Dehydrating Marshmallows – The Complete Guide
Marshmallows are some of the most popular sweet treats in the world. Some people use them to make grilled s’mores while others enjoy these squishy treats as is.
But there is a lot more you can do with marshmallows, including dehydrating them.
How to dehydrate marshmallows? You can dehydrate marshmallows using a food dehydrator, an oven, or an air fryer. Dehydrating marshmallows takes 2 hours or longer depending on their size. The marshmallows should be dehydrated at around 160°F for the candies to completely dry out and not burn or caramelize.
This article is a complete guide to dehydrating marshmallows. Continue reading to learn how to dehydrate marshmallows using different methods, how to use dehydrated marshmallows, as well as tips to make the process easier.
What Are Marshmallows?
We all love marshmallows. Whether you use marshmallows in baking, eat them toasted, or plain, these fluffy candies are pure joy.
But while many people like treating themselves to these squishy sweets, not everyone knows what goes into them.
Surprisingly enough, marshmallows consist of a few simple ingredients – sugar, corn syrup, water, and gelatin.
To make marshmallows, the mixture of sugar, water, and corn syrup is cooked and brought to a boil. To give the marshmallows their specific texture, gelatin is added to the mixture.
But to make marshmallows fluffy and soft, you need to incorporate the key ‘ingredient’ into the sweet concoction. After the mixture is ready, the manufacturers form various shapes out of the ready marshmallow mixture.
You can also make marshmallows at home. The texture of homemade marshmallows is slightly different from the texture of commercially manufactured ones.
Can You Dehydrate Marshmallows?
You can dehydrate marshmallows as you dehydrate fruits and vegetables. While dehydrated marshmallows are not as healthy as dehydrated fresh produce, it is certainly fun.
You can dehydrate marshmallows using various dehydrating methods.
What Does Dehydrating Do To Marshmallows?
Dehydrating food makes it last longer and marshmallows are not an exception. Dehydrated marshmallows are less prone to spoilage due to the lowered moisture content.
The key difference between regular and dehydrated marshmallows is obviously their texture. While regular marshmallows are soft and squishy, dehydrated marshmallows are hard and crispy.
When you bite into a regular fresh marshmallow, you see that it resembles a sponge, raw and somewhat moist. Dehydrating, on the other hand, makes the inside of a marshmallow dry while preserving its spongy look.
The flavor of the marshmallows doesn’t change when you dehydrate them. They remain sweet and maintain any additional flavors added to them.
What You Should Know Before Dehydrating Marshmallows
Dehydrating marshmallows might seem to be a rather straightforward task. However, there are a few things you should know before you dehydrate these candies.
Marshmallows Don’t Shrink When You Dehydrate Them
As a general rule, food shrinks when it loses moisture. This is why many people expect marshmallows to get smaller when they dehydrate them.
If you wait for the marshmallows to shrink, you will burn them because as opposed to other foods these squishy treats pillow up a bit when you dehydrate them.
The Larger The Marshmallow The Longer It Takes To Dry
Marshmallows come in different sizes – mini, regular, and jumbo. Technically, you can dehydrate marshmallows of all sizes. However, the thicker the marshmallows the more time they will take to dry.
You can dehydrate large and jumbo marshmallows. But we recommend you cut them into smaller pieces first for an efficient dehydration process.
It is better to spend a couple of minutes on cutting the marshmallows rather than wait for hours for the jumbo marshmallows to dry out completely.
And even then, with jumbo marshmallows, the risk of leaving the center of the marshmallows soft and squishy is high.
Additionally, small dehydrated marshmallows are more versatile when it comes to their uses. This is another reason to cut large marshmallows first.
Don’t try to cut the marshmallows once they are fully dry as they will simply crumble.
Determining When The Marshmallows Are Fully Dry
You can follow detailed instructions for dehydrating marshmallows, including setting your oven at the right temperature for as many minutes as the recipe suggests.
But you may end up with marshmallows that are still soft and chewy. Why does this happen?
