Learn how to melt chocolate in the microwave or on the stovetop. This quick and easy how-to guide is helpful for baking and making candy.

silicone spatula with melted chocolate dripping into bowl of melted chocolate.

Melted chocolate is simply delightful. It gives any dessert a tasteful finish. However, it is not always easy to work with. If you follow these easy tips and tricks, you will surely have no trouble at all! You can use either the microwave or a makeshift double boiler on the stovetop to melt chocolate.

Before we get started on the methods of how to melt chocolate, read over the tips first to guarantee perfection. There are tricks to melting chocolate that you need to know in order to guarantee success. It will also improve your baked goods in the end!

Tips for Melting Chocolate

  • Chop uniform pieces. Always make sure the chocolate you are melting is chopped in similar size pieces so they melt at the same rate. You can use chocolate chips, baking chocolate bars or wafers.
  • Choose high-quality chocolate (I prefer Ghirardelli or Guittard). It has a higher fat content and is more forgiving during the melting process.
  • NEVER add water when melting chocolate. It will become lumpy and unmanageable. If you must add a liquid (such as heavy cream or milk), heat up the liquid first, then add the chocolate. The chocolate will melt more evenly and distribute into the liquid.
  • Don’t cover the bowl. This may cause condensation, which could drip water droplets into the melted chocolate.
  • Use low heat. In the microwave, use 50% power level. On the stovetop, use the simmer setting.
  • Remove from the heat once melted. Chocolate can burn quickly! You can always reheat if it starts to harden.

Tips for Melting White Chocolate

  • White chocolate has a lower burning point, which means it heats up more quickly and burns more easily. It tends to be harder to work with than dark or semisweet chocolate.
  • Be patient. Use a very low heat on the stovetop and stir frequently. If using the microwave, stop to stir more frequently, every 15 seconds.
  • Add a tablespoon of shortening. It helps thin out the chocolate a bit and prevents it from seizing up.

How to Melt Chocolate in the Microwave

photo collage showing steps of how to melt chocolate in the microwave.
  1. Place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl.
  2. Heat for 30 seconds in the microwave on 50% power level. This lower power level is essential.
  3. Stop to stir, then return the bowl to the microwave. Continue heating on 50% power level, stopping to stir every 20 seconds. Timing is roughly 1 minute for an ounce of chocolate and 3 minutes for 8 ounces
  4. When the chocolate is almost melted, stop microwaving. You may see a couple partially melted chocolate chips, that’s when you know it’s done. Any longer and it may burn. The heat will melt the remaining chips.

How to Melt Chocolate on the Stovetop

photo collage demonstrating how to melt chocolate on the stovetop using a makeshift double boiler.
  1. Fill a pot with 1 inch of water and bring to a simmer.
  2. Place a heat-safe bowl on top of the pot so it fits snuggly without touching the water. This is your makeshift double boiler.
  3. Add the chocolate to the bowl. The steam from the lower pot gently heats the upper pot where the chocolate is gradually melted.
  4. Stir until melted, then remove the bowl from the pot.

Melted Chocolate for Dipping

Melt the chocolate on the stove or in the microwave by following the instructions above or in the recipe card. Once melted, use dipping tools or a fork to dip candies or truffles into the melted chocolate. Gently tap the tool on the edge of the bowl to remove any excess chocolate. Place truffle onto a wax-lined plate or baking sheet to harden.

If chocolate begins to harden during the dipping process, simply return the bowl back to the pot of simmer water or place in the microwave for 20 seconds on 50% power level.

dipping tool holding chocolate covered oreo truffle over bowl of melted chocolate.

Troubleshooting Melted Chocolate

Seized or grainy chocolate. This happens if any water is added to melted chocolate. It causes a chemical reaction that makes the chocolate seize up. Even the tiniest bit of water in your bowl or on your spoon can cause this. THE FIX: Add 1 Tablespoon scalding hot cream or melted butter. Whisk vigorously. If necessary, return to low heat to continue melting.

