How To Make A Double Boiler

Why spend money on a double boiler when you can easily make one at home?

When would you need to use a double boiler? Is it even necessary?

Double boilers are used when you need to cook something over a gentle heat. It is a great way to cook food that has a tendency to burn, curdle or separate.

If you cook it right on the stove top, you could ruin the consistency of whatever it is that you’re making.
Melting chocolate is what I use a double boiler for most often. Other uses for a double boiler – custards, lemon curd, sauces such as Hollandaise, beurre blanc.

All you need is a saucepan or pot and a heatproof bowl, preferably glass or metal. Pour in about an inch of water into the saucepan. Place the bowl with the ingredients in it on top of the saucepan. Bring the water to a boil and cook your ingredients with the water simmering. Homemade Double Boiler (500x334)

A few other things to keep in  mind:

  • Make sure that the boiling water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl and also make sure the water doesn’t boil out. If the water level is really low, just add more water.
  • The bowl will become really hot. Don’t touch! Keep a small kitchen towel nearby and use it to steady the bowl while you’re whisking, mixing, or lifting the bowl.
  • If you’re melting chocolate, make sure the steam that will come up from underneath the bowl and form small beads of condensation, doesn’t actually run into the bowl, or your chocolate will seize. Keep the water at a simmer, turn down the heat if there’s too much steam, or take the saucepan off the heat for a minute or two while the temperature decreases.
  • For the above reason, don’t use a lid to cover the bowl, or the condensation from the lid will drip down into the bowl and make your chocolate seize up also.

IMG_2151 (500x334)


  • demelzabunny

    Olya,you should write a Russian cookbook.

    So many people in the U.S. have weird about what Russian cooking is, and whenever I’ve introduced friends and family to common but delicious Russian dishes, they always rave about them.

    Wouldn’t it be great if you could have a TV cooking show like Rachael Ray, but you could showcase Russian food?

    • olgak7

      Thanks! I’m honored you think so.
      I love Russian food and I think many people would really enjoy it if they gave it a try.
      I’m not sure if I would want to have a cooking show on TV, but you never know what the future may hold. I do want to make videos for the blog sometime soon:). I’m actually working on a few right now.

  • Valentin Jr

    Genius innovation Olga!!! Your creativity and skill for all things with cooking always keep astounding me:) keep up the glorious work!!

  • Oksana

    That’s a great post. It’s exactly what I do at home also, I’m glad I’m not the only one. I was actually considering buying a double boiler before, but my why clutter up more space, if I only need to use a double boiler very little. Keep those tips coming! 🙂

    • olgak7

      I totally agree. I try to stay away from things that serve only one purpose and use things in as many multiple ways as I can. Saves money, time and space.

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