The reason is that not all ovens work in the same way. Even if they did, the humidity of the room matters too. If it is too humid where you live, the marshmallows will take longer to dry out completely.
Thus, it is important to know how to determine the doneness of dehydrated marshmallows.
The best way to determine whether the marshmallows are dry or not is to test one while they are in the oven or in a dehydrator.
Once you feel the marshmallow is all crunchy and hard, take all of them out. It is important to wait for the marshmallow to cool before you check it for doneness.
You can also try to crumble the marshmallow. If it crumbles, then the marshmallow is properly dehydrated. If it doesn’t crumble and looks raw inside, the marshmallows need more time to dehydrate.
There is one thing you should know if you are using a dehydrator. Marshmallows dehydrated in a dehydrator may still feel squishy when you take them out. This is normal when you are using a dehydrator to dry out the marshmallows.
To check if the marshmallows are completely dry or not you need to let them sit for around 15 minutes.
If it is your first time using a dehydrator for marshmallows and you are not sure how much time it takes for it to get the job done, take out a few marshmallows and let them cool down.
If they turn crispy, turn off the dehydrator and take out the rest of the marshmallows too.
How To Dehydrate Marshmallows
There are a few efficient methods for dehydrating marshmallows. If you have a dehydrator, it certainly makes sense to use it for marshmallows.
Now having a dehydrator is not a problem at all. You can use your oven or an air fryer to dehydrate marshmallows.
Here are step-by-step instructions for dehydrating marshmallows in three different ways.
Dehydrating Marshmallows In The Oven
Everyone has an oven in their kitchen. Thus, everyone can dehydrate marshmallows at home. Here are step-by-step instructions for dehydrating marshmallows at home using an oven.
- Preheat the oven. Set it at the lowest temperature possible. The temperature of the oven should be lower than 200°F. If you set it higher than this, the marshmallows will burn or caramelize.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and put the marshmallows on it. Arrange the marshmallows in a single layer.
- Toss the marshmallows every 20 minutes. This will help heat and dehydrate marshmallows from all sides.
- Take out a couple of marshmallows from the oven, let them cool, and try them. If they are dry and crumbly, remove the rest of the marshmallows from the oven.
Dehydrating marshmallows in the oven will take you about 2-3 hours and lots of attention. Otherwise, the marshmallows may darken and burn. But the results are great and comparable to those produced by a food dehydrator.
Dehydrating Marshmallows In A Dehydrator
Most people use food dehydrators to extend the shelf life of healthy food. But why not use it for such sweet treats as marshmallows too?
If you have a food dehydrator at home, you should put it to use for the fluffy candies. A dehydrator produces the best results with very little effort. Here is how to dehydrate marshmallows in a dehydrator.
- Arrange the marshmallows in a single layer on the dehydrator rack. Make sure there are no marshmallow clumps. There should be enough space in-between marshmallows to provide even dehydration.
- Set the temperature of the dehydrator at 160°F.
- Let the marshmallows dehydrate for at least 2 hours. The dehydration time depends on the size of the marshmallows as well as how many marshmallows you have in the dehydrator.
- After around 2 hours take out a marshmallow and let it cool. Once the marshmallow has cooled down, try it for crispiness. If the marshmallows are crispy and not raw inside, remove the rest from the dehydrator, let them cool, and store in an airtight container.
You may have the problem of the marshmallows sticking to the air fryer racks. This happens when the internal sticky part of marshmallows is heated and exposed to the cooking surface.
If you encounter this issue, wait for the marshmallows to cool down completely, and only then attempt to remove them from the racks. Once the marshmallows are cooled down they should come off the racks quite easily.
Dehydrating Marshmallows In An Air Fryer
You may be surprised to learn that you can dehydrate marshmallows in an air fryer too. An air fryer yields the same results as the oven or the dehydrator but in less time.
Follow these steps to dehydrate marshmallows in an air fryer.
- Arrange the marshmallows on the rack of your air fryer or in the basket.
- Leave space in-between the marshmallows for airflow and efficient dehydration.
- Set the temperature of the air fryer at 160°F.
