…That is one of the world’s great taste experiences… they are just unbelievably tasty.

Nick Nairn
Chef, restaurateur, author & presenter

…they are incomparable.

Jeremy Lee
Chef & food writer

…that’s as good as fish gets.

Neil Oliver
Archaeologist, historian, author & broadcaster

That is just beautiful. It is just perfect.

Kaye Adams
Presenter & columnist

I have never tasted Arbroath Smokie like that in my life. That is just sensational — you’re just in a different realm.

Rosemary Schrager
Chef, teacher, author & presenter

That fish is just fantastic. It doesn’t really get better than that.

Oliver Rowe
Chef, restaurateur & presenter

I am not a fan of the term ‘food hero’… if I was forced to choose one person to bear that burden it would be Iain R. Spink, the guardian of the Arbroath Smokie…

Simon Majumdar
Food writer, author & broadcaster

They were delicious…

Gordon Ramsay
Chef, restaurateur, author & presenter

It has a rich creaminess and moisture, and fresh like that is undoubtedly the best way to eat Smokies.

Martin Wishart
Food writer, author & columnist

…eye-opening, a revelation in taste and texture

Nigel Slater
Cook, food writer, author & presenter

That flavour was just so immense… A delight to eat your food… This man is creating a whole new culinary education.

Gary Rhodes
Chef, restaurateur, author & presenter

The moist warm flesh is divine. It is one of the best fish I have ever tasted.

Sue Lawrence
Food writer, author & columnist

Simply some of the most delicious fish I’ve ever had. Nice one, Iain.

Jamie Oliver
Chef, restaurateur, author & presenter

Arbroath Smokies from Iain R Spink
Read All Endorsements

What Is A ‘Smokie?’

Arbroath Smokies originated in Auchmithie, a small fishing village a few miles north of Arbroath, once populated with fisher folk of Scandinavian origin; ‘Spink’ is a Norse surname. Iain uses the same methods that were used in the late 1800’s, as shown in the Fraser Collection photos.

The fishwives originally smoked the fish in halved barrels with fires underneath, trapping the smoke under layers of hessian sacking. At the start of the 20th century the first Auchmithie fisher-folk began moving to Arbroath, and the process soon became known as the Arbroath Smokie, as we know it today.

Only haddock can be used to produce an authentic ‘Arbroath Smokie.’ The fish are gutted at sea, washed and boxed ready for auction at the fish market. Once back in the fish house, they are headed and cleaned, or ‘sounded.’ They are then dry salted in tubs for a given period. This helps to draw excess moisture from the fish and toughens the skin in preparation for the smoking process. The length of salting time depends on the size of the fish and how fresh they are (amongst other factors). After salting, they are thoroughly washed off, then tied by the tail in ‘pairs’ and hung on sticks.

The smokie pit is then prepared. A hole is dug in the ground, and a half whisky barrel is set into it. The base of the barrel is lined with slates to protect it, and a hardwood fire of beech and oak is lit inside.

 

Smoking Process

The sticks of fish are then placed over the pit and the hessian cover allows the fire to breathe and maintain the required heat. The number of layers and dampening of the ‘cloots’ depends on the weather, and may be adjusted throughout the smoking to prevent the fish either smoking too quickly and burning, or smoking too slowly and drying out. The cooking time is usually a minimum of 30–40 minutes but only an experienced smokie maker knows exactly when they are ready. The resultant golden brown fish, eaten straight from the barrel is a truly mouth-watering experience that has to be tasted to be believed! Some Smokie afficionados have even been moved to write poetry...

A Few Of Our Awards

Award Winner

BBC Radio 4 Food Producer of the Year 2006

Award Winner

Country Living/Sainsbury’s ‘Taste Of Britain’
Gold Award 2007

Award Winner

Country Living/Waitrose ‘Made In Britain’ Award 2007

Award Winner

Great Taste 3 Star Gold Award 2012

Award Winner

UKTV ‘Local Food Hero’ Scottish Regional Winner
& 3rd in UK 2006

Order Online

Buy Smokies Now
spink-parcel

Buy your Smokies now – your Smokies will keep in the fridge for a week and up to 3 months in the freezer.

Eat hot or cold – see our recipes page for more info. Smokies will keep in the fridge for a week and up to 3 months in the freezer. You’ll find more info in the FAQs

Did You Know?

EC ‘Protected Geographical Status’ means only haddock smoked using traditional methods within a five-mile radius of Arbroath can use the name ‘Arbroath Smokie.’

Read More

say hello : call 01241 860303 or email

↑ back to top • cookies

Site complies with W3C guidelines + current UK accessibility standards. Site design Flying Solo Flying Solo website design Scotland