How to Roast the Most Perfect Marshmallow in the World

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While camping, a father holds a roasted marshmallow while his daughter takes a bite of the gooey marshmallow she just roasted.

Roasting marshmallows is a classic camping activity enjoyed by all. But not everyone knows how to roast a marshmallow properly. Achieving the perfect golden toast on the sugary exterior of this pillowy treat can be challenging, but not if you have the right knowledge and tools. 

Whether you’re a purist who loves a roasted marshmallow all on its own or a s’mores fanatic with a penchant for chocolatey graham cracker goodness, keep reading! By the time you’re done with this article, you’ll be well on your way to roasting the perfect ‘mallow every time.

A campfire treat - the s'more. A perfectly placed chocolate bar under gooey roasted marshamallow between two graham crackers.

Elements of a Perfectly Roasted Marshmallow

First, we must establish the color and texture of a perfectly roasted marshmallow. Once you know what it should look and feel like, it will be easier to get it right. 

If your marshmallow is mostly white on the outside after roasting, it’s likely underdone. If it is dark brown or burnt to a crisp, it is overdone. Here, you want to find a happy medium. The perfectly roasted marshmallow is golden brown, with wisps of white still showing on the exterior.

The interior of the marshmallow should not be hard or cold. Again, this would indicate you didn’t roast the marshmallow long enough. It also should not be dripping down your roasting stick or melting into the fire. A droopy marshmallow would mean an overcooked center. At the end of a perfect roasting session, the inside of your marshmallow should be soft, gooey, and warm. 

Two marshmallows are on a split  roasting marshamallow stick and are prepared to a golden brown which is the perfect marshamallow.

What You Need for Roasting Marshmallows

Roasting a marshmallow to perfection and enjoying the reward requires the right supplies. Here’s what you’ll need to get the job done:

Roasting Stick

You have two options when it comes to your roasting stick. You can fashion a stick by taking a skinny tree branch and whittling the end to a sharp point with a knife. Just make sure the stick is long enough for you to keep a safe distance from the fire. You can also purchase stainless steel roasting sticks, which are a great reusable option to carry with you on camping trips. The below adjustable campfire sticks are very affordable, extend to 45 inches, and have silicone handles for comfort and safety.

Amazon Basics Adjustable Campfire Roasting Sticks - 11.5 to 45 Inch, Black, Pack of 5
  • 5 campfire roasting sticks for roasting marshmallows, hot dogs, and more
  • Made of premium stainless steel for optimal performance and long-lasting strength


The main ingredient! These days, marshmallows come in a variety of sizes, shapes, colors, and flavors. However, we recommend the standard white marshmallow to achieve the optimal golden brown color. Also, be sure to use regular-sized, round marshmallows. The mini size will be too small for the roasting stick, and jumbo or irregular shaped marshmallows may be more difficult to roast evenly.

Fire or Coals

You can’t roast a ‘mallow without heat. Ideally, you’ll want to let your fire burn down a bit before you get out your roasting sticks. A raging fire will result in a burnt marshmallow. It’s best to have small flames and plenty of hot coals for proper roasting.

S’mores Ingredients

For traditional s’mores, you’ll need graham crackers, a milk chocolate bar, and, of course, marshmallows! However, here you can feel free to get creative. Swap out milk chocolate for dark chocolate, or consider using peanut butter cups instead. You could even use chocolate chips or snickerdoodle cookies rather than graham crackers for the base. 

How to Roast the Perfect Marshmallow Every Time

Most people don’t have the patience for roasting marshmallows the right way. And who can blame them? When a tempting treat is calling your name, you make haste and eat it! But let us assure you, roasting a marshmallow the right way is worth the wait.  

Roasting marshmallows to a perfect golden brown color comes down to proper technique. First, slide a marshmallow onto your roasting stick, making sure to puncture it through the center of one of the flat, circular sides. This will prevent the marshmallow from prematurely falling off the stick. 

Second, hold the marshmallow approximately 6 inches above the coals. Do not have it directly in the fire pit flames! Some people prefer the cave or oven method. This is where you hold the marshmallow in a den-like area between the coals and logs to create an oven effect. This method works well for quick, even roasting. However, your marshmallow may be more susceptible to catching fire if the cave is too hot, so use your best judgment. And the 6-inch rule still applies here. Make sure you have several inches of clearance on all sides of the marshmallow when using this method. 

Third, rotate your stick, so the ‘mallow toasts all the way around. Continue turning slowly and consistently for 4 to 5 minutes. Yes, this may seem like a long time, but patience is key to marshmallow perfection. Plus, nobody has ever complained about an extra five minutes spent around the campfire in the history of camping. And while you are patiently waiting, you can share some of the best short scary stories that will make your next campfire even more memorable. 

When the marshmallow is golden brown, slowly pull it away from the fire. And that’s it! If you follow steps 1, 2, and 3, you should end up with an ooey-gooey, irresistibly toasted treat! 

A single marshmallow is on a stick, roasting over a campfire.

Safety Tips for Roasting Marshmallows

Because you are roasting marshmallows over an open flame, it’s essential to take some necessary precautions. Follow all of the standard fire safety rules, such as keeping a safe distance and supervising children.

Also, be careful with your roasting sticks. Not only are they sharp, but they will get very hot being held over the flames. Never leave a hot roasting stick where someone might sit or stand on it, and avoid touching the pointy end right after it has been in the fire. 

Lastly, if your marshmallow does catch fire, be careful not to flail your stick about trying to put out the flame. You wouldn’t want this molten fireball to fly off and land on someone or something. Instead, slowly remove the burning ‘mallow from the fire and gently blow on it to extinguish the flame.

Enjoy a Perfectly Roasted Marshmallow S’more on Your Next Camping Trip

Now, it’s time to enjoy the product of your patience! Once your marshmallow has reached the perfect level of doneness, slide the warm pillow between two graham crackers with a piece of chocolate. Then eat and repeat!

Last update on 2024-07-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

  1. Slow roll with the RollaRoaster makes it very easy. Designed by a one armed man from my home town. Look it up. The only thing about roasting is my wife likes them burned to a crisp outside. I love the golden brown.

  2. Golden brown and use thin Reese’s peanut butter cups instead of Hershey chocolate. DELICIOUS
    Just made them last weekend

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