Duck meat is a very popular ingredient in some cuisines around the world due to its flavorful, high-protein meat rich in Iron. Unfortunately, duck meat has a very distinct and pungent odor that can end up turning some people off of it.

This is especially true of raw duck meat, which emits a strong and somewhat unpleasant smell, leading to people doubting if it has gone bad.

Today, we are going to talk about the smell of duck meat, and how to tell the difference between the natural smell of raw duck meat, and the smell of raw duck that has gone bad.

How Can You Tell If Raw Duck Has Gone Bad?

To tell if your raw duck meat has gone bad, check the appearance for signs of spoilage. Fresh duck meat should be a deep red or dark pink color and should have a firm and smooth texture. You should also check the duck meat’s smell.

Bad duck meat gives off a rancid, sour, putrefying smell. Fresh duck meat is naturally gamy and musky, but the scent should always have a fresh undertone.

In other words, if your duck meat smells like death, it is a surefire sign that it has gone bad and it is not safe to eat.

Making sure your duck meat is good before consuming is extremely important because food poisoning is a very dangerous but totally avoidable affliction. Never consume duck meat that you suspect has gone bad.

Why Does Duck Meat Smell Like It Does?

Why Does Duck Meat Smell Like It Does?

Raw duck meat smells like it does because compared to other poultry (like chicken), duck meat has a much higher fat content. This higher concentration of fat inside its fibers, causes duck meat to oxidize much more quickly than other types of meat, leading to the production of volatile organic compounds that fill the air with a musky, gamey aroma.

Is The Strong Smell Of Duck Meat Safe?

The smell of duck meat is normal and perfectly safe. You shouldn’t take the pungent musk of raw duck meat as a sign that the duck has spoiled.

However, the natural smell of duck meat should never be sour or rancid. If your duck meat smells putrid, it is because bacteria have begun to grow and proliferate on its surface and inside its fibers.

Once this has happened, you should dispose of the spoiled, bacteria-ridden duck meat immediately.

How To Keep Your Raw Duck Meat From Going Bad?

To prevent your raw duck from going bad in the first place, you should follow these guidelines:

  • Store your raw duck in the refrigerator until ready to use, making sure that the temperature never rises above 40 degrees
  • Keep your raw duck in an airtight container or wrapped in saran wrap or cling film to limit the meat’s amount of exposure to the environment and bacteria
  • Wash your hands and utensils thoroughly before and after preparing your raw duck
  • Respect the Use-By-Date printed on your raw duck’s packaging, always consume the meat before its expiration date
How To Get Rid Of The Smell Of Raw Duck

How To Get Rid Of The Smell Of Raw Duck While Cooking?

Cooking duck meat means that you’re going to have to deal with the bird’s strong, musky scent. However, there are plenty of ways to reduce or minimize the intensity of the smell so that your cooking process can be more pleasant.

For example, whenever you cook foods with strong smells it is important that you ventilate your kitchen and work areas as much as possible. Ensuring proper airflow will guarantee that whatever smell is being released by your raw duck meat, will be dissipated and become much less noticeable.

Something else you can try to reduce the smell of cooking duck meat is to boil a water/white vinegar mixture. The sharpness of the vinegar fumes will cut through the greasy musk of the cooking duck and, thus, minimize the pungent musk.

Finally, cooking your duck meat with aromatic herbs and spices, such as rosemary or cinnamon can significantly mask the smell.