Saturday, December 13, 2014

Triple-roasting Marshmallows and Beyond


Mr. Mallow
In response to an inquiry on roasting the same mallow 3, 4, 5 or more times, Jerry prepared this response that should be shared with all marshmallow roasters. 

Roasting marshmallows is fun. But, roasting the same marshmallow over and over again has always been a challenge. Most people can roast the same mallow a second time, after pulling off the browned outer layer of mallow and placing the remaining mallow back over the fire. Roasting the mallow a third, fourth, or fifth time is very difficult and requires just the right circumstances. Here are my recommendations for you to attempt this feat. 


1. Use good old-fashioned mass-produced marshmallows. Not specialty marshmallows like 
vegan or generic marshmallows from the local grocery. Campfire and Kraft Jet-Puffed have 
been around for a long time and are our go-to mallow for NMRI events. For beginners, we 
suggest the Giant Roasters Campfire mallows. These are larger than normal mallows and are 
more forgiving, and you may even be able to roast the same mallow six, seven, or more times. 

2. Use the correct heat. A roaring, flaming campfire or fire is not ideal for double or triple roasting 
the mallow. The uneven heat requires that you leave the mallow in the flames too long to get it 
lightly browned all over, constantly adjusting the distance from the uneven heat begets poor 
results. The correct heat is from a good bed of very hot, glowing coals from the campfire, 
producing a nice steady heat. Just set your distance and rotate the mallow quickly. 

3. Rotate the mallow quickly and close to the heat. It will brown fast on the outside and not cook 
on the inside. Pull away from the heat when it just turns a nice light brown. If it is too brown on 
the outside, it means it is too hot on the inside. When you pull off the outer layer, too much of 
the gooey mallow inside comes off. This leaves too little mallow on the stick to roast over and 
over again. Ideally, just a paper thin shell or layer comes off each time. And then you roast 
again and again. 

4. Use wooden skewers. Very important, and often overlooked when attempting multiple roasts 
of the same mallow, is the choice of skewer on which to place the mallow. Always use a 
wooden roasting skewer, not metal, when attempting multiple roasts of the same mallow. 
There are two reasons for using wooden skewers: 


  • Wooden skewers do not transmit heat as efficiently as metal skewers. With metal skewers, you may be cooking the mallow from within. Mallows tend to then pull entirely off the metal skewers before reaching multiple roastings. We call this premature immolation at the Institute. We have therapists who can help with this.
  • Wooden skewers hold the mallow on longer than metal because the surface is rougher than metal. Hint: Take a little piece of rough sandpaper and lightly sand the wooden skewer to roughen up the wood so that the mallow will stick even more. I use SmorStix ash skewers, but have found generic wooden skewers at our local grocery (Raley’s) in a small camping section.  
If you abide by the recommendations above, and with some good practice, it is possible that you can become one of the most admired mallow multiple roasters around the campfire.  

Recap:

  • Use name brand mallows that have been around for a long time. 
  • Use the correct heat over hot glowing coals, not flames. 
  • Rotate the mallow quickly and close to the heat. 
  • Use wooden skewers. 
Jerry Grinstead 
President, National Marshmallow Roasters Institute