Roasting Marshmallows over a Campfire

The Science Behind Roasting Marshmallows over a Campfire

Apart from the peace and quiet, another reason for going camping is the food. It is almost as if everything tastes better when burned over open flames. Toasted marshmallows have crunchy outsides that hold the delicious liquid that we all enjoy.

Roasting marshmallows is quite easy. You only have to put a marshmallow at the end of a stick and put it over the fire. But that is how a camping amateur would roast a marshmallow. There is a hidden science behind making the perfect marshmallow.

The trick to perfectly roasting a marshmallow is to pick the perfect spot in the fire pit. While the marshmallow has to be over the glowing hot coals, a small amount also has to be on the side of the flames. The hot coals give off radiant heat, and the hot gases give off convection heat. It is for this reason that the marshmallow must not be too close to the flames.

roasting marshmallow while camping

Why do you roast marshmallows?

Roasted marshmallows are probably not as healthy as other campsite meals, but who cares, right? Roasting marshmallows is fun and can be something you do together with your kids. There are very few campsite activities that are more rewarding than sitting around the campfire, roasting marshmallows and turning the marshmallows into s'mores while telling stories.

A marshmallow has a large number of calories because it is made of sugar and gelatin only. While raw marshmallow can be very sweet, toasted marshmallow improves the flavor. This depends on how well-done the marshmallow turns out. Burnt marshmallow is more delicious than under-toasted or raw marshmallow.

As the marshmallow becomes brown, it undergoes a milliard reaction. This gives it a more complex flavor. The campfires are usually very hot, causing the sugars to caramelize, changing the texture and flavor.

Roasting marshmallows causes a slight reduction in nutritional value. This is due to the conversion of sugar to carbon, which has no calories.

Are burnt marshmallows healthy?

The marshmallow's melting point is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, which is just above the body temperature. It is for this reason that the marshmallow melts when you put it in your mouth.

Marshmallow does not have any compounds that can cause health complications at high temperatures. It is simply just a big ball of sugar and gelatin. So if you like your marshmallow burnt, you can sleep at night knowing that you are completely fine.

marshmallow over a campfire

How do you roast marshmallows over a campfire?

It does not matter how you like your marshmallow, this guide will help you roast it to satisfaction every time.

  • 1. Marshmallow roasting sticks

Not any piece of wood can be used for roasting marshmallows. Sure enough, you can go and get some from your local sporting goods store. But you don’t have to spend a lot to get the right type of stick.

If you are going stick hunting, the stick to be chosen must meet two conditions. One, it must be of the right thickness. Two, it must be as long as your arm.
To ensure that the marshmallow sits properly on the stick, the ends must be sharpened. Using a pocket knife, simply carve the blunt edge of the stick.

  • 2. The fire pit

While a large campfire with huge flames is perfect for sitting around, it is very bad for marshmallow roasting. That kind of flame makes the marshmallow burn to a crisp very quickly.

If you want to get the perfect marshmallow, wait until the flames die down. It is much better when the fire pit is nothing more than just glowing coals.
Roasting over glowing coals ensures that the inside of the marshmallow and the outside cook at the same time. When you use huge flames, the exterior gets burned before the interior starts to cook.

  • 3. Positioning the marshmallow

Another very important thing to take note of is where the marshmallow is held. The perfect roasting temperature and condition is around 6 inches above the coals. To get a well-toasted marshmallow, the coals should be shaped like a cave. This will allow the marshmallow to be heated equally on all sides.

  • 4. Rotating the marshmallow

One of the biggest secrets to the perfect marshmallow is patience. The marshmallow has to be kept moving. Keep rotating it slowly, smoothly, and continuously. Allowing the marshmallow to sit in the fire will simply cause it to get burnt.

Keep rotating the marshmallow for around 5 minutes. While this might seem to be a long period of time for a marshmallow, the process cannot be rushed. Once you get impatient, the marshmallow will not turn out as expected.

  • 5. If the marshmallow catches fire

If you let the marshmallow reach the flames, and it caught on fire, do not panic. Simply remove it from the fire and blow gently on it. A marshmallow can be quite dangerous when it's on fire.

  • 6. Eating the roasted marshmallow

After the marshmallow is properly roasted, it is time to make the s'more.S'mores have, over time, become a traditional snack at campsites. Although there are different varieties of s'mores, they are just sandwiches of graham crackers with roasted marshmallows and chocolate in between.

S'mores are usually made around a campfire. The marshmallows are roasted until they start to melt, and then they are sandwiched by the graham crackers and pieces of a chocolate bar. Kids will usually press this combination together so that the hot marshmallow will melt the chocolate as well.

roasting marshmallow over campfire

Can you roast marshmallows on a propane fire pit?

A propane fire pit can be quite handy when camping. It is quite convenient for a lot of outdoor cooking. It is safe for roasting marshmallows because propane does not produce harmful substances as it burns. So is food cooked over it is safe for consumption.

However, to ensure that the taste and quality of the marshmallow are kept perfect, other things have to be considered. One very important factor is how clean the fire pit is. Its position and what is burned in it also matter.

Propane has no scent, so it does not change the smell of the marshmallow. The marshmallow is only affected by the fire and debris in the fire pit. Debris gathers in the pit as particles fall into it over time.

So the first step to ensuring good-tasting marshmallows is properly maintaining the fire pit. The fire pit should be cleaned regularly to remove bits of burnt food, dirt, and soot. Fire glass is also used so that the propane fire pits can be cleaned easily.

When using a propane fire pit, you might have to switch from a traditional stick. Using a marshmallow roasting fork that has two prongs is better. It helps prevent the marshmallow from falling into the fire pit.

You will also have to change the way in which you roast, unless you want to end up with a burnt marshmallow. A propane fire pit burns hotter than your regular wood fire, so you will have to adapt to this fact. Choosing roasting forks with extendable handles will help you keep a safe distance away.

Also, be prepared for the fact that the marshmallows will roast faster than usual. Knowing this will prevent it from being overcooked.

burnt marshmallow over campfire


Marshmallow roasting has gradually become a traditional camping activity. So, when you go camping, you must include a pack of marshmallows.Remember that to enjoy the perfect marshmallow, you have to follow the above-listed steps. And in roasting marshmallows, patience is key. You should also ensure that you are equipped with a solar-powered generator like the Acevolt Campower 700.

Acevolt manufactures portable power stations that can be moved around, especially the Acevolt Campower, which is specifically built for camping activities. It is built with a large backup battery, and its charging technology is safe, fast, and durable.

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