Cooking a goose can seem daunting, but with some preparation and these step-by-step instructions, you’ll have delicious, tender and crispy goose meat on your table in no time. There are two great methods for cooking goose – roasting in the oven and grilling over high heat. Each technique results in flavorful, moist meat when done properly. Follow either set of instructions below for perfect goose every time.

1. How To Cook a Goose in Oven


  • 1 whole goose (10-12 lbs)
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 apples, cored and quartered
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 sprigs fresh sage
  • 1 whole head garlic, halved crosswise
  • Kosher salt and pepper


  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1⁄3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1⁄4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp whole grain mustard
  • 1 shallot, minced


  • Roasting pan with rack
  • Butcher’s twine
  • Basting bulb
  • Meat thermometer


Step 1: Prep the Goose

Rinse goose cavity well. Pat outside and cavity very dry. Generously prick skin all over with a fork to allow fat to drain while cooking. Sprinkle cavity liberally with salt and pepper. Stuff loosely with quartered onion, apples, fresh herbs and garlic.

Step 2: Truss Goose

To ensure even cooking, use twine to truss goose: fold wing tips under body then lift legs to tie together.

Step 3: Season Goose Exterior

Aggressively rub salt all over the skin which helps crisp it as the salt pulls moisture out during roasting. Use more than you think you need. Pepper the skin as well.

Step 4: Roast Goose

Preheat oven to 450°F. Place goose breast-side up on a rack in a large roasting pan. Roast for 30 minutes to initially crisp and brown the skin. Reduce heat to 275°F and continue roasting approximately 15-18 minutes per pound until internal temp of thickest thigh area reaches 165-175°F on a meat thermometer.

Step 5: Baste Goose

After initial 30 minutes, use a basting bulb every 30 minutes to collect goose fat drippings and pan juices from the bottom of the roasting pan. Baste goose skin liberally each time to promote browning and crisping.

Step 6: Make Glaze

In a small saucepan, combine apple cider, vinegar, brown sugar, mustard and shallots. Simmer over medium heat while goose roasts until reduced down to a syrupy glaze, about 30 minutes.

Step 7: Finish Goose

After goose reaches target temp, baste generously with some of the apple cider glaze and return to oven for 5 minutes until sizzling and caramelized. Remove and let rest 30 minutes before carving.

Step 8: Carve and Serve

Carve straight down along both sides of breastbone to remove breasts then separate leg quarters at the hip joint. Arrange on serving platter, spoon over pan drippings, and drizzle with more glaze before serving.

2. How To Cook a Goose on a Grill


  • 1 whole goose (8-10 pounds)
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1⁄2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 4 apricots, halved and pitted
  • 6 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • Olive oil


  • 1 cup apricot preserves
  • 1⁄3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp whole grain mustard
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 2 minced garlic cloves


  • 2 large disposable foil roasting pans
  • Butcher’s twine
  • Basting brush
  • Meat thermometer


Step 1: Brine the Goose

In a very large pot, bring 1 gallon of water, the salt and brown sugar to a boil, stirring occasionally until salt and sugar dissolve. Remove from heat and add 4 cups of ice water to cool the brine quickly. Submerge goose in brine and refrigerate 8-12 hours.

Step 2: Prep Goose for Grilling

Remove goose from brine and pat very dry, inside and out. Truss legs and wings tightly with butcher’s twine. Stuff cavity with quartered onion, apricots and rosemary. Rub skin all over with olive oil.

Step 3: Build a Two-Zone Fire

If using charcoal grill, bank lit coals steeply to one side. For gas grill, turn one burner to high and leave adjacent burner off. This creates both direct and indirect heat zones.

Step 4: Sear the Goose

Place goose skin-side down directly over hot zone and grill for 15 minutes, rotating occasionally for even browning until much of the fat has rendered out. Use foil pans placed under wings and tail to catch excess drippings.

Step 5: Roast Indirectly

Move goose skin-side up to indirect heat, tenting loosely with more foil. Close grill lid, maintaining 325°F temp. Grill until breast meat reaches 160°F and thigh reaches 175°F internally, about 25 minutes per pound.

Step 6: Make Glaze

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine all glaze ingredients. Simmer, stirring often, until thick and syrupy, about 20 minutes.

Step 7: Crisp the Skin

During last 15 minutes of roasting time, generously brush skin with glaze and move goose directly over the heat to crisp the skin until sizzling and caramelized.

Step 8: Rest and Carve

Allow goose to rest 15 minutes before carving along either side of breastbone to portion out meat. Serve topped with more warm apricot-balsamic glaze.

There you have it – two fantastic methods for cooking a perfectly roast goose. Preparation is key, but follow these oven or grill steps and you’ll have a mouthwatering holiday centerpiece. The crispy skin, succulent meat and pan juices are well worth the effort.

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julia jane

Julia Jane is a home cook inspired by her mother's cooking. With the desire to share my cooking experiences with everyone, she created this website

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