Is it safe to air cure duck legs for 3 days for duck confit? My recipe says to cure for "up to" 3 days. Most recipes suggest no longer than 2!

I let my duck confit cure for 3 days now in the fridge, but I am concerned about the safety. It smells strong-- a little gamey. Is that just the curing process or did I go too long. I am referring to the recipe by Melissa clark in "Dinner in an Instant".

  • Posted by: jopqa
  • May 11, 2018


jopqa May 13, 2018
Thank you!
jopqa May 13, 2018
The problem is that I already had left it for 3 days to cure, following the recipe, but after I smelled it and it seemed a little strong to me, I went back to other sources to see if there was anything to back up her recipe’s recommendation. Then, I couldn’t find much and it made me that much more concerned. It is such a disappointment to scrap a project (and a waste of money to boot!) that you have invested in. So, I was hoping for some reassurance from the Food52 hotline. To add, I was wondering if there was any use in thinking that pressure cooking for 70 minutes (as the recipe instructs) does any damage control, ie kills bacteria.
Nancy May 13, 2018
Here are some sources who might have answers (all interested in the science of cooking):
Harold McGee
Shirley Corriher
Nathan Myrvahld (approx spelling).
Serious Eats in its duck config article/recipe only ages the duck 24 he.
Nancy May 13, 2018
The Melissa Clark duck confit recipe here at food52 recommends 24-36 hrs.
Still tasty website (with US govt sources on food safety) recommends 1-2 days in fridge for raw duck.
I would also be concerned about safety.
jopqa May 13, 2018
Hi- thanks so much for your answer. I am familiar with the recipe that you reference however in her instant pot cookbook she clearly says “up to 3 days” which is well beyond 36 hours.
Nancy May 13, 2018
So, it sounds like you want to follow Clark's recipe from the cookbook.
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