We all know the joy of roasting marshmallows over a fire pit in the great outdoors. There’s just something so special and heartwarming about sticking a marshmallow at the end of a stick and waiting for it to get done while talking to your loved ones.
Truly, for many of us, roasting marshmallows and making s’mores are wonderful childhood memories that bring back days of innocence and fun. However, can you achieve that same joy by using a gas fire pit?
Moreover, is using a gas fire pit for roasting marshmallows even safe? And more importantly, does it affect the taste of your marshmallows? You’ll discover all you want to know by the end of this article, so let’s dive right in.
Drum roll, please…… The answer is ABSOLUTELY YES!!!
You can roast marshmallows using a gas fire pit just as you would on a gas grill or a wood fire pit. While gas fire pits are mostly used for esthetics, you can use them to roast marshmallows if the mood for some s’mores strikes you.
Honestly, they’re no different from a gas grill, and they’re completely safe. You can roast marshmallows on a propane fire pit as well as a natural gas fire pit. You just have to keep a few things in mind when using a gas fire pit for cooking, even if it’s for something as simple as marshmallows.
Note: Always remember that natural gas and propane gas are highly flammable. So, make sure to operate gas fire pits safely and responsibly and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid any unfortunate accidents.
DID YOU KNOW a typical marshmallow has about 25 CALORIES. So go ahead and enjoy a couple of marshmallows.
Were Gas Fire Pits Designed with Cooking in Mind?
Gas fire pits were made to be decorative fire features for your backyard or patio. They simply aren’t equipped with the necessary parts that make cooking feasible.
For instance, they don’t have any drip pans or venting. They’re also not the easiest thing to clean, and we all know how messy cooking can get. Also, most gas fire pits don’t reach high enough temperatures to thoroughly cook things like meat or seafood.
However, if there’s a will, there’s a way.
At the end of the day, you have a live-fire that you can make use of, as well as the flaming-hot fire media. So, with the right equipment and some tips and tricks, you can definitely use a gas fire pit for cooking or, for our intents and purposes, roasting a marshmallow.
Things to Watch Out for When Using a Gas Fire Pit to Roast Marshmallows
Honestly, if you’re simply roasting some marshmallows for a fun night outdoors, you don’t really have to do much.
The main thing that you need to be careful about is not to drop food into the gas fire pit.
While most of the marshmallow goo will burn off once it touches the hot surfaces of the fire pit, some will not. Over time, these food remains will accumulate and eventually clog the burner ports, decreasing the efficiency of your gas fire pit, if not completely annihilating it.
Oh, and by the way, even if the buildup isn’t that bad, don’t think you’re in the clear. Any food remnants will attract insects and even small rodents to your fire pit. These creatures will do one of two things. Either they’ll take up residence there, clogging your fire pit, or they’ll chew through the wires and gas lines, leaving you with a defective appliance.
These are both serious issues. As you know, some gas fire pit models are ridiculously expensive, and they can be just as expensive to repair. As such, you should do your utmost best to avoid dropping your marshmallows into the fire pit by using secure skewers. Also, keep your eye on the marshmallow to catch any running goo or falling bits.
Marshmallows get their ROUND SHAPE by running the ingredients through a tube and then slicing off each marshmallow.
Unfortunately, it’s especially challenging to clean gas fire pits because they contain either fire glass or lava rocks as fire media. Moreover, cleaning food and other debris from the filling isn’t all that easy.
As much as I hate to admit it, you can’t just hose down a gas fire pit. Nevertheless, if you’ve dropped a tiny bit, then you can do some light cleaning and call it a day. You can look at the instructions here if your fire pit ever needs a cleaning session.
Does the Gas Affect the Flavor of the Marshmallows?
No, not at all.
Now, as we all know, gas has a rotten egg smell that immediately makes you scrunch your nose once it hits you. While you may think this is bad, it’s really not. In fact, this smell is intentionally added to natural and propane gasses, both of which are originally odorless, in order to ensure your safety.
So, does this foul smell transfer to the food you’re cooking over a gas fire pit?
Nope. Once the gas begins burning, the smell will disappear, and the taste of your food will remain unaltered. That means you can enjoy your roasted, gooey marshmallows without fear of weird odors or flavors. That is, of course, if you don’t accidentally burn them.
Benefits of Using a Gas Fire Pit for Roasting Marshmallows
Remember how I said in the beginning that gas fire pits don’t get hot enough to cook meat and such things. Well, in the case of marshmallows, that’s a good thing.
You don’t need a scorching flame to roast a marshmallow. If you choose such a flame, you’ll just end up wasting a perfectly good marshmallow, and you’ll probably make a mess in your gas fire pit in the process.
Instead, a gentle flame is just the thing you need. It’ll melt your marshmallow on the inside just right and give it that perfect golden color. And fortunately, gas fire pits are the ultimate source of gentle flames.
