Oven Vs Air Fryer For Indoor S'mores: How Do These Appliances Compare?

In 1927, Girl Scouts, Inc. compiled and published a book containing the first written recipe for a s'more. Then called "Some More," the chocolate, toasted marshmallow, and graham cracker sandwich quickly became widely known as the quintessential campfire treat. The flavor combination has become a downright sensation since then, incorporated into everything from Pop-Tarts and ice cream to protein bars and s'mores charcuterie boards. America's obsession with all things s'mores perfectly captures the zeitgeist of our era: We want the good stuff any way we can get it. That being said when you've got a hankering for the classic configuration, sometimes you have to forgo the fire and use something a little more accessible to toast your mallows.

While graham crackers provide structure and chocolate bestows richness, there's no denying that a gooey, toasted marshmallow is the glue that holds the s'more together. For that reason, it has to be toasted just right. You could melt marshmallows in the microwave, but that particular method won't give you the golden brown, crispy shell every s'mores connoisseur covets. While microwaves can't quite get there, both ovens and air fryers definitely get hot enough to produce a delightfully caramelized marshmallow. So, while some dedicated troop leaders may think it blasphemous, with the help of an oven or an air fryer, you can make some pretty excellent s'mores without leaving your kitchen. Both make for tasty treats, but which appliance reigns supreme? It depends.

Oven-baked s'mores give you room to experiment

Making s'mores in the oven is as easy as pie. Simply arrange graham cracker squares on a baking sheet, place a marshmallow on half of them, and a few squares of chocolate on the others. In an oven preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, it takes between five to seven minutes for the marshmallow to swell and brown and the chocolate to become soft and gooey. Placed under the broiler, however, marshmallows can brown in just a minute or two. Because the broiler can reach upwards of 550 degrees Fahrenheit, marshmallows can go from golden to charred rather quickly, so it's essential that you monitor their progress. Just imagine that instead of hovering by the stove, you're sitting by the campfire!

S'mores cooked indoors won't have the same smokey quality as the campfire-cooked variety, however, they do have that toasted, caramelized crunch — at least the exposed part of the marshmallow will. Plus, when you're making s'mores on a cookie sheet, you have the ability to make several at a time. By putting all the ingredients together in a cast-iron skillet and popping it in the oven, you can even make an over-the-top s'more dip for a shareable dessert.

Additionally, the beauty of having your entire kitchen at your disposal is that you can experiment with different ingredients, finding yummy new additions to the classic chocolate, graham cracker, and marshmallow combo. This oven-baked s'mores recipe uses homemade caramel and sea salt to elevate the family favorite.

Air fryer s'mores are easy to clean up

Die-hard air fryer advocates might try to convince you that anything you cook in it will turn to gold. In the case of s'mores, it's actually sort of true. A marshmallow — placed atop a graham cracker square, placed atop a parchment paper square — typically turns perfectly golden brown in the air fryer after three to four minutes. Not all air fryers cook at the same rate though, so the time and temperature can vary.

If you don't like the onus of having to melt the chocolate to drizzle on top of the marshmallow, you can also toss the second graham cracker square — topped with chocolate — in the air fryer basket for a few seconds at the end to gently help it along. But because the air fryer is oh-so-good at baking and crisping, you might try an air fryer s'more recipe that swaps out graham crackers for Pillsbury crescent rolls. That's right! We're talking s'mores croissants. While the countertop appliance produces a pretty incredible substitute for a campfire s'more, that's not the only reason you should be using your air fryer to make s'mores. Like most things made in the air fryer, the cleanup couldn't be easier as it requires no dishes except the one you plan to eat off of.