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REVEALED: The Right Way to Toast a Marshmallow

Knowing how to toast a marshmallow is a skill everyone should possess. Whether or not you sandwich them between graham crackers and chocolate is up to you.

Unfortunately, not everyone knows how to correctly cook these sweet, gooey pieces of goodness. While it may seem simple, you can do a few things to achieve the perfect golden-brown color. 

Today, we’ll teach you how to toast a ‘mallow. It’s easier than you think.

Let’s gather ’round the fire!

What Are Marshmallows?

Marshmallows are a confection made from sugar, water, and gelatin. Some alternate recipes choose to use agar or carrageenan instead of gelatin. Either way, the final result is a fluffy, soft texture with a sweet flavor.

You’ll frequently see them used as toppings for hot chocolate or as a main ingredient in s’mores. However, we think they’re delicious enough to enjoy as a treat on their own. You can eat them right out of the bag. We won’t tell.

The list of ingredients is pretty simple. It’s typically nothing more than sugar, corn syrup, and gelatin. All you need to do is mix the ingredients and heat the mixture to create a thick, sticky syrup. 

Once you have a syrup, whip it until it becomes fluffy and aerated. You can then pour the mixture into molds and allow it to set. Once set, coat them in a layer of cornstarch or powdered sugar to prevent them from sticking together.

What Makes the Perfect Toasted Marshmallow?

It’s not easy to achieve a perfectly toasted marshmallow. The perfect ‘mallow is golden-brown and has a soft and gooey inside. It’s warm enough to melt the chocolate square when you sandwich it between graham crackers.

Unfortunately, they can go from perfectly toasted to burnt to a crisp in the blink of an eye. You want the outside layer to be crispy but not to the point where it tastes like it has a layer of ash.

It would be ignorant of us to assume everyone shares our preferences when it comes to cooking. The truth is, some people prefer their ‘mallows a little more done than others. If you like yours to look like they just survived a volcanic explosion, we’re not ones to judge.

Couple roasting marshmallows
Summer camping trips should always require roasting marshmallows over the campfire.

How to Toast the Perfect Marshmallow

If you want to perfect your toasting technique, we’ve got some tips. We’ll walk you through how to get the perfect marshmallow.

Build Your Fire

You can’t toast anything without a heat source. While cooking over stoves and other heat sources is possible, a campfire is the best atmosphere. You don’t want the fire to be too large, it can get too hot, and you won’t want to get near it.

You want to give your first plenty of time to burn before toasting marshmallows over it. Ideally, your fire will settle into a hot bed of coals. This can make it easy to avoid your ‘mallow accidentally bursting into flames.

Pro Tip: Build your campfire with ease by using one of these 5 Best Campfire Starters.

Pick Your Marshmallow Toasting Stick

You can find budget-friendly sticks and some that are pretty pricey. However, you typically get what you pay for when it comes to roasting sticks. If you plan to toss them at the end of your trip, don’t waste your money on buying premium sticks. On the other hand, if you camp several times each year, it’s worth investing in a quality set.

If you get to your site and realize you don’t have a stick, there’s a chance you could find a tree branch that has fallen to the ground and dried. You want a long and skinny stick that you can sharpen to a point.

Choose Your Toasting Marshmallows Wisely

You can’t trust generic if you’re trying to toast the perfect marshmallow. Trust us; the generic isn’t the same. It may save you a few pennies but will ruin the entire experience.

Additionally, if you’re using marshmallows you already have, check to ensure they’re good. If you didn’t correctly seal them from the last trip, there’s a chance they’re no longer fresh. There’s nothing worse than discovering they’re crusty because too much air has got to them.

Once you select your marshmallow, put it through the center of the flat side. As it heats up and gets gooey, it’ll want to fall off your stick. Getting it through the center can allow you to cook it thoroughly without falling off and into the fire.

Turn Slowly

Achieving the perfect toasted marshmallow requires patience and attention. Take your time toasting slowly and evenly. Avoid rushing the process by getting them too close to the fire.

Rotating your stick helps ensure it cooks evenly and prevents you from burning them. Use a slow, circular motion to ensure you toast all sides evenly.

Remove from Fire When Golden Brown

When toasting your marshmallow, you want to aim for a golden-brown color. This perfectly combines a crispy, caramelized outside and a soft, gooey inside. Watch closely to ensure it doesn’t burn.

Depending on your preference, you may prefer a lightly toasted or slightly charred ‘mallow. Experiment with different toasting techniques and cooking times to find the perfect balance for your taste.

Let Cool Before Enjoying

After toasting your marshmallow, resist the urge to eat it right away. Let it cool for a few seconds to prevent burning your mouth. Allowing it to cool can help it to set and develop a more complex flavor.

If you’re making a s’more, you want to place it on the chocolate and between the graham crackers as quickly as possible. This will allow the heat to melt the chocolate and create the perfect combination.

Close up of marshmallows being roasted
Don’t rush the process of toasting marshmallows to get the perfect roast.

Tips for Safely Toasting Marshmallows

You don’t want a burn or other accident to ruin the experience. Here are some safety tips everyone should follow when toasting marshmallows.

Keep your Distance from the Flames

Having longer sticks can help ensure that everyone keeps a safe distance from the fire. A severe burn could require a trip to the emergency room. Everyone, especially children, should stay back from the fire.

This is an excellent time to remind many of you that alcohol and fires don’t go together. If you know someone has been drinking, have them take a step or two away from the fire. They could lose their balance and end up falling into the fire. Additionally, alcohol is very flammable, so keep it away from the flames at all times.

Be Careful with Your Stick

There are many possible dangers when it comes to your marshmallow toasting stick. The most obvious is that the sharp prongs on the end can be dangerous. Just like you wouldn’t run with scissors, you shouldn’t run while holding a sharp stick. 

In addition, you should make sure that the prongs are always facing the ground. You don’t want to accidentally injure yourself or someone else with your stick. If you’re cooking at night, it could be easy not to see someone and run into them with your stick.

If you’re using metal sticks, remember that they’ll be extremely hot when you finish. You don’t want to reach up and touch anywhere near the end that was near the fire. Doing so can cause some serious burns. When finished, you must place them safely away from the fire so no one accidentally touches them.

Don’t Panic if Your Marshmallow Catches Fire

Sometimes even the best toasters will accidentally catch their marshmallow on fire. However, the difference between a rookie and someone with experience is how they handle it. There’s a right and wrong way to extinguish the flames.

Trust us, no one in the history of roasting ‘mallows has ever extinguished a flaming marshmallow by flinging it around. This typically ends with a flaming ball of sugar flying through the air. Depending on where it lands, it could potentially cause a dire situation.

If your ‘mallow bursts into flames, calmly pull it out and blow on it. This will likely be enough to extinguish it. If not, count your losses and let the flames finish the job until it falls into the fire. Make sure you give your stick time to cool down before trying again.

Pro Tip: Don’t like marshmallows? Try out one of these 5 Best Campfire Dessert Recipes instead.

Toast Your Marshmallows the Right Way

Achieving perfect toasting requires attention, patience, and a bit of technique. You can get the perfect golden-brown color with a soft and gooey inside by using the right fire, choosing the best ‘mallows, and rotating them as they cook. It can take some time to develop your technique.

Practice makes perfect, so this gives you all the more reason to eat more marshmallows.

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