It’s hard to think about a campfire without conjuring up an image of roasting marshmallows or making smores. However, knowing how to roast marshmallows properly depending on what kind of pit you are working with will ensure that you are being as safe as possible and will contribute to a more enjoyable experience.
Propane fire pits are a great resource to have if you want to roast marshmallows and other foods but there are certain things that you need to bear in mind before you try it out.
This guide will take you through everything you need to know about roasting marshmallows over a propane fire pit from the advantages and the disadvantages but also what kinds of sticks you should use and the best roasting methods before concluding with an FAQ where we answer all those burning questions you may have.
Why is there a warning sign?
The first thing that you may have noticed about your propane fire pit is that there is probably a warning sign that says not to use it for cooking. This is simply because they ha
ve not been designed for cooking and have not been tested as a cooking appliance. This means that you cannot be guaranteed by the company that it is safe to use for cooking meaning that if anything goes wrong during the cooking process then they are not liable for any injury or damage.
However, the warning sign doesn’t prevent a lot of people from cooking with most customers purchasing their propane fire pit for the purpose of cooking. However, you shouldn’t really use it for proper cooking and should stick to roasting simple things like marshmallows at maximum. We’ll be delving into the disadvantages as to why that is below.
What can you cook on a propane fire pit?
As mentioned before, you shouldn’t really use the pit for cooking mainly because it has been advised against.
The reason why marshmallows can be roasted is because you have complete control as you will be holding the stick over the fire while also ensuring that no juices or substances can drip in the fire and cause any problems by clogging up the burner holes.
If you cook proper foods like meats then you are risking various juices dripping which is a huge safety hazard and will cause a lot of mess.
Dropping a marshmallow
Dropping a marshmallow into the fire pit is bound to happen at some point, especially if you love to roast marshmallows on a regular basis. If this does happen then it’s important to act as fast as you possible can.
This is because marshmallows solidify after they have cooled and if you haven’t removed it in time then it will damage the surface that it has landed on which will in turn need replacing.
In order to prevent a waste of further money and time, turn off the fire as quick as you can and wait for it to become as cool as possible before scraping it away before it has a chance to solidify.
Bear in mind that lava rocks can cool quicker compared to fire glass as the heat will have travelled more intensely across the latter meaning you have a higher chance of damage if you have fire glass.
You may find that other clogs have occurred during this process so make sure you clean the fire pit as thoroughly as you can in order to prevent any long term damage.
Fire pits cost a lot of money to buy so it’s important that you are using it properly in order to preserve its longevity and ensure that you aren’t having to replace it after a short period of time over something that is completely preventable.
Disadvantages of roasting marshmallows
Aside from the fact that propane fire pits haven’t been designed for cooking, there are other disadvantages that come with roasting your marshmallows that you should know about.
The first thing to remember is that the flame may have come into contact with other substances such as glass or rocks which can affect the taste of your marshmallow, especially if you roast it for longer periods of time.
Usually, glass and lava rocks should be perfectly safe and not really mess with the overall taste and quality of the marshmallow.
It is definitely advised not to use any chemicals or other protective coating over your propane gas as this is more likely to give a funny taste to your marshmallows and could cause problems further down the line if you eat marshmallows regularly.
This is because chemicals can cause the marshmallows to develop acrylamide which shouldn’t be eaten in larger doses. Trying to incorporate as many natural elements as you can into the roasting experience will mean that you are being as safe as you can and you can spend your time enjoying the original marshmallow taste.
It may not seem like an important part of the marshmallow roasting experience but making sure you have appropriate roasting sticks will mean that you have less chance of dropping the marshmallows which in turn will make the cleaning process a lot easier as well as preserving the longevity of the fire pit.
There are two types of roasting skewers that you can choose from and it’s definitely recommended that you go for an option that has a minimum of two prongs to ensure that the marshmallow is securely fixed on the skewer and will allow for a more thorough cook around the entire surface.
Safety roasting skewers
The first option is the best option as these skewers provide more control and an even more reduced chance of the marshmallow falling into the fire pit. Safety roasting skewers have points that are curved inwards meaning that they penetrate the marshmallow better and secure it safely.
Ideal for small children to use who are more likely to wave their skewer around as they cook. Children should always be supervised by an adult when they are near the flame but these safety roasting skewers will mean that they’re not likely to drop their marshmallow into the fire and start crying.
Choosing options that have ergonomic handles will mean that they are more comfortable to hold for longer periods of times and there are even adjustable options so you can increase your distance from the open flame.
Standard roasting skewers
The second option is best for those who are on a stricter budget when it comes to their skewers. Standard roasting skewers don’t have the same fancy features that come with safety roasting skewers but they do have double prongs to help secure the marshmallow as much as possible.
Some standard roasting skewers have adjustable features for extra safety but bear in mind that these will cost more than ones that don’t.
Standard roasting skewers tend to have more in a pack then safety roasting skewers because they are cheaper and don’t boast the same quality. This means that you’re more likely to replace them a lot sooner than safety roasting skewers.