- Let mini marshmallows dehydrate for 60 minutes in the air fryer. Larger marshmallows will take a little longer to dry completely.
- After 1 hour, take out a few marshmallows for a test. If they are dry and crispy after they have cooled down, remove the entire batch from the air fryer.
Different air fryers will dehydrate marshmallows in a different amount of time. You will figure out how much time your dehydrator takes for various marshmallow sizes after a couple of uses.
Can You Dehydrate Marshmallows In The Microwave?
You can dehydrate marshmallows in the microwave as the latter heats food and causes its moisture content to evaporate.
However, the experience may be hit or miss. We recommend you try dehydrating a small batch of marshmallows first to see how it works for you.
To dehydrate marshmallows in the microwave put them in a single layer on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave on high for 60 seconds. The marshmallows will pillow up as they cook.
After 1 minute, wait for the puffiness to go down, turn the marshmallows, and microwave them for another minute.
Repeat these steps until the marshmallows are all dry and crispy.
Can You Air Dry Marshmallows?
Air drying marshmallows is considered to be another method of dehydrating them. But this method doesn’t work the same way as dehydrating marshmallows using heat. Additionally, it has two big drawbacks.
First, air-dried marshmallows don’t have the same texture as marshmallows dehydrated using an oven, a dehydrator, or an air fryer.
Second, it takes a lot of time to air dry marshmallows. You may have to wait weeks and even months for the marshmallows to dehydrate by air drying.
You can certainly try dehydrating marshmallows by air-drying them to see how you like the results. To do so, simply leave the marshmallows in an open bag.
You can leave them in the plastic bag they come in. Just cut it open to provide lots of airflow.
Leave the marshmallows in a dry and cool place. They will gradually dry out and harden. But they won’t be as ‘fluffy’ as marshmallows dehydrated in an oven or dehydrator.
It is best to use air-dried marshmallows in hot drinks.
How Long Does It Take For The Marshmallows To Dehydrate?
How long the marshmallows will take to dehydrate depends on their size, what appliance you are using to dehydrate them and how humid it is where you live.
For example, it will take you around 2-3 hours to dehydrate mini marshmallows in the dehydrator.
If you set the temperature of the dehydrator lower than 160°F, it will take the marshmallows around 1 hour longer to fully dry out.
How To Store Dehydrated Marshmallows
So, we know that dehydrated marshmallows last longer. But this is true only if you store them properly.
Store dehydrated marshmallows in an airtight container or bag. You can use a plastic container, a mason jar, or a zip-top bag.
Before you transfer the marshmallows into a container, make sure it is dry. Close the container tightly after each use.
In case the marshmallows get soft again, you can dehydrate them once again to make them crispy.
How Long Do Dehydrated Marshmallows Last?
An unopened bag of marshmallows has a very long shelf life – 8 months and longer depending on the manufacturer and storage conditions. When you open the bag of marshmallows, it is best to eat them as soon as possible.
With time, the marshmallows will either get sticky thanks to the sugar in them or harden as a result of contact with air.
If you have opened a bag of marshmallows, used some of them, and don’t know what to do with the rest, dehydrating the marshmallows is certainly a good idea. For the best results, dehydrate marshmallows when they are still fresh.
Properly dehydrated marshmallows stored in the right conditions will keep well for up to 12 months.
The dehydrated marshmallows may soften again as a result of improper storage conditions. In this case, you can try to re-dehydrate them or simply discard them.
We also recommend discarding white marshmallows when you notice that they have turned light yellow. The color changes indicate that the marshmallows are stale.
How To Use Dehydrated Marshmallows
Dehydrated marshmallows make a great snack – sweet and crunchy. But there is a lot more you can do with them. Here are some ideas for using dehydrated crispy marshmallows.
- Top hot chocolate. One of the most popular uses for dehydrated marshmallows is using them as a hot chocolate topping. As dehydrated marshmallows last longer and don’t get sticky, it is a good idea to use dehydrated marshmallows to make hot chocolate kits.
