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Learn how to melt chocolate so it turns smooth and glossy every time! I’m sharing tips for melting chocolate in a double-boiler or a microwave, plus some of my favorite tricks to make it easy and stress-free!
Table of Contents
Best Way to Melt Chocolate
If you’ve ever had chocolate seize up on you or not melt properly, you know how annoying it can be. So, I’m showing you the best ways to melt chocolate so you can do it every time without problems.
- How to melt in the microwave vs. a double boiler.
- How to melt chocolate chips plus other types of chocolate, including how to melt white chocolate chips, so you get smooth chocolate every time.
- I’m sharing my best tips for salvaging seized or overheated chocolate.
- Plus, a few more secrets so you can melt chocolate like a pro!
Before you melt chocolate, the first thing to ensure is that there is no water. Even the smallest amount of water that comes into contact with your melted chocolate will turn into a gritty paste.
Types of Melting Chocolates
- Chocolate Chips – these come in all flavors and are found in most stores. My favorite brands: Trader Joe’s, Ghiradelli, and Guittard.
- Baking Chocolate – These are baking bars sold in the baking aisle. Most of the time they are sold as 4 ounce bars and they come in semi-sweet, unsweetened, German chocolate, and white chocolate. These are more of a premium chocolate. My favorite brands: Ghiradelli and Baker’s.
- Candy Melts – These are little chocolate wafers designed for dipping, sold in the baking aisle. They’re also sold at craft stores but beware – those are often not chocolate, but rather chocolate flavored. My favorite brand: Ghiradelli.
- Almond Bark – This is chocolate made for melting and dipping. It comes in a large block and is sold in the baking aisle, usually in chocolate and white chocolate versions. There are two main brands: Almond Bark and Candiqik (the latter is my favorite).
How to Melt Chocolate in Microwave
You can melt chocolate in the microwave and it’s easy and fast, but it can also burn if you’re not careful.
In general, the best way to melt chocolate in the microwave is to first set the power to 50%. This will make it easier to not overcook it. Place chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and melt the chocolate in 30 second intervals, stirring between each. Using this stop-and-stir method will ensure you don’t burn it.
Tip: For easy clean-up, use a small plastic dixie bowl. They are microwave-safe!
Depending on the kind of chocolate you are melting, here are some additional tips to keep in mind:
- Baking bars and almond bark: Always follow the package’s recommendations for melting these kinds of chocolate. Different brands will vary, so always double-check.
- Chocolate chips: I like to add a teaspoon of oil or Crisco when I melt chocolate chips. When you melt them in the microwave, the oil helps the melting process. You can use this same process to melt white chocolate chips.
- Chocolate bars (not baking bars): Follow the same instructions for chocolate chips, but omit the oil or Crisco.
Double Boiler Method: How to melt chocolate on the stove
The double-boiler method for melting chocolate is easy but the benefit is that it’s harder to burn the chocolate than the microwave method.
To make a double boiler, all you do is place a heat-proof bowl on top of a pan of barely simmering water. The water should not touch the bowl’s bottom. That way, the heat from the steam will heat the bowl creating an indirect heat that gently melts the chocolate. This makes it less likely that it will burn.
- The bowl must fit in the pan without gaps to prevent water from splashing up into the chocolate, which can cause it to seize up.
- To melt the chocolate, place it in the bowl and stir it. The heat from the steam in the pan will melt it.
- How to melt white chocolate chips: I prefer to use the double-boiler method for white chocolate because white chocolate has more sugar and can burn easily.
- The double-boiler process is great when you want pretty glossy chocolate – it’s a gentler way to melt it, and it’s easier to control the heat to achieve that result.
If you’re coating something with melted chocolate that will need slicing (like a layer on top of brownies), you’ll want to make it a bit softer so it won’t splinter. In these cases, add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil or shortening while melting. This will help the chocolate slice better.
Add more vegetable oil or shortening to your chocolate while melting – this will make it thinner.
I prefer melting chocolate with oil or shortening since it’s a neutral flavor.
How to Melt Chocolate
Choose Which Type of Chocolate (see notes):
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 4 ounces baking chocolate
- 8-10 ounces chocolate melts or almond bark
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or shortening
- To melt chocolate chips: Place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and heat at 50% power in 30 second increments, stirring between each, until melted and smooth. If the chocolate doesn't seem to be melting after 1 minute, add oil or shortening.
- To melt baking chocolate: Place baking chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and heat at 50% power in 30 second increments, stirring between each, until melted and smooth.
- To melt chocolate melts: Place chocolate melts or almond bark in a microwave safe bowl and heat at 50% power in 30 second increments, stirring between each, until melted and smooth.
Double Boiler Instructions:
- Place a heat proof bowl over a pot of water and bring to a low boil. Make sure the bowl fits snug around the top of the pot and the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water.
- Add desired chocolate. Stir almost constantly until melted and smooth. To thin chocolate chips, add vegetable oil or shortening.
- White chocolate chips should always be melted on a double boiler – or add the oil/shortening before microwaving. They are notoriously finicky for seizing.
- Do not allow any water to get into the bowl of chocolate.
- Paper Dixie Bowls are perfect for melting – they’re microwave safe and provide easy clean up.
- Best chocolate chips: Trader Joe’s, Ghiradelli, Guittard
- Best baking chocolate: Baker’s, Ghiradelli
- Best candy melts: Guiradelli
- Best almond bark: Candiquik
More Helpful Baking Tips
Melted chocolate has so many fun uses and it’s a really great skill in the kitchen to master. I hope these were helpful and that your melted chocolate turns out smooth and glossy everytime!
Last Updated on January 27, 2023
I have been making chocolate candy with molds for 25 years
Ihave always used the doub lip e boiler method so not to burn the chocolate. I also use melted chocolate for dipping. pretzles, cookies,fruit,etc.
I’ve used a couple of additional methods of melting chocolate chips. I was told to use some butter (amounts differ with # of chocolate chips) with the chips. It does say use 50% power and the on and off every 30 seconds. Never without some kind of oily additive unless in the double boiler and that is time consuming.