How to Make a Double Boiler

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How to Make a Double Boiler

Some recipes, particularly ones that call for melting chocolate (which can tend to scorch easily), will call for a double boiler. Many of us don’t have one — or even know what it is! But you can make a double boiler with the bowls and pots you already have. 

Creating a makeshift double boiler.

What Is a Double Boiler?

A traditional double boiler is a set of two nesting pans, one on top of the other. The bottom pan is filled with a few inches of water, the top pan is placed over the bottom pan, and the water is brought to a simmer. This indirect heat warms or melts whatever is in the top pan without the chance of it burning. 

How to Make a Double Boiler: Use a bowl and a pot to make a perfect double boiler for melting chocolate and any recipe that calls for one!

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Easy Homemade Double Boiler

You can jerry-rig a double boiler in the following way. \

  1. Find a pot that is wide enough to hold a metal or glass bowl nesting in the opening, with the bottom suspended a few inches above the bottom of the pan. You want the bowl to be large enough to expand up and beyond the top of the pot so you can place and remove it easily. 
Homemade double boiler with chocolate on stove.
  1. Fill the pan with water, but not high enough to touch the bottom of the bowl. Rest the bowl with the ingredients (chopped chocolate, egg yolks, whatever you are cooking) in the top of the pan, again making sure the bottom does not touch the water.
  2. Bring the water to a simmer (not really a boil, which is usually too hot for the method). Stir until whatever you are cooking has reached the desired consistency. Remove the bowl from the double boiler, watching that the steam doesn’t billow out and burn you. Remove the pan from the heat.
Melting chocolate in a homemade double boiler.

Recipes That Use a Double Boiler

About Katie Workman

Katie Workman is a cook, a writer, a mother of two, an activist in hunger issues, and an enthusiastic advocate for family meals, which is the inspiration behind her two beloved cookbooks, Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook.

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