How to Melt Chocolate

5 from 902 votes

Learn how to melt chocolate for dipping and drizzling. This easy tutorial shows easy steps for melting in the microwave or on the stovetop!

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Follow along as I show you how to melt chocolate. Melting chocolate chips or a chocolate bar may seem like a no-brainer. Simply apply heat until liquified, right? Not so fast. Chocolate needs to be pampered so it doesn’t become grainy or burn. Learn how to avoid these common mistakes and attain molten, chocolatey goodness.

Melted chocolate in a clear glass bowl with spoon dripping
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Melting chocolate is the first step in making chocolate mousse (yum!) all kinds of homemade treats and loads of other deliciousness like chocolate sauce and ganache frosting.

How to melt chocolate

Microwave Instructions

  1. Place chocolate in a dry, microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Now put the bowl in the microwave and microwave in 30-second intervals.
  3. Stir the chocolate with a dry spoon or spatula in between each 30-second blast until all of the chips are just about melted and look very glossy. Stop now so the chocolate does not burn.
  4. Finish by stirring until all the pieces have melted.
4 image collage to show how to melt chocolate chips in the microwave

Stovetop Instructions

  1. Set a pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil; then reduce to a low simmer.
  2. Next, put the chocolate in a dry metal (or other heat-safe) bowl that will fit snugly over the top of the pot of water, so there is no chance stray steam will contact the chocolate. The bowl’s tight fit is the most important thing. Also, make sure the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water.
  3. Place the bowl with chocolate on top of the barely simmering water.
  4. Finally, stir frequently until melted, then carefully remove the bowl from the hot water pan.
4 image collage of how to melt white chocolate in metal bowl on stovertop

Tips for melting chocolate

  1. Go dry: Before starting, make sure your bowl and all utensils that will touch the chocolate are completely, totally, bone dry. Any stray droplets of water will create a chemical reaction with the sugar in the melting chocolate and make it grainy and lumpy. This is called seizing.
  2. Don’t cover up: Take a tip from master baker Rose Levy Beranbaum. In The Cake Bible, she warns not to cover the bowl or pan in which you are melting chocolate. Droplets of condensation might form and cause the chocolate to seize and become lumpy.
  3. Saved seized chocolate by adding hot water. Start with a tablespoon and whisk energetically. The chocolate will somewhat even out but never look as glossy as un-seized chocolate.
  4. Go low: Chocolate burns easily, so use the lowest heat you can get away with. White chocolate and milk chocolate are even more sensitive to heat than semi-sweet or dark chocolate. When microwaving white or milk chocolate, you might try tinier 15-second intervals.
  5. Chop even pieces: Break or chop whole chocolate bars into same-size pieces for even melting.

Recipes using melted chocolate

Frequently asked questions

How do you store melted chocolate?

If you end up with more melted chocolate than you need, pour it onto a piece of parchment paper. After it hardens, cover or scrape into a plastic bag. The dried surface might be gray. This is called bloom and is a result of the cocoa fat rising to the surface. The chocolate is still edible.

Can you reheat melted chocolate?

It is best to use melted chocolate immediately, but it can be reheated using the methods above.

What’s the best chocolate for melting?

For easy homemade treats, chocolate chips are the best for melting without tempering (see below,) because they have been manufactured to melt in the oven and re-harden. That doesn’t mean you can’t use that nice chocolate bar. But remember, it may not be as glossy when hard unless tempered. (See below.).

What is the difference between melting and tempering chocolate?

Tempering is a specific method of heating and cooling high-quality chocolate (often labeled as couverture chocolate) so that it hardens to a very glossy finish when used as a coating for strawberries or candy. Recipes, where melted chocolate is mixed with other ingredients (like frosting,) will never require tempering.

Melted white chocolate in clear glass bowl

Ready, set, go melt your chocolate chips or chocolate bars for some lovely, chocolate-y goodness!

For more easy tutorials, check out:

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How to Melt Chocolate

Learn how to melt chocolate for dipping and drizzling. This easy tutorial shows easy steps for melting in the microwave or on the stovetop!
5 from 902 votes
Servings 4 servings
Course Ingredient
Calories 153
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
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  • Place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Place the bowl in the microwave at 30 second intervals.
  • Stir chocolate in between each 30 seconds so all of the chips are just about melted.
  • Continue to stir until the last remaining pieces have melted.


  • Place a pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil, reduce to a low simmer.
  • Place chocolate in a metal bowl that will fit over the top of the pot of water snugly.
  • Place the bowl with chocolate on top of the simmering water, stirring very often until melted.


Storage: Melted chocolate is best used straight away, otherwise it will no longer be the right temper. If you have leftover melted chocolate, simply pour onto parchment and allow to cool then scrape up and place in a ziplock bag. Store in the fridge for 3 months. 
Photo Credit: Erin Jensen


Calories: 153kcal, Carbohydrates: 16g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 1mg, Sodium: 30mg, Potassium: 179mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 10g, Calcium: 86mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Cuisine American
Course: Ingredient

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Recipe Rating


  1. boy says:

    this is good

    1. Yumna says:

      Glad it was helpful for you!

  2. Sofia says:

    Hello Yumna,

    Thank you for posting this. I used your method today and it was super easy and a great success!

    1. Yumna J. says:

      Yay! So happy to hear that it worked for you!

  3. Sarah says:

    it keeps burning when I do it any tips?

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      Is the heat setting too high?

  4. Denise says:

    I want to know how to make chocolate for dipping candy, marshmallows, and fruit chunks??

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      You can use this recipe for that!

  5. Toni says:

    Instructions were perfect for chocolate chips. I did 30 sec then stir, then 30 sec. Chocolate chips still appeared lumpy but stirred and became just the right melted consistency. Thank you!

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      Thank you! Glad you found this to be helpful.