To make the most beautiful chocolates at home, you need to be able to temper your chocolate. Tempering chocolate isn’t overly complicated, but it can require patience and some machines make the process essentially foolproof.
What makes the best chocolate tempering machine? The best chocolate tempering machines will be easy to use, whether they’re automatic or manual, meet your needs in terms of capacity and size, and have temperature controls that allow you to customize your chocolate.
We’ve created a buyer’s guide to help you understand what to look for when you’re on the market and provided a selection of the 9 best chocolate tempering machines for any household.
What is Chocolate Tempering?
Tempering chocolate is a heating process that allows you to melt chocolate so that it hardens to be smooth, glossy, and crisp. Tempering is critical if you want to make gorgeous chocolates or dipped desserts.
If chocolate is not tempered properly, the fat starts to separate. This won’t affect the flavor, but it does change the way it hardens.
Instead of a deep brown beautiful gloss, the chocolate will look dull grey and chalky. Instead of providing a satisfying crunch when you bite into it, it will have a softer, waxier texture.
If you’re melting chocolate for cake, cookies, or brownies, tempering is an unnecessary step to take.
But if you’re dipping strawberries, coating a peanut butter filling or creating any other type of finish with chocolate, you’ll want to temper your chocolate.
How to Temper Chocolate
There are a few important factors to remember when you’re tempering chocolate.
- Start with small pieces.
- Watch your temperature.
- Stir consistently.
If you’re manually tempering chocolate, you will always want to start by melting about 2/3 of your chocolate over low heat and then mixing the remaining chocolate into the melted chocolate in intervals, allowing it to fully melt and smooth as the complete batch cools slowly.
Small pieces of chocolate will melt faster, allowing you to use less heat overall. This helps protect the structure of your chocolate and prevents the fat from separating from the solids.
Stirring consistently distributes the heat evenly, further smoothing the processes along.
What Temperature to Temper Chocolate?
Temperature is the most critical component of tempering chocolate. You need to make sure your chocolate melts smoothly but doesn’t get hot enough to allow the fat to start separating.
You also need to make sure it cools enough to maintain the perfect shine while you’re pouring it and doesn’t start to solidify before you can use it.
This is a fine balance, so a good cooking thermometer is very useful!
At what temperature does chocolate melt, you ask? The melting point of chocolate is between 86 F and 90 F.
You will need to heat your chocolate to a higher temperature than the base melting point, but this is the perfect temperature for pouring your tempered chocolate.
To melt the chocolate, always use low consistent heat. Bring the temperature to 110 F to allow your chocolate to melt smoothly before removing it from the heat. For properly tempered chocolate, never allow it to heat beyond 115 F.
What is a Chocolate Tempering Machine?
Chocolate tempering machines take a lot of the guesswork out of tempering chocolate.
They restrict the temperature so that you don’t have to worry about overheating your chocolate. Most units will also maintain temperature, giving you more wiggle room to use your chocolate after its tempered.
If you’re excited about getting into the chocolate-making game, there are a few features you’ll want to pay attention to when you’re choosing a tempering machine.
Manual Vs Automatic Chocolate Tempering Machine
Chocolate tempering machines can either be automatic, manual, or a combination of the two.
Automatic machines will stir and maintain temperature accurately without any need for you to monitor the process. They are great for multi-taskers or those who are new to chocolate making and haven’t mastered the art quite yet.
Manual machines (or machines that can do both) allow you to control the temperature settings. If you are a professional at making chocolate, you may prefer manually controlling your settings to get better versatility.
If you melt chocolate or other foods as ingredients that don’t need to be tempered, manual machines will generally have slightly higher temperature options allowing you to melt faster.
They are both very effective, and different models will work for different cooking styles. It’s a very personal choice.
Chocolate Capacity and Machine Size
There are chocolate tempering machines that commercial grade and can support a small home business regularly, and there are machines that will allow you to whip up a small batch of chocolates for a loved one’s special occasion but not much more.
The machines on our list range from have the capacity for a few cups of chocolate up to nearly 27 pounds of chocolate at a time.
If you make chocolate for more than just your household or if you prefer to batch cook a massive supply only a few times a year, storing the machine out of sight for the remainder of the year, a large capacity machine might be a good investment for you.
On the other hand, if your goal is to satisfy your sweet tooth with homemade chocolates rather than a box of grocery store variety but you don’t intend to make large quantities at any given time, you may only want to have a small capacity machine.
It’s also important to remember that as the capacity increases, so does the size of the machine. The larger volume machines require a lot of counter space and are quite heavy to move around.
The smaller machines, however, are no larger than the average Instant Pot – some are smaller.
Temperature Control Settings
The most basic chocolate melting machines may have only 1 or 2 temperature settings. This may be sufficient for basic chocolate making, especially if you’re willing to watch the pot carefully.
