How to Melt Chocolate: A Step-by-Step Guide

Lots of recipes call for melted chocolate. Read these step-by-step instructions to do it properly, then watch the how-to video.

June 17, 2022

Related To:

How to Chop and Melt Chocolate 01:30

Learn how to chop and melt chocolate (and a foolproof fix, if necessary).

Melting chocolate properly is the key to showstopping desserts. Achieving a glossy chocolate covering, a perfectly blended chocolate ice cream or a lump-free frosting all depend on following a few simple rules related to melting. Water is chocolates’ enemy. Excess heat is chocolates’ enemy. Read on and learn all the tips and tricks, watch the video and then grab some chocolate and make something to impress your friends.

How to Melt Chocolate On the Stove

What You'll Need

Start with a serrated or chef's knife — they grip chocolate the best. Have a cutting board, plate, heatproof bowl, double boiler, spatula and small glass bowl (for microwaving, if need be) handy.

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FNK_HowToMeltChocolate_Shot_2

Food Network Kitchen’s How to Melt Chocolate, as seen on Food Network.

Photo by: Renee Comet

Renee Comet

Step 1: Chop Chocolate

Chop the chocolate into small bits, working from the corner. Use a back-and-forth rocking motion with the knife and be sure to apply even pressure while chopping.

FNK_HowToMeltChocolate_Shot_3

FNK_HowToMeltChocolate_Shot_3

Food Network Kitchen’s How to Melt Chocolate, as seen on Food Network.

Photo by: Renee Comet

Renee Comet

Step 2: Prep Work for Melting Chocolate

Make sure you have a perfectly dry, heatproof bowl. Note: Even the tiniest drop of water will make the chocolate seize. Pour the chopped chocolate pieces into the dry bowl.

FNK_HowToMeltChocolate_Shot_4

FNK_HowToMeltChocolate_Shot_4

Food Network Kitchen’s How to Melt Chocolate, as seen on Food Network.

Photo by: Renee Comet

Renee Comet

Step 3: Melt Chocolate

Use a double boiler to melt the chocolate. Pour in approximately 2 inches of water. Note: Don't let the top bowl containing the chopped chocolate pieces touch the water. Let it sit. The heat from the pot will do all the work. When the chocolate is nearly melted, remove from heat. If the bowl is too hot, hold it with a potholder.

FNK_HowToMeltChocolate_Shot_5

FNK_HowToMeltChocolate_Shot_5

Food Network Kitchen’s How to Melt Chocolate, as seen on Food Network.

Photo by: Renee Comet

Renee Comet

Step 4: Stir the Chocolate

Stir with a spatula until the chocolate is smooth and shiny. Tip: You can also melt chocolate in a microwave by heating at 50- to 70-percent power a few minutes at a time, stirring in between.

FNK_HowToMeltChocolate_Shot_6

FNK_HowToMeltChocolate_Shot_6

Food Network Kitchen’s How to Melt Chocolate, as seen on Food Network.

Photo by: Renee Comet

Renee Comet

Tip: Fixing Seized Chocolate

If water does come in contact with melted chocolate, it can seize, looking dry and pasty. Fix it by adding some cream, oil or butter. The fat will bring the mixture back into balance. Stir until smooth and creamy.

How to Melt Chocolate In the Microwave

Melting chocolate in the microwave is easy and quick when you use caution with regards to water and heat. The tiniest splash of water in the bowl will cause the chocolate to seize: to harden and turn into a block. If overheated, chocolate will burn, take on a bitter flavor and become grainy. Follow these steps for success.

  1. Add the chopped chocolate to a dry glass bowl.
  2. Microwave the chocolate at 50% power for 30 seconds, remove the bowl from microwave and stir the chocolate with a silicone spatula.
  3. Microwave at 50% power again for 20 seconds. Remove the bowl from the microwave and stir the chocolate with a silicone spatula. Repeat this step until the chocolate is almost all melted.
  4. Stir the chocolate with a rubber spatula to finish melting the last bits of chocolate - carry over heat will continue cooking it, and you'll avoid accidentally burning it.

