Party Pointer: Microwave Melting Times

If you find yourself busy baking during the holidays, you may also find that you are using your microwave to melt butter, chocolate and other ingredients for your recipes. You don’t want to have to stop every time you get ready to melt something to look up the microwave melting times, so…

Print a copy of this timetable so you can place it where you can use it as a handy reference when you are baking. Be sure to use microwave-safe containers and cover them to avoid splatters. Start with the shortest time listed and then add time as needed.

Melted Butter
Place in a microwave-safe glass measuring cup; microwave at HIGH until melted, stirring after the shortest time. For ½ cup or larger, cut sticks of butter in half
1-2 tablespoons 35-40 seconds
¼ to ½ cup 40-45 seconds
¾ cup 40-50 seconds
1 cup 50-60 seconds

Melting chocolate morsels
When melting or tempering chocolate morsels in the microwave, be careful not to overheat them. The high cooking temperature of the microwave can ruin melted chocolate. Otherwise, the method to melt is simple and quick.
Heat them incrementally in a microwave-safe bowl for the best results. Start with one minute on a medium setting for 1 cup of chips; then heat the chocolate for no more than 15 seconds at a time after that. Stir the chocolate after each 15-second interval to ensure even heating. When the chips are almost melted, stir more thoroughly to help the last few lumps melt without further cooking.
¼ to 1 cup 50-60 seconds

Melting chocolate baking squares
Place in a microwave-safe glass measuring cup; microwave at HIGH until melted, stirring every 30 seconds. With each heating interval, you have to stir the chocolate with a spoon or plastic spatula to check out the actual extent to which the chocolate has melted (it’s not obvious based on appearances alone because chocolate gets heated inside-out, and retains its shape when heated.

1-ounce baking square 30-40 seconds
2-ounce baking square 60-90 seconds

Melting marshmallows

Place in a large microwave bowl. The marshmallows expand when they are heated, so the bowl should be three to four times larger than a number of marshmallows you are melting. 

Turn on the microwave oven, set to the high level, for 30 seconds. Take the bowl in the microwave, and stir the marshmallows. Scrape any marshmallow stuck to the wall of the bowl and incorporate it into the mixture.

Turn the marshmallows over to the microwave, and let them cook for another 30 seconds. Continue the cooking cycle for 30 seconds, then pause to stir, until the marshmallows are smooth and melted.

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