How to make the best chocolate-covered strawberries, the complete how-to guide! From the best chocolate to use, how to melt it, and how to keep your chocolate covered strawberries looking and tasting their best!
In this tutorial, we will go over how to melt white chocolate, dark chocolate, and milk chocolate. We’ll talk about what temperatures to temper chocolate to, how to temper in the microwave, and how to do the traditional seeding method with a double boiler.
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Ingredients
Fresh strawberries, delicious chocolate, and 20 minutes are all you really need to make chocolate-covered strawberries. Before you dive in, be sure to read through this blog post or watch the video for tons of tips and tricks for success.
How to make strawberries last longer
Strawberries tend to go bad in the fridge fairly quickly. It can be so frustrating to see that pint of strawberries you got two days ago suddenly growing mold! Don’t worry, you can avoid your strawberries going bad pre-maturely by washing them in a diluted vinegar wash. This vinegar wash kills bacteria and mold spores and makes your strawberries last up to a week longer!
How to make a strawberry wash
- Combine 4 cups cool water and 1 cup white vinegar (not cleaning vinegar)
- Soak your strawberries in the wash for 10 minutes. I found that conventionally-grown strawberries work better than organic strawberries for chocolate dipping.
- Drain out the water and rinse your strawberries, then dry them GENTLY on a paper towel. Make sure they are very dry or the chocolate will not stick to the strawberries. I let mine air dry while I prep the chocolate. If you have the time, you can put the strawberries on a paper towel on top of a cooling rack (to keep the air flowing) and then place them uncovered in the fridge overnight to fully dry.
Pro-Tip: Room temperature strawberries are best for dipping in chocolate! If your strawberries are already washed and fresh out of the fridge, let them warm up for an hour before dipping to avoid the chocolate cooling too quickly, prevent cracking, and prevent the strawberries from weeping juice.
Should you keep the leaves on your strawberries?
Some people remove the stems when dipping their strawberries but experts say to leave them on. Why? Because when you remove the stem, you are basically opening a big hole in your strawberry. That hold will leak juice, discolor your chocolate, and overall reduce the life of your chocolate covered strawberries.
What’s the best chocolate for dipping strawberries?
I did a test using all the chocolates I could find to see which ones were the best for melting. You can use any kind of chocolate that has cocoa butter in the ingredients but keep in mind that not all chocolate MELTS the same. Some chocolate that has a high percentage of cocoa or has stabilizers added (like chocolate chips) and may be very thick when melted to the appropriate temperature, so do a test melt first or use a brand from my list below.
These are both semi-sweet chocolate and both chopped finely and melted in the microwave to 90ºF. You can see the chips are just naturally thicker than the wafers. Both are fine for dipping strawberries into but you wouldn’t want to use chips for making things like hot cocoa bombs because it’s much too thick.
You might be tempted to reach for that bag of candy melts or almond bark because you don’t want to bother tempering your chocolate but I promise you, for the best chocolate-covered strawberries, you want to use chocolate that tastes good!
Candy melts and almond bark are mostly made from wax. And while easy to use, it tastes just like wax. Don’t worry! Tempering your chocolate is as easy as working a microwave. All you need is a thermometer to check your temperatures and you’ll be good to go! Tempered chocolate is stronger, shinier, and is more stable at room temperature.
I love the taste and stability of bittersweet chocolate but you can also use milk chocolate or white chocolate. Here are some of my favorite chocolates to use.
- Lindt Candy Bars (white, milk chocolate, or dark, just chop it up finely before melting)
- Callebaut dark (no. 811 54%)
- Callebaut white (no. W2 28%)
- Guittard Semi-Sweet wafers (my favorite because it tastes great and isn’t very expensive)
- Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Baking Chips (a little on the thick side still good for dipping)
I did try melting Ruby chocolate in the microwave but it didn’t work out. It might be better if you used the seeding method instead of the microwave.
If you need more information on how to temper the different kinds of chocolate, check out my easy chocolate tempering video here.
For milk chocolate, the temperature shouldn’t go above 84ºF (30ºC)to stay in temper
For white chocolate, the temperature shouldn’t go above 88ºF (31ºC) to stay in temper.
For Semi-sweet and dark chocolate, the temperature shouldn’t go above 90ºF (32ºC)
You can temper your chocolate in the microwave or you can do it on a double boiler. The microwave is better for small amounts of chocolate and the double boiler is better if you want to temper a lot of chocolate at once and have a big order. I will explain both processes below so you can decide which one is best for you.
