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How to Melt Chocolate Chips on the Stove (2022)

No microwave? No problem. Learn 5 easy ways to melt chocolate chips on the stove. Silky smooth and ready for your best recipe.

Need some melted chocolate for dipping, drizzling, or baking. Learn how to melt chocolate chips on the stove for luscious liquid chocolate.

There are five ways to melt chocolate chips on the stove. Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler, in a saucepan over low heat, in steaming cream, in a saucepan with butter, or with the seeding method.

It takes longer to melt chocolate chips on the stove than it does to melt chocolate chips in the microwave. Using a microwave is the easiest method.

However, melting chocolate chips on the stove gives you greater control. You can control the heat and make adjustments if the chocolate chips are melting too quickly.

(You can get excellent results with any melting method, if you have good-quality chocolate, and you follow recommended practices.)

This article will teach you the steps for melting chocolate chips on the stove using each of the five methods. You will learn what to look out for as the chocolate melts, and get some troubleshooting tips too.

What Kinds of Chocolate Chips Can You Melt on the Stove?

Chocolate chips come in an array of sizes – mini, standard, jumbo, chunk, and wafer. They can all be melted on the stove. However, melting times vary depending on the size. The smaller the chocolate chip, the quicker it melts.

1-ounce piles of mini, unsweetened cacao, morsel, white chocolate, jumbo, chunk, and wafer chocolate chips

In addition, there are a variety of chocolate chips – milk chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, dark chocolate, and white chocolate. Each can be melted on the stove, but melting times vary based on the different types of chocolate.

White chocolate chips melt the fastest and at a lower temperature. Dark chocolate chips melt the slowest.

Finally, do not limit yourself to just chocolate chips. You can melt any chocolate bar on the stove. Just chop it into small pieces and it will melt beautifully. Uniform pieces of chocolate melt best.

How much chocolate can you melt at once? Melt one to two cups (6 to 12 ounces) of chocolate chips at a time with the stovetop method. If you have more chocolate to melt, melt it in batches for best results.

How to Melt Chocolate Chips on the Stove with a Double Boiler

The best way to melt chocolate chips on the stove is with a double boiler. You will love the control you have with a double boiler.

In a double boiler, the chocolate chips melt over indirect low heat. The chocolate melts evenly, creating a smooth, creamy texture.

What is a Double Boiler?

A double boiler (also known as a bain marie) is two stacked pans nestled together. The larger bottom pan contains two inches of water. The water is heated until it is steaming. A smaller, shallower pan nestles on top of the larger pot.

The chocolate chips go in the upper pan. The heat from the hot water in the large pot melts the chocolate chips.

Do not let the water boil. If it boils and steam escapes, the steam could trickle into the chocolate causing problems with melting.

Melting chocolate chips in a double boiler requires your attention. You cannot walk away during the melting time. Chocolate chips can overheat and burn quickly. So, pay attention to the chocolate chips. And stir often.

If the water in the double boiler begins to boil and steam escapes into the chocolate chips, you may have trouble. When even small amounts of liquid get into chocolate chips, they “seize”.

What is seized chocolate? Seized chocolate stops melting and gets grainy, lumpy, and hard. It will no longer melt, even when kept on heat.

Supplies for Double Boiler Method

  • Stove with gas, electric, or induction burner
  • Double boiler
  • Spatula or whisk
  • Chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Fill the bottom double boiler pot with 2 inches of water.

  2. Heat water until it is hot and steamy. Avoid boiling water to prevent steam from permeating the chocolate chips.

  3. Place 1 to 2 cups of chocolate chips in the smaller pot.

  4. Put the small upper pan on top of the bottom pot with the hot water.

  5. Heat the chocolate chips for 2 to 4 minutes. When they begin to melt, stir with a spatula. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl.

  6. Continue to stir until 85 to 90% of the chocolate chips have melted.

  7. Remove the double boiler from the heat.

  8. Continue to stir until all the chocolate chips have melted.

How to Make a DIY Double Boiler

You can still use indirect heat to melt the chocolate chips even if you do not have a double boiler. It is a simple DIY.

Supplies:

  • Large pot
  • Any heatproof bowl (metal or glass bowl) that fits snugly over the large pot
  • Spatula or whisk
  • Chocolate chips

The directions to melt chocolate chips in a double boiler or DIY double boiler are identical. Place the bowl of chocolate on top of a saucepan. Stir as the chocolate chips melt.

It is best to find a bowl that fits over the pan and is not resting in the pan. Some people may try to melt the chocolate in a hot-water bath. A hot-water bath is when the bowl of chocolate chips is in the hot water. The bowl sits on the bottom of the pan, surrounded by water.

This is a challenging melting process. Water droplets can easily get in the chocolate when the bowl is directly in the water. Any amount of water in the chocolate will cause it to seize and not melt.

I don’t recommend a hot-water bath unless you use a slow cooker.

How to Melt Chocolate Chips in a Pan on the Stove

Melting chocolate chips in a pan on the stove is a simple method if you melt on very low heat.

