How to Reheat and Eat Arbroath Smokies

Updated on August 5, 2012
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Gordon loves cooking and experimenting with food. He loves making new dishes, particularly with unusual or underused ingredients.

Purists will tell you that Arbroath smokies are best eaten straight from the smoker and by simply peeling the flesh off the bones in lumps with your hand
Purists will tell you that Arbroath smokies are best eaten straight from the smoker and by simply peeling the flesh off the bones in lumps with your hand

Arbroath smokies are cured and hot smoked haddock. Although the concept originated in the small fishing village of Auchmithie a few miles to the north of the town, the traditional procedures and smoking methods remain very much alive and respected in Arbroath to this day. If you are lucky enough to live in Arbroath or within easy travelling distance, you will have the opportunity to enjoy smokies at their very best - straight from the smoker and eaten by hand while still warm. If this is not an option for you but you do have access to smokies, this page is devoted to looking at how you can best reheat the smokies at home to go at least some way towards replicating that fresh from the barrel eating experience.

A
Arbroath, UK:
Arbroath, Angus, UK

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B
Edinburgh, UK:
Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh, UK

get directions

How Arbroath Smokies are Prepared from Fresh Haddock

If you are interested in seeing precisely how Arbroath smokies are traditionally made, the short but very informative video below shows the various steps in the procedure.

A pair of fresh from the smokehouse Arbroath smokies, still tied together by their tails, this being the way in which they are smoked
A pair of fresh from the smokehouse Arbroath smokies, still tied together by their tails, this being the way in which they are smoked

Recommended Way of Reheating and Eating Arbroath Smokies

Arbroath smokie reheated wrapped in foil in the oven and eaten as intended - by hand
Arbroath smokie reheated wrapped in foil in the oven and eaten as intended - by hand

Ingredients

  • 1 Arbroath smokie
  • 1oz unsalted butter

Cook Time

Prep time: 3 min
Cook time: 12 min
Ready in: 15 min
Yields: One portion

Preparation Instructions

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Arbroath smokie is laid on lightly buttered foilFoil containing Arbroath smokie is wrapped in to sealed but loose parcelReheated Arbroath smokie is carefully unwrappedReheated Arbroath smokie is platedSkin peels easily off hot Arbroath smokieBone lifts easily out of half eaten Arbroath smokieBone removed from half eaten Arbroath smokieOnly skin and bone remains of Arbroath smokie
Arbroath smokie is laid on lightly buttered foil
Arbroath smokie is laid on lightly buttered foil
Foil containing Arbroath smokie is wrapped in to sealed but loose parcel
Foil containing Arbroath smokie is wrapped in to sealed but loose parcel
Reheated Arbroath smokie is carefully unwrapped
Reheated Arbroath smokie is carefully unwrapped
Reheated Arbroath smokie is plated
Reheated Arbroath smokie is plated
Skin peels easily off hot Arbroath smokie
Skin peels easily off hot Arbroath smokie
Bone lifts easily out of half eaten Arbroath smokie
Bone lifts easily out of half eaten Arbroath smokie
Bone removed from half eaten Arbroath smokie
Bone removed from half eaten Arbroath smokie
Only skin and bone remains of Arbroath smokie
Only skin and bone remains of Arbroath smokie
  1. Put your oven on to preheat to 375F/190C and spread a large sheet of foil on a baking tray. Use half the butter to lightly grease the foil and simply place the other half inside the belly cavity of the smokie. A little pepper may be added also to the belly cavity if desired but definitely no salt will be required. Remember, a smokie is salt cured before it is smoked.
  2. Wrap the foil like a Christmas cracker, so that it forms a loose but sealed package. Place the tray in to your preheated oven.
  3. The size of your smokie and perhaps the number you are cooking will affect the cooking time but twelve minutes is a good estimate to work towards. Although you want the smokie to be reheated, you certainly don't want it drying out too much. A good guideline to follow is that when you can smell it, you know it is ready.
  4. Remove the tray from the oven and - careful of escaping steam - unwrap the foil. Lift the smokie to a plate with a spatula or eat it straight from the foil - the choice is yours.
  5. You will need two implements to eat a smokie this way - they are found at the end of your wrists. It really is so much easier to eat a smokie with your fingers than with a knife or fork and it is the best way of ensuring you clean as much delicious flesh off the bones as possible.
  6. Begin by stripping the skin from the uppermost side of the smokie. Eat the flesh from the top half then simply grab the bone at the tail end and gently but steadily lift and pull it free. Enjoy the underside of the fish in the same fashion.

Alternative Way of Reheating and Eating Arbroath Smokies

Arbroath smokie is opened up and briefly reheated under the overhead grill
Arbroath smokie is opened up and briefly reheated under the overhead grill

Ingredients

  • 5 or 6 new potatoes
  • 1 Arbroath smokie
  • Butter
  • 2 tbsp frozen peas
  • 1 tsp freshly chopped mint

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 30 min

Ready in: 40 min

Yields: One serving

Preparation Instructions

Click thumbnail to view full-size
A sharp knife is used to help open and flatten the Arbroath smokieThe smokie is lightly buttered for grillingThe bone lifts easily away from the grilled Arbroath smokieThe Arbroath smokie is platedPotatoes and peas are plated alongside the Arbroath smokieFlesh lifts easily away from grilled Arbroath smokie
A sharp knife is used to help open and flatten the Arbroath smokie
A sharp knife is used to help open and flatten the Arbroath smokie
The smokie is lightly buttered for grilling
The smokie is lightly buttered for grilling
The bone lifts easily away from the grilled Arbroath smokie
The bone lifts easily away from the grilled Arbroath smokie
The Arbroath smokie is plated
The Arbroath smokie is plated
Potatoes and peas are plated alongside the Arbroath smokie
Potatoes and peas are plated alongside the Arbroath smokie
Flesh lifts easily away from grilled Arbroath smokie
Flesh lifts easily away from grilled Arbroath smokie
  1. Wash the potatoes and add them (skins on) to a pot of cold, salted water. Bring to a simmer for about twenty-five minutes, until the potatoes are soft. Drain, return to the pot and add butter and the fresh mint. Swirl to evenly coat.
  2. Put your grill (broiler) on to preheat at full heat.
  3. It's not essential but laying a piece of foil on your grill pan makes cleaning up afterwards much easier. Lightly butter the foil or grill pan.
  4. Gently open up the smokie. A sharp knife may be needed. Leave the bone in place at this stage - it's much easier to remove when the smokie has been heated.
  5. Lay the smokie skin side down on the greased foil/tray and scatter with a little more butter. Grill for three minutes.
  6. Put the peas in to boiling water to simmer for three minutes.
  7. The bone should easily lift free from the grilled smokie before it is plated.
  8. Drain the peas and plate them with the potatoes, alongside the smokie, for service.
  9. A knife and fork has been used in this instance to eat the smokie and its accompaniments.

Further recipe Alternatives for Arbroath Smokies

The two reheating methods for Arbroath smokies featured above both relate to enjoying them as close as possible to their freshest and simplest form. It is of course possible to include Arbroath smokies in a wide variety of recipes and to reheat them in a number of other ways. However you choose to prepare them, hopefully you will get the chance to enjoy the delicious and authentic flavours of Arbroath smokies for yourself very soon.

4.3 stars from 3 ratings of these Arbroath smokie heating and eating ideas

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