The 8 Best Ways To Melt White Chocolate

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So, you want to make some white chocolate confections and need to melt the chocolate. It is the same as melting any other kind of chocolate, right? Yes and no. Although many techniques for melting white chocolate are the same as melting dark or different types, white chocolate requires special attention because it has a specific melting point. The untold truth of white chocolate is that its composition is unique, as it contains a minimum of 20% cocoa solids and 14% milk solids. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) exercises control over what can and cannot be labeled as white chocolate. In addition to the specific cocoa solid and milk solid amounts, the product must also have at least 3.5% milk fat to qualify as real white chocolate.

There are numerous types of baking chocolate out there, and they all have unique properties; this is why it's crucial to know white chocolate's attributes before working with it. For example, it should never pass 110 degrees Fahrenheit when you melt it (this is a substantial difference from dark chocolate, which comfortably reaches 120 degrees Fahrenheit). Ultimately, white chocolate is sensitive to high heat and contact with moisture. If it meets either, its satiny-smooth quality will be no more. Fortunately, after learning these trustworthy procedures, you'll handle your white chocolate like an expert. The greatest part is that there is a simple process for everyone, whether you own special appliances or not.

1. Use the microwave

The microwave is a tried and true method for melting white chocolate, which is known for being fragile. All you need to accomplish this technique is a microwave, a heatproof bowl, the chocolate, and a spoon or other utensil to mix the chocolate with. White chocolate bark is just one of the many delicious treats you're able to make when you use the microwave to melt it.

For best results, place the chopped chocolate or chocolate chips in the bowl and microwave it for 20 to 30 seconds at a time. In between each cooking interval, stir the white chocolate. Mixing the chocolate prevents it from burning and ensures it is evenly heated. If you fail to mix it or if you microwave it for too long, you run the risk of overheating it. This is one of the mistakes you must avoid when baking with chocolate. If the chocolate becomes too hot, it becomes far too pasty and stiff, which is the opposite of what you want.

2. Set up a double boiler

A double boiler is a reliable method for melting white chocolate because it indirectly heats it, thus, it reduces the chances of scalding it. If you don't know how to use a double boiler, you need not worry; it is straightforward. To create a double boiler, use a medium-sized pot and a metal bowl that fits on top of the pot. Fill the pot with at least a couple of inches of water, but no more than halfway full, and bring the water to a boil. Choose a bowl that rests atop the pot without falling into it and without it being too large that it easily slides off; it should fit like a glove. Once the water is ready, place the bowl over the pot and pour the white chocolate into the bowl.

The steam from the water softens the chocolate, turns it glossy, and makes it perfect for dipping. While it melts, use a rubber spatula or other tool to stir it gently. Use oven mitts or a kitchen towel to hold the bowl if needed; be careful because hot steam might come through any small gaps between the bowl and pot. When the chocolate is finally runny, remove the bowl and use it to make chocolate bark or other sweet treats. If the white chocolate begins to solidify again, return it to the double boiler to loosen it.

3. Melt it in a sauce pot

Did you know it's possible to melt white chocolate directly on the stovetop? This practice poses the most risk, yet it is achievable as long as you take your time. Simply put, this approach makes the chocolate vulnerable since it is in close relation to the burner. Not to mention, when you use the stovetop, it is harder to regulate the pan's temperature, and it might have hot spots. You're in luck if your stove has a "melt" option on the range controls. Otherwise, you need to put it on the lowest setting possible. Although it is reasonable to feel eager and want to raise the temperature, doing so is not a good idea. Keep watch over the chocolate and continually stir it without leaving it unattended.

Even so, we've got you covered if you need an easy way to rescue overcooked white chocolate. Mix a teaspoon of oil or boiling water into the seized chocolate, and it should return to a better state. If that doesn't do the trick, continue to add tiny amounts at a time until the issue resolves. Even though liquifying the chocolate in a sauce pot requires some TLC, plenty of recipes out there utilize this process, like no-bake scotcheroos, which are undeniably delectable.

4. Use a slow cooker

For those who own a slow cooker, it's time to dust it off because it melts chocolate efficiently and saves you time. This is one of the absolute best uses for your slow cooker, so don't pass up the opportunity. There are a couple of ways to do so; the most effortless way is to directly pour the chocolate bits into the slow cooker and cover them. For best results, set the appliance to the lowest setting possible to ensure the chocolate melts slowly and doesn't become scalded on the bottom. Stir occasionally, and once it is velvety, voila.

