Roasting marshmallows is one of the best parts of camping. And, if you get creative, you can also roast all sorts of other meals and desserts on roasting sticks. While it is pretty easy to make your own roasting sticks, there are some cool ones available which might be worth buying.
Best Marshmallow Roasting Sticks
When choosing marshmallow roasting sticks, avoid any which are gimmicky. For example, you don’t need roasting sticks which are designed like fishing lines (dangling food over the fire is generally not safe or smart!). Nor do you need a “roasting reel” (which is bound to break).
Instead, the best roasting sticks will have features like:
- At least 25 inches long
- Stainless steel
- Plastic or rubber safety caps to go over ends
- Safety features, like dull or inverted ends
- Can hold at least 0.5lb of food
Below are my top picks for best marshmallow roasting sticks.
Why: These marshmallow roasting sticks with wooden handles are made from stainless steel and are telescoping from 12 to 32 inches. I particularly love that they have LARGE safety caps. You won’t immediately lose them like you would with the tiny caps that come on other sticks.
Why: The skewer part of these roasting sticks is inverted – a nice feature if you are worried about kids stabbing each other! The design also means that food is less likely to slide off into the fire. They extend to 30”. They aren’t the sturdiest though so are really best for light foods like marshmallows or pieces of hot dogs.
Why: These are one of the better-built sets of roasting sticks. They have a rotating mechanism built into them; the food will rotate by itself without you having to turn the handle. The telescoping feature is also reliable and stays in place. The handle is 5 inches long and they extend to 34 inches total. There are plastic caps for the tips and the set comes in a storage bag.
Why: This is a very good budget set of roasting sticks. They are cheap but get the job done. The sticks telescope out to 32 inches, have rubber protective caps and the set comes with two corn on the cob holders.
Why: Another great deal, these roasting sticks extend from 10 to 45 inches. They are multi-color, so each person can keep track of their own stick. The rubber handles are molded and comfortable to hold.
Do You Really Need to Buy Marshmallow Roasting Sticks?
In most cases, you absolutely do not need to buy marshmallow roasting sticks. You can just use a stick you find on the ground. In fact, found sticks are usually a lot safer for roasting marshmallows. “Professional” marshmallow sticks are sharp and can get really hot. Do you really want kids (or careless adults) handling a long, hot, spear-like object with a flaming marshmallow on the end?
However, metal roasting sticks do have their benefits compared to found sticks:
- Roast heavier foods: Found sticks usually aren’t sturdy enough for roasting heavy foods like hot dogs over a campfire.
- Piece hard foods: The hard, pointy prongs on roasting sticks will pierce hard foods like corn on the cob. This is nearly impossible with found sticks.
- No dirt or bark in your food: Some people simply don’t like the idea of putting a dirty stick in their food.
DIY “Professional” Marshmallow Sticks
It’s pretty easy to make your own marshmallow sticks. They don’t look very “professional” but get the job done. The easiest method is to:
- Find a long, sturdy wooden stick to use as your handle
- Wrap sturdy wire around the end to make forked prongs
Another method involves drilling a hole into a cylinder of wood then gluing a sturdy piece of wire in the hole. I’ve also seen people make easy marshmallow sticks by attaching a fork to the end of a stick with wire or tinfoil. They don’t look very pretty but get the job done.
Can You Use Wood Skewers for S’mores?
Generally you cannot use wood skewers for making s’mores on a campfire. They are too short and you could end up burning your arm. The thin skewers will also quickly catch on fire, making them even shorter. However, if you make a very small, controlled fire (such as in a small portable BBQ) or let a fire burn down into embers, wood skewers will work for roasting s’mores.
Note there are some longer wood skewers sold for campfire roasting. I generally don’t like these because they are weak. If you put anything heavier than a marshmallow on them, they will bend. You are better off finding a sturdy stick or buying stainless steel roasting sticks.
Look for a stick on the ground which is a bit longer than your arm. You don’t want the stick to be too long though or it will be hard to control (and thus potentially dangerous). One side of the stick should be as thick as your finger. Bonus points if you can find a stick with a forked end for roasting multiple marshmallows at once.
Test the sturdiness of the stick by trying to break the thinner end. It should be able to flex a bit without breaking. Using a knife, carefully shave one end of the stick into a point. You don’t have to do this but it will prevent bark from getting into your marshmallow.
Never break sticks off of trees to roast marshmallows. Not only is it against the principles of Leave No Trace, but live branches might release nasty-tasting sap into your marshmallow.
It’s also possible to make s’mores without any sticks at all. Check out how here.