Dehydrating Marshmallows: The Ultimate Comprehensive Guide

Dehydrating Marshmallows: A Comprehensive Guide

Marshmallows are a favorite sweet treat enjoyed by people all over the world. While they are commonly used to make s’mores or enjoyed as is, there is another exciting way to enhance your marshmallow experience – dehydrating them. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore different methods of dehydrating marshmallows, the benefits of the process, and tips to make it easier.

What are marshmallows?

Marshmallows are fluffy candies that bring joy to many. They are made from a simple combination of sugar, corn syrup, water and gelatin. To create the unique texture of marshmallows, a mixture of sugar, water, and corn syrup is boiled and brought to a boil. Gelatin is then added to the mixture to give marshmallows their characteristic soft and squishy consistency. Manufacturers shape the finished marshmallow mixture into various shapes.
While commercially made marshmallows are widely available, it is also possible to make them at home. Homemade marshmallows may have a slightly different texture than their store-bought counterparts.

Can you dehydrate marshmallows?

Yes, you can dehydrate marshmallows just like fruits and vegetables. While dehydrated marshmallows may not be as nutritious as fresh produce, the process can be a fun and creative way to enjoy this classic treat. There are several methods you can use to dehydrate marshmallows, which we will explore in detail.

What does dehydrating do to marshmallows?

Dehydrating marshmallows extends their shelf life by reducing their moisture content. Dehydrated marshmallows are less likely to spoil than their regular counterparts. The main difference between regular and dehydrated marshmallows is their texture. While regular marshmallows are soft and squishy, dehydrated marshmallows are hard and crunchy.
If you bite into a regular marshmallow, you will notice its spongy texture and slight moisture. Dehydrating the marshmallow removes the moisture, resulting in a dry interior while maintaining the spongy appearance. The flavor of marshmallows remains unchanged during the dehydration process, preserving their sweetness and any added flavors.

Important considerations before dehydrating marshmallows

Dehydrating marshmallows may seem like a simple task, but there are a few key factors to keep in mind to ensure successful results.

Marshmallow Shrinkage

Unlike most foods, marshmallows do not shrink when dehydrated. In fact, they tend to expand slightly. Therefore, waiting for marshmallows to shrink during the dehydration process will result in burns. Be aware of this unique characteristic and avoid overcooking your marshmallows.

Drying time and marshmallow size

Marshmallows come in a variety of sizes, including mini, regular, and jumbo. While you can dehydrate marshmallows of any size, larger marshmallows will take longer to dry. To speed up the process, it is recommended that you cut jumbo marshmallows into smaller pieces before dehydrating them. Spending a few minutes cutting the marshmallows into smaller portions will save you hours of drying time. In addition, smaller dehydrated marshmallows offer more versatility in use. Avoid attempting to cut marshmallows after they are completely dry as they will crumble.

Determining Dryness

The drying time for marshmallows can vary depending on the type of oven or dehydrator used and the humidity of the environment. To determine if your marshmallows are completely dry, you can perform a simple test. Remove a marshmallow from the oven or dehydrator and allow it to cool. Once cooled, check its texture by trying to crumble it. If the marshmallow crumbles easily, it is properly dehydrated. If it remains soft and looks raw inside, it needs more drying time. If dehydrating in a dehydrator, marshmallows may still feel squishy when removed, but will firm up after cooling for about 15 minutes. If you are using a dehydrator for the first time, test a few marshmallows to make sure they are crisp before removing the rest.

Methods for Dehydrating Marshmallows

There are several efficient methods for dehydrating marshmallows, including using a food dehydrator, an oven, or an air fryer. Each method has its own advantages and considerations. Let’s explore these methods step by step.

