How to Melt White Chocolate Chips: Microwave, Stovetop…

By Autumn Ellenson

From specialty chocolate companies to home bakers, white chocolate is gaining popularity. This light confection is sweeter than milk and dark chocolate and complements many dessert recipes.

As you start to experiment with this tasty confection, you might find that your recipe calls for melting your chocolate. Since it can burn easily, you want to be sure that you take care when melting.

But do not worry, I’m going to explain different ways to melt your white chocolate. The good news? It is simple to do!

The following outlines what exactly white chocolate is, and the four best ways to melt this mouth-watering treat!

Is White Chocolate “Real” Chocolate?

white chocolate bar next to cocoa powder and whisk
photo by and.one

There’s a lot of bickering over whether white chocolate is really chocolate. This stems partly from the parts of the cocoa bean used and partly from the controversy over commonly used fillers. The FDA responded with a standard of identity for white chocolate.

According to the FDA White Chocolate Guidance (21 CFR 163.124), white chocolate contains:

  • a minimum of 20 percent cocoa butter
  • a minimum of 14 percent of total milk solids
  • a minimum of 3.5 percent milkfat
  • a maximum of 55 percent nutritive carbohydrate sweeteners.

White chocolate does not contain cocoa solids, like milk and dark chocolate do, so it is pale in color.

Flavor vs. Fillers

In the past, white chocolate received a bad reputation because many manufacturers would add fillers like palm oil and excessive sweeteners. However, many specialty chocolate companies are starting to work with white chocolate in the same way they do their other chocolates.

These companies are showcasing the flavors of this light confection, and it is gaining popularity. In fact, many people consider white chocolate one of their favorite desserts.

White Chocolate vs. Milk Chocolate vs. Dark Chocolate

white chocolate next to milk chocolate
photo by FotografiaBasica from Getty Images Pro

So what exactly is the difference between the three popular types of chocolate? It all comes down to the way that each chocolate is made.

All chocolate is made starting with one key ingredient: cocoa beans. Cocoa beans are broken down into cocoa butter and cocoa solids.

Roasted cocoa beans are ground into a liquid state called chocolate or cocoa liquor. Cocoa butter is the fatty component of the bean that is extracted from the cocoa liquor, while cocoa solids are what remains of the bean once the butter is extracted.

White Chocolate

White Chocolate is made from cocoa butter, milk, and sugar.

It does not contain cocoa solids, which are the main ingredient in milk and dark chocolate. Its high cocoa butter content and missing cocoa solids give white chocolate its pale color.

Milk Chocolate

Milk chocolate contains chocolate liquor (cocoa solids), cocoa butter, milk, and sugar.

It has more milk and dairy fat than its darker counterpart, which gives it a creamy texture. It is lighter brown in color, and not as bitter as dark chocolate.

Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate contains little or no milk. It is made mostly from cocoa solids, cocoa butter, and sugar.

Generally speaking, it is semi-sweet and has a bitter flavor. It is also darker in color than milk chocolate. Its color is often dependent on its coca content.

4 Best Methods to Melt White Chocolate Chips

bowl of white chocolate chips
photo by DebbiSmirnoff from Getty Images

Your favorite white chocolate may come in different forms, such as chocolate bars, chips, or as small, round melting wafers.

There are 6 different ways to melt white chocolate chips, which I list for you below. However, 4 melting methods are better than the others, so I focus on those for the remainder of the article.

The six methods of melting white chocolate chips are:

  • Double boiler (no need for a fancy pan!)
  • Microwave
  • Pan on stovetop
  • Slow cooker
  • In hot cream (or milk)
  • In melted butter

While there is a variety of ways to get melted white chocolate, it is easier to choose one once you know how you will be using the melted white chocolate.

How to Melt White Chocolate Chips in a Double Boiler

double boiler

Many consider using a double boiler the best method when it comes to melting white chocolate chips. That’s because it helps temper the stove’s heat source, preventing your chocolate from burning. It provides a consistent, indirect heat to slowly melt the small pieces of chocolate into a delectable liquid form.

When using this method, you’ll want to stay at the stove with it while it cooks. White chocolate can melt quite quickly! One minute it looks solid, then the next second it’s melted. Walking away may result in burned chocolate.

Also, be aware of how many inches of water you put in the bottom pan of the double boiler. You want enough to ensure that it will not boil away before the chocolate is melted. But, you also want to prevent steam from getting into the top half of your pan.

