Whether you are just starting with chocolate making or you are thinking of starting your own chocolate business, chocolate tempering is going to be an essential part of your chocolate work.
Chocolate tempering is a fairly complex task and one that has to be done correctly otherwise you might end up with bloomed chocolate, which doesn’t look very sightly and it also shortens the final product shelf-life. You need to understand what temperature chocolate melts at and how to create enough crystals to make your chocolate structure strong.
My chocolate courses students have been asking me which chocolate tempering machine to buy, which inspired me to review a few tempering machines for you and write up this chocolate tempering guide.
This chocolate tempering machine guide focuses on small scale chocolate making – either at home or small business.
Best chocolate tempering machine to buy – Review Guide (2023)
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When to consider buying chocolate tempering machine
If you want to just try working with chocolate and make a few chocolate treats for your friends and family once in a while, you probably don’t need to buy tempering machine (unless you really fancy having another kitchen gadget). You’ll be perfectly fine with chocolate tempering on a marble or using the seeding method.
There are plenty of ways to keep your chocolate or candy melts warm when you are working on a small scale projects.
However if you are thinking of setting up a small chocolate business or you are planning to make a lot of chocolate, tempering machine will significantly cut down the time that you’d otherwise need to use for hand chocolate tempering. It will save you time, that you can dedicate to preparing your moulds, decorating your chocolates or prepare your chocolate fillings.
What to consider when buying chocolate tempering machine
Tempering machine size
This will very much depend on how much space do you have in your kitchen or chocolate workshop. Ideally your tempering machine should be placed on a firm and sturdy hard surface area (kitchen worktop, table or a free standing cupboard).
The average size of tempering machine could be anything from 40cm to 60cm both in depth and width. Tempering machines are also fairly heavy and the more chocolate volume you can input the more they will weigh.
Tempering machine volume
The smaller table top tempering machines take about 500 g of chocolate, whilst the large types can take up to 5 kg. The smaller tempering machines are adequate for occassional chocolate work or for a hobby chocolatier, but if you want to start even a small scalle chocolate production, you’ll need at least 1-2 kg volume.
Tempering machine price
The cost of table top tempering machine varies from few hundred pounds to several hundred. Chocolate tempering machines are a bit of an investment, so I’d often recommend carry on tempering chocolate by hand, until you reach the point when you need to temper 1- 1.5 kg and then invest in a mid range tempering machine.
Chocolate tempering machine – Comparasion Review Guide (2023)
This chocolate tempering machine is a great value, considering the specifications. It will temper up to 4 litres of chocolate (which is around 5 kg) in one compartment. This machine is also fairly compact and simple to set up. Temperature can be set to anything from 1C to 100C.
More importantly, this tempering machine heats up your chocolate with dry heat, which means that there is no additional humidity like with heating up chocolate on a bain marrie.
- Dry heat
- one container vat
- Stainless Steel
- Max. 100°C, continuous heat
- Volume Capacity – Maximum of 8 litres – 2x4L
- Machine weight (without chocolate) 7,35 kg
- Dimensions – 34.5 x 28.2 x 29.4 cm
- Each container is 15 cm deep
- Led display for temperature control
- Automatic thermostat
- Easy to clean as it’s stainless steal and the containers are dishwasher safe
- Compact size
- Continous heat (doesn’t automatically stop heating when it reaches desired temperature)
This is great starter machine as it’s very affordable, compact and holds good amount of chocolate. The machine has two separate containers, which means that you can have milk or dark chocolate melting together at the same time. It’s made from stainless steel, which makes it very easy to wash.
It heats the chocolate by slowly heating water container which sits underneath the chocolate containers. Whilst this cuts cost of this tempering machine by half from other models, it also means that you need to be more careful when taking the chocolate containers from the machine.
- 600W, 220V/50Hz
- Stainless Steel
- Temperature control
- 2 separate containers with 1.6 litres capacity each (about 2 kg)
- Water heating
- Measurements – 22 cm wide, 44cm deep, 17cm tall
- Each container is 13 cm deep
- Weight (without chocolate) 5kg
- Great price
- Perfect for a start up business on a budget or home chocolate enthusiast
- Gradual heating of the chocolate by heating the water compartment underneath
- Easy to clean (stainless steal)
- Automatically stops heating when the container/chocolate reaches desired temperature
- Water heated machine (be careful when taking the containers off the base as they might have water dripping)
- Analogue temperature setting, which could be sometimes incorrect (double check with a digital thermometer)
This tempering machine is a good value for money, as it has 3 different compartments, which can be used for white, milk and dark chocolate or use to keep your colouring cocoa butter warm. It is still fairly compact, considering that it has 3 different compartments. This machine will save you money and space as you don’t need to buy separate tempering machines (if you need to temper white, milk or dark chocolate at the same time).
- Digital Display
- Temperature range 0-80 C
- Capacity 12 kg in total (about 4 kg each container)
- Measurements: 66 cm deep, 36 cm wide, 18 cm tall
- Water Heated
- 3 separate compartments for white, milk and dark chocolate
- Good value for money
How to use tempering machine
Each tempering machine comes with a detailed user guide, so here are just a few tips on how to use tempering machine correctly.
Most tempering machines have been designed for ‘seeding’ method of tempering chocolate. This means that you add chocolate to your chocolate machine, let the chocolate melt slowly and when it’s fully melted, you add about 1/3 of the original chocolate volume in new chocolate calets.
You need to lover the heating temperature at this point, depending on what chocolate you are working with. Let the new, unmelted chocolate to crystalise the rest of the chocolate and when fully melted, you are ready to start your chocolate work.
If you find that your chocolate or candy melts are a little thick there are plenty of ways to thin candy melts or chocolate coverture to ensure that you can re-heat and re-temper your chocolate or candy melts several times.
The seeded method does take a longer time, than tempering on a marble, but this give you the time to prepare the chocolate moulds, fillings or pack your chocolates whilst your new chocolate machine tempers your next batch of chocolate.
Let me know how you get on and until next time
Happy Chocolate Making!