Few things evoke instant summer nostalgia like a plump marshmallow on the end of a whittled stick that’s perched above a roaring blaze. Campfire s’mores are inarguably scrumptious—but with all the fire, mess, and time required to make them, they are a hassle. Making s’mores in the kitchen can be more convenient and with a little creativity, even more delightful than s’mores made the old-fashioned way.
“Maybe this is obvious, but it’s really hard to control an open fire!” says Marguerite Preston, a senior editor on the kitchen team. “Flames are uneven and inconsistent; plus, you really want your food to be cooked by the heat that flames give off, not the flames themselves.” The radiant heat of a toaster oven or a more controlled gas flame from a stove, range, or blowtorch (yep, more on that later) is “a much gentler, more even way to cook, in a way that makes things more foolproof.”
Whether you want to give kitchen s’mores a go out of curiosity, convenience, safety, or necessity, here are a few tried-and-tested techniques that Wirecutter staffers enjoyably employ to make s’mores at home.
A go-to gas burner
“It never really made sense to me to combine the single stickiest, most unpredictable, volatile, burn-inducing, goo-dripping confection you’ll ever eat [a marshmallow] with a campfire’s darkness, dirt, and lack of cleanup materials,” says senior editor Harry Sawyers. Harry’s go-to method for making s’mores indoors with his three sons involves a cooktop and a chopstick.
Rolla Roaster Camping Fork
Roasting forks are great for hot dogs and marshmallows, and the Rolla Roaster is long enough to keep you safe but retractable for portability.
*At the time of publishing, the price was $17.
He skewers the marshmallow onto a reusable bamboo chopstick such as our top-pick chopstick from Crate & Barrel. (We also recommend a roasting fork that would work well.) Position the marshmallow just above a gas flame, Harry explains, “just enough to get it to start crusting and bubbling a bit.” As a bonus, Harry says his at-home method comes with an advantage over any old stick: “The integrity of the chopstick gives a nice, stiff resistance when smashing the goo between two graham crackers.”
Another use for a torch
“To me, it’s not just about the melt,” says senior staff writer Lauren Dragan. “It’s also about the flame.” Lauren camped a lot as a kid and hit upon another way to make indoor s’mores while trying to entertain her son during the pandemic lockdowns. She sticks a marshmallow on the end of a plain fork, then uses a kitchen blowtorch (the kind that puts the brûlée atop a crème brûlée) to impart a nice char. The effect tastes closer to a traditional campfire s’more, she says.
While we recommend the Bernzomatic TS8000 torch in our guide to the best sous vide machine and gear, Marguerite believes that’s probably too much heat for a simple marshmallow sear. Instead, Marilyn Ong, a supervising editor on our kitchen team, suggests the Iwatani Professional Culinary Torch CB-TC-PRO2, which costs about $40 and is made by the same brand that manufactures the butane burners in our hot pot guide.
Don’t look down on the microwave
S’mores over a campfire is almost more of an event than a food. And most of these indoor options—roasting marshmallows over a stovetop burner, busting out a torch, or baking an ice cream cone full of gooey sweets—maintain some of that pomp. But if you just want the snack without all the drama, a quick zap in the microwave (10 seconds should be all you need) will do the trick.
Skip to s’more-inspired desserts
“One of the perennial issues with s’mores,” says Marilyn, “is that the chocolate rarely gets melty enough to match the marshmallow.” She avoids pairing overly gooey marshmallow with undercooked chocolate by skipping the classic s’mores construction altogether. “Stuff an ice cream cone full of little marshmallows, throw in other candies you like—chocolate chips, M&M’s—wrap the whole thing in foil, then put it in the oven or toaster oven for about 8 to 12 minutes at 350 degrees,” she explains. The chocolate and marshmallows are given equal heat and cook time, while the cone keeps the ingredients neatly contained. This method has also led to her kids experimenting with other small candies, like gummy bears, as s’more ingredients—unusual, yes, but she insists “they love them.”
Panasonic FlashXpress Toaster Oven
This compact toaster oven is among the best we’ve tested at evenly toasting bread, baking cookies, and bringing frozen foods to life. It performed as well as or better than competitors that cost significantly more.
*At the time of publishing, the price was $158.
That same idea is why deputy editor Annemarie Conte ditches the graham crackers and chocolate. “Squish a roasted marshmallow between two thick, chewy chocolate chip cookies and you’ll have the perfect s’more-adjacent dessert,” she says.
But you don’t have to limit yourself to the typical sandwich-style s’more when you have an entire kitchen at your disposal. Lauren told me that one of her favorite parts of indoor s’more-making is to try new twists on the old classic with ideas like a s’more sundae. There are loads of recipes online for such a confection, but if you really want to s’more outside the box, check out the recipes for s’mores pie, s’mores pot de crème, and s’mores blondies that our colleagues at NYT Cooking have whipped up. But it’s hard to mess up the basic sundae concept: Layer graham cracker pieces and melted chocolate with ice cream (or marshmallow fluff if you want), then top it all with a toasted marshmallow as the cherry on top.
This article was edited by Mark Smirniotis and Annemarie Conte.