Arbroath Smokies Questions

by Rick

Arbroath Smokies hung over rods

Arbroath Smokies hung over rods

I have a ProQ smoker ... done the usual meat items.

Now want to try for first time some fish.

So thought I'd try Smoked Mackerel ... and as I have heard a lot about Arbroath Smokies ... them as well.

On your page on the Arbroath Smokie you say:-
"The fish is gutted and the head removed but the bellies and tail remains intact so that the two sides of the fish can be tied by the tail and suspended over rods for smoking."

I am a little unclear what you mean ... do you mean fish is opened like 'butterfly' chicken, and then split along backbone but leaving tail unsplit ... 2 halves connected at tail for hanging? or am I misunderstanding.

Thinking to the 3 step Smokies approach you detail, then on 3rd step could also add Mackerel to smoke at same time.

Or would you advise a different approach?


Hi Rick,

Thanks for your questions. I've clear not explained myself very well so I'll take this opportunity to elaborate. They are not butterflied. The head of the haddock Smokie is removed and the fish is then gutted as one would normally do by sliding a knife from the anus along the belly to the gill. Once the gut cavity has been cleaned then the fish are paired up and tied at the tail (traditionally using hemp. Each pair of fish are then hung, one fish either side of the rod (or kiln stick) with the tied tails resting over the rod.

I hope that the attached picture above helps explain.

To answer your second question - yes, you cold definitely smoke Mackerel at the same time. If I were being very exacting I'd argue that the smoking times for Mackerel are slightly longer than the Smokie so I'd take care just to make sure that you get your timings right.

There isn't a traditional wood that has to be used for it to be an Arbroath Smokie and the same applies for Mackerel so again I think that your idea to do a batch of both at the same time is a good one.

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