There are few things better than sitting outside by a fire on a nice summer evening. The only thing that can make that outdoor time with family or friends better is the addition of a pack of fluffy marshmallows.
Though those gooey puffs of sugar might not be the best snack for health benefits, there is nothing quite as tasty and satisfying as a burnt or crisped marshmallow over an open flame (or even turning that perfectly cooked ‘mallow’ into a S’more!).
With summer just around the corner, marshmallow and fire pit sales are likely to skyrocket. However, there have been some safety concerns about roasting marshmallows with a gas fire pit. Do those concerns hold any merit, or are they simply ”hot air”? Well, it’s certainly fair to be worried about roasting food over a gas-burning fire pit.
Luckily, it’s safe to do!
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Can You Roast Your Marshmallows With Gas?
If the only fire pit you have available is a natural gas burning or propane-powered device, you can still safely roast marshmallows. It’s safe to roast them and you won’t be poisoning yourself, as some might fear. However, most gas-burning fire pits are not cooking devices and may need immediate or extra cleaning should your marshmallow fall off the stick.
So yes, go ahead and roast those marshmallows and enjoy your gas-burning fire pit!
It’s totally safe to do; as long as you’re ready to clean up the mess! The safety concerns regarding roasting marshmallows over a gas flame are totally fair, but there is very little that you need to be worried about when it comes to your propane fire pit.
Addressing the Concerns of Propane Roasting
There are plenty of valid concerns that people have about roasting marshmallows over a gas flame. Using a propane tank instead of natural wood-burning can cause some doubts about marshmallow tastes, chemical safety, and the burning process. Here are a few of the most common concerns about roasting marshmallows over a gas fire pit along with reasons why you shouldn’t be worried.
Will Chemicals Affect My Food?
One of the biggest concerns regarding gas fire pit roasting has to do with the chemicals that come from the propane tank. However, you may not know this, but, the propane that is commonly used in gas fire pits is the same type that is used for grilling and barbecuing. It’s completely safe for food and in many cases is specifically used for food.
Essentially, you’re using the same gas for your marshmallows as your steaks and burgers!
There are no harmful chemicals in the propane tank and most gas fire pits utilize the exact same type of gas as your typical grill. So, if you feel safe eating the food off of the grill, you should feel safe eating the marshmallows cooked on the fire pit. There’s no added chemicals or special process that compromises the gas in your fire pit, so feel free to roast.
Is There a Propane Taste?
What about the taste of the marshmallow? Won’t that be compromised by the use of a propane tank? Not at all! Again, it’s the same gas that is used in grilling, so there is no reason to suspect that your marshmallows might taste a bit off. The major concern that many might have about the taste likely comes from the smell of the propane itself. This smell is added in afterward to alert people in the event of a gas leak – natural gas is completely odorless and has no natural taste.
I totally understand the fear that propane could cause some issues with your food – it comes in that industrial tank and smells pretty bad. But propane and natural gases used in fire pits are as safe as they can be for your marshmallows. Propane has a long history of use in cooking and has been determined to be completely safe!
Can the Marshmallows Damage the Fire Pit?
This is one instance where your fears might be realized as many gas fire pits are not specifically designed for cooking purposes. Many gas fire pits come with a warning label that states they are designed for decoration and should be treated as such. However, as long as you’re careful and start the cleaning process immediately in the event of a dropped marshmallow, you should be okay.
In most cases, no, a marshmallow will not damage your fire pit. If you drop a marshmallow in and leave it, your fire pit will still be able to function and will likely not be affected by the mess.
However, there is a chance that it could start to feel the damage (or the smell of burning sugar) should you continuously leave fallen marshmallows in the pit. Feel free to roast your marshmallows, but be ready to clean up.
Taking Proper Care of Your Propane Fire Pit
One of the most important parts of owning a fire pit is to keep taking care of it. Cover up your firepit after using it, if you can. When it rains, try to keep it from getting wet – leaving it in the rain could cause it to rust up. If you have a gas fire pit, you probably have either lava rocks or fire glass which could need special care should they get dirty.
They require much more attention than a wood fire pit as you can simply throw out logs and get new ones should they become compromised.
It’s also important to periodically check the burner holes of the fire pit to make sure they are not clogged. If they become clogged, you’ll notice a lot less fire whenever you use them. If every burner hole becomes clogged, you won’t see a fire and the propane could begin to build up. Before each use, check the holes to make sure they’re open and unobstructed when in use to prevent any issues.
Clean Up Immediately
A dropped marshmallow might not be the end of the world for your fire pit, but it’s certainly not a fun time for you. Should you drop a marshmallow over a propane fire pit, I recommend cleaning it up as best you can immediately. Don’t let it sit there and crisp up, as this could damage your lava rocks or fire glass.
If the marshmallow sticks to a rock in such a way that it cannot be removed, the best way to preserve the look of your fire pit would probably be to throw the affected rock(s) away.
As mentioned earlier, another fear when it comes to a fallen marshmallow is the clogging of your burner holes. If these holes get clogged, then you’ll have to sort through the fire media and clear them. This isn’t difficult to do, but it’s certainly a hassle. The best response for when you drop a marshmallow in the fire pit is to clean it out as best you can right away.
Final Thoughts on Roasting Marshmallows Over Propane
Overall, roasting your marshmallows over a gas fire pit is completely safe to do. There are no harmful chemicals that can hurt you coming from the propane, the smell is added into the gas and has no effect on the taste of your food, and clean-up is relatively simple provided you get a jump on it right away.
Propane and the natural gases used in gas fire pits are the same products used in grilling, so you know your food will be okay to eat.
You can still enjoy this summer evening tradition, even with a gas fire pit. Do not fret, your summer is safe and your marshmallows are too! Get outside with your friends and family and enjoy a warm night by the fire with a pound of marshmallows by your side. Roast away!