Making Christmas candy or peppermint bark? Here's how to melt your chocolate in an Instant Pot

Bonus: Kitchen clean-up is a breeze with this method

By Ashlie D. Stevens

Food Editor

Published December 23, 2021 4:31PM (EST)

Peppermint bark (Getty Images/The Picture Pantry/Alanna Taylor Tobin)
Peppermint bark (Getty Images/The Picture Pantry/Alanna Taylor Tobin)

So many holiday treats call for melted chocolate, from peanut butter truffles to peppermint bark. The usual processes for melting said chocolate — from using a double boiler to popping a bowl in the microwave — have their pros and cons but can often become a little unwieldy when attempting to make large batches of candies and cookies in a home kitchen. 

That's where an unexpected kitchen tool can step in, like the Instant Pot

When it first hit the market in 2010, the Instant Pot was marketed as the ultimate do-it-all countertop appliance. "It's 10 tools in one!" food bloggers would tout. Indeed, it works as a crockpot, pressure cooker, rice cooker, searing pan, steamer and yogurt maker (albeit to varying degrees of success). 

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But where the Instant Pot really comes in handy this holiday season is that it enables users to uniformly melt larger batches of chocolate and then keep it melted for as long as you're working in the kitchen. To get started, all you need is 3 cups of water, a large metal or glass bowl that is large enough to sit on top of your 6-quart or 8-quart Instant Pot (such as this one), and your chocolate. 


How to melt chocolate in an Instant Pot 

Add water to the inner base of the Instant Pot and select "sauté mode." The water should begin to gently simmer within 4 minutes. 

If you've ever used the double boiler method to melt chocolate, the next step will be familiar. Once you see steam emerging from the Instant Pot, place a mixing bowl over the Instant Pot, then add chocolate. You can use chips, chunks or wafers. 

Using a spoon or a rubber batter spatula, slowly stir your chocolate until it is melted, smooth and totally cohesive. 

At this point, you can cancel the "sauté" setting and re-select the "keep warm" mode. The chocolate will remain melted for several hours, giving you plenty of time to knock through your holiday baking schedule. 

Clean-up is a breeze, as well. Simply use warm, soapy water to clean any lingering melted chocolate from the interior of the mixing bowl, then drain the water from the interior base of the Instant Pot. 

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By Ashlie D. Stevens

Ashlie D. Stevens is Salon's food editor. She is also an award-winning radio producer, editor and features writer — with a special emphasis on food, culture and subculture. Her writing has appeared in and on The Atlantic, National Geographic’s “The Plate,” Eater, VICE, Slate, Salon, The Bitter Southerner and Chicago Magazine, while her audio work has appeared on NPR’s All Things Considered and Here & Now, as well as APM’s Marketplace. She is based in Chicago.

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Baking Candy Chocolate Christmas Explainer Holidays Instant Pot Peppermint Bark