And it’s not just that. Gas fire pits also present a much more clean heat source than wood or charcoal fire pits. As such, you don’t have to dwell on the mess that’ll come from using a gas fire pit, as you would with a coal and wood fire pit. You also don’t have to worry about any rising smoke stinging your nose and bringing tears to your eyes.
All in all, gas fire pits and marshmallows are a match made in heaven, as long as you take care to avoid any spills.
How to Roast the Perfect Marshmallow
So, how can you roast the perfect marshmallow on a gas fire pit? We’ll tell you the secrets of the trade.
First off, stick your marshmallow on a purpose-made roasting skewer/poker. If you don’t have one lying about, you can use a regular bamboo or wooden stick, but make sure they’re clean first.
Next, you need to find the right flame. Don’t go for the biggest one. You’ll just burn your marshmallow right off.
Look for one that’s slightly smaller than the rest, and place your marshmallow right above it. Don’t place it in the middle of the flame. Just the slightest contact will do.
Then, start rotating your marshmallow bit by bit, keeping an eye for any color changes. This prevents any one area from getting excessively roasted, aka burnt black.
Remember, with marshmallows; patience is key. We don’t want a hot marshmallow; we want a gooey one. As such, you need to give the gelatin and sugar in the marshmallow enough time to melt and break down.
Now, you can plunge your marshmallow in the middle of the flame to speed things up a bit, but try not to go over 2-3 seconds. Then, once your marshmallow has become the perfect, golden, brown color, remove it from the flame so that it can cool down.
Wait an adequate amount of time before taking a bite. The inner gooey goodness can burn your tongue if you eat the marshmallow right off the flame. However, if you can’t wait that long, gently blow on your marshmallow to cut down on the cooling time.
It goes without saying that the definition of a perfect marshmallow can vary from one person to another. Some like it just lightly toasted, some enjoy the taste of burnt marshmallows. However, if you’re the latter kind, you’ll need to be more cautious when roasting them.
While a few burnt marshmallows every now and then won’t do that much harm, some people really enjoy it this way. In this case, a burnt marshmallow is much more likely to fall off your skewer, ruining your gas fire pit. So, please be careful if you prefer to cook your marshmallows fully to a crisp.
How to Make the Perfect S’mores
We all know the basic recipe for s’mores; Graham crackers, dairy chocolate, and marshmallows. All you need to do is place your chocolate on top of one graham cracker, slide on your marshmallow, then cover it with another cracker, and voila. A delicious s’more ready for eating.
As easy as it sounds, not many people can make a good s’more. So, why is that?
In my opinion, the key to a perfect s’more is properly-melted chocolate. For your chocolate to reach the right consistency, your marshmallow needs to be hot enough to melt the chocolate.
So, ultimately, you need to roast your marshmallows just right in order to get the best s’more possible. You’ll know a marshmallow is ready for s’more making once it starts to sag around the skewer a little.
Now that we’ve established the main point, let’s take a look at a few other things you can do to really up your s’more game.
For one, you could try spreading some Nutella on top of the crackers. Peanut butter or mixed nut butter is another great option, and if you’d like the best of both worlds, replace traditional milk chocolate with Reese’s peanut butter cups.
Needless to say, if the aforementioned chocolates aren’t your cup of tea, then simply choose another. White chocolate, dark chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate; the options are endless so take your pick.
Now, if you have a major sweet tooth, then I recommend adding some honey, caramel, or agave nectar to your s’more sandwich. However, if you’d like to cut down on the sweetness, adding fresh fruit will serve you well. Think bananas, strawberries, or any other berry you’re a fan of.
For a good crunch, there’s nothing better than adding your favorite nuts into your s’more. Peanuts, almonds, pecans, and hazelnuts are all great additions.
Finally, if you’d really like to spice up your s’more, why not replace the Graham crackers with something that packs a punch? For example, you can twist off an Orea and make an Oreo s’more. You can also use chocolate chip cookies, chocolate mint cookies, or oatmeal cookies. Snickerdoodles and gingerbread are also absolutely lovely.
Honestly, just be creative and put in what you like. Your perfect s’more has to be catered to your likes and preferences. So, go crazy and make up your own perfect s’more. It’s okay to have a few hits and misses in the beginning. Don’t worry, though; you’ll eventually find the perfect combination for you and your family.
Thankfully, you can totally use a gas fire pit to roast marshmallows and make delicious, ooey-gooey s’mores. Not only are they completely safe, but they also help you get to the perfect level of toastiness and gooiness. The only thing you need to keep in mind with gas fire pits is that they’re hard to clean. Accordingly, pay extra care not to let any food drop onto the fire pit surfaces. Still, if the worst comes to happen and a marshmallow falls off your skewer, make sure to scrape it away after putting out the fire and try to clean your fire pit as best as possible.