For another approach, pour water into the slow cooker to create a water bath; don't fill the water too high, as you need to leave room to place the containers of chocolate in it. Use mason jars or other heat-resistant glasses. In the same manner as the slow cooker, don't pack the jars to the brim. Neglecting to leave enough room causes the chocolate pieces to spill over when you stir them. While there are endless ways to use the chocolate you melt from utilizing this technique, we've found it is one of the superior ways to make chocolate-covered strawberries. If you dip the strawberries while the appliance holds the hot chocolate, you don't need to rush because the chocolate stays the ideal consistency for dipping.

5. Try out Alton Brown's heating pad method

A heating pad to melt chocolate? Yep, you read that right. Alton Brown, Food Network star and author of numerous cookbooks, revealed this clever hack in his book "I'm Just Here For More Food." For this approach, you only need some white chocolate, a small bowl, a larger bowl, and an electric heating pad. First, place the large bowl near an outlet so the heating pad's cord can reach it. Next, place the heating pad in the large bowl. Then, place the chocolate chunks in the smaller bowl and position it over the heating pad-lined bowl. The heat perfectly surrounds the chocolate-filled bowl, which slowly melts the chocolate.

This method is assuredly one for folks who are not under time constraints, as it might take a while. According to a Reddit user, Brown also discussed the technique in his cooking show "Good Eats." They also went on to say how they appreciate this trick because you can do it in any part of the house; it doesn't restrict you by requiring you to stay near the stovetop. Since heating pads typically have control dials to adjust the heat, it is quite helpful to keep the chocolate's temperature at bay and not scorch it. Additionally, the absence of moisture with this procedure means you don't need to worry about the chocolate seizing up.

6. Break out a fondue pot

Whether you want to throw a chocolate party or just melt down some of the confection for yourself, a fondue pot produces excellent results. Electric fondue pots have different built-in settings that allow you to choose the temperature. The Cuisinart three-quart electric fondue manual suggests using settings three to four for chocolate, but every machine is unique and you should check your specific device's user guide to be sure. Cuisinart advises first using a food processor to pulse the chocolate until tiny pieces form. Alternatively, rough chop the chocolate bar with a knife before transferring it into the fondue pot.

Keep tabs on the chocolate as it softens, and don't allow it to reach a boiling point. Once you entirely melt it, remove it from the fondue pot carefully if you are using it for anything other than fondue. On the flip side, if you choose to have some fondue fun, use foods like marshmallows, fruits, graham crackers, or even potato chips for a tasty experience.

7. Give the hair dryer hack a try

If you have a small quantity of product to melt and don't want to go through the trouble of melting chocolate in a double boiler, liquefy it with a hair dryer. Although this might sound a bit odd, it assuredly works. For best results, start with the appliance somewhat far away from the chocolate (just enough for the air to reach it) rather than in close proximity. One Reddit user notes that this works best when you use fine-quality white chocolate rather than chocolate that is not made under a credible name brand. They also gave a helpful heads-up for first-timers: Only agitate the chocolate after you turn the blow-dryer off or face it away from the chocolate; otherwise, the air from the blow dryer and the moving chocolate become a hot mess.

If you branch out and try this approach, remember to use a clean hair dryer. You certainly don't want any hair getting in your desserts. Since this practice doesn't use a direct flame, like the stovetop process, you have less chance of the chocolate burning because it gives you more control over how much heat is in contact with it. However, the downside is that it only works with minuscule amounts, and not everyone has a mint-condition hair dryer lying around.

8. Use the hot oven method

Trying to melt white chocolate in an oven is not viable, as the high heat burns the product. However, although you can't utilize the inside of an oven, nothing stops you from using the indirect heat from the top of the oven. A microwave and double boiler are reliable ways to melt chocolate, but this trick works just as effectively. Since the oven's surface gradually heats the chocolate, it eventually melts it.

You don't need to worry about the chocolate burning with this course of action since it is a slower approach, which is the best part. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, then toss the white chocolate in an ovenproof bowl or dish. Stick the bowl on top of the warm oven and let it do the work. Stir the chocolate every now and then so that it doesn't only melt the bottom portion. We commend Mindy Segal, author of the baking book "Cookie Love," for this neat hack.