Add Some Chaos To Your S'mores Game With Watermelon Slices

From crunchy graham crackers on the outside to ooey-gooey fire-roasted marshmallows and melty chocolate on the inside, s'mores are a pretty messy treat (in the best way possible). So, why not just add some juicy watermelon to the sticky sweet favorite to jazz it up even more?

One of the most popular summer fruits, watermelon is quickly becoming more than just a hydrating treat to bite into on a hot day. It's also increasingly being spotted as an ingredient at juice and smoothie shops, the star of the show in many new cocktail recipes, and has been added to salads alongside feta and fresh herbs for a fresh take. Avid grillers have even found ways to heat it up and get the perfect grill marks on watermelon wedges. So, it only makes sense the summer fruit superstar could be paired up with one of the season's most classic campfire treats.

As for the flavor pairings, truly nearly any fruit pairs well with chocolate, with watermelon being no exception. Both milk and dark chocolate work well, but the bitterness of dark chocolate particularly complements the juicy, sweet fruit. And in terms of texture, the creamy, gooey marshmallow is an ideal backdrop for the crisp melon.

Tips for the best watermelon s'mores

The first key to making mouthwatering, fruity s'mores is to choose the tastiest watermelon. Melons that are most likely to yield perfectly juicy fruit are typically round, heavy, and have a lower-pitched sound when you knock on them. You can also look at the color of the field spot for a hint of how flavorful the fruit will be. Those with lighter field spots (white or a pale shade of yellow) are likely to have less fruity flavor than those with orange or vibrant yellow field spots.

When slicing the watermelon, keep in mind the size of your little (or full-grown) s'mores eaters. Thinner slices may work better for smaller hands and mouths since the fruit will be sandwiched between the already tall stack of graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallow.

For the most flavorful watermelon, you may also want to consider sprinkling a little salt on top of your slices. Salt elevates the fruit's flavor by bringing out its natural sweetness — and it can enhance the flavor of the chocolate and marshmallow, too. For more adventurous palates, you can even try a dash of fish sauce on your watermelon for the same result (but with a little fun, funky flavor, too).

Finally, when you're building your s'mores, it may be ideal to place chocolate on both the top and the bottom to avoid graham crackers turning soggy from the fruit juice. Or, just eat the treat quickly (like you were probably going to do anyway).

Other s'mores variations

If you haven't added extras to your s'mores before, consider other fruity options to sandwich in between your toasty marshmallow and melty chocolate. If you're using milk chocolate, nearly any fruit will pair well, from bananas or berries to pineapple or kiwi. When it comes to dark chocolate, consider pairing its bitter notes with the sweetest of fruits — strawberries always work well, but so will mangoes, pears, and peaches.

You can also switch up the chocolate in favor of other sweet sauces and spreads like caramel, butterscotch, and Nutella — or try peanut butter or salted caramel to add a salty layer of flavor. Another idea is to swap out the graham crackers for sugar cookies or oatmeal cookies.

Even if you stick with standard s'mores ingredients, you can easily upgrade the melty, sweet treat with just a dash of spice. For warm fall flavors on a cool night, try a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg. Or, heat things up with some cayenne or tajin.

Finally, if you're trying to satisfy your s'mores craving, but lack the seemingly requisite campfire, try a different method. S'mores can be made in under a minute by using either a broiler or a microwave. Or, you can get closer to the classic campfire style by carefully roasting a skewered marshmallow over a flame on a gas stove.