Here we are going to discuss whether you need a chocolate temperer (to melt AND temper chocolate) , or a chocolate melter / warmer (melts and keeps chocolate warm, but does NOT temper chocolate)?
What is the difference between melted and tempered chocolate?
All melted chocolate is "untempered chocolate" and it must be tempered for candy making use. Most commercial chocolates are already tempered, but once you melt the chocolate it is no longer in temper (it is now untempered chocolate). Simply melting chocolate, dipping your items, and letting it harden does NOT temper the chocolate. Chocolate needs to be melted and tempered to get a glossy firm finish.
You can read more about tempered vs untempered chocolate here:
What is a chocolate melter (or chocolate warmer)?
A chocolate melter / warmer is a large pan that sits in a hot water bath. The water temperature is controlled by a thermostat, as the water heats up it heats the metal pan, which thereby melts or warms the chocolate in the pan (very much like a bain marie). Basically, it just melts or holds the melted chocolate at a certain temperature, so you always have melted chocolate ready to use!
The melter will hold the chocolate at a specific temperature, but the chocolate must be manually stirred occasionally to ensure a consistent product temperature. The thermostat on a melter heats the water (so, the temp you set it at is the temperature of the water, not the chocolate!). So, you may have to play with the temperature to get it to hold the chocolate at a precise temperature.
What is a chocolate temperer (or chocolate tempering machine)?
A chocolate temperer is a tabletop machine melts and tempers small quantities of chocolate so that the end product has a smooth, crisp and shiny finish! It uses very precise time and varying temperatures, while also continuously mixing the chocolate, to give you perfectly tempered chocolate.
Which one is best for me?
The main difference is how you want your finished products to look! A chocolate tempering machine will produce a hard, shiny finish (whereas a melter will produce a softer, dull finish). Both will taste good, so it comes down to visual appeal (tempered chocolate looks more "professional"). When you walk into a chocolate shop and see beautiful glossy truffles with a hard shell, those are made with tempered chocolate!
A chocolate temperer is a must have piece of machinery for candy making. If you are enrobing or dipping items into chocolate and you want them to have a hard, shiny finish - you want a chocolate temperer!
If you just need to have melted chocolate on hand for making ganache or other chocolate recipes (like chocolate barks, or chocolate drizzle) or you are dipping times that will be eaten immediately (i.e. ice cream cones) than a chocolate melter might be a good choice for you!
A chocolate melter can also be used in conjunction with a tempering machine to speed up the melting process and to increase your daily output!
Where can I see these machines?
We are happy to offer a large selection of both chocolate temperers and chocolate melters! You can compare both machines here:
Compare chocolate tempering machines:
Compare chocolate melters:
Still not sure?
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so we can make sure you get the machine that is best for you and your workflow!