Dehydrating Marshmallows in the Oven

Using an oven is a common and accessible method of dehydrating marshmallows. Follow these step-by-step instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to the lowest temperature possible, ideally below 200°F, to prevent the marshmallows from burning.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper to prevent sticking.
  3. Place the marshmallows on the prepared baking sheet, making sure they are evenly spaced and not touching.
  4. Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven, leaving the door slightly ajar to allow moisture to escape.
  5. Allow the marshmallows to dry for about 2 hours or longer, depending on their size.
  6. Periodically check marshmallows for dryness using the crumble test described above.
  7. Once the marshmallows are completely dry, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool before storing them in an airtight container.

Dehydrating Marshmallows with a Food Dehydrator

A food dehydrator provides precise temperature control and consistent airflow, making it an excellent option for dehydrating marshmallows. Here’s how to use a food dehydrator:

  1. Set up your food dehydrator according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. Place the marshmallows on the dehydrator trays, making sure to leave space between them for proper airflow.
  3. Set the dehydrator temperature to about 160°F, which is the optimal temperature for dehydrating marshmallows.
  4. Start the dehydrator and let the marshmallows dry for about 2 hours or longer, depending on their size.
  5. Check the marshmallows for dryness using the crumb test mentioned above.
  6. Once completely dried, remove the marshmallows from the dehydrator and allow to cool before storing.

Dehydrating Marshmallows with an Air Fryer

If you have an air fryer at home, you can use it to dehydrate marshmallows. Follow these steps:

  1. Preheat your fryer to the lowest temperature setting, usually around 140°F.
  2. Place the marshmallows in a single layer in the fryer basket or tray.
  3. Place the basket or tray in the air fryer and let the marshmallows dry for about 2 hours or longer, depending on their size.
  4. Check the marshmallows for dryness using the crumb test mentioned above.
  5. When completely dry, remove the marshmallows from the fryer and allow to cool before storing.

Using Dehydrated Marshmallows

Dehydrated marshmallows offer many culinary possibilities. Here are some creative ways to enjoy them:

  • Snack on them for a crunchy treat.
  • Add to hot cocoa or coffee for an extra burst of flavor and texture.
  • Add them to homemade granola bars or trail mix for extra sweetness.
  • Use as a topping for ice cream, yogurt or pudding.
  • Add them to baked goods like cookies, brownies or cakes for a unique twist.

Tips for Dehydrating Marshmallows

To ensure successful results when dehydrating marshmallows, follow these helpful tips:

  • Use fresh marshmallows for the best texture and flavor.
  • Cut jumbo marshmallows into smaller pieces to speed up the drying process.
  • Space marshmallows evenly on drying trays to allow for proper airflow.
  • Rotate trays or shuffle marshmallows during the drying process for even drying.
  • Store dehydrated marshmallows in an airtight container in a cool, dry place to keep them crisp.

Bottom line

Dehydrating marshmallows offers a delicious twist on this beloved treat. Whether you use a food dehydrator, an oven, or an air fryer, the process is relatively simple. By dehydrating marshmallows, you can extend their shelf life and enjoy the crunchy texture they acquire. Experiment with different uses for dehydrated marshmallows and let your creativity shine in the kitchen. Happy dehydrating!


Can any type of marshmallow be dehydrated?

Yes, you can dehydrate marshmallows of any size or shape, including mini, regular, and jumbo marshmallows.

Will dehydrated marshmallows taste the same as regular marshmallows?

Yes, dehydrated marshmallows retain their original flavor and sweetness.

How long does it take to dry marshmallows?

Drying time for marshmallows can vary depending on the size of the marshmallow and the method used. On average, it takes about 2 hours or more to completely dehydrate marshmallows.

What is the best way to store dried marshmallows?

To maintain their crunch, store dehydrated marshmallows in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

Can dehydrated marshmallows be rehydrated?

No, dehydrated marshmallows are not rehydratable. Once they are dehydrated, their texture changes to a crunchy consistency.

Are dehydrated marshmallows suitable for people with dietary restrictions?

Dehydrated marshmallows contain the same ingredients as regular marshmallows, including sugar and gelatin. Therefore, they may not be suitable for individuals with dietary restrictions related to these ingredients. It is always best to check the ingredient list and consult a healthcare professional if you have any concerns.