How to temper chocolate in the microwave
To temper chocolate in the microwave, we simply chop it as finely as we can (yes even if it’s in chips), then melt it in very short increments in the microwave. Never go above the temperature for that kind of chocolate.
Note: I am using a 1,000-watt microwave for my process.
- Finely chop the chocolate with a chef’s knife.
- Heat the chocolate in a heat-safe bowl for 30 seconds in the microwave and then stir to distribute the heat.
- Heat the chocolate for 10-second increments afterward until the chocolate appears about 75% melted and still below the correct temperature. Check the temperature after every time you heat to make sure you are not over-heating. I’m using an infrared thermometer to check my temperature because it’s a little bit easier to keep clean.
- Stir until the chocolate is fully melted. If there are still some unmelted pieces, you can heat for 5 seconds but remember, each 10-second increment is 2 degrees on your thermometer.
- Now your chocolate is in temper and ready to use!
Oops! Did you accidentally heat your chocolate too hot? Don’t worry, you can still temper it with the seeding method.
How to temper chocolate using a double boiler (seeding method)
- Fill a saucepan with 2″ of water and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to a low simmer.
- Place a heatproof bowl on top of the simmering water. The water should not be touching the bowl. Add the chocolate you want to melt to the bowl. This is called a double boiler, water bath, or a bain-marie. This is a way to heat delicate foods like chocolate carefully so they don’t burn or get too hot.
- Stir the chocolate frequently. Be careful not to get any water in the chocolate or it will seize up and be unusable.
- Continue stirring the chocolate until it’s melted and the temperature reads between 110ºF – 120ºF.
- Remove the chocolate from the water and wipe off the bowl to prevent any water drips from getting into your chocolate.
- Pour the chocolate into another clean and dry bowl to immediately get it to start cooling down faster.
- Chop up some more tempered chocolate and add that into the melted chocolate and stir. This tempered chocolate will “seed” the un-tempered chocolate with the proper crystals and re-temper all the chocolate.
- Once the added chocolate has melted, check the temperature, if you’re still above 90ºF, add some more chocolate. Once you get below 95ºF the chocolate will take longer to melt so it’s better to use finely chopped chocolate.
- Once your chocolate has cooled to 90ºF, you should only have a few very small pieces of unmelted chocolate in the bowl. Continue stirring every 5 minutes until the chocolate reaches 80ºF for milk chocolate, 84º for white, and 86º for dark and semi-sweet chocolate.
- After your chocolate has reached it’s lowest temp, you can then heat it up very carefully to it’s working temperature. 84ºF for milk, 88ºF for white, 90ºF for dark, and semi-sweet.
How to make chocolate-covered strawberries step-by-step
Now we are ready to make our chocolate covered strawberries! I’m assuming your strawberries are now washed, dried, room temperature, and your chocolate is tempered.
The first thing I do is set up our strawberry dipping station. My berries, chocolate, parchment paper, a piping bag for drizzling, and a sheet pan with more parchment paper are all ready to go. You want everything ready so that you can dip as many strawberries as possible before your chocolate starts getting too cold.
If your chocolate starts getting too cold, re-heat in 5-second increments and stir to prevent over-heating.
Step 1 – Grasp the strawberry by the stem and dip it into the chocolate. You can also insert two toothpicks into either side of the stem to help stabilize large berries and make them easier to dip. Gather the leaves around the toothpicks to keep them from getting into the chocolate.
Step 2 – Dip the strawberry into your chocolate. You may need to put the chocolate into a cup so that it’s deep enough for a berry to be fully submerged. You want to totally cover the strawberry to prevent leaking.
Step 3 – Bounce the berry on the surface of the chocolate a few times to remove the excess chocolate.
Step 4 – Scrape the bottom of the berry gently on the side of the bowl to remove the excess chocolate. Don’t scrape too hard, you don’t want to see the bottom of the berry or damage the berry in any way.
Step 5 – Place the berry onto the parchment paper and then after 5 seconds pick it up and move it over a few inches to remove even more of the chocolate. This prevents too much chocolate from pooling around the berry and making a huge flat spot.
Step 6 – Allow the chocolate to set for one minute. If you’re adding sprinkles then you would add them before the chocolate sets.
