It's so important to learn how to melt chocolate properly. Plenty of baking recipes ask you to melt chocolate, but if you don't know how to do it then you'll be left with a big sticky mess on your hands. Long gone are the days of burned chocolate, though, because there are several safe ways to do it correctly and we're going to let you in on the secret.

How To Melt Chocolate

melted pieces of chocoalte

Getting Started

Before you move into melting chocolate you'll need to break it into appropriately sized pieces first. Grab a knife and chop your chocolate - whichever color it may be - into pieces. Uniform pieces are really the only kind you can work with.

You also want to make sure that the chocolate doesn't come in contact with water. Keep your blades, dishes, and cutting boards completely dry.

In The Microwave

You'll need to microwave your chocolate on low heat so you don't burn anything.

  • Place your chopped chocolate into a heatproof bowl and stick it into the microwave.
  • If you have a fancier microwave that allows you to play around with heat settings, microwave the chocolate on low heat. However, if you have an older model all you need to do is microwave it in intervals.
  • Microwave for about 30-45 seconds. After the allotted time, stir with a rubber spatula and check if everything has sufficiently melted. If not, microwave it again for 5-10 seconds a piece until everything has melted completely.

On The Stove

someone melting chocolate on the stove

Not everyone has a microwave at home. Even if you do, some of us prefer to keep a close watch on our precious chocolate as opposed to a stop-and-go method.

  • Grab yourself a pot and a few inches of water to get started.
  • Place a heatproof bowl over the top of your pot. It's best to try and find a bowl that sits securely on top. You also want to make sure that the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water.
  • Bring the water to a simmer and gently stir your chocolate with a rubber spatula until everything melts.
  • If you're working with larger quantities, you'd be better to add some chocolate pieces in by the handful as opposed to melting everything at once.

In A Double-Boiler

If you have a double-boiler lying around the house then you also use it to get the job done. This is actually one of the more sought-out methods when successfully melting chocolate. In fact, it's the best method to use when melting white chocolate because it has the tendency to burn faster than the other guys.

chocolate pieces melting on the stove
  • Fill the bottom with a few inches of warm water. Make sure the top of the boiler isn't touching the water.
  • Bring the water to a simmer and place the chocolate in the top part of your boiler. Stir with a rubber spatula until everything melts thoroughly. You can also use a metal spoon - but you should refrain from using anything wooden because those spoons can retain moisture.
  • Don't cover the top part of your boiler either. Remember that you're working with steam and you don't want any water getting into the chocolate.
  • If you're working with larger amounts of chocolate, stir it in batches as opposed to all at once.

Things To Keep In Mind

Everyone's kitchen is different. If you're thinking of going the microwave route, there isn't really a set time you can follow to get it right every time. Depending on the model you have and how much chocolate you're using, times will be different. It's best to start safe in the beginning and learn along the way how long it takes to melt chocolate in your kitchen.

You also don't need to make chocolate chips any smaller. If you need to melt chocolate chips, feel free to use one of the above methods and melt them without further reducing their size.

a whisk in melted chocolate

How To Use Melted Chocolate

We mentioned that melting chocolate is crucial for a lot of recipes, but which ones specifically? Well, you can drizzle it over cookies or brownies, make chocolate-covered strawberries, or create a scrumptious chocolate pie. The possibilities are truly endless when you have a little melted chocolate on your side.

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