A S’moresologist and S’mores butler share the best ways to make this classic campfire treat.

Traditional smores and wild riffs from Paws Up Smoresologists

Sunny Jin

By Sunny Jin

There’s nothing quite as cozy as enjoying some s’mores by the campfire. But what might be a leisurely campsite activity to some is actually a pretty serious endeavor to others. (Heck, who are we to judge? We’ve made our own s’mores charcuterie boards here at the test kitchen recently.) Two hotels here in the West actually have professional s’mores makers that are paid to level up this classic trio, which is said to have been created by the Girl Scouts of America in 1927.

At Paws Up in Montana, Glamping Butler John Cameron serves as one of the property’s on-site S’moreologists, leading instructional s’mores-making sessions and workshops for guests. The hotel attributes their out-of-the-box approach to this classic American sweet treat to the many visiting culinary artists that come to the property as part of their programming. Chocolatier Jessica Foster, Michelin-starred pastry chef Meg Galus, James Beard semifinalist Amanda Rockman, and pâtissier extraordinaire Mindy Segal have all visited Paws Up and chipped in ideas for how to make the fireside treat even more magical.

At Hotel Cheval in the Central Coast, S’mores Butler Éva Deák Peck rolls out her red wagon of s’mores fixings and accoutrement for guests snuggling up at their many outdoor fire pits after a day of wine tasting. While her approach is more traditional, she has some great know-how on how to make the most of your campfire experience.

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Here are the tips and tricks according to these self-proclaimed s’moreologists.

Fun fruity flavors go so well with chocolate, like this s’more from outdoor chef Kena Peay

Courtesy of Kena Peay

Double up on Chocolate

This is absolutely up to the s’mores maker, but many experts advise a section of chocolate above and below the marshmallow that is roughly the same size as the marshmallow,” says Cameron. “We recommend lots of practice to find the perfect chocolate-to-marshmallow ratio that makes the best-tasting s’mores for your palate.”

As for what brand to use, classic Hershey’s always melts best according to Deák Peck.

Get Adventurous with Toppings

Cameron loves adding fresh fruit like blackberries and strawberries to the mix. “You can only imagine how adding strawberry slices to a s’more will create a great chocolate-covered strawberry effect,” he says. “We’ve always wanted to try huckleberries, too, since they’re so plentiful in Montana. Bananas are also a great addition.”

The sky is the limit in Big Sky Country, it seems, as the s’moreologists have tried combinations like bacon, peanut butter cups, and even potato chips to add a sweet and savory playfulness to their s’mores. “Some folks like to add spices, such as cayenne pepper, to the mix to add a bit of kick, or even hot sauce!” says Cameron.

Our minds are immediately dreaming up ideas like peppermint patties with chocolate graham crackers; pumpkin butter and whipped cream cheese; gingersnap cookies slathered with Speculoos; or heck, even a classic s’more made with CBD chocolates from Kiva Confections.

Gear up for Success

At Hotel Cheval, Deák Peck takes the job quite seriously and has a list of items she always brings along to her guests. She suggests always using a long, metal stick as opposed to wood, and wears leather gloves to avoid any fire hazards in the winter, as synthetic fabrics are flammable. Another essential: “No s’mores are complete without a Wet-Nap,” she says. And always have gluten-free graham crackers on hand so that everyone can participate, no matter their dietary restrictions.

Keep It Fresh

“Whatever brand of graham cracker is chosen, it’s most important that the ingredients are fresh and not stale,” says Deák Peck. “There’s nothing yummy about stale graham crackers or stiff marshmallows.” We couldn’t agree more.

Make It Well-Done

According to Cameron, “The marshmallow should be roasted until it’s slightly golden brown, although, some prefer a slight char on their marshmallow,” he says. “Just try not to catch the s’more on fire—unless you are imitating an Olympic torch runner while humming the Olympics theme—another time-honored s’mores making tradition.” 

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