When you heat chocolate chips in a pan on the stove, be careful. Chocolate burns easily. Never walk away from the pan. Keep a close eye on it or you will end up with burnt chocolate.

The chocolate melted directly in a pan will be slightly thicker than chocolate melted in a double boiler.

Supplies for Pan on Stove Method

  • A stove with an electric, gas, induction, or standalone burner
  • Small heavy-duty pan
  • Spatula or whisk
  • Chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Turn the burner on to the lowest temperature possible.

  2. Place the chocolate chips in the pan and place the pan on the burner.

  3. Stir with the spatula or whisk. Keep a close eye on the chocolate chips because they can burn easily. Try taking the pan on and off the heat source as the chocolate melts. This will give you better control of the temperature.

  4. When the chocolate chips are 85 to 90% melted, remove the pan from the burner. Continue stirring until all the chocolate chips are melted.

  5. To thin the melted chocolate chips, add a little vegetable oil or coconut oil.

Melt Chocolate Chips in Hot Cream or Milk

You can melt chocolate into a dairy liquid, like milk, cream, evaporated milk, or half and half. Many recipes call for melting chocolate in one of these liquids. Think of ganache, hot chocolate, or fudge.

Supplies for Steaming Cream Method

  • Milk, cream, or another dairy liquid
  • Pan or microwave-safe container to heat the liquid
  • Small to medium mixing bowl
  • A plate that can cover the mixing bowl like a lid
  • Heat-proof spoon
  • Chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Heat the milk or cream in a small pan on the stove over medium-low heat. Heat until it is hot and steamy, almost boiling.

  2. Scoop the chocolate chips into a mixing bowl.

  3. When the liquid is steamy, pour it over the chocolate chips.

  4. Cover the bowl with the plate to keep the heat in. Leave it covered for 5 minutes.

  5. After 5 minutes, remove the plate “lid” and whisk the melted morsels until smooth and creamy.

Melting Chocolate Chips with Butter

Brownie recipes call for melting chocolate chips with butter. It’s a good idea to melt the chocolate chips with butter in a pan on the stove over low heat. Another possibility is a double boiler.

Supplies for Melting with Butter Method

  • Heavy-duty saucepan
  • Spatula or whisk
  • Unsalted butter
  • Chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Place the butter in the saucepan. Heat the pan on the stove over medium-low heat.

  2. When the butter starts to melt, add the chocolate chips.

  3. As the chocolate chips begin to melt, stir with a spatula.

  4. Continue to stir until the chocolate chips have melted and the mixture is smooth.

If you melt chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, and butter in the microwave, it will be fudge.

How to Seed Chocolate Chips for Tempering

An easy way to temper chocolate is to seed it. Seeding is adding unmelted chocolate pieces to melted chocolate. This method controls the temperature of the chocolate, allowing it to temper. Tempered chocolate will dry hard and have a glossy finish and a nice snap.

If chocolate chips have bloomed, they will not temper.

Supplies for Seeding Method

  • Double boiler or DIY double boiler
  • Spatula or whisk
  • Candy thermometer
  • Chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Pour 2 inches of water into the bottom pan of the double boiler. Heat on the stove over medium-low heat until you achieve gently simmering water, not boiling water.

  2. Add ⅔ of the chocolate chips to the top of the double boiler. Stir as the chocolate melts.

  3. Check the temperature of the chocolate. It should be between 110 to 113° F when it melts.

  4. Remove the double boiler from the heat.

  5. Gradually stir the remaining chocolate chips into the melted chocolate. Stir as the fresh chocolate chips melt into the warm chocolate.

  6. Return the chocolate to the heat and heat to 86-89° F. The chocolate is now tempered.

Why Did My Chocolate Get Hard When Melting?

If your chocolate has burned it will no longer melt and will get hard instead. But if it has not burned, it may have seized.

chocolate chips beginning to seize

Moisture is the main culprit responsible for chocolate chips seizing, getting hard, and refusing to melt. If your chocolate chips are not melting, but are getting lumpy and grainy instead, your chocolate is seizing.

Chocolate seizes when a small amount of water gets into the chocolate chips as they melt. This can happen if the water in the double boiler starts to boil. Steam can escape and get into the chocolate chips.

Another cause of seized chocolate happens when the chocolate chips are stirred with a wooden spoon. Wooden spoons retain moisture, which may transfer to the chocolate causing it to seize.

Can You Fix Seized Chocolate?

If your chocolate has seized, you may be able to fix it.

wire whisk mixing seized chocolate

To fix seized chocolate, add 3 tablespoons of warm water for every 6 ounces (1 cup) of chocolate chips. This may seem counterintuitive since drops of water were what caused the problem in the first place.

But it does work. Make sure the water is warm and you add the right amount.

Stir the chocolate over low heat until it is smooth.

Keep in mind, that the addition of water will dilute the chocolate flavor.

And there you have it – the 5 ways to melt chocolate chips on the stove. With melted chocolate chips, you are ready to try all sorts of recipes, from hot chocolate to brownies.

Get Your Chocolate Education

Check out these resources about all types of chocolate. They include information on milk chocolate, dark chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, and white chocolate.


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