Two easy methods for how to melt chocolate so it’s smooth, glossy and perfect for dipping! Use a double boiler on the stove, or learn to melt your chocolate in the microwave – including how to melt chocolate chips.
Have you ever looked at a recipe that said: “Melt the chocolate”. So you place it in a bowl and pop it in the microwave for a minute. But when you come back it’s grainy, lumpy, or has a horrible burning smell? Well, today we’re talking about all the tips and tricks for melting chocolate perfectly – whether that’s baking chocolate, chocolate chips or even candy melts.
What Kind of Chocolate Should I Use?
I typically recommend using baking chocolate because it has more flavor than candy melts, and melts better than chocolate chips. However, always follow the recipe ingredients – different types have different purposes. If you decide to use baking chocolate – or even a Lindt chocolate bar – you need the chocolate to be cut into small, somewhat uniform pieces. The pieces of chocolate need to be similar in size so that they take the same amount of time to melt. Use a thin, sharp knife to cut the chocolate.
The methods below work for dark, semi-sweet, milk or white chocolate.
How to Melt Chocolate in the Microwave
- Place the chopped chocolate (or chocolate chips) in a glass bowl.
- Microwave for 30 seconds on medium power, then remove from the microwave and stir.
- Repeat the process until the chocolate is almost melted.
- Then stir until smooth.
After the first few intervals, stirring the chocolate will seem unnecessary because it won’t have melted much. But it’s super important to stir the chocolate otherwise the chocolate around the edges of the bowl will melt, but the chocolate in the middle will stay solid.
How to Melt Chocolate on the Stove (Double Boiler Method)
- Add about ½ inch to 1 inch of water in the bottom of a saucepan or double boiler.
- Place a glass bowl on top of the saucepan – ensuring that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Or place the top pan of the double boiler on top.
- Add the chocolate to the bowl/top of the double boiler.
- With the burner on low heat, let the water come to a gentle boil.
- Gently stir the chocolate until almost melted. Then remove from the heat and continue stirring until smooth.
What about Melting Chocolate Chips?
Either of the 2 methods will work for melting chocolate chips. However – you need to be particularly careful with chocolate chips because they do not melt as easily. Chocolate chips typically have stabilizers in them which allow the chocolate chips to keep their shape. Chocolate chips can go from almost melted to burnt and lumpy very quickly. So ensure that you’re stirring the chocolate and not overheating.
And What About Candy Melts?
Candy melts typically melt the best. Because, well, that’s what they’re designed for. Follow the instructions listed on the bag, or either of the methods listed above.
Tips and Tricks for Melting Chocolate
- Cut the chocolate into small pieces. This helps the chocolate melt instead of bake.
- If using the microwave – ensure it’s on medium power. High power/regular power will burn the chocolate and make it grainy.
- Be sure that no water gets in the bowl or on the chocolate. Water will cause the chocolate to seize. Even a few small drops from wet hands or a bowl that wasn’t fully dried can make your chocolate grainy.
- Do not overheat the chocolate. If chocolate is overheated, it can go from smooth to clumpy. That’s why I also recommend removing it from the stove or microwave when it’s about 90% melted. Then continue to stir until smooth.
And now that you know how to melt chocolate perfectly – how about a few recipes to use your skills with???
- Nanaimo Bars – these are the methods I use for the chocolate topping.
- Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies
- No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
- or how about dipping some strawberries in melted chocolate?