Tempering chocolate by sous vide

Joined Jan 3, 2005
I am looking for more information on a method of tempering chocolate that I have seen, but don't have much direct experience with. I have checked my professional cookbooks and looked online, but not sure what terms to search under.

I know that it is possible to "temper" chocolate by bringing it directly to the working temperature without ever heating it hot enough to bring it out of temper. So this is what I tried -
I vacuum sealed 2 pounds of milk chocolate and put it in a water bath with the circulator set at 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Then I left it overnight. The next day the chocolate registered 86, but was still semi-solid. I didn't want to wait longer, so I just tempered it the old fashioned way and all was well.
I am guessing that perhaps this would have worked if I left it longer. I do know that this process can take a very long time depending on the quantities.

Does anyone have any experience with this?

When I was in culinary school, they had a closed Cres-Cor with a heater inside to do the same thing. They would have a 200-pan of each type of chocolate inside tempered and ready to work with. I remember the chef saying he had to start the chocolate well in advance, but I don't know how long that was.

I would appreciate any information.
Joined Oct 10, 2005
I know of the technique, and I've seen some old coots toss in a bowl of couveture in a Garland oven overnight and let the pilot light do it's thing, but to tell you the truth, I've never really done it myself.

On an average day I'll use anywhere from 1 to 15 kgs of tempered couverture, but I have two water bath-type melters--one for dark, and one split for white and milk. Tempering has really ever been an issue for me.


Joined Mar 2, 2006
You have to bring the temp up to the higher starting melting point first, then reduce it to the working temp. The sous vide will hold it nicely then. Be sure when you reduce the temp to take out the bag and squish/knead it a bit first.
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