Why no steam? Because water and chocolate do not mix.

Steam can cause your chocolate to “seize.” Seized chocolate will not melt and instead turns into a lumpy, grainy, hard lump. There is a way to fix seized chocolate if you’re not going to use it for baking.

What You Need:

  • Stove
  • Double Boiler*
  • Rubber Spatula or Wooden Spoon
  • White Chocolate Chips

*Don’t Have a Double Broiler? You can make your own using two slightly different-sized pots. Place the larger one on the bottom to contain the boiling water. Nestle the smaller one inside the larger pot to hold the chocolate. The heat from the larger pot slowly melts the ingredients in the smaller pot.

Directions:

1. Pour two inches of water into the bottom (larger) pot.

2. Heat the water on a lower temperature so that it does not boil rapidly.

3. Place one to two cups of chocolate into the top (smaller) pot and place it on top of the pot containing the heated water.

4. Let the chocolate heat for about 2-3 minutes. Once they start to melt, stir with the spatula.

5. Continue to stir over low heat until about 90% of the chocolate has melted.

6. Remove the double boiler from the heat, and continue to stir until all the chocolate is melted.

How to Melt White Chocolate Chips in the Microwave

microwave

Another preferred method to melt white chocolate chips is using a bowl in a microwave oven. Using a heatproof bowl, you melt the chocolate slowly in 10-second intervals on lower power.

If done correctly, you’ll end up with a delicious bowl of melted chocolate, and not an unusable mess.

What You Need:

  • Microwave (with a turntable is preferable)
  • Microwave-safe Bowl
  • Plastic Spatula or Wooden Spoon
  • White Chocolate Chips

Directions:

1. Place one to two cups of white chocolate chip pieces in a microwave-safe bowl.

2. Microwave the chocolate for 1 minute, uncovered, and at 50% power.

3. Remove the bowl from the microwave, and stir with your spatula. Be sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.

4. If it is not melted thoroughly, continue to melt the bowl of chocolate at 50% power in 10-second intervals, stirring between each interval.

5. When the white chocolate chips are about 90% melted you can remove the bowl from the microwave. The chocolate will continue to melt using the residual heat from the bowl. Keep stirring until all the chocolate becomes smooth.

Tip: If you need to thin your white chocolate, add a little bit of shortening, coconut oil, or a little vegetable oil.

How to Melt White Chocolate Chips on the Stovetop

pan on stovetop

When melting chocolate you can also use a regular pan on the stove. Just be sure to watch the heat since white chocolate has a lower burning point than other types of chocolate.

Don’t turn your burner past medium heat when using this method. White chocolate will burn at 110 degrees F, while darker types of chocolate do not burn until they reach 115 degrees F.

What You Need:

  • Stove or Burner
  • Small Heavy-Duty Pan
  • Plastic Spatula or Wooden Spoon
  • White Chocolate Chips

Directions:

1. Turn the burner to low heat.

2. Place the desired amount of white chocolate chips into your heavy-duty pan and place it on the burner.

3. continuously stir with your spatula, watching for signs of melting edges. Do not walk away since white chocolate can easily burn.

4. Continue to stir until approximately 90% of the chocolate has melted.

5. Remove the pan from the heat, and continue to stir the chocolate until completely melted.

How to Melt White Chocolate Chips in Slow Cooker

slow cooker

Another favorite method among many is to use a slow cooker to melt chocolate. While it is a slow way to complete this task, it is more hands-off than other methods.

You do not need to babysit your chocolate as much. The process takes about 30 minutes to an hour to complete.

What You Need:

  • Slow Cooker (uncovered)
  • Mason Jar (no lid) or Heat-Proof Bowl
  • Long-handled Spoon for Stirring
  • White Chocolate Chips

Directions:

1. Place the desired amount of white chocolate pieces inside the open mason jar or heat-proof bowl.

2. Then place the mason jar into the slow cooker.

3. Add two to three inches of water, being very careful not to splash any into the chocolate. The water level should reach about halfway up the jar or bowl.

4. Turn the slow cooker to high heat. Let it cook for 30 minutes, uncovered without the slow cooker lid.

5. Stir the white chocolate. If it is not completely melted, continue to cook it for another 15 minutes or so until the white chocolate melts.

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