How to Perfectly Melt Chocolate In the Microwave

updated Dec 18, 2023
How To Perfectly Melt Chocolate in the Microwave
Learn the two steps and one tool for better melted chocolate from the microwave.

Makes8 ounces melted chocolate

Prep2 minutes to 5 minutes

Cook1 minute to 2 minutes

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Overhead shot of melted chocolate in a glass bowl with a blue spatula stirring it.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: Debbie Wee

Adding a touch of melted chocolate to cookies, strawberries, pretzels, or marshmallows is an easy to way to elevate your favorite sweet (or salty) treat. While you can melt chocolate in a double boiler on the stovetop or over direct heat in a saucepan, the quickest and, in my opinion, easiest way is to melt chocolate in the microwave.

If you need chocolate for dipping holiday cookies, coating truffles, or adorning berries, this is a foolproof method for melting chocolate in the microwave.

How to Perfectly Melt Any Chocolate in the Microwave

Have you ever hastily tossed a bowl of chocolate into the microwave, set it to one minute, and come back to find burned bits of chocolate around the bowl and big clumps of chocolate unmelted? Oh, no? I guess that’s just me.

To avoid my mishaps, and to end up with perfectly melted chocolate every time, use small, uniform pieces and heat the chocolate in short bursts of time.

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: Debbie Wee
  • The first step is making sure the chocolate is in small, uniform pieces. Chocolate chips do well here, because they are petite and all the same size. After testing more than a dozen brands of chocolate chips, our hands-down favorite was Guittard’s Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips.
  • Chocolate blocks and bars should be finely chopped for melting. Guittard’s Chocolate Baking Wafers was a repeat winner in our Kitchn Essentials list for its rich flavor and fair-trade practices.
  • Move the chopped chocolate to a glass bowl for melting. Glass insulates the chocolate better, preventing scorching.
  • Heat the chocolate in 30-second bursts and stir between each. For the first burst or two, stirring will feel arbitrary, but by the third, you see plainly that the edges of the bowl are melting faster than the center and distributing their heat will melt everything more evenly and quickly.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: Debbie Wee

How to Use Microwave Melted Chocolate

This microwave method won’t keep your chocolate in temper (that is, it won’t set up snappy and shiny for coating candies or cookies to be kept at room temperature). You’ll need our cooking lesson on how to temper chocolate for that.

But this melting method can be used for chocolate destined for batter, or for topping and coating refrigerated treats like homemade truffles or strawberries.

Chocolate-Laced Batters and Treats

How To Perfectly Melt Chocolate in the Microwave

Learn the two steps and one tool for better melted chocolate from the microwave.

Prep time 2 minutes to 5 minutes

Cook time 1 minute to 2 minutes

Makes 8 ounces melted chocolate

Nutritional Info


  • 8 ounces chocolate


  • Serrated knife
  • Cutting board
  • Microwave-safe glass bowl
  • Spatula
  • Microwave


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  1. Finely chop the chocolate. Finely chop 8 ounces of chocolate into small, uniform pieces with a serrated knife. Transfer to a medium glass microwave-safe bowl.

  2. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir, and repeat. Microwave the chocolate in 3 (30-second) intervals, stirring between each. When the chocolate is mostly melted and only a few tiny pieces remain, stop microwaving and set aside at room temperature; the last few pieces will melt.

  3. Cool before dipping or adding to batter. Cool the chocolate for 5 minutes before using to dip truffles, pretzels, strawberries, or for drizzling over popcorn.