How to Make Melted Chocolate Thinner

Different brands of chocolate melt to different consistencies. Some melt into thin, liquid pools, while others might melt into a thicker consistency that might not be well suited to dipping. If you need to thin out your melted chocolate, put it back over low heat and, add 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil and whisk it in. Add a drop or two more as necessary to reach your desired consistency. Whatever you do, don't add water - it'll cause the chocolate to seize and break.

FNK_HowToMeltChocolate_Shot_7

FNK_HowToMeltChocolate_Shot_7

Food Network Kitchen’s How to Melt Chocolate, as seen on Food Network.

Photo by: Renee Comet

Renee Comet

How to Melt Chocolate Chips

Chocolate chips were invented after the chocolate chip cookie recipe from the Toll House Inn became popular. The chips, or morsels, were created to hold their shape when baked, essentially meant not to melt when baked. That makes them a bit trickier to melt than plain chocolate, and easier to burn.

How to Melt Chocolate Chips In a Water Bath

The other option is to place up to one cup of chocolate chips in a freezer-weight zip-top bag, seal it completely (remember: chocolate hates water) and put it in a bowl of hot, but not boiling water. Take it out a few times and massage it to melt all the chips evenly. Dry the bag, snip off a little corner and use the chocolate to decorate.

How to Melt Chocolate Chips on the Stove

  1. Fill a pot with 2 inches of water and set a bowl over the pot to create a double boiler. Make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.
  2. Add the chocolate chips to the bowl and turn the heat to medium.
  3. Heat the chocolate, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until smooth.
  4. If you need to keep the chocolate warm and melted for dipping, leave the bowl over the double boiler.

How to Melt Chocolate Chips In the Microwave

Place up to two cups of chocolate chips in a glass bowl and follow directions for melting chocolate in the microwave: short bursts of cooking and lots of stirring.

How Long Does It Take to Melt Chocolate Chips In the Microwave?

Let’s assume you’re melting 2 cups of chocolate chips:

  • Regular and Jumbo Chips: 2 minutes at 50% power, in 20-second intervals, stirring between each interval.
  • Mini Chips: 1 1/2 minutes at 50% power, in 20-second intervals, stirring between each interval.

How to Melt White Chocolate and White Chocolate Chips

White chocolate is very delicate and can burn easily. Melt white chocolate and white chocolate chips in a dry glass bowl in the microwave at 50% power in 20 second bursts, stirring between each burst. Stop when the white chocolate is 80% melted and stir by hand until it finishes melting.

Melted Chocolate Recipes 

Food Network Kitchen’s Chocolate Covered Strawberries.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz

Matt Armendariz

Chopping and melting chocolate carefully keeps water out of the mix ensuring smooth chocolate and a shiny glaze. Be sure the strawberries are really dry.

Chocolate_Torte_019.tif

Chocolate_Torte_019.tif

Photo by: Con Poulos

Con Poulos

We have Italian bakers to thank for flourless chocolate cake, which first appeared there in 1900.

FNK CHOCOLATE CRINKLE COOKIESFood Network KitchenFood NetworkAllpurposeFlour, Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Fine Salt,Bittersweet Chocolate, Unsalted Butter, Light Brown Sugar, Eggs, Confectioners’ Sugar,FNK CHOCOLATE CRINKLE COOKIES Food Network Kitchen Food Network Allpurpose Flour, Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Fine Salt, Bittersweet Chocolate, Unsalted Butter, Light Brown Sugar, Eggs, Confectioners’ Sugar

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Quite arguably the single best chocolate cookie ever created, these Chocolate Crinkle Cookies get even more flavor from the instant espresso powder.

This is not your average chocolate ice cream. This is melted bittersweet chocolate blended with cooked custard that’s chilled and then churned to make a delicious frozen treat that will make chocolate lovers drool.

Food Network Kitchen’s Giant Chocolate Lava Cake.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz

Matt Armendariz

Sometimes you want a lava cake for everyone to share, and this is just that. Following our directions for chopping and melting chocolate will make it easier and faster.

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20120910_FoodNetwork_Shot05_0102.tif

Food Stylist: Christine Albano Prop Stylist: Christina Lane

Photo by: Johnny Miller

Johnny Miller

The acid in the cream cheese is the perfect balance for the sweet white chocolate that you melt for this frosting. Be sure to melt the white chocolate in short intervals in the microwave so it doesn’t burn.

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