The science behind roasting the perfect marshmallow

Roasting the perfect marshmallow isn’t easy. It’s tricky to keep the things from bursting into flames, but if you’re careful and exercise a little patience, you should have no problem. Here are a few simple steps that will give you a golden brown marshmallow.

The stick

One of the most important pieces of gear needed to roast a marshmallow is the stick. Sure you can buy fancy metal ones at Canadian Tire, but it’s hard to beat a good old-fashioned one that comes from the forest. If you’re getting one from the woods, cut the stick to about an arm’s length, then whittle the end into a pencil-sharp point before you stick the marshmallow on the end. If you prefer the metal, store-bought kind, remember that it will be really hot after sticking it into the fire, so be careful.

The fire

For roasting marshmallows you want a fire that has burned well, and is now only emitting heat from the coals. Full flames will light your little ball of sugary goodness on fire almost instantly, so wait until you have glowing hot embers that provide a perfect radiant heat in order to get a golden, crispy crust.

The technique

So you’re sitting a stick’s length from the fire and your marshmallow is six to eight inches above the glowing coals, not in the flame. At this point, you want it on a slow, steady, and constant rotation, just like a rotisserie chicken from Swiss Chalet.

Should your marshmallow catch on fire, slowly and gently take the stick out of the fire and blow the flame out gently. Don’t shake it, don’t scream and shake it, and don’t run around wildly with it. Flaming mallows are like little lava bombs that can cause second degree burns when they fly haphazardly off the stick—I’ve seen it twice in my lifetime!

For a perfect golden marshmallow, you need to be patient, roasting it slowly, carefully, and methodically. The more time it takes, the gooier and more delicious the centre will be. Depending on the fire, it’ll probably take about four minutes to make a perfect mallow.

The consumption

Now that your marshmallow is the golden hue all your friends and family have been striving for all night, it’s time to dive in!

You have a few options: Firstly, you can take it off and squish it between two cookies with some chocolate to make a delicious s’more; you can let it cool for a minute or two before stuffing the whole thing straight into your mouth; or, if you’re feeling confident about your ability to roast the perfect marshmallow again, you could peel off the golden skin, then roast the remainder, and repeat—delicious!