How Long To Microwave Milk For Hot Chocolate? (Proven Way)


Hot chocolate with whip cream, cinnamon, and a cinnamonstick

Hot chocolate, cocoa, or whatever you want to call it is a delicious drink best suited for wintery weather but let’s be honest; you would go for a cup anytime, anywhere. This drinkable dessert isn’t as easily prepared as it sounds because the microwaving time needs to be accurate for maximum taste and texture. That said, how long should you microwave the milk for hot chocolate?

When making hot chocolate, you should microwave your milk for 90 seconds so it’s perfectly hot for drinking. Depending on the cup size, microwave power, and warmth preference, the time range can vary between 60 to 120 seconds.

I found the 90-second mark perfect because the chocolate powder mixed well with the milk, and it was hot, yet it wasn’t too hot that I couldn’t immediately start enjoying it. I used a 700-watt microwave with medium-high power similar to this Black + Decker Microwave so keep that in mind. More powerful such as +1000-watt microwaves will heat the milk faster.

That’s why you should heat the milk in short intervals! Let’s take a closer look at how to heat milk well next.

How to Heat Milk for Hot Chocolate?

Heating milk does have a few caveats, and it can be done in multiple ways. I love hot chocolate, especially when done in the right way, and I’m excited to share them with you. Let’s start with the one you probably already know, microwaving.

How to Microwave Milk for Hot Chocolate

  1. Gather ingredients: Before anything, gather your milk, mug, chocolate powder, add-ons like sweetener (sugar or other), whip cream, vanilla extract, chocolate such as chips or shavings, and other desired ingredients like cinnamon, etc.
  2. Pour milk into a mug: Next, pour the desired amount of milk into a microwave-safe mug or container. I drink 1 cup (237ml), which I have seen is satisfying.
  3. Heat the milk in intervals: Place the mug with the milk inside the microwave. Heat the milk in two 30-second cycles and stir between the interval. Next, be ready to add your cocoa powder.
  4. Add chocolate powder: Now that your milk is hand warm, add the required amount of cocoa powder and stir until it’s dissolved or mostly dissolved. Place the hot chocolate mug in the microwave once again.
  5. Finish heating cocoa: Continue the heating with one 30-second cycle and stir after. Depending on the mug’s size and microwave power, a total of 90second microwaving might be enough. If not, continue the process at 15-second intervals until the desired temperature.
  6. Enjoy: Now your hot chocolate is ready, and you can enjoy it as it is, or finish adding the spices such as sugar and vanilla extract to the liquid, whip cream, and chocolate shaving on top on top with a dash of cinnamon. Yummy!

Microwaving milk for hot chocolate is the easier way with fewer dishes. When done right, the outcome will be as great. However, heating the milk on a stove in a pot creates a more thick texture and ensures all of the chocolate powder will mix with the milk. This creates better texture and taste.

How to Heat Milk on a Stove for Hot Chocolate

  1. Gather ingredients: Before anything, gather your milk, mug, chocolate powder, add-ons like sweetener (sugar or other), whip cream, vanilla extract, chocolate such as chips or shavings, and other desired ingredients like cinnamon, etc.
  2. Pour milk into a pot: Add the desired amount of milk into a pot for heating. One cup (237ml) is a great amount that fills one mug well.
  3. Heat the stove: Given that one cup isn’t much liquid, heat the pot on the stove in low-medium heat so it won’t burn or start to boil. A slow process is the best here.
  4. Monitor temperature: During the heating process, monitor the temperature either with a Digital Thermometer or eyeball it. When the milk reaches over 100°F (38°C), it’s warm enough to add cocoa powder. If you don’t have a thermometer, you can feel the milk with a clean finger or add a dash of cocoa powder and see how it mixes. If it feels warm or mixes the cocoa powder, it’s ready for the full amount of cocoa powder.
  5. Add cocoa powder: When your milk is over 100°F (38°C), the cocoa powder and butter melt in the milk, creating a smooth and consistent texture. Add the required amount to the milk and mix it well.
  6. Monitor temperature: After adding the cocoa powder, you need to heat it more to a drinking temperature of 124-136°F (51-58°C) if you plan to enjoy it immediately. If you want it to last hot for longer, heat it to 160-185°F (71-85°C).
  7. Pour cocoa into a mug: When your cocoa powder is mixed perfectly with the milk and has reached the desired temperature, pour it into a mug. If you have any sweetener or vanilla extract, you can add it before pouring it into the mug.
  8. Enjoy: Now your hot chocolate is ready, and you can enjoy it as it is, or add the spices such as whip cream, chocolate shaving on top, and a dash of cinnamon, for example.

Whichever method you choose to heat your milk, both of them create a great cup of cocoa when done right.

An equally important part, if not more, is to use good chocolate powder. I heavily recommend the best powder I have ever tasted; The Swiss Miss Cocoa Powder. It’s creamy, the aroma and flavor are incredible, and the texture is delightful!

What Is the Best Way to Heat Milk for Hot Chocolate?

Hot cocoa

Now that you know how to heat milk for cocoa, you need to decide the best one. A couple of variables determine the best way to heat milk for your needs and wants.

