3 Easy Ways to Melt Smooth, Glossy Chocolate

Melting chocolate can be a little tricky, but if it’s all that stands between you and chocolate-covered strawberries, cookies, pretzels, marshmallows, and even potato chips, let’s fix that right now. Here are three easy ways to melt the smoothest, glossiest, most dippable chocolate in just minutes, with no fancy equipment.

How to Melt Chocolate | Melted chocolate.

Melted chocolate. | Photo by Meredith

What to Know Before You Start

Stay small. Chocolate comes in bars or chips. If you’re using bars, chop them into uniform pieces so they’ll melt evenly. Chips are already the ideal size for melting.
Stay dry. Moisture ruins melted chocolate, so be sure to wipe everything down. 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.


1. Stovetop Method

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

 How to Melt Chocolate | Melting chocolate in a glass bowl over simmering water

Melting chocolate in a glass bowl over hot water. | Photo by Meredith

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 chocolate 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. Microwave Method

You’ll need
• Microwave-safe bowl
• Heat-proof spoon or spatula

How to Melt Chocolate | Stirring chocolate chips melted in a microwave

Stirring chocolate chips melted in a microwave. | Photo by Meredith

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.

Video
Here’s what the two basic melting methods look like:

 


3. Slow Cooker Method

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 work. 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.


Now you’re ready to get all Willy Wonka in your very own kitchen.
• Meet 10 of our favorite chocolate recipes.
• Get tips for making the best chocolate-dipped strawberries and chocolate truffles.
• Swoon through our entire collection of chocolate recipes.

Happy melting!


Get more tips, tricks, and awesome food finds right here.