The Difference Between Chocolate Wafers, Chips, and Bars

There are so many choices when it comes to chocolate. What’s the difference between wafers, chips, bars, and ribbon coating?

Find out now!


Wafers make perfect melting chocolate. Unlike, chips, they do not hold their shape.

They melt smoothly and set up firmly when used.

Some wafers, like the A’Peels and the Snaps, do not need to be tempered.

However, the couverture wafers need to be tempered.

  • Compound Coating Wafers: Do not need to be tempered
  • Couverture Chocolate Wafers: REQUIRE TEMPERING
  • Wafers for Chocolate Fountain: Use only for chocolate fountains


Chocolate chips are formulated to hold their shape in high heat. Notice when you bake them in cookies at 350, they come out looking the same. Although, these can be used for melting, they are not ideal. Be careful because they will melt quickly around 80, but will still hold their shape. If you were to touch them with a spoon, then their shape will break. They don’t melt smoothly, and often set with streaks and lumps. Save them for your cookies!

  • Baking Chips: Should not be used for dipping


Bars are also ideal for melting down. All of the chocolate bars that we carry are couverture chocolates, so they do require tempering. Most of our bars are 10 pounds. Callebaut bars are 11 pounds.

Ribbon Coating

Ribbon coating is not a couverture chocolate. It’s a compound coating that is used to cover popcorn. It does not need to be tempered.

  • Ribbon Coating: Do not need to be tempered

Brands: Each brand of chocolate carries it’s own distinct flavor. It’s up to you to decide which brand of chocolate you prefer. Here are the brands we carry:

  • Peter’s Chocolate
  • Guittard
  • Merckens
  • Ghirardelli
  • Hershey’s

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We hope this information is helpful to you. If you have any other questions regarding chocolate, check out our CHOCOLATE 101 post. Or message us here, we are more than happy to help!

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  • Reply
    Chocolate 101: Bloom
    February 17, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    […] Both compound coatings and couverture chocolate will bloom if you haven’t taken the steps to prevent it. […]

  • Reply
    Eileen Prinslow
    April 11, 2017 at 7:52 pm

    I recently had a wonderful hot fudge sauce (bitter sweet)over ice cream at a local restaurant. They said they just melt Guittard chocolate. If I want to duplicate that which of your chocolates would work best.

    • Reply
      Heather Smith
      May 4, 2017 at 12:16 pm

      any of their compound chocolates will work perfectly for that. Just choose something you like the taste of- i personally love a really nice dark chocolate as a fudge sauce-so the sweetness doesnt over power the flavors.

  • Reply
    April 13, 2017 at 10:48 am

    Why does so much of the text appear using the “strikethrough” font feature? Usually that means the text is to be ignored because it is out of date or needs revision of some sort. Puzzling!

    • Reply
      Heather Smith
      May 4, 2017 at 12:13 pm

      thanks for your comment. The links seem to be not working, we switched our website to a new platform and things are just being updated. Thanks for letting us know, we are working on getting them all fixed.


  • Reply
    Linda Lee Altizer
    November 18, 2019 at 7:29 pm

    My recipe calls for 2 chocolate melting squares, so I prefer to use the Ghiradelli melting walfers, so how many wafers equil one melting square?

    • Reply
      December 18, 2019 at 9:02 pm

      I’m not sure! Every brand would be different, I assume. Does the recipe give a weight? That would be the most reliable way to measure.

  • Reply
    January 6, 2020 at 10:53 pm

    It is so hard to find a good chocolate piece that melts just right in a chocolate chip cookie! Guittard super chips gets me the closest result; I tried their organic milk chocolate wafers and they held their shape in the final product and were not melty. Any suggestions on getting that perfect melt in a cookie besides spending over $25/lb on Valrhona or Callebaut? (Which I did, for the record, and now I’ve been ruined by the near perfect consistency of the melt in the last batch of cookies I made!!)

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