Is it Safe to Roast Marshmallows Over Lava Rocks?
It is safe to roast marshmallows over lava rocks, which are an excellent choice for your fire pit. Whether you and your family enjoy camping or barbeque at home, lava rocks in your fire pit are an excellent choice.
Unlike wood, you can use the same lava rocks in your fire pit for up to two years. They will not disintegrate unless they knock against each other regularly and will provide a fire for various uses for a long time.
If you are planning to roast marshmallows on a fire pit with lava rocks, below are tips and guidelines on how to do it safely.
Here are useful tips to ensure that your lava rocks are safe.
- Before lighting the fire pit to roast marshmallows, check the rocks for any coating placed by the manufacturer. Sometimes manufacturers coat the lava rocks if they are decorative. Suppose you are repurposing your decorative rocks or suspect your new lava rocks have a coating. Then, it would be best if you cleaned them.
- Start by soaking them in hot water mixed in with a little bleach for 24 hours.
- Next, rinse the stones thoroughly and heat them on your grill for about 30 minutes.
- That will dry them and remove all moisture; afterward, you can use them in your firepit.
- After that, you can use the hot stones to roast marshmallows safely.
- Remember, when using a fire pit with lava rocks, do not shake it, as that can damage the rocks and cause them to disintegrate.
Will the rocks affect the marshmallows?
No, the rocks will not affect the marshmallows as wood or charcoal fires would. They do not create strong smells that affect the flavor of your marshmallows or any other item you choose to cook over your lava rocks.
The marshmallows will retain their sweet taste and vanilla aroma without the overpowering smell of the wood used in the fire or smoke.
That said, lava rocks are not the same as lava from a volcano. Do not roast marshmallows over the lava if traveling to Hawaii or other places with active volcanoes and lava flows.
Many toxic gasses are released with the lava, and if you toast your marshmallows over the fire, it could adversely affect your health.
It is also not advisable to spend too much time standing over lava, as you will inhale these gasses, which could make you very sick. The gasses are especially dangerous for young children and older adults to inhale.
Apart from ensuring that your food retains its natural flavor, lava rocks are excellent for roasting marshmallows for the following reasons.
- Using lava rocks is efficient as the rocks can hold heat for up to one hour. If you use a gas burner to heat the rocks, you can turn the gas burner off when they are hot and use the heat the rocks retain to roast your marshmallows.
- That saves your money and protects the environment.
- Lava rocks ensure that you do not burn your marshmallows like you would with a wood fire. Instead, you can cook your marshmallow evenly and enjoy it without dealing with charred bits and pieces.
- That said, make sure that you are careful when using lava rocks, as they can get very hot. If marshmallows fall onto the rocks, ensure you have heat-resistant gloves to remove them.
Will the marshmallows ruin the rocks?
Lava rock fires are beautiful, and damaging the rocks can affect their longevity and the quality of the fire. If marshmallows or bits of marshmallows fall onto the rocks, they can affect the quality of the fire and even cause flare-ups when you light the fire a second time.
A flare-up can be dangerous, especially when sitting close to the fire pit. Therefore, it is essential to clean your lava rocks if marshmallow pieces fall into the fire and melt into the stone to prevent such incidents. Depending on your use, you can clean your lava rocks using water every six months. If you use it daily or it gets very dirty, you can clean it more often.
- Start by ensuring that the rocks are cool so that you do not burn yourself.
- Next, carefully remove the rocks from your firepit but do not use a brush to scrape off melted marshmallows.
- Add dish soap to a bucket of hot water and then soak the lava rocks in the water for 1 to 24 hours, depending on how dirty they are.
- Next, remove the rocks from the water, and put them in cold water.
- Allow the lava rocks to soak for one more hour. That will allow the soapy water to escape.
- Finally, rinse the lava rocks by spraying them with a hose pipe. Dry the rocks thoroughly before using them to roast marshmallows again.
You can dry your lava rocks inside your fire pit. Here are steps to follow when drying your lava rocks in your fire pit.
- Start by allowing the rocks to dry for a few hours in the sun. That will eliminate excess water and reduce the occurrence of explosions when you put them in the fire pit.
- Next, when the outside feels dry, put the lava rocks in the fire pit, light it and turn the heat on high.
- Cover the fire pit with a metal grate to ensure that pieces of exploding rock do not fly out of the fire pit. It is advisable to keep a distance of 15 feet or more as the fire is burning and the lava rocks are drying.
- After 10 minutes with the fire pit on, you will hear popping sounds as the rocks explode. Maintain your distance and keep the fire pit on until those sounds stop. That is a sign that they are dry, and you can go back to sitting by the fire and roasting marshmallows over lava rocks. It may take up to 45 minutes for the lava rocks to dry completely.
If you regularly use your lava rocks for roasting marshmallows or barbecuing, you may need to clean them more often. That said, do not clean your lava rocks too often with water, as the drying process damages them.
Secondly, the drying process can be dangerous as the water trapped inside the rock turns to steam, and the resulting pressure explodes the rock. These exploding rocks can hurt people close to the fire pit.
Are the rocks toxic if they touch something you eat?
Lava rocks purchased from your landscaping supply company or lava rocks manufacturers are safe for roasting marshmallows after rinsing them.
Eating food that falls on them is not dangerous and will not make you sick. That said, eating food covered in ashes and charcoal particles from wood fires is not healthy, just like eating food covered in lava rock pieces. Use the following lava rocks safety tips for roasting marshmallows on a fire pit with lava rocks.
- Ensure that your lava rocks are completely dry before lighting the fire pit. Moisture can cause the rocks to explode and hurt you or your family members.
- Wear high-quality heat-resistant gloves when reaching into the fire pit, as the rocks can get very hot.
- Ensure that young children are far enough from the fire and they have supervision when roasting marshmallows over lava rocks.
- Buy your lava rocks from a reputable supplier to ensure you get clean, safe lava rocks.
- Don’t roast marshmallows over lava rocks at a volcano. The lava contains toxic chemicals that can make you and your family members sick. That said, roasting marshmallows over lava rocks is not dangerous to your health, but like all fires, there is a risk of accidental burns.
Roasting marshmallows is an excellent way to spend time with your children. Children love them, and they are delicious to eat for adults too.
Using fire pits with lava rocks for roasting marshmallows is good for the environment, efficient, and an excellent way to preserve the flavor of your marshmallows. If you are considering using lava rocks for roasting marshmallows, use the above tips to do it safely.