How to Melt White Chocolate — Plus How to Save It If It Seizes
But to do any of those delicious things with white chocolate, you’ve got to melt it first. Here are four easy ways to melt white chocolate no matter what equipment you have in your kitchen.
Notes for all of these methods: For melting white chocolate, use pure white chocolate bars or discs. If buying a whole white chocolate bar, you’ll want to chop it into 1-inch chunks for melting. For all of these methods you can stir with a wooden or silicone spoon or rubber spatula — it doesn’t make a difference, so use what you have!
How to Melt White Chocolate in a Double Boiler
Even if you don’t have a dedicated double boiler (because who does?), you can still use this method with a heatproof bowl and a small saucepan.
1. Fill the bottom of the double boiler or a small saucepan halfway with water.
2. Bring to a bare simmer over medium-low heat. There should be tiny bubbles around the edges, but it shouldn’t be hot enough to really bubble up.
3. Add the white chocolate to the top of the double boiler or a heatproof (metal or glass) bowl and place over the simmering water. If using a bowl, make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water itself.
4. Stir the chocolate constantly until it is completely melted.
How to Melt White Chocolate Directly on the Stovetop
A few caveats for this method: It works best with a good-quality, heavy-bottomed pan and a simmer burner (the smallest burner on your stove that should be labeled as such). If you don’t have a simmer burner, you can also use a diffuser plate to help keep the heat at a gentler level.
1. Place chopped white chocolate in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over low heat.
2. Stir the chocolate constantly until it is completely melted. If the chocolate is not melting evenly and starting to scorch in places (you’ll smell it burning!), take the pan off the burner and stir off heat for a bit.
How to Melt White Chocolate in the Microwave
The microwave method is quick but hands-on. You’ll need to check the chocolate and stir in intervals to make sure it doesn’t overcook and burn. Depending on the power of your microwave, you may want to adjust the interval timing slightly. All microwaves are different, and you’ll learn the sweet spot for yours the more you use it.
1. Place the white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl.
2. Microwave for 20 seconds at 100 percent power or 30 seconds at 50 percent power, then stir.
3. Repeat until the chocolate is mostly melted, then stir to completely melt the last remaining bits of chocolate.
How to Melt White Chocolate in a Slow Cooker
This is a surprisingly effective method that doesn’t take as much time as you would expect! You can use your slow cooker or the slower cooker function on a multi-cooker or pressure cooker (like an Instant Pot). I was able to melt mine in 10 minutes using the slow cooker function on my Instant Pot, but it may take longer (30 minutes to 1 hour) on other models or dedicated slow cookers.
1. Place the white chocolate in a high-sided, heatproof container such as a Mason jar or Pyrex dish.
2. Place the dish in the slow cooker.
3. Carefully add enough water to the slow cooker to reach halfway up the sides of the container. Be sure not to splash any water into the chocolate!
4. Set the slow cooker on High. Leave the slow cooker uncovered.
5. Stir the chocolate when you start to see melted bits on the side of the container and a slight sheen on the chocolate. This can take anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes, depending on your slow cooker.
6. Continue to cook and stir frequently until the chocolate melts.
How to Save White Chocolate If It Seizes
Because white chocolate is so finicky, it can easily seize if steam or water gets into the bowl while you’re melting the chocolate, or if it overcooks.
The moisture can cause the white chocolate to clump and take on a grainy texture, but there’s an easy fix: Add boiling water, coconut oil, or vegetable oil to the white chocolate 1 teaspoon at a time, stirring to incorporate after each addition until the chocolate is smooth.
It may seem counterintuitive to add more liquid to chocolate, but according to the culinary scientists at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, “When larger amounts of water are used, the dynamics of melting change so that chocolate liquefies smoothly.”