Cleaning lava rocks and fire glass
We have delved a little bit into what happens when marshmallows are dropped into the pit and have landed on the surface of your lava rocks or glass. However, knowing how to properly clean up the mess will ensure that you are preventing any injury from happening as well as reducing the chances of damage to the equipment itself.
Lava rocks and fire glass are two very different materials meaning that they should be treated completely differently. Here we have gathered what you need to do to treat marshmallow residue on fire glass and lava rocks. Bear in mind that you should always wear protective gloves for both options as they can be extremely sharp pieces.
If you have dropped some marshmallow on piece of fire glass and left it for a long period of time then it is probably best to throw them away and buy some new ones. However, if you have only just dropped the marshmallow onto the fire glass then it’s best to create a solution of baking soda and vinegar and gently soaking the pieces separately.
Once you have done this, make sure that any fire residue has been removed from the fire pit. Make sure that the residue has been placed in a strainer and rinse it using a hose. This can take some time depending on how much it has been stained.
When the pieces are fully wet, you can use some soap and mix it using your hands so you can really work on the pieces and try to scrape the marshmallow off. Once the marshmallow has been removed, dry the pieces using a towel before putting it back to use again.
For those who use lava rocks, the cleaning process is a completely different to fire glass. This is because they are a lot more difficult to clean thanks to the small holes on their surface.
Therefore, it’s a lot easier to replace the rocks rather than trying to scrape off any marshmallow residue. Lava rocks can also be extremely sharp so make sure you always wear protective gloves when handling them to ensure that they don’t cut through your skin.
Now that we’ve discussed all the health and safety aspects that come with roasting marshmallows, it’s not time to actually learn how to roast them properly. This will prevent the marshmallow from burning and turning black and mean that it is crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.
Here is the best method to remember:
- Placing the marshmallow on the skewer
The first step is probably an obvious one but it’s important to place the marshmallow on the skewer properly. If you love to take a risk, you can add two to the skewer but having one on there will mean that you have less chance of it falling off.
Penetrate the marshmallow until you can see a small amount of the tip poking through the other end.
- Choose a place with steady flames
The best place on the fire pit to roast your marshmallow is an area where there are steady flames which are more controlled and less likely to lash out unexpectedly and catch fire to your marshmallow.
Make sure that you are rotating your marshmallow at a steady speed about an inch away from the flame will mean that it will get the consistent cook it needs.
- Watch the color of the marshmallow closely
A lot of mistakes that happen when people roast marshmallows is that they don’t keep an eye on the color of the marshmallow properly. This tends to lead to overcooking and the marshmallow will end up turning black.
Therefore, make sure that you roast the marshmallow until it turns to a golden brown color. Despite what it may seem, the marshmallow won’t need roasting for a long period of time and can color up quicky within seconds. This will ensure that you have that crisp exterior and gooey interior.
- Cooling period
Before you eat the marshmallow, make sure that you give it a minute or two to cool down so you don’t burn your mouth before squishing it between some chocolate and crackers and enjoying your smores.
- Eat and enjoy
Now you’ve roasted the perfect marshmallow and it’s ready for you to eat and enjoy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it safe?
Unsurprisingly, using a propane fire pit does pose a certain amount of risk as it is incorporating open flames.
Therefore, you have to be wary when you are roasting your marshmallows to prevent any accidents or injury from happening. Make sure that you are as safe as possible and that all children are supervised when they are around the fire and make sure that the fire pit is used correctly so you can have a more enjoyable experience.
Are burnt marshmallows bad for you?
You may or may not have heard people say about burnt foods being bad for you. Even if you enjoy blackened marshmallows with a crunchy texture, having them burnt is not actually that good for you.
If you eat one every so often then it probably won’t have any negative effect but it is not advised to eat them regularly as burnt marshmallows contain higher levels of acrylamide which should only be eaten in smaller doses.
Does it make the marshmallows taste funny?
Using propane fire pits reduces the chances of having a funny tasting marshmallow than wood is as it burns more cleanly. This is because no chemicals are imparted onto the marshmallows so you can enjoy them as they are meant to taste.
Using wood can also mean that your marshmallow is more vulnerable to burning quicker as well as meaning that there can be an unappealing smokey flavor.
Can you roast marshmallows over lava rocks?
The great thing about roasting marshmallows is that they can be cooked through a variety of different methods. This does include lava rocks as they have an even heat distribution which is ideal for consistently cooking your marshmallows throughout so it isn’t burnt at one end and undercooked on the other.
Overall, knowing how to cook your marshmallows properly will mean that you have a better chance of roasting them consistently with even distribution.
Also, it’s equally important to know how to take care of your fire pit to ensure that you are not imparting any chemicals or other substances and particles onto your marshmallows and other foods.
This will mean that you are having a safe experience that is also enjoyable and means that you can make the use of your outdoor equipment. Whether you’re a master at using propane fire pits or have never used them before, these tips will see that you’ll have many years of roasting marshmallows with ease.