sliced duck by holding it under cold running water. 

Don’t let the duck thaw at room temperature because it may end up being in the ‘danger zone’ for bacteria for too long. 

I like to thaw my meat completely before reheating because the heating times are more predictable.

With frozen duck, the heating times needed can vary widely, and the last thing you want is to bite into half-frozen meat!

How long does Peking duck last?

With a bit of attention, Peking duck will last long enough to enjoy it again.

  • At room temperature: never leave Peking duck at room temperature for more than two hours, or 1 hour in a hot climate. 
  • In the fridge: completely cover duck and place it in an airtight container. Peking duck will last 3-4 days.
  • In the freezer: Peking duck will last 3-6 months in airtight packaging and 12-18 months if vacuum sealed.

How to store and reheat Mandarin pancakes

To store mandarin pancakes, let them cool, and then place them in an airtight container in the fridge where they will last 2-3 days. For longer-term storage, freeze them. Separate the pancakes with a piece of parchment paper and put them in a freezer bag. They’ll last 1-2 months in the freezer.

To reheat mandarin pancakes, let them come to room temperature while boiling a small amount of water, about 1 inch, in a medium-sized pot. Then balance several chopsticks across the pot rim. Hang and steam the pancakes on the chopsticks for 1 to 2 minutes. 

That’s it – perfectly reheated Mandarin pancakes!

You can also use the microwave. Cover the pancakes with a damp paper towel and microwave them in 15-second intervals until warmed through.

How to Reheat a whole Peking duck

Reheating a whole Peking duck in an oven is relatively easy. 

Put a few tablespoons of stock in a baking tray and place the duck on a wire rack above the liquid. Cover the duck with foil and heat at 300°F (150°C) for about 30 minutes. Remove the foil. Cover the skin with melted butter and increase the heat to 350°F (180°C) for about 10 minutes to crisp the skin.

The liquid helps to keep the meat moist.

How To Reheat Peking Duck

It would be a shame to let Peking duck go to waste, all those savory spices and tangy goodness.
But can it be saved as leftovers and reheated? Absolutely!
And I’m going to show you how.
I’ve collected a few tips for reheating Peking duck in five different ways, including by traditional oven, microwave, air fryer, stovetop skillet, and by hot oil or deep frying.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 1 min
Cook Time 5 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 1 person
Calories 340 kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 1 portion Peking duck
  • 1 teaspoon Butter

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  • Spread melted butter or olive oil lightly on the duck pieces and skin.
  • Arrange the skin on top of the duck meat and place it in the oven.
  • Heat for 5-10 minutes until thoroughly warm.
  • Turn the broiler on to crisp skin to your preference for the last 2-3 minutes.

Notes

The butter adds moisture to the dried-out meat and helps to crisp the skin. It also adds a beautiful flavor. If you don’t like butter, oil will also do the trick.
Layering the skin on top of the meat means any leftover fat can drip down onto the chicken, adding to the juiciness.

Nutrition

Serving: 100gCalories: 340kcal
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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