Summer has arrived, which means s’more season is officially in full swing. Roasting marshmallows over an open fire consistently triggers great memories. Because of that, we’ve brought together the ultimate guide to making the best s’mores.
When you make s’mores with family and friends, there should be more than nostalgia fueling the fun. This is a dessert that has earned its own national s’mores day, after all (August 10, if you were wondering).
Often times, when we eat something we loved in childhood, it doesn’t quite match up to the memories. If you follow the tips on how to make s’mores in this post, and you will wonder why you aren’t making them more often.
1) Get everything you need ready
I can remember many campfires growing up where we decided to make s’mores. We had all the ingredients ready, but then had to wander around the woods in the dark (while hoping to avoid poison ivy) and look for a s’mores stick long enough to roast the marshmallow. On multiple occasions, the s’mores stick I found on the ground was way too short. I’d spend the next few minutes holding the marshmallow near the fire for a few seconds, then pulling it away because my hand was starting to burn. This dance wasn’t that nice.
And of course, there was always the clothes hanger. We spent many campfires trying to unwind metal clothes hangers and then debating if the white paint on them would poison our marshmallows. Once we were done, we never knew what to do with these long and pointy things that could never return to their original form.
But nothing is worse than toasting a marshmallow and realizing you forgot something at the store or still need to unpack the graham crackers and chocolate. Odds are your marshmallow would fall on the ground in the process, get cold, or just get eaten before you had achieved s’more perfection.
So make sure you have some reliable s’more roasting forks handy, and get all your ingredients ready to go.
2) Try more s’more ingredients
Speaking of ingredients, the basic s’more recipe is simple:
- 2 pieces of graham cracker
- 1-2 roasted marshmallows
- 1-2 pieces of milk chocolate
If you only eat s’mores that contain those three ingredients, you’re still technically eating s’mores. But that’s kind of like eating nothing but cheese pizza – you’re missing out on a world of possibilities.
For instance, have you ever tried trading that piece of milk chocolate for a Reese’s peanut butter cup or a couple of Rolo’s?
Have you ever considered replacing the graham crackers with chocolate chip cookies or Oreos? Oreo s’mores are like a whole new world!
What if you added strawberry slices or peanut butter inside the s’more?
There are countless options out there, but this collection of 39 s’more hacks should give you plenty of ideas to get through the summer.
3) Roast the chocolate while you roast the marshmallow
One of the simplest hacks to making an amazing s’mores dessert is to roast the chocolate at the same time you roast the marshmallow. You obviously cannot put the chocolate on a roasting fork – it would melt and fall off.
So instead, place the chocolate (or Reese’s or whatever you choose to use) on the graham cracker and simply set it near the fire. You’ve got to be careful here – too close and it will melt everything entirely or even burn your hand.
Chocolate doesn’t need a lot of heat to melt, so just make sure it’s a warm area and let the fire do the work. Then, when your marshmallow is ready you can create your s’more sandwich. The warm, melted chocolate is amazing and once you try it, you’ll never go back. You might get a little extra chocolate dripping down your face, but we promise it’s worth it.
4) Roast it over the coals
This is one of my pet peeves and perhaps the greatest controversy when answering the question, how to make s’mores. Many people choose to simply shove their marshmallow into the flame, let it catch on fire, and then blow it out. I call this method the “burn and blow” and think it is the worst.
If you genuinely prefer this method of roasting marshmallows, then I guess it’s a free country and you can do what you want.
But in my view, you will never make the perfect s’more with a marshmallow that is burnt on the outside and cold on the inside. I can’t think of a single food item where people prefer the burnt version over a properly cooked version.
The key to successfully roasting a marshmallow is to do it slowly over the coals of the fire. You’ll need to wait a bit for the fire to burn and watch for those coals to fall to the side. This is the moment you’ve been waiting for, s’more perfection awaits!