Generally, the best way to heat milk for hot chocolate is in a pot on a stove because the milk will heat more consistently than in the microwave, and you can monitor it more easily. If you want to save time and dishes, microwaving in short intervals while stirring between them for consistency is a great method too.

You can produce great outcomes with both of them, but it’s more difficult to go wrong when heating the milk on a stove. If you place a mug of milk in a microwave and heat it in one sitting for 90 to 120 seconds, the milk won’t be heated consistently.

Another benefit you get from heating milk on a stove is that it will slightly froth, getting a richer and thicker texture.

The difference won’t be astronomical, so if you’re not looking for the most luxurious cup of cocoa, both ways are good. However, if you want to maximize the quality of your cocoa, heating the milk on a stove is the way.

Do You Put Chocolate Powder In Milk Before or After Heating?

The neverending debate about whether you put the chocolate powder in milk before or after heating is similar to whether you put milk on cereal or cereal on milk. That said, which way is it?

Chocolate powder is added to milk after partially or fully heating the milk. When milk is warm, the chocolate powder will blend optimally, creating a better texture and taste for the cocoa. If you add chocolate powder to cold milk, it won’t mix well, creating clumps and making the outcome worse.

If you microwave your milk for hot chocolate, I recommend adding the chocolate powder when it’s partially heated. Then you can mix it well with the milk and give it a final 30-second heat cycle, mix it once more, and the texture will be smoothly consistent.

The same principle holds with stove heated milk too. When you notice that the milk is starting to warm on the pot, add the required amount of chocolate powder to the milk, stir it well for as long as it’s properly hot, and enjoy the smooth, consistent texture.

Adding chocolate powder to cold milk, especially when microwaving, will form clumps that are hard to eliminate. Clumpy cocoa isn’t only unpleasant to drink, but the required amount of chocolate powder hasn’t mixed well with the milk, reducing its taste.

So, if you want smoothly consistent cocoa instead of clumpy and tasteless, I recommend adding the chocolate powder to warm or hot milk!

How Hot Should Milk Be for Hot Chocolate?

If you want the maximum quality of your chocolate milk, the milk needs to be at the optimal temperature. If the milk is too cold, the chocolate powder won’t dissolve in the milk properly, and if it’s hot, you’ll burn your tongue. How do you test milk’s temperature, and what’s the temperature to look for?

The serving temperature of hot chocolate should be 160-185°F (71-85°C), enabling a long enjoying period and mixing the ingredients fully within the milk. The optimal drinking temperature is between 124-136°F (51-58°C) as the taste of the cocoa is enhanced, yet it isn’t too hot to burn your tongue.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind here. If you heat your cocoa to 160-185°F, give it time to cool down so you won’t burn your tongue. A neat trick I always use is to scoop some into a spoon and slurp it carefully.

Another thing to keep in mind is the cocoa powder itself. To get the best texture and taste of your hot chocolate, the cocoa nibs and butter within the powder need to melt into the milk, and this requires a minimum temperature of 100ºF (38ºC). If you don’t heat it past that point, the chocolate powder won’t mix optimally, creating a lesser texture and taste for the cocoa.

To monitor the temperature of your milk, I highly recommend using a simple temperature thermometer such as Yacumama Digital Thermometer. This way, you’ll always have the best possible cup of cocoa.

Here You’ll Find My Favorite Kitchen Equipment.

Thanks for reading this article! I hope that it brought you real value that you can benefit from in your personal life! Here is my top kitchen equipment that I seriously couldn’t live without, and I think they could ease your life as well as they do mine.

  • Knife set: As a chef, I can’t stand dull, poor-quality knives without any design. My absolute favorite kitchen knife set is the Gangshan 3-Piece Knife Set. It comes with a handcrafted 8″ chef’s knife and a 3.5″ paring knife. What I love even more than these flawless knives is the walnut knife block which is incredible and unique.
  • Skillet: In addition to knives and my unwillingness to bargain with its quality is the cookware. My favorite skillet is Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Skillet. This particular skillet is 9″ in size, it is heavy, it gets very hot, which is what is required to get a good sear, and it is just beautiful, as are all Le Creuset products. Le Creuset doesn’t need an introduction as a brand, as it is one of the world’s rated brands.
  • Food processor: I remember when I hadn’t a food processor at home. It wasn’t easy! But now, when I use my Ninja BN601 Food Processor, I can make anything super fast, which saves me many hours per week. This food processor has 1000 watts of power and four options, including chopping, slicing, dough, and purees. I also like the middle-sized 9cup (2.1l) bowl as it is big enough yet not too big to look unfitting in my kitchen.
  • Tweezers: Dalstrong Professional Cooking Tweezers are like tongs but much more elegant, thin, and easy to use. They are great for virtually anything, but flipping, turning, and grabbing with them is easy and makes cooking much more fun! These Dalstrgon tongs are titanium coated and very durable. Also, I like the black color instead of the everyday steel.

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Omar Abdalla

I’m the owner of JRS. While I love writing about food, I also enjoy peaceful and relaxed cookouts at home.

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