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How to Melt Chocolate in the Microwave?

by Stephanie

Now that it’s almost the holidays, it’s time I share how I melt chocolate in the microwave with you. I love to make desserts, so I melt chocolate in the microwave all the time for all kinds of things. This post contains affiliate links.

You will love how easy this method is instead of using a double boiler on the stove.

What do you need to Melt Chocolate in the Microwave?

Make sure you use a microwave-safe bowl. I tend to stick with microwave-safe glass bowls as I’ve found they work best.

You can use this method for melting chocolate chips, including other baking chips like butterscotch or white chocolate. You can also use this method for melting candy melts and almond bark, too. These products all contain shortening, so they can all be melted easily in the microwave.

Chocolate bars are different. They don’t have shortening, so they require a completely different process called tempering, which I do not do.

How do you melt chocolate in the microwave?

Microwave the chocolate in 30-second increments. Stir after each time, and then microwave again for another 30 seconds.

Keep doing this until the chocolate is completely smooth and runs like honey when you lift up the spoon. (If yours is not smooth like honey, scroll down for tips to easily get it that way.)

For an entire bag of chocolate chips, it takes me about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes of cooking every 30 seconds to get it melted and smooth.

Over the years, I have found that Fiestaware is definitely not microwave safe when it comes to candy melts. The bowls get super hot on the outside, and the candy melts will not melt nice and smooth. They get clumpy and burn and turn hard.

Corelle bowls, on the other hand, are wonderful and my favorite microwave-safe brand of bowls to melt candy melts.

How do you thin chocolate to make it smooth?

There are a few things you can use to thin chocolate for dipping.

You can use shortening or coconut oil. Both melt quickly in the microwave but are a solid at room temperature. So they will melt but cool solid, which is what you want for your dipping chocolate. Use 1 teaspoon shortening or coconut oil per package of chocolate chips.

My personal favorite way is using oil flakes. You can buy EZ Thin from Wilton at Walmart or craft stores that sell cake supplies. I like the Paramount Crystals because they cost less and you get more.

To use the oil flakes, I add a small pinch at a time and stir to smooth out the chocolate until I like the consistency.

Don’t use butter because your chocolate can seize and be unusable, since it has water in it.

Can I add milk to melted chocolate to thin it out?

No. Milk has water in it, which will seize the chocolate and make it unusable. Use oil flakes, shortening or coconut oil.

If you want a soft melted chocolate that won’t harden, you can add heavy cream to melted chocolate to make ganache, which is amazing, but it’s soft and won’t coat things or harden.

Why did the chocolate go hard when melting?

There’s a few reasons this might happen:

If you burned it, such as microwaving it too long without stirring, the chocolate can burn. It will smell horrible and be chunky and not melt hardly at all. Then, it gets hard really fast. IT smells horrible, too. Unfortunately, you can’t do anything to save burned chocolate. Just throw it away and start again.

If it seized, this is what happens if chocolate mixes with water. When this happens you can try to save it by adding a little bit more chocolate and a teaspoon of shortening or coconut oil or a pinch or two of oil flakes. Then microwave it again for 10 seconds or so and stir to see if you can smooth it out. Sometimes, this works. Sometimes it doesn’t work, and you’ll have to throw it away and start again.

Recipes with Melted Chocolate

How to melt chocolate in the microwave

How to melt chocolate in the microwave


  • chocolate chips or candy melts or almond bark


  1. Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Microwave in 30 second increments, remove from microwave and stir, and then cook again in the microwave for additional 30-second increments.
  3. Keep cooking and stirring each time, until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth.

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