If you’ve cooked using chocolate before, you know how temperamental it can be. In most cases, instead of the silky smooth chocolate that you expected, you end up with something tacky.
Here’s the thing.
You need to get the melting process just right to get that glossy melted chocolate. And while most people recommend following the double-boiler method, I personally find it quite a hassle.
This is why my go-to method is melting the chips in the microwave with butter.
Whether you want rich and thick liquid chocolate to make desserts like cookies, cupcakes, crêpes, etc., dip strawberries in it, or use it as a glaze, you can easily do so by melting chocolate chips in the microwave with butter.
Can you melt chocolate chips in the microwave with butter?
Yes, you can melt chocolate chips in the microwave with butter. Just make sure you first melt the chocolate and then add in the butter to get the desired results.
Surprised that you don’t need to melt the butter first?
Well, this is because butter has a lower melting point than chocolate. So if you melt the two together, the butter will melt first and the mixture will get a slightly burnt taste. Plus, the mixture will not harden correctly if both the ingredients are completely melted and mixed together.
So, melt the chips first and then mix in the butter.
If you’re also wondering why you need to add butter with the chips, here’s what you should know.
It not only gives you a glossy, smooth texture but also enhances the flavor. The resulting consistency is also so good that it easily mixes with other ingredients.
You can also add butter if your melted chocolate chips have hardened and restore their consistency to use as a dip.
Generally, the amount of butter depends on the cocoa percentage. But I recommend adding one tablespoon for around 12 ounces of chips.
How to melt chocolate chips in the microwave with butter?
To melt chocolate chips in the microwave with butter, first, let the butter come down to room temperature. Add the chocolate chips to a microwave-safe bowl and put it in the microwave. Nuke it for around 15-20 seconds on medium power. Take out the bowl and mix the chocolate with a spatula. Continue microwaving in 15-second intervals. As soon as the chips start to melt, add in the butter. Mix the mixture until it is smooth.
You should not microwave the original box the chocolate chips came in. Instead, use a borosilicate, Pyrex, or ceramic bowl. I also recommend using a transparent container so that you can keep an eye on the melting process from the outside.
Turn your microwave’s power down to 50% (or medium level). Chocolate chips usually start to melt at around 90 °F. Make sure you don’t heat them beyond 115 °F, otherwise they may burn.
Don’t microwave the chips in one go. Heat them in increments and stir them after each interval to prevent burning. After the first 15 seconds, the chocolate chips will be semi-molten, but you should be able to mix them with a spatula.
It will become easier to stir the chips as the edges start to melt. Stirring continuously also makes sure there are no lumps and that the melted chocolate has a smooth consistency.
Once the chips start to melt, add the butter with a dry tool. Make sure no moisture makes its way into the mixture, otherwise you won’t get the right consistency.
Also, avoid using clarified butter since it can crystallize the chocolate.
If you’re unsure of whether the mixture is done or not, or if you still see some partially melted chips even after microwaving for a few minutes, use a food thermometer. If the temperature of the melted chocolate is somewhere around 115°F, you don’t need to microwave anymore. Otherwise, the chips will burn.
Once the mixture is thoroughly melted and mixed and looks shiny and glossy, take it out of the microwave. Just be careful; the bowl will be very hot so make sure you use potholders or oven mitts. Transfer the melted chocolate into a cool bowl to use it for your favorite dessert!
Is it safe to melt chocolate chips in the microwave with butter?
It is safe to melt chocolate chips in the microwave with butter. You just need to make sure that you use the right equipment and follow the right steps. Never put plastic, metal, or foam in the microwave since they can catch fire.
Transfer the chips from their original box into a microwave-safe container. But make sure not to use a metallic or plastic container since the chocolate can stick to it and burn. Check the label on the container to know if what you have is microwave-safe or not.
And while we’re on that subject, don’t use any foam or metal containers to melt the chocolate chips, either. The same goes for foam trays, colored paper plates, paper napkins, and aluminum foil. While the foil can catch fire, the other items can melt and release harmful chemicals.
Keep in mind that you don’t need to continue microwaving until every last chip is melted. Just add butter when they start to melt and the leftover bits of chips will melt as you mix the hot liquid.
How long does it take to melt chocolate chips in the microwave with butter?
Different brands of chocolate chips take different times to melt. The time it takes also depends on the quantity and how powerful your microwave is. Generally, you can expect to microwave the chips for 3-5 minutes.
While you have to microwave the chips on medium, your microwave’s wattage really influences the time it takes. A low-power, 750-watt microwave will take more time than an 800-watt microwave.
And of course, more chips will take more time. So if you have 2 or more than 2 cups, you might even have to microwave for more than 5 minutes.
Since there’s no fixed or recommended time duration, it’s best that you microwave the chips in 15 or 30-second increments. This will make sure you don’t burn the mixture.
Tips to melt chocolate chips in the microwave with butter
Whether you want to melt chocolate chips to make your favorite baked good or you just want to use them to dip your strawberries, mixing chocolate with butter can give you a shiny, rich, smooth mixture. And to get that, here are some important tips to keep in mind:
- Chocolate chips with a high amount of cocoa butter melt more quickly and easily.
- Manually rotate the dish inside the microwave so that all the sides heat up evenly.
- Don’t cover the bowl of chips even with plastic wrap. This is because doing so will trap moisture formed during the melting. As a result, there will be lumps in the chocolate and you won’t get the right consistency.
- Use a heat-proof, bendable silicone or rubber spatula to thoroughly mix the butter and chips. If you use a plastic spatula or something that’s not heat-proof, it might melt and leach chemicals into the chocolate. I also don’t recommend using a wooden spatula since the chocolate chips can absorb its smell and flavor. So you might not get the taste of chocolate you expected.
- Never overheat or melt chocolate on high heat since it can become super-dry, grainy, sticky, or even burn.
The Bottom Line
Now you know how to melt chocolate chips in the microwave with butter. You no longer need to use a double-boiler the next time you want melted chocolate. Microwaving chips is easy, quick, and hassle-free.
With the tips mentioned above, you won’t burn the chips either. Instead, you’ll get smooth, rich, creamy melted chocolate that is a sight for sore eyes. So get your chips out and start microwaving!