Wouldn't it be great if we could hold marshmallows in our hands and roast them over a fire. Of course we all know this is a far fetched idea. So, the reality that we are faced with is we need skewers to roast our marshmallows.
There are many different things you can use as a skewer. Some are made of wood and some are not. Somethings are safe to use as a skewer for your marshmallows and some should never come near any food you will consume.
In this article, we will look at some of the many objects you can use to hold your marshmallows over an open fire. Whether it's your fire pit or your campfire, you need the right tool for the job.
We will also answer some common and not so common questions about storing and cleaning your different marshmallow skewers.
In most instances, long skewers are preferable to short skewers. Long skewers give you the ability to stand close or far away from the heat source you are using to roast your marshmallows. A long skewer also gives you the option of putting one or multiple marshmallows on it.
In contrast, short skewers will require you to be close to the heat source to get enough energy to really toast your marshmallows. A short skewer also doesn't allow much room for placing multiple marshmallows on it. If you are roasting marshmallows over a candle or a lighter, then short skewers will work perfectly.
Best marshmallow skewers
Anytime you use the word best, you are really relying on the opinion of someone. That someone could be you or it could be thousands of other people. For us at bigyardfun.com the best means what skewer is right for your situation.
As previously mentioned, long skewers are good for staying far away from a raging fire. Short skewers are good for small fires that you can get very close to.
Metal skewers are best when you are concerned about complete cleanliness. Your metal skewer should be made of stainless steel or other food grade metal to ensure it is food safe and won't be damaged by your fire.
Metal skewers are also the best when you need a compact skewer to travel with. No other skewer can be made to fold, retract, and bend like metal skewers.
Metal skewers are also best when you need to leave your skewer in the fire for a long time. Most other skewers will burn if left in the fire too long.
Bamboo skewers are best when you want a store bought, yet nostalgic feel to your marshmallow roasting.
Tree branch skewers are best when you are in the wild and have no other option.
Wooden skewers for marshmallow roasting
The most common type of wooden skewer for roasting marshmallows is the bamboo skewer. You can find bamboo skewers everywhere.
Wooden skewers also come in other types of wood, but are less common. They are available in birch and beech.
You need to make sure you buy wooden skewers from a reputable dealer; one that you know supplies wooden skewers that are packaged and stored correctly. Wooden skewers that are not handle properly can harvest bacteria that can be harmful to you. This is why it is also a good idea to hold you skewer over your fire before cooking any food on it.
When you are ready to use your wooden skewers to roast marshmallows you might want to soak them in water. I say that you "might want to soak them" because you really don't need to soak them to roast marshmallows.
Some people suggest soaking them to keep them from burning. If you where going to leave your skewers on the fire for a long time, then it would be recommended to soak them. But, marshmallows take less than a minute to roast. Although this is enough time for wood to catch fire or at least start to be broken down by the fire, your stick won't be close enough for it to have much of an effect.
Wooden skewers are very inexpensive. It is best to discard them after a single use. Cleaning and drying them is difficult. Storing the long wooden skewers, once they have been cleaned, can be difficult as well.
If you choose to, you can clean them and keep them for reuse. Just be sure to wash them well. And most importantly, be sure that they dry completely before storing them. Don't leave them sitting in water for a long time or they will take a lot longer to dry out.
Metal skewers for roasting marshmallows
First, don't use inferior metal skewers. Your metal skewers need to be made of food safe metal if you are going to eat food off of it. The most common kind of metal skewers you will find are stainless steel. Stainless steel is food safe and is affordable.
You also can get metal skewers made of wrought iron and cast iron. Both are food safe if they are made correctly. Check with the manufacturers of these products to be sure they are safe for roasting your marshmallows.
Metal skewers come in a variety of forms. My favorite ones are the telescopic metal skewers. Telescopic metal skewers are very easy to store. They also are the best skewer to use when you are traveling; including camping. The fit very nicely into a backpack.
There are also straight long and short metal skewers that resemble there wooden counterparts. These have the same benefits as wooden skewers, but don't allow bacteria to grow on them. You do have to keep them clean or bacteria can fester on food left stuck to them.
Now, probably one of the best metal skewers available is the metal fork roasting stick. As you can imagine, these skewers are made like a big fork. Many have two prongs, but some have three and four prongs. The metal fork skewers lets you roast many multiples of marshmallows at one time.
You may be thinking, "Why do I need to roast a lot of marshmallows at one time?" Let me open up your imagination. When you are at home and want to cook a batch of s'mores, you put them on a baking sheet and pop them in the oven.
When you are outside with your fire pit, you don't have the luxury of placing your marshmallows on a pan. Sure, you could setup a cooking rack and lay a pan over your fire, but that's not why you set up your pit in the first place.
When you've got several small children or just some lazy s'mores eaters that don't want to roast their marshmallows, you need the metal fork skewer. It will deliver a half dozen or more roasted marshmallows to your hungry loved ones all at one time.
Can you use chopsticks to roast marshmallows?
Chopsticks can be used to roast marshamallows, but there are somethings to consider before you jump in and use those take-out chopsticks.
According to the New York Times, disposable chopsticks are made of various types of wood including birch, cotton, spruce, and bamboo. Just like the wooden skewers you can buy specifically for roasting marshmallows, you can use wooden chopsticks to roast your marshmallows.