- Use in cereal. You can add dehydrated marshmallows into a cereal mix for added texture and flavor. But even mini marshmallows may be too big to go into your cereal mix. Thus, if this is how you consider using dehydrated marshmallows, cut them into smaller pieces beforehand.
- Mix into Rice Krispies. Mix crispy marshmallows into another crunchy treat. Dehydrated marshmallows will enhance the texture of Rice Krispies and add more flavor to them.
- Use for baking. You can add dehydrated marshmallows into cookie and brownie batters as well as use them to decorate cakes.
- Make granola bars. If you are not aiming for the healthiest granola bar, then adding dehydrated marshmallows into the mixture is a great choice. It will sweeten your granola treat while adding a nice crunchy texture to it.
Are Dehydrated Marshmallows Better For Hot Chocolate?
When you add marshmallows into hot chocolate, they dissolve and turn into gooey goodness. Additionally, they lower the temperature of the drink making it possible to enjoy it sooner.
But why do many sources recommend dehydrating marshmallows for hot chocolate? Are dehydrated marshmallows better for hot chocolate?
Dehydrated marshmallows eventually soak up the liquid and end up like regular marshmallows in hot chocolate. However, they take longer to dissolve which makes the experience of drinking hot chocolate more enjoyable.
Additionally, you can dehydrate a bag of mini marshmallows, store it in an airtight jar for months, and have a topping for your hot chocolate ready at hand.
4 Tips For Dehydrating Marshmallows
Dehydrating marshmallows isn’t a very complicated task. Nonetheless, knowing some tips and tricks to make the process easier is always helpful.
1. Use Powdered Sugar When Cutting Large Marshmallows
When cutting large or jumbo marshmallows into smaller pieces, use powdered sugar to dust your scissors or knife. Doing this will prevent the marshmallows from sticking to your tools.
It is also helpful to have a wet cloth at hand alongside the powdered sugar as you will need to wipe the scissors or the knife clean from time to time.
You can use powdered sugar for not only dusting the cutting tool you are using but also coating the cut marshmallows in it. In this case, we recommend you mix one part of powdered sugar with one part of cornstarch.
Once you cut the marshmallows, coat them in this mixture to prevent them from sticking to each other.
2. Keep The Marshmallows Away From Each Other When Dehydrating
When you transfer the marshmallows onto a baking tray to dehydrate them, make effort to keep them separated.
It is also important to have the marshmallows in a single layer. The more airflow you provide for the marshmallows the more efficiently and quickly they will dry.
Arranging mini and tiny marshmallows so that they don’t touch each other may seem a time-consuming task. However, doing it will cut down the dehydrating time and will produce much better results.
3. Let The Marshmallows Sit For 24 Hours
Once you have dehydrated the marshmallows, let them sit on the baking tray for 24 hours before you store them in an airtight container or bag.
Doing this will ensure that the marshmallows are completely dry before being packed for long-term storage.
This tip is especially helpful for those who are dehydrating marshmallows for the first time and are not sure whether they are fully dry or not.
4. Make Marshmallow Powder
If you don’t know how to use the dehydrated marshmallows, make marshmallow powder. Marshmallow powder is powdered dehydrated marshmallows that can be used as a substitute for sugar in certain recipes.
Making marshmallow powder is very easy. All you need to do is to blend the dehydrated marshmallows using a blender or a food processor until you reach a powder texture.
Transfer the marshmallow powder into a tight-sealing dry container and use it to sweeten coffee, tea, and other hot drinks. This sweet powder will work as a substitute for sugar in certain baking recipes too.
Dehydrated Marshmallows In The Oven
- Marshmallows (whether storebought or homemade)
- Preheat the oven to 200°F or lower.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and put the marshmallows on it.
- Arrange the marshmallows in a single layer.
- Toss the marshmallows every 20 minutes. This will help the heat to circulate and dehydrate the marshmallows on all sides.
- Take out a couple of marshmallows from the oven, let them cool, and try them. If they are dry and crumbly, remove the rest of the marshmallows from the oven.
- Let them sit at room temperature for 24 hours before storing.
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