If you roast the marshmallows over the coals and slowly rotate them, they will turn golden brown on the outside and warm through to the center. Does roasting them properly take longer than the burn and blow method? Yes, but we’re talking 1 minute verses 10 seconds, not a whole hour.
So if you want the best s’more possible, take the extra few seconds and actually roast the marshmallows.
5) Use an actual fire
The internet is filled with alternative methods for making s’mores: Cook them in the oven or microwave! Cook them over a candle! Use the toaster!
But in my mind, cooking a s’more over anything but an actual fire defeats the purpose. You don’t make a s’more just to have something yummy to eat (although that is clearly a benefit). You make s’mores for the shared experience, for the time together around a campfire, and the memories that it can create.
For many kids, cooking a s’more over a fire might literally be their first time cooking anything. Teaching others how to properly cook a s’more, roast a marshmallow, or warm the chocolate is a great way to connect.
Sometimes, weather doesn’t cooperate and you need to make s’mores inside. That’s ok, because most likely you have a fireplace inside where you can make s’mores as well. The hearth creates a nice place to warm that chocolate and you can still turn s’more making into a community undertaking.
6) Take the necessary safety steps
Nothing ruins a good s’more faster than a burnt hand or out of control fire. Anytime you create a fire, it’s important to follow the necessary safety steps. Since making s’mores requires you (and often younger children) to be closer than normal to the fire, safety is even more important.
Smokey Bear provides a complete list of campfire safety rules, but here are a few that relate specifically to making the best s’mores:
- Only create a fire for s’mores in a safe fire pit or fireplace
- Never get too close to the fire or touch the flames
- Keep s’more ingredients far away from the fire – not only could they melt, but an entire bag or box could fall into the fire and cause problems
- Always supervise children around fires and while making s’mores
- Have water nearby so the fire can be put out completely when necessary
- Never wave roasting forks around, especially if there is a flaming marshmallow on it
- Be careful not to touch the flame side of the roasting fork with your fingers – it’s hot!
7) Teamwork makes the dream work
Depending on how long your roasting fork is, it can be quite difficult to place a marshmallow between two graham crackers using just your two hands. The graham cracker might break, the chocolate could fall out, or you might only get 10% of the marshmallow inside the sandwich while the rest explodes out the side.
But teamwork makes the dream work! As you roast marshmallows, ask a friend to prepare your ingredients of choice and then help you make your s’more. You’ve got a much better shot at keeping everything together and properly proportioned. Once you’ve had your own delicious s’more, you can return the favor for your friend.
This principle is especially true with younger kids. It’s great to involve them in the s’more making process, but they’re more prone to hurting themselves or destroying the s’more when they do it themselves. Give them a helping hand and give them a s’more experience they’ll remember for years. Odds are, they’ll remember the person who taught them how to make s’mores for much longer than they remember what their first s’more tasted like.
8) Use the best firewood for the best s’mores
There was a time when I believed that making a good s’more over an open fire required a certain level of smoke inhalation. This was because, as a kid, we would build fires using wood that had just fallen from trees and was still pretty wet. This unseasoned wood would create a lot of smoke, and it was only a matter of time before the wind changed and you got smoked out.
When you cook s’mores over a fire with Cutting Edge Firewood, however, things are different. We deliver the best firewood available, period.
So what does this mean for making s’mores?
First, our firewood creates less smoke. You don’t have to suffer through copious amounts of smoke in your eyes just to enjoy a s’more!
Second, our firewood is easier to light. A single match is all you need and you’ll have a crackling fire burning in no time. This takes the stress out of starting a fire and saves you (and every other s’more eater) substantial time.
And third, Cutting Edge firewood burns hotter and longer. Want to make a s’more now? Great! Go for it! Still want to make a s’more an hour later? No problem! Keep the fire going with the best firewood available and you’ll get to enjoy the best s’mores all night.
Shop quality firewood today so you can be ready for your next s’mores adventure.
Your turn: Do you have any tips or tricks for making s’mores? Leave a comment below!