On the other hand, the most comprehensive machines will have multiple settings for a variety of chocolate melting demands and even be useful for warming, heating, and melting other foodstuffs.
The important thing to consider is whether the machine has enough variety to meet your needs and, perhaps more importantly, it intuitive enough to allow you to read and understand the settings easily.
9 Best Chocolate Tempering Machines
Finding the right chocolate tempering machine for you will depend on your chocolate making needs, investment ability, and kitchen space.
We’ve created a list of the 9 best chocolate tempering machines in a range of automatic or manual, as well as various sizes and price ranges.
|1.||Dash Deluxe Stainless Steel Fondue Maker||Fully automatic, 3 quart capacity|
|2.||ALDKitchen Chocolate Melting Pot||Manual control, 1.2 kg capacity|
|3.||Nostalgia Electric Fondue Pot||Temp. control, 6-cup capacity|
|4.||Wilton Chocolate Melting Pot||Small, convenient design|
|5.||Electric Chocolate Melting Pot Machine||18 kilogram capacity|
|6.||Happybuy Electric Chocolate Melting Pot||3 commercial tanks, 26 lb capacity|
|7.||GorillaRock Proffesional Chocolate Tempering Machine||Temp. control, 1.2 kg capacity|
|8.||ALDKitchen Digital Chocolate Melting Pot||2 tanks, 8 kg capacity|
|9.||SONGZIMING Double Boiler Pot||Stainless steel, 2 cup capacity|
Whether you make chocolate sporadically for only a few people or consistently for large groups, there’s a machine for your needs below, so check them out!
1. Dash Deluxe Stainless Steel Fondue Maker
This Dash Deluxe fondue maker is perfect not just for making fondue but also for melting and tempering chocolate.
This particular unit is designed mainly for the at-home chocolate making hobbyist.
It’s fully automated, making it foolproof for new chocolatiers and those who may not be able to give their undivided attention to the process. It’s a small unit, fitting most kitchens and supplying small volumes of treats.
- 3-quart capacity
- Easily cleanable
- Fully automated with easy to understand instructions and touchpad
Biggest Drawback: This unit is able to reach extremely high temperatures, so keep that in mind when moving the device.
2. ALDKitchen Chocolate Melting Pot
If you’re more concerned about temperature control than consistent stirring, this unit from ALDKitchen is ideal for a hobbyist chocolatier.
It is manually controlled with a simple, clear, and reliable temperature knob.
The compact size still manages to hold over 2.5 pounds of chocolate and the pot is removable for easy cleaning.
- 1.2 kg capacity (2.65 pounds)
- Available in single or double burner options, both compact in size
- Simple manual temperature control knob
Biggest Drawback: ALDKitchen is a very reliable professional kitchen appliance manufacturer that calls itself an international company. It does have warehouses based in multiple states of the US but this unit is calibrated in Celsius rather than Fahrenheit. This is an easy conversion to figure out in seconds using Google, but it may cause a bit of frustration early on.
3. Nostalgia Electric Fondue Pot
This fondue pot is not strictly a chocolate tempering machine, but it can easily be put to use as one.
The temperature control knob is not as exact as you might find on a professional tempering machine but it is easily adjustable and designed to melt, not burn or overheat sensitive foods like chocolate and cheese.
If you’re only planning on making chocolate occasionally, this may be ideal for your household because of its versatility. When you’re not making chocolate you could be making cheese fondue!
- 6 cup (3 pounds) capacity
- Compact size and durable construction of stainless steel
- Comes with 6 color-coded forks
Biggest Drawback: The biggest drawback is the temperature control knob. The dial does not show specific temperatures and can go as high as 350 degrees, which is much too high for tempering chocolate.
If this versatile machine is the one you choose, remember to only use the lowest settings for tempering your chocolate and have your spatula handy at all times.
4. Wilton Chocolate Melting Pot
This machine has a more convenient capacity for those of you who plan on making smaller batches of chocolate at a single time.
This unit also gives you the option of automating the process reliably or manually controlling the temperature.
- 2.5-cup capacity
- Convenient design and size
Biggest Drawback: Its size is both convenient for those making smaller batches of chocolate but can also be a drawback if you’re looking to make a lot of tempered chocolate.
5. Electric Chocolate Melting Pot Machine
This machine is fully automated and can keep your chocolate tempered for up to 18 hours at a time, all 18 kilograms of it!
It is commercial-grade, NSF, and UL certified and made of durable stainless steel.
Despite the impressive volume, the unit isn’t oversized.
- 18-kilogram capacity
- Extended temper mode keeps your chocolate tempered for up to 18 hours
Biggest Drawback: This machine is not an ideal starter kit, but rather for those who are dedicated and committed to making chocolate regularly or as a small business. It is an investment piece.
6. Happybuy Electric Chocolate Melting Pot Machine
This is a commercial capacity machine for melting and tempering chocolate. One of it’s best features is the 3 separate tanks.