Gray color. This is sugar bloom and it occurs when melted chocolate comes in contact with moisture. It could come from water in the bowl or a humid environment. The grayish color could also be fat bloom, which happens when the chocolate is melted at inconsistent temperatures causing the cocoa butter (fat) and cocoa solids to separate. PREVENTION TIP: Store chocolate in an airtight container in a dry, cool place that is a consistent temperature.

Burnt chocolate. Most likely it was melted on too high a heat. Do not melt chocolate in a pot over direct heat. Use a double boiler and keep the water in the pot at barely a simmer. For the microwave, use 50% power level. Stir frequently for even heat distribution. If the chocolate is badly burnt, it is difficult to fix and it may be better to start over.

Storage Tips

Melted chocolate is best when used immediately. However, it will keep at room temperature for up to 24 hours or in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. It may turn slightly gray, due to blooming, but it is still edible.

Allow melted chocolate to cool slightly. This will prevent any condensation from forming. Pour into a completely dry heat-safe container, such as glass or plastic. Cool to room temperature, then seal tightly with a lid to prevent any moisture from getting in.

Recipe FAQ

What’s the best chocolate for melting?

High-quality chocolate chips, such as Ghirardelli, are preferred. The chips are created to melt when baked and solidify as they cool. You can also use Baker’s Chocolate bars, but it won’t have a shiny finish.

Can you reheat melted chocolate?

Yes, use either method to reheat on a low heat stirring frequently.

What is a double boiler or Bain-Marie?

A double boiler (or bain-marie) is simply one pot stacked on top of another. You place water in the lower pot and heat it to barely a simmer. The steam from the lower pot gently heats the upper pot where the chocolate is gradually melted.

silicone spatula in glass bowl of melted chocolate.

Did you love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card below and if you REALLY loved it, consider leaving a comment further down the page.

silicone spatula with melted chocolate dripping into bowl of melted chocolate.

Get the Recipe: How to Melt Chocolate (Microwave & Stovetop)

Learn how to melt chocolate in the microwave or on the stovetop. This quick and easy how-to guide is helpful for baking and making candy.
4.98 (38 ratings)


  • 6 ounces (1 cup or 120 grams) bittersweet chocolate chips or melting wafers, (dark, semisweet or white works too)


Microwave Method

  • Place chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Place the bowl in the microwave and heat for 30 seconds at 50% power level.
  • Stir the chocolate and return it to the microwave. Heat again at 50% power level for 20 second intervals, stopping to stir every 20 seconds.
  • Once melted, remove the bowl from the microwave and use for your recipe.

Stovetop Method

  • In a medium sauce pan, bring 1 cup of water to simmering over low heat. Place a glass bowl (metal works too, but use an oven mitt) on top of the pot so it rests above the simmering water, but doesn't touch it.
  • Place chocolate chips in the bowl and allow the steam to heat the bowl and melt the chocolate. Stir occasionally until the chocolate chips are melted.
  • Once melted, remove the bowl from the pot and use the melted chocolate for your recipe.


Reheating: If your chocolate hardens after you melted it, return it to the pot of simmering water and allow it to melt once again. You can also return the bowl to the microwave and heat it in 20 second intervals at 50% power level.
Chips vs. Bars: Chocolate chips are designed to melt in baked goods so they are usually my choice. However, you can also use chocolate bars. Chop it up into uniform pieces to guarantee even melting.
Never add water to melted chocolate. It will seize up and you will no longer be able to work with it.
Thinning out melted chocolate: Add one tablespoon of shortening or coconut oil for every one cup chocolate.
White chocolate has a lower melting point than dark or semisweet. As a result, it is more susceptible to seizing up or burning. To prevent this, add 1 Tablespoon shortening or coconut oil before melting.
Serving: 2tablespoons, Calories: 115kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 7g, Sodium: 23mg, Potassium: 135mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 7g

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