A propane fire pit is a great option if you want to enjoy the experience of a backyard fire, but don’t want to deal with the mess and work of a wood-burning fire. However, if you get a propane fire pit, could you possibly be missing on the key fireside experience of a toasted marshmallow perfectly roasted over the flames? We’ll answer some common concerns and misconceptions about whether or not you can roast marshmallows over a fire pit. Keep reading to learn more.
3 Misconceptions About Roasting Marshmallows Over a Gas Fire Pit
My Marshmallow Will Have Added Chemicals on it if it is Cooked with Propane
Cooking with gas or propane sounds intimidating because it may bring back flashes of science class. Will it add chemicals to your white and fluffy marshmallow after you roast it? According to Ferrellgas, propane is a simple alkane gas, meaning that it burns cleanly with little smoke or odor. Cooking with traditional wood or charcoal can release volatile organic compounds, or pollutants, and particulates that can lower the air quality of the immediate area.
My Marshmallow will Taste Funny When it is Cooked with Propane
It’s easy to think that food will have an odd taste if it is cooked with propane or other gases because they typically have a slight sulphuric or rotten egg smell to them. Most gas is odorless, and this scent is added for safety reasons in case there is a leak. According to the blog, Living the Outdoor Life, natural gas is completely odorless and has no natural taste, so all you’ll taste is the gooey, sugary goodness of your marshmallow. Plus, the same propane that you use with your fire pit is also used for propane grills used to cook food, which does not leave a taste on foods prepared on them. In fact, propane or butane torches are often used to add the signature crackly sugar surface to fancy and delicious desserts like creme brulee.
Cooking Marshmallows Over a Propane Fire Pit is Messy
The issue posed above depends on how you use your fire pit. If you take care while roasting your marshmallows and regularly clean and maintain your fire pit, then messes can easily be prevented. However, if you cook your marshmallows to the point of them melting and leaving sticky splatters on the surface and in holes or crevices, then it can be an issue. Otherwise, if you are patient and mindful while roasting your marshmallow, you can reap the benefits of enjoying a tasty fireside treat and enjoying the warmth and ambiance of the fire at once. If it might be difficult to pay attention while roasting your marshmallows over the fire pit, it would probably be best to roast your marshmallows or make s’mores indoors and then bring them outdoors to enjoy in order to keep your fire pit clean and working properly. You may also want to avoid cooking over a fire pit if this type of mess might void the product warranty. Check out this recipe from Nourish Nutrition that uses a conventional oven for making s’mores. It’s perfect for keeping your propane fire pit clean and for rainy days too!
Can I cook other types of food over a gas fire pit?
Now that we’ve established that propane is safe to cook marshmallows with, can you use your gas fire pit to whip up some campfire favorites? Well, don’t grab your meat and veggie kebabs just yet. Gas fire pits are not typically rated or designed for food cooking and preparation. The majority of gas fire pits are rated for decorative use, which means that they don’t provide enough heat to properly cook food. Keeping this in mind, steer clear of foods that need to be cooked to a specific temperature in order to safely eat them, such as eggs, meat and fish.
Keeping your fire pit clean after using it to cook raw meat, eggs and fish can also be problematic. Unlike their grill counterparts, gas fire pits don’t have features like drip pans and cooking surfaces that are designed to easily be cleaned. Raw meat, eggs and fish can drip fat and gooey liquids onto the different nooks and crannies of your gas fire pit which can be very difficult to clean up. Another problem is that these drippings and bits of leftover food can also attract unwanted guests like rodents and insects. Rats and mice, in particular, can wreck your fire pit by chewing through the wires and gas lines.
How to Safely Toast Marshmallows without Damaging Your Fire Pit
Marshmallows are the better choice for roasting or cooking over a gas fire pit, when done carefully. Safety is key when roasting marshmallows or being near any source of fire in general. Choose marshmallow skewers that provide plenty of length between yourself and the fire. If using a metal skewer, make sure it has a secure handle that provides protection against heat to prevent burns. If you are using a wood skewer, make sure to soak it in water to prevent it from catching on fire. Have plenty of soaked wooden skewers on hand if you plan on roasting lots of marshmallows. The skewers should not be reused to roast a new batch of marshmallows because the wood dries out when it is placed over the fire. Set the old skewer off to the side after you have roasted and enjoyed your delicious toasted marshmallow, grab a new soaked wood skewer for your next marshmallow.
Ensure that you are eating marshmallows that are only on the skewers. Don’t consume any melted marshmallow that touches the fire pit, as the paint finish may contain chemicals or is treated with a finish that may not be safe to eat or ingest. To avoid a gooey mess altogether, roast the marshmallow over a spot with a steady flame. Don’t stick the marshmallow directly in the flame, but rather hold it an inch or two above the flames and rotate it until it starts to turn a beautiful shade of golden-brown. Bring the marshmallow back from the flame and allow it to cool a little before eating it or pairing it with some graham crackers and chocolate bars.
A propane fire pit is safe for cooking marshmallows, but is probably not practical or safe for cooking other foods like eggs, meat or fish. You will also need to keep in mind that your fire pit probably isn’t designed with drip pans or easy-to-clean cooking surfaces, so you will need to pay attention and carefully roast your marshmallows to avoid a sticky mess. But, with the right tools and know-how you can enjoy a delicious toasted marshmallow over your chic propane fire pit on chilly evenings.