Step 7 – Hold the strawberry by the stem or the toothpicks above a bowl and drizzle more tempered chocolate on top using quick back and forth motions. You can use the same chocolate or contrasting color. For a drizzle, I would just finely chop some chocolate and temper it in the microwave. I like to use a piping bag with the tip barely snipped off for a super-fine drizzle.
How To Color Chocolate
To color your white chocolate, you can add in a little melted colored cocoa butter or you can use oil based food coloring for dipping and drizzling. I like to use the cocoa butter colors from chef rubber.
Just melt your cocoa butter in the bottle in the microwave. I start with one minute then do 15-second increments. I squeeze the bottle in between heating to kind of stir it. I try not to overheat-it because if it’s too hot it can throw the chocolate out of temper.
Add some cocoa butter to your melted chocolate and stir! That’s all you have to do! Now you can dip your berries in the colored chocolate or use it for a drizzle as I did.
How do I store my chocolate covered strawberries?
Store the chocolate-covered strawberries in the fridge on a cooling rack with paper towels underneath. Lightly cover with plastic wrap to prevent the strawberries from drying out but do not store them in an airtight container or they will mold. Strawberries need air!
How long do chocolate covered strawberries last?
Chocolate covered strawberries will last up to 48 hours in the fridge, but taste the best when they are fresh! They are so quick and easy to make, it’s best to wash your berries the night before, let them dry in the fridge, and then dip them the day you plan on eating them. They can last up to 12 hours at room temperature.
How to package chocolate-covered strawberries
Most professionals place their chocolate-covered strawberries into cupcake liners and then into a nice box. You can add pretty shredded paper underneath or just leave them as-is. Do not wrap your strawberries in plastic wrap because they will get soggy quickly and discolor.
Chocolate Covered Strawberries Tutorial
- 24 medium (288 g) strawberries 16 ounces
- 8 ounces (227 g) semi-sweet chocolate chopped finely
- 8 ounces (227 g) milk chocolate chopped finely
- 8 ounces (227 g) white chocolate chopped finely
- 4 cups (946 g) cool water
- 1 cup (255 g) white vinegar
- Bowl for melting, glass or silicone
Preparing the strawberries
- Combine the water and the vinegar together in a large bowl
- Add the strawberries and let them soak for 10 minutes
- Make sure your strawberries are fresh and discard and strawberries with blemishes or bruises. This will cause your strawberries to start weeping after a day.
- Rinse the strawberries in fresh water, dry them thoroughly, and then transfer them to a cooling rack with paper towels.
- Lightly cover strawberries in plastic wrap and place them into the fridge if you aren't going to use them right away. Make sure your strawberries are at room temperature before dipping.
Melting the chocolate
- Finely chop your chocolate (yes even if you are using chips) so that your chocolate melts easily. If you need to melt more than 8 ounces of chocolate at a time I suggest using my how to temper chocolate using the seeding method on my blog.
- The process for melting is the same for all the chocolate except milk chocolate should not be heated higher than 86ºF (30ºC), milk chocolate no higher than 88ºF (31ºC), and semi-sweet and dark no higher than 90ºF (32ºC). I suggest melting and dipping one type of chocolate at a time.
- Place the chopped chocolate into a heat proof bowl.
- Heat the chocolate on full power in the microwave for 30 seconds and then stir to distribute the heat evenly throughout the chocolate.
- Continue heating the chocolate in 10-15 second increments until the chocolate is about 90% melted and still below the maximum temperature for the type of chocolate you are using.
- Continue to stir the chocolate until it's fully melted. If your chocolate begins to cool down 5 degrees and you still have un-melted pieces, you can continue heating in 5 second increments until they are melted but be very careful not to go over your max temp. If you do go over you can still temper your chocolate using the seeding method (see the link in my blog post)
Dipping the strawberries
- Once your chocolate is melted you can dip your strawberries. Grasp the strawberries by the stem and dip them into the warm chocolate. Scrape the excess chocolate from the bottom of the berry but do not damage the bottom of the berry.
- Place the chocolate covered strawberry onto parchment paper and let it set. Drizzle more chocolate on top with a piping bag for decoration if you desire. If you want to add sprinkles, add them before the chocolate sets.
- Store your berries in the fridge lightly covered in plastic wrap for up to 48 hours but they are best and freshest the day they are made. If you are eating them the same day you make them, no need to refrigerate them.