How to Melt Chocolate
We’ve got everything you need to achieve smooth, perfectly melted chocolate that's great for any dessert.
Melting chocolate is a simple process, but it can be tricky. If not you’re not careful, chocolate can scorch, separate (into its liquid and solid parts) or become greasy. The best methods for melting chocolate are using a double boiler on the stovetop or microwaving it at 50 percent power.
Chop the Chocolate
Regardless of method, the first step is to chop it. When working with a thick bar of chocolate, hold a large knife across one corner and press down evenly. Cut about 1 inch from the corner, then turn the chocolate and repeat with the other corners until the entire block is chopped.
Chopping ensures the chocolate melts evenly and helps prevent scorching.
Stovetop Method: Melt the Chocolate
To melt chocolate on the stovetop, place the chopped chocolate in the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water. This method keeps the chocolate away from direct heat, which allows it to melt at a low enough temperature to prevent scorching and separating.
As the chocolate begins to melt, stir it occasionally to ensure even melting.
Don't have a double boiler? No worries. Simply set a heatproof bowl on top of a small saucepan. Fill the saucepan with 1/2 inch to 1 inch of water, making sure that the bowl doesn't actually touch the water. Also, make sure to not get any liquid in the chocolate itself or your chocolate will become hard and lumpy, AKA seizing.
Stovetop Method: Test the Chocolate
Melting will take about 3 minutes for 8 ounces of chocolate. When perfectly melted, the chocolate will be smooth, glossy, and run easily off the edge of a spoon or spatula.
Microwave Method: Melt Chocolate
To melt chocolate in the microwave, place chopped chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. As with the stovetop method, be sure to not get any liquid in the chocolate to prevent seizing.
Microwave the chocolate at 50 percent power for 1 and a half minutes. Remove from the microwave and give it a stir.
Microwave Method: Test the Chocolate
If it’s not completely smooth and melted, return the chocolate to the microwave and continue heating at 50 percent power for 30 to 45 seconds at a time, stirring after every interval. It's tempting to heat the chocolate for more than 30 to 45 seconds at a time, but doing so can cause scorching. Be patient!
Use & Enjoy
When perfectly melted, the chocolate will be smooth and readily run off the edge of a spoon. Does your recipe call for melted chocolate chips instead of bar or baking chocolate? You're in luck! These techniques work perfectly for chocolate chips too.
And now you're ready to whip up that batch of scratch-made brownies or rich flourless chocolate cake. Complete with perfectly, and gently, melted chocolate.
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Planning to use the chocolate for dipping, coating or molding candy? Then you should use a more precise method called tempering. Tempering is a method of heating chocolate to a specific temperature (based on the type of chocolate) and carefully cooling it to produce a smooth, glossy finish, ideal for coatings and candies.