Is it safe to roast marshmallows over a sterno flame?

  • It's become common practice around my apartment to use a sterno to roast marshmallows because it's easy, cheap and (primarily) because we can't have a campfire in my living room.

    Is this dangerous?

    Health questions are off-topic. Other than that - dangerous in what way? The potential to set your apartment on fire?

    Ha nope, just health-related. If it's off-topic, feel free to close it. Sorry about that!

    I don't see this as "health" more like food safety. The question is not whether sterno will reverse hair loss or balance your life energy- it's whether the chemicals are toxic when burned.

    @Sobachatina the first version of the question is explicitly health-related, you can see it in the history.

    @rumtscho- I did see that. It did use the word "health" but not in the sense that is off topic. If that kind of "health" was off topic then we would have to close all our "is this spoiled" yet questions because they are essentially asking if the food is unhealthy. If more discussion on this is necessary we should probably take it to meta.

  • Sterno is (roughly) alcohol mixed with gel. The same type of alcohol (ethanol mixed with enough methanol to make it poisonous) is commonly used in marine stoves because it's considered to be quite safe: it doesn't explode and it can be extinguished with water.

    Alcohol also burns cleanly and quite completely, so there are essentially no methanol molecules in the flame that could land on your marshmallows and harm you.

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Content dated before 6/26/2020 9:53 AM