How to Melt Chocolate Chips

Two Methods:Melting In a Double BoilerMelting In a Microwave

Melted chocolate chips are one useful way to get melted chocolate quickly. The greater surface area of chocolate chips makes it easier and faster to melt, improving your chances of getting the melted chocolate off the heat before condensation forms and risks seizing the chocolate. However, the smaller size of chocolate chips necessitates careful attention to avoid burning or drying out of the chips. This article explains how to melt chocolate chips perfectly.

Method 1
Melting In a Double Boiler

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    Melt the chocolate chips slowly on the stove top. A double boiler is ideal; one saucepan holds hot water, and another saucepan fits snugly over the bottom pan. This allows the chocolate chips to melt slowly and evenly over indirect heat.
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    Fill the bottom pan with water. Fill the pan with enough water to prevent scorching, but don’t fill it so full that the top pan holding the chocolate chips comes into contact with the hot water.
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    Heat the water over low heat until the water begins to simmer.
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    Pour the required number of chocolate chips into the top double boiler saucepan and set aside.
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    Remove the pan from the burner when the water begins to simmer.
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    Put the top pan containing the chips over the bottom pan with the hot water. Make sure the bottom of the top pan doesn’t touch the water.
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    Allow the chocolate to start melting. Then stir it gently with a spatula.
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    Remove the top saucepan when almost all of the chips are melted. Set the pan on the counter.
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    Continue to stir the melted chocolate chips until the mixture is smooth and all the chips have melted.
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    Use a rubber spatula to scrape the melted chocolate into a measuring cup, or directly into your other recipe ingredients. Use the melted chocolate immediately or else it will harden.

Method 2
Melting In a Microwave

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    Put the chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl. It is important that the container you use remains cool or very slightly warm after several minutes of microwaving, otherwise, the container itself will overheat the chocolate. (If you can’t comfortably handle the container after several minutes of microwaving, then it isn’t a suitable container for melting chocolate.)
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    Set the microwave to the low setting. If your microwave doesn’t have a low setting, you will have to melt the chocolate in short bursts, stirring the chips in between cooking times.
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    Microwave the chips. Every microwave oven is different; use the rough guidelines below to determine how long you should have the heat on:
    • Microwave 1 oz. (30 g) for 1 minute.
    • Microwave 8 oz. (225 g) for 3 minutes.
    • Microwave 1 lb. (450 g) for 3 to 6 minutes.
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    Run the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring the chocolate in between. Do this no matter what the recommended melting time is because chocolate can scorch quickly.
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    Stop microwaving when the chocolate is almost melted.
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    Remove the bowl from the oven. Continue stirring until all the chips are melted.
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    Finished. You have yourself some melted chocolate.


  • Remember, when melting chocolate in the microwave, sometimes the chocolate will be melted but will still retain its original shape. It pays to try stirring it even if it doesn't look melted.
  • If you have accidentally overheated your chocolate, immediately pour it into a cool bowl and add chunks of unmelted chocolate. Stir it continuously to keep it from seizing.
  • If you don’t have chocolate chips and are substituting large bars of chocolate, be very sure that you chop the chocolate bar into small, uniform pieces first so that it will melt evenly.
  • If you are melting chocolate with other liquids, be sure to melt it using at least 1 tbsp. (15 ml) for each 2 oz. (60 g) of chocolate. Otherwise, the cocoa and sugar in the chocolate will bind and get lumpy. Extra dark chocolate requires even more liquid to keep it from getting lumpy.
  • If you microwave doesn’t have a rotating function, be sure to manually rotate the bowl of chocolate chips after each burst of heating and stirring.
  • If you don’t have a double boiler, you can use any metal or glass bowl that fits snugly over the top of a saucepan. If you use a glass bowl, make sure it is oven proof or approved for stove top use.


  • Unless your recipe calls for melting chocolate with another liquid, avoid using any water at all when melting chocolate. Water can make the chocolate seize, making it unworkable. For the same reason, don’t add cold liquids to melted chocolate (heat other required liquids first, but don’t boil them.)
  • Whether or not you melt chocolate chips in a microwave or on top of the stove, the temperature for melting milk chocolate or white chocolate must not exceed 115°F (46°C) or 120°F (49°C ) when melting dark chocolate. Higher temperatures will scorch and burn the chocolate.
  • Be careful when taking out the chocolate chips. This may get you a burn.

Things You’ll Need

  • Chocolate chips
  • Microwave-safe dish or double boiler
  • Spatula

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