Burning Questions: Can You Roast Marshmallows On a Propane Fire Pit?

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Last Updated on June 4, 2021
Doug Stephen

A long-time contributor to SeriouslySmoked. Jim has had a lifelong relationship with the art of grilling, passed on from his father and grandfather to him.  

Doug is a hardcore barbeque enthusiast and connoisseur. While he spends most of his time on editing and research,
he sometimes moonlights as a product tester for particularly interesting things he comes across.

There’s nothing more nostalgic than roasting marshmallows on an open flame on a warm summer evening surrounded by loved ones. Trying to achieve the perfect crispiness on the outside to contrast the gooey goodness on the inside of the marshmallow is the ultimate goal, but we all know that sometimes you get a little too excited and shove the marshmallow into the flames, effectively blackening its exterior.

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But what if your backyard isn’t suitable for a wood burning fire and you’ve opted for a propane fire pit instead? Can you still enjoy the same roasting fun you’d have on a traditional campfire?

Propane and Roasting Safety

When you invest in a propane fire pit for your backyard, you’ll likely notice a warning against cooking or roasting foods over it. While the choice to roast on a propane fire pit is made at your own risk, the company making the fire pit is legally obligated to include this warning for the simple fact that the product has not been tested as a means of cooking.

Considerations For Roasting On a Propane Fire Pit

So can you roast marshmallows on a propane fire pit? The occasional marshmallow is most likely fine for roasting, but there are a few things to consider when determining how comfortable you are with this process.

1. Consider the cleanup

How many times have you or your pals been roasting marshmallows when somebody lets it go too long, and the marshmallows slips off the stick and into the fire pit? With a stick and stone wood burning fire, this is no big deal, but it can pose some cleaning complications with a chic propane fire pit.

Since you’ll be unable to remove the dropped marshmallow immediately for safety reasons, it’s likely to solidify on the rocks or fire glass inside your propane fire pit. Once the unit cools, you’ll have a hefty task of removing the mess but it’s essential that you do so.

2. Evaluate the presence of chemicals

You don’t want to constantly grill food over a flame while also exposing that item to chemicals if you’re going to ingest it. Consider letting the fire burn a few times before roasting any marshmallows so that any excess residue on the media can burn off first.

3. Keep it sanitary

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Improving the taste and safety of marshmallows roasted over a propane fire pit requires you to put in the time maintaining the unit. This means keeping it free of dirt, debris, and other harmful build-up that you wouldn’t have to worry about if you were building a wood burning fire.

Regular maintenance of the fire pit allows you to have a clean burn that will not taint your marshmallows’ flavor when roasting them.

Tips For Roasting Marshmallows On a Propane Pit

The major benefit of a propane fire pit is that the heat distribution is more even than wood fires, so everyone in the circle will have an equally good roasting position. To make the roasting experience more enjoyable on your propane fire pit, there’s a few different measures you can take.

1. Invest in a high-quality roasting stick

Rather than a traditional stick, you might want to opt for a marshmallow roasting fork with two prongs on the end for better security. This helps ensure the marshmallow doesn’t fall into your fire pit, creating a cleanup task for you later on. Always choose a long-handled stick or skewer (preferably one that is extendable), so you can sit a safe distance away from the flames.

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2. Put a grill over the fire pit

While you shouldn’t use grill grates over a propane fire pit for cooking meats because of the grease drippings this will create, you can invest in a grill for the purpose of catching anything that does fall off your skewer while you're roasting it.

3. Adapt the way you roast

Your propane fire pit will burn hotter than a traditional wood burning fire, so you should adapt how you roast your marshmallows based on this knowledge. Consider sitting further back from the flames and expecting the marshmallow to roast more quickly than you’re used to. Being prepared for this reality prevents you from overcooking or losing your marshmallow into the fire pit.
Doug Stephen

Doug Stephen

Take Precautions But Have Fun

So can you roast marshmallows on a propane fire pit? The answer is yes, but you’ll need to rethink some of your old habits. While the heat distribution is better, you may find yourself performing more intense cleanups after the fact. Adapt the way you roast and use caution, especially with a new fire pit.

Educate yourself on any chemicals that may have been used in its manufacturing and understand how to proceed with roasting safely. With the proper precautions, you can have just as much fun as you would around a traditional campfire.

Read also: Are propane fire pit safe?