Marshmallow roasting sticks are essential campfire accessories!
There are many types of sticks. They will all do the job.
I like to find a stick at the campground. If you do, too, here are some tips:
Good point. Especially in busy developed campgrounds, there may be no sticks.
Many public and private campgrounds even have rules prohibiting you from gathering sticks.
You can either make your own sticks, or buy them.
Perhaps there are suitable sticks in your own backyard!
Choose one that is about 30 inches/76 cm long.
Make sure that it is sturdy enough to do the job.
Sharpen the end.
Take a metal coat hanger and straighten it out.
This is what we used when I was a kid. It has its drawbacks, though.
This neat device attaches to the end of a stick and lets you hold two marshmallows or one hot dog securely. It's much smaller and easier to pack than a full-sized marshmallow stick!
Take a quick look online, or at a camping store, and you'll be amazed by the number of types of roasting sticks!
You can spend a lot of money if you want to, but you certainly don't need to.
You can choose wood or metal sticks.
Plain wood is the most economical option. You can buy a lovely set very cheaply.
Wood is durable (except for the obvious drawback that it can burn!) If you are careful, wooden sticks can last a long time.
Some sticks on the market come from well-managed, sustainable forests.
Wood feels nice in the hands, and your hands will stay cool.
If you leave wood sticks in the fire for too long, they will burn!
Look for sticks with a blunted end: sharp enough to pierce a hot dog or marshmallow, but not sharp enough to injure anyone.
Soak the stick in water for a while before you use it to reduce the chance of burning it.
Metal sticks won't burn in the fire.
Depending on the brand, they can be quite sturdy.
These have the same disadvantage as the wire coat hangers we used when I was young: the handles can get hot!
TipsIf you use this type, wear oven mitts or a fireplace mitt.
No matter what type of marshmallow roasting stick you decide to buy, these features will make your campfire more enjoyable:
If you choose a metal stick, get one with a wooden handle.
It will be easier to grip than plain metal, and won't get hot enough to burn your hands.
Some models have handles that are contoured and ridged, making them easy to grip.
This will keep you a safe and comfortable distance from the fire.
This is especially important for children!
This solves the problem of how to transport a long, bulky stick.
You'll be less likely to lose the stick between camping seasons if it's stored neatly in a drawer or in a camping tub - rather than propped against the wall in the back of the garage! (That's what always happened to our long sticks, anyway!)
With two pokey things instead of one, the fork holds your marshmallow or hot dog firmly, reducing the risk that it will drop into the fire.
Look for a well-made fork, though; on some cheaper models, the weld that holds the tines to the stick breaks easily.
I found one!
Here's a marshmallow roasting stick that has all of those features.
It even has a thumb roller that lets you rotate your marshmallow without turning your wrist!
It's very reasonably priced, and it gets great reviews.
You used to be able to buy electric sticks that would rotate your marshmallow for you! I guess they didn't work very well, because they are no longer available.
Ditto for the Mallow Master, which was supposed to automatically tell you when your marshmallow is ready! (Every review I could find said that it didn't really work.)
You can get a set of sticks with color coded handles so you can tell whose stick is whose. (But does it really matter whose is whose?)
I think that this "Marshmallow Tree" is beautiful!
It isn't practical for camping unless you have an unusual amount of storage space - but it would be perfect to use in the backyard.
I think this would make a great gift for the person who has everything.
It gets great reviews!
A homemade marshmallow roaster works perfectly well, if you can find a suitable stick to use.
If you decide to buy a marshmallow stick, look for one with a wooden handle and sturdy tines that will hold the marshmallow securely. Make sure that it is at least 30 inches/76 cm long.
Don't waste your money on any of the fancy gadgets. Holding the stick, turning it by hand, and deciding when the marshmallow is perfectly done are important parts of the experience!
If you don't agree, don't worry. There's bound to be someone around the campfire who loves roasting marshmallows and will be happy to cook yours for you!