The rub comes when you don't know how or what your chopsticks are made of. Some disposable chopsticks are coated with sulfur dioxide and maybe other chemicals. These chemicals are not good to eat and can come off just by using the chopsticks to eat with. The problem is compounded when you put them into a fire. As your marshmallows roast, some of the chemicals can burn and come off as it is heated. The resulting toxins that burn off can leach into your marshmallows.
As with small skewers, you generally only want to use chopsticks as skewers when you have a small fire. You can also soak wooden chopsticks in water to make them resist burning if you want to place them in a fire for a longer time. The cheaper, lighter wooden chopsticks, even when soaked, may not last that long in a fire. Harder wooden chopsticks, like the ones made of bamboo and birch, will be your best option if you want to soak them for prolong use in a fire.
There are also metal chopsticks. The same rules apply for using metal chopsticks in place of skewers as using your regular metal skewers. You have to confirm your metal chopsticks are made of a food grade metal and that they can be place in a fire. Some metal chopsticks are not meant for eating, but are for decorative purposes only.
You also have to consider that metal chopsticks don't have an kind of handle on them. When you hold them over a fire to roast your marshmallows, the metal will start to heat up. If you are only using them on a very small fire, then you can probably hold the metal in your hand. If they start to get too hot, you can wrap a damp cloth around the end to hold on to. Just don't catch the cloth on fire.
It should be obvious, but I'll say it anyway, "Don't use plastic chopsticks to roast marshmallows!" Plastic chopsticks will melt in your fire.
Can you roast marshmallows with a fork?
You can roast marshmallows with a metal fork or wooden fork. Your metal fork should be stainless steel. If you are unsure if your fork is stainless steel, then you probably shouldn't use it. Many stainless steel forks are marked on the end with a stamp that says "stainless steel."
Metal forks are subject to heating up when placed over a heating source. Be careful not to let the fork get too hot or it might burn you. Also, unless your fork is really long, you won't be able to use it on a big fire because you will have to get close to roast your marshmallow. The fire may be unbearable if you get too close.
Wooden forks are generally thick, and may be harder to use for roasting your marshmallows. But, if you can get your marshmallow to stay on, then a wooden fork will work.
What sticks to use for roasting marshmallows
Many of the sticks you find in the woods can be used to roast marshmallows. But it is best to choose a stick made of wood that you know. Some plants and trees can contain toxins that are harmful to humans. If you are unsure about the stick, check with an expert.
The best sticks to use are going to be freshly broken from the tree. When a stick is fresh, it still has a lot of mostiture inside. This will keep it from burning.
The stick should also be long and straight. Well, it should be straight to some degree. Many times you can find a good stick that has multiple small branches. These many offshoots will let you roast multiple marshmallows at the same time.
Before using your new found stick, check it for any mold or other bacteria growing on it. If it looks bad, discard it and find a new one. After the stick has passed all visual test, hold the end you are going to place your marshmallows on in the fire. This will burn of anything that may be on the outside of the stick that your can't see. This won't sterilize the stick.
Ultimately, it is best to use stick that you can have confidence in it being clean and free of bacteria. Packaged wooden skewers are generally safer that picking up a stick off of the ground.
How to clean marshmallow sticks
Wooden marshmallow roasting sticks can be cleaned. We prefer to toss ours out and use a new one each time we do a roast. But if you are inclined to reuse your sticks, then you should clean them well.
Soak them in water for a few minutes to soften any marshmallow that may be stuck on. Then use a sponge with warm soap and water to scrub them clean. Once you have cleaned them, place them on a dish rack where water can drip from them. Be sure they are completely dry before storing them. Storing them wet, and particularly with food still on them, will leave the perfect environment for them to grow bacteria.
On your next marshmallow roasting occasion, put the ends in the fire for a little bit to burn off any bacteria and to generally clean them before cooking your marshmallows.
Marshmallow stick storage
You should keep your marshmallow sticks in a dry place at room temperature. You should also make sure they are dry before storing them. This will keep them from growing any kind of bacteria on them.
If you have long wooden skewers, you can place them in a mailing tube, or wrap them with plastic wrap. Some people like to tie a piece of string around one end and hang them in the pantry.
Retractable metal skewers will easily store well in a plastic container or in a kitchen drawer.
Marshmallow stick holder
If you are looking for a holder to carry your long marshmallow sticks in, you can use a mailing tube with a strap attached to it. The mailing tube will give you a good place to store your marshmallow sticks while your are traveling. It will also be a good place to hold your extra sticks while your are roasting marshmallows.
A good way to roast your marshmallows without having to hold your skewer is to fashion a stick holder. You can make one out of a metal coat hanger. Just twist the coat hanger a couple of times so that you can slide the skewer into it. Then stick the other end of the coat hanger in the ground next to your fire.
The are a wide variety of marshmallows skewers available for your to choose from. If you want something economical and fast, pick up some bamboo sticks at your local camping store. If you are looking to invest in something that will last a long time and you can travel with, telescopic marshmallow roasting forks are the way to go.
Whichever type of marshmallow skewer or stick your choose, get out there and have fun roasting marshmallows with your family and friends.