Together they can temper 26 pounds of chocolate but, if you don’t want to make that much at one time, you can temper approximately 8 pounds in a single tank. There’s also a 6 tank option if you want the option of making even smaller batches while still having the potential for more.
- Up to 26-pound capacity
- Easy to operate manual temperature control up to 176 F
- When not being used to temper chocolate you can use it as a food warmer or for making artisanal (food-grade) soaps, candles, and self-care products
Biggest Drawback: Because of the multiple tanks, this chocolate tempering machine is large. It’s only about 12 inches wide, but it requires more than 26 inches deep which may not fit on the average home kitchen counter.
If you fall in love with the versatility of this unit, make sure you have a space to set it up before you make the purchase.
7. GorillaRock Professional Chocolate Tempering Machine
This melting pot is designed for chocolate tempering but it is manually controlled, not automatic.
It is well constructed and efficient and you can buy it in either single pot or double pot models. It’s a simple, straightforward machine that is easy to understand and operate and a great choice for the occasional chocolatier.
- The removable pot holds up to 2.65 pounds of chocolate
- Electric heat, rather than water, means no steam
- Compact design is only 9 inches deep and 6.5 inches (single) or 14 inches (double) wide
Biggest Drawback: This is another unit that is calibrated in Celsius. The temperature control is not as precise as a digital machine, but it does allow for manually setting your machine between 86–194 F at intervals that are 9 degrees (Fahrenheit) apart.
8. ALDKitchen Digital Chocolate Melting Pot
This is the second unit from ALDKitchen on this list and it’s a more professional or commercial capacity machine than the previous unit.
It can hold up more than 17 pounds of chocolate but, depending on the model you choose, you can divide that chocolate into up to 6 tanks, which can be convenient if you’re chocolate making output varies greatly.
- 17-26 pound capacity, depending on the unit
- Units available with 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 individual tanks
- Heats and holds temperature accurate and efficiently
Biggest Drawback: The multiple tank options are fantastic if the amount of chocolate you make in each batch varies but whether your using 1 tank or all 6, the entire unit heats to the same temperature.
You cannot warm chocolate or other foods to different temperatures in different tanks, as handy as that might be.
9. SONGZIMING Double Boiler Pot
This is not precisely a chocolate tempering machine, however, it is a very useful, budget-friendly entry into the world of chocolate making.
This double-boiler is designed specifically for melting chocolate and making candy however it will fit on nearly any small pot or saucepan you already own. It’s very versatile and incredibly effective for manually tempering chocolate.
- Holds up to 1 pound of chocolate
- Made of durable stainless steel with a heat-resistant handle for safe use
- Has 2 pour spouts for easy transfer of tempered chocolate directly to your molds
Biggest Drawback: It isn’t very large so this pot is useful only for small batches. It’s great as an introduction to chocolate making to be sure you love the process, but it can’t make large batches in a single go.
Can I Temper Chocolate in the Microwave?
You can certainly melt chocolate in the microwave, but tempering is more difficult. It can be done, but it will take more patience than you may be used to committing to microwaved foods.
Start by reducing the power on your microwave to 50%. Melt approximately 2/3 of your chocolate in 30-second intervals, stirring each time. Continue until the temperature of your chocolate is between 100–110F.
Continue stirring your chocolate, slowly adding the remaining chocolate pieces to the warmed mix. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted each time before adding more.
Keep stirring until the chocolate has cooled to 85–90 F and it should be thick, shiny, and perfectly smooth.
How Do I Temper Chocolate Without a Thermometer?
If you don’t have a thermometer to monitor your temperature, the best way to temper chocolate is to use a combination of untampered and pre-tempered chocolate.
This is called seeding. You can first melt your untampered chocolate patiently over low heat, approximately 2/3 of the final output you need.
You then remove it from the heat and mix in the pre-tempered chocolate. Continue stirring until all the chocolate is melted and the pre-tempered chocolate will bring the entire batch into the correct crystalline structure.
The most important note to keep in mind if you use this method is that your pre-tempered chocolate must be in ideal condition, meaning it has not bloomed. Bloomed chocolate needs to be retempered.
Of course, the other option is to get yourself a chocolate tempering machine that has accurate temperature controls built-in!
What is the Best Chocolate For Melting and Hardening?
Having a machine designed for tempering chocolate is very useful, but it needs the right type of melting chocolate to create a confection that lives up to your highest expectations.
Can you temper chocolate chips? Chocolate chips are one of the most accessible forms of chocolate for cooking with and they do melt very well because they’re so small, but they often have added ingredients that don’t temper well.
The best chocolate for tempering is dark chocolate, between 60-70% cacao, broken into small pieces. If it has cocoa butter added, that’s even better.
If you’re not overly concerned about tempering, but just want chocolate that melts well and hardens cleanly, we’ve created a list of the 9 best chocolate for melting, to help you pick the right chocolate for your culinary project.
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