Melting chocolate can be a little tricky, but if it's all that stands between you and chocolate-covered strawberries or any other homemade treat that calls for melted chocolate, we can fix that right now.

By Vanessa Greaves
Updated August 25, 2020
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Credit: Meredith

I'll show you how to melt chocolate three easy ways so you'll have the smoothest, glossiest melted chocolate in just minutes, with no fancy equipment.

What to Know Before You Start

Stay small. Chocolate comes in solid bars or small chips. 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.

Stay dry. Moisture ruins melted chocolate, so be sure to wipe down everything the chocolate may touch. And don't let even a tiny drop of water get into your chocolate; if you're dipping fruit, be sure to pat it dry before dipping it into the chocolate.

Stay low. High heat will scorch your chocolate. Low and slow is the way to go.

Learn how to choose the right kind of chocolate to use for your recipe.

How to Melt Chocolate 3 Easy Ways

1. How to Melt Chocolate on the Stove

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

Directions:

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. Turn off the heat and add 2/3 of the chopped chocolate bar or chocolate chips to the bowl. Stir gently to melt. 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.

2. How to Melt Chocolate in a Microwave

You'll need:

  • Microwave-safe bowl
  • Heat-proof spoon or spatula (Try this $9 Bed Bath & Beyond best-seller.)

Directions

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.) 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.

3. How to Melt Chocolate in a Crock Pot or Slow Cooker

You'll need:

  • Slow cooker or crock pot
  • Heat-proof spoon or spatula

Directions

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. 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.

FAQ

How to melt chocolate chips?

Use any of the three methods outlined above. Chocolate chips are ideal for melting because they're already in small, uniform pieces so they'll melt evenly. Just remember to hold back 1/3 of the chips and stir them in after the rest of the chocolate has melted.

How to melt chocolate for dipping?

Melt chocolate chips for dipping using a bowl that's deep enough to easily submerge the food you'll dip.

How to melt chocolate in a double boiler?

Congratulation! You have a double boiler! To melt chocolate in a double boiler, fill the lower saucepan with a couple of inches of water, but make sure the water does not touch the bottom of the upper pan. Use the stovetop method outlined above to melt the chocolate in the upper pan.

How to melt chocolate for dipping strawberries?

Use any of the three methods outlined above. Because strawberries are juicy, and moisture causes chocolate to seize up and get clumpy, it's especially important to pat strawberries dry before dipping them. Get step-by-step tips for making chocolate-covered strawberries.

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Happy melting!