Melting chocolate can be a little tricky, but if it's all that stands between you and chocolate-covered treats, we can fix that right now.
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You don't need fancy equipment to achieve the smoothest, glossiest melted chocolate for chocolate-covered strawberries, dipped pretzels, and more. Here are three easy ways to melt chocolate: on the stove, in the microwave, and in the slow cooker.

The Best Chocolate for Melting

The best chocolate for melting contains 32 percent, or higher, cocoa butter. Here's why: All chocolate will melt, but not all chocolate will melt the same. Some types lose their sheen and may become chalky looking when they cool and resolidify.

That might not matter if you're melting chocolate for fondue, but if you want to make chocolate-covered strawberries, for example, you want a chocolate that stays glossy when it hardens — a chocolate with a high cocoa butter content. Top-quality semisweet and bittersweet chocolates are good choices. The best choice is couverture, which is favored by candy-making pros.

Chocolate comes in solid bars or different size chips and discs. If you're using chocolate bars, chop them into uniform pieces so they'll melt evenly. Chocolate chips are already the ideal size for melting.

Tips for Melting Chocolate

Avoid Moisture

Moisture, specifically water, may ruin your melted chocolate batch. Be sure to wipe down everything the chocolate may touch. And don't let even a tiny drop of water get in there as this will cause it to seize up.

If you're dipping fruit, be sure to pat it dry before introducing it into the chocolate. When you're stirring, use a rubber or silicone spoon instead of a wooden spoon. Wooden utensils can retain moisture, which will cause the chocolate to seize up and turn clumpy.

Keep Your Heat Low

High heat will scorch your chocolate, which is hard to come back from. Low and slow is the way to go.

How to Melt Chocolate on the Stove

This is considered the classic method for melting chocolate, and it just so happens to be super easy to boot.

You'll Need:

  • Pot or double boiler
  • Heat-proof bowl that fits over the pot (because who has a double boiler?)
  • Heat-proof spoon or spatula (rubber or silicone is best)
melting chocolate in a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water on a stove
Credit: Meredith

1. Heat the water.

Pour a few inches of water into the pot. Fit the bowl over the pot, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Heat the water to a simmer.

2. Add chocolate and stir until melted.

Turn off the heat and add 2/3 of the chopped chocolate bar or chocolate chips to the bowl. Stir gently to melt (return to low heat if needed). Add the remaining 1/3 of the chocolate, a little at a time, and stir gently to melt.

*Foodie Factoid: By melting a portion of the chocolate and then stirring in the rest, you've just used the "seeding" method to temper chocolate. That means the cocoa butter crystals have stabilized and the chocolate will be lusciously glossy. Learn more about tempering chocolate so it always turns out perfectly smooth and ultra glossy.

How to Melt Chocolate in a Microwave

If you're short on time, you can certainly melt chocolate in the microwave in less than a minute.

You'll need:

  • Microwave-safe bowl (a glass measuring cup with a handle works well)
  • Heat-proof spoon or spatula (rubber or silicone is best)
stirring chocolate melted in a glass measuring cup
Credit: Meredith

1. Microwave and stir.

Microwave chocolate for 30 seconds on HIGH. Remove and stir. Note: Chocolate pieces will retain their shape until you stir them, so don't rely on looks alone. (An excellent life lesson.)

2. Repeat until melted.

Repeat with 10- to 15-second blasts until most of the chocolate is melted. Remove from microwave and keep stirring until the residual heat melts the rest of the chocolate.

How to Melt Chocolate in a Slow Cooker

A slow cooker, set on LOW heat, is perfect for melting chocolate and keeping it at just the right temperature while you dip a lot of cookies, pretzels, strawberries, etc.

You'll need:

  • Slow cooker or Crockpot
  • Heat-proof spoon or spatula (rubber or silicone is best)

1. Add chocolate and set on LOW heat.

Add chocolate and set your slow cooker on LOW heat. Now all you need to do is stir it occasionally and keep an eye on it to make sure it's not getting too hot. If it does get too hot, turn off the slow cooker, remove the insert, and stir in a couple of pieces of unmelted chocolate to cool it down quickly.

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