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National Marshmallow Roasters Institute

"A Virtual Think Tank"

The perfect marshmallow roast is not hard, but it does take some practice and patience. Here are some quick instructions for the beginner that Mr. Mallow has put together to get you up and roasting in no time.


STEP 1: Obtain a clean, long-handled stick, barbecue fork or NMRI sanctioned marshmallow skewer, suitable for spearing marshmallows. We recommend SMORSTIX.

 NOTE:  Extended clothes hangers work well too for many beginners.

Ana Duh CAUTIONS:  Plastic clothes hangers make the marsmallow taste funny. Use only SMORSTIX or other non-plastic skewers!

STEP 2: Push one or two marshmallows onto the end of the stick or barbecue fork so the entire marshmallow is secured.

STEP 3: Hold the marshmallow over the fire or coals, positioning it so the marshmallow is suspended 1 to 3 inches above the heat source. (or 3 to 6 inches for NMRI event quality mallows to be judged.)

STEP 4: Rotate your utensil when the underside is a warm brown color, so the uncooked side hovers above the fire. (One full turn ever 5.25 seconds is the optimum turn rate at sea level in low humidity conditions - 35% or less.)

STEP 5: Continue to rotate the marshmallow until all sides are golden brown.

STEP 6: Remove the marshmallow from the fire.

Ana Duh CAUTION:  keep in mind that metal utensils can get hot on the end nearest the fire - handle with care.

STEP 7: Slide (or gently pull) the golden brown goo gently off the utensil when it has cooled and you're able to comfortably touch it.

STEP 8: Eat.

Tips & Warnings

  • A low fire or hot coals provide the best conditions for roasting marshmallows.
  • If you like your marshmallow well-done, briefly stick it into the flame until it catches fire. Let it burn only a few seconds, until the outside is dark brown and crackled, then blow out the flame. (burnt marshmallow is a known carcinogen, but only in quantities that are prohibitively large to duplicate outside the rat laboratory.)
  • Do not let the barbecuing utensil sag into the fire or you may have ashes on your marshmallow. (Points are taken off for this in a NMRI sanctioned event and may even disqualify you from international competition.)
  • Do not overcook the marshmallow or it may fall off the stick and into the fire. (Another disqualifying action.)
  • If you use a stick to roast marshmallows, be sure it does not come from a poisonous plant such as oleander or deadly nightshade. If in doubt, don't use it.

Ana Duh CAUTION:  NEVER let someone pack your parachute, clean your rifle, or cut your marshmallow roasting stick for you! You may end up dead.

Ana Duh CAUTION:  Never use charcoal indoors or in an unventilated area.

Ana Duh CAUTION:  Do NOT run with skewers - They're much more dangerous than scissors.




The time to begin eating a marshmallow is just after you have finished roasting it to perfection in accordance with The St. Louis Marshmallow Roaster's Institute (SLMRI). Then, and only then, you begin to clearly and logically perceive that you really want more out of life than hard tack and beans.
- Mark Twain's Notebook, 1882-1883


NOTE: The SLMRI became the NMRI in 1918.


Peer Review:  Judges, when you think your evaluation of the roasted marshmallow is complete, give it to another judge to peer review, or put it down for a few minutes and come back to it. We call this the "Mallow Edit". You'll be surprised at how much better your powers of observation will be in future events.



The NMR Institute 2006 | All Rights Reserved