Know How to Roast Marshmallows to Perfection

Even people who don't love the great outdoors enjoy roasting marshmallows over a campfire. Getting a roasted, golden brown marshmallow seems like an easy task, but if you're like most people, you've eaten your share of black, charred sugar bombs. It takes patience to get the perfect marshmallow. Understanding the science behind a roasted marshmallow will help you get the holy grail.

Elements of Roasting Marshmallows

You need three things to roast marshmallows, a stick, a fire and marshmallows. Your stick should be arm's length. Whittle a wooden stick into a point to make the marshmallow go on better. A metal stick you buy at the camping store is fine, but it can get very hot after being the in the fire. You want a fire that is just glowing hot embers. The radiant heat will give you a nice golden crust without blowing your marshmallow up in a blaze of glory. Choose regular sized marshmallows for the best results. Fresh marshmallows just taste better, too.

The Technique

Marshmallows are essentially sugar, water and gelatin. When the outside of the marshmallow is heated, the inside starts to ooze. You can get that reaction from the microwave, but what makes roasted marshmallows so much better is the caramelization that occurs. You get more complex flavors when the marshmallow turns brown and toasty.

Sit about an armlength away from the fire. You want to be able to put your marshmallow about six to eight inches about the coals. Once you're in the right position, turn the stick like a spit. Rotate it slowly above the glowing embers and don't let it touch the flame. It should take about four minutes for the marshmallow to get ooey and gooey on the inside and golden brown on the outside.

If the marshmallow does catch on fire, stay calm. Blow out the flame gently. If you shake it or wave it around, it could fly off the stick and land on someone. Burning marshmallows can cause second degree burns.

The Consumption

Once your marshmallow is ready to eat, you have choices. There's probably no other dessert more classic to camping than the s'more. That toasty ball of sugar on top of chocolate, smashed between graham crackers is a delight. Some people love to pull off the golden skin and eat it, then roast the insides of the marshmallow again. No matter how you love your marshmallows, it's worth practicing your technique to get the perfectly roasted treat.