How to Melt a Chocolate Bar

Whether you're making frosting, rolling truffles, or mixing up ganache, melting a chocolate bar is a vital first step. Break your chocolate bar into even pieces and then decide if you want to melt it gently in a pan, in the microwave, or with a hair dryer. As long as you use low heat, you won't burn the chocolate and it will be smooth for your recipe!
[Edit]Steps [Edit]Melting the Bar on the Stove Break the chocolate into pieces. If you're working with a thin bar of chocolate, you can use your fingers to snap the chocolate into even pieces. This is especially easy if the bar has been divided into blocks or squares. If the bar of chocolate is too thick to break with your fingers, place the chocolate on a cutting board and chop it with a knife.[1]

Try to cut the chocolate into pieces that are about thick. Put the chocolate in a bowl and pour of water into a skillet. Transfer your chocolate pieces into a heat-proof bowl, such as a stainless-steel or tempered glass bowl. Then, place a wide skillet on the stove and pour tap water into it.[2]

Use a bowl that's small enough to fit into the skillet. Place the bowl into the skillet and turn the burner to medium. Set the heat-proof bowl of chocolate directly down into the skillet. Then, turn on the burner so it gently begins to warm the water and bowl of chocolate.[3]

Keep oven mitts nearby so you can quickly lift the hot bowl out of the skillet. Turn off the burner when the water simmers and remove the chocolate once it melts. Heat the water until it begins to bubble gently. You should see the chocolate near the sides of the bowl start to melt. Then, turn off the burner and use oven mitts to carefully remove the bowl from the skillet.[4]

Set the bowl of chocolate on a heat-proof surface or trivet. Stir the chocolate until it's smooth. The heat of the bowl will help the chocolate continue to melt. To encourage it to melt evenly, stir the chocolate with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.[5]

You can use your melted chocolate bar while it's still warm or wait for it to cool before following your recipe. [Edit]Microwaving the Chocolate Bar Break the bar into pieces or chop it with a knife. Unwrap your bar of chocolate and snap it into even pieces. If the bar is too thick to break with your hands, put it on a dry cutting board and carefully chop the chocolate.[6]

You can chop the chocolate as finely as you like. Ensure that the pieces are smaller than so they melt easily. Put the chocolate into a bowl and place it in the microwave. Keep the microwave-safe bowl uncovered so moisture isn't trapped, which could cause the chocolate to seize and become grainy.[7]

Ensure that your microwave is clean. If it's dirty, the microwave won't heat the chocolate effectively and it could take a long time to melt your chocolate. Microwave the chocolate for 30 seconds. Program your microwave to heat the chocolate for just 30 seconds. You don't want to heat it for a longer increment because the chocolate can quickly burn.[8] If your microwave usually heats food very quickly, you may want to program it to 50% power. Remove the bowl and stir the chocolate. Remember to wear oven mitts to remove the hot bowl. If you're melting a small chocolate bar, it should be almost completely melted. The heat of the chocolate in the bowl will continue to melt any little lumps that are left.[9]

Keep in mind that the melted chocolate shouldn't be hot or you'll risk burning it. Instead, it should be warm to the touch. [Edit]Using a Hair Dryer to Melt the Chocolate Chop the bar or break it into pieces. If the bar of chocolate is too thick to snap into pieces with your hands, put it on a cutting board. Chop the chocolate into pieces that are less than in size.[10]

Ensure that your hands, cutting board, and knife are completely dry. If water gets into the chocolate, it will seize and become grainy when you melt it. Put the chocolate into a heat-proof bowl. Try to use a wide bowl so the chocolate melts evenly and quickly. If the bowl is too small, the heat from the top won't be able to reach the chocolate at the bottom.

The bowl should also be dry so the chocolate doesn't seize. Turn a hair dryer to "low" and point it at the chocolate until it melts. Get out a clean hair dryer and turn it to the lowest setting. Hold it about from the chocolate so the heat begins to melt the pieces.[11]

Stir the chocolate occasionally to help it melt evenly. Stir the chocolate until it's smooth. You can stop heating the chocolate when you see only a few small lumps of the bar. The chocolate will finish melting as you stir it for another 20 to 30 seconds.[12]

Use the warm melted chocolate in your recipe or let it cool to room temperature before continuing. [Edit]Tips If you're short on time and don't want to chop a chocolate bar, use chocolate chips instead! If you'd like to melt the chocolate bar with butter, milk, or a liqueur, add for every 2 ounces (60 g) of chocolate.[13] [Edit]Things You'll Need [Edit]Melting the Bar on the Stove Skillet Heat-proof bowl Spoon Oven mitts Knife and cutting board, optional [Edit]Microwaving the Chocolate Bar Microwave-safe bowl Oven mitts Microwave Spoon Knife and cutting board, optional [Edit]Using a Hair Dryer to Melt the Chocolate Heat-proof bowl Hair dryer Spoon Knife and cutting board, optional [Edit]References ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