DIY Double Boiler

A double boiler is used in a variety of cooking and baking recipes to ensure even melting and heating of ingredients, through the application of indirect heat.

A simple saucepan is the base for this double boiler.A simple saucepan is the base for this double boiler.
Though you can buy one commercially made, this DIY version, using things found in every kitchen, does the job easily.

Fill a saucepan approximately halfway with water.

Place a glass bowl on top of the pot. It should nestle in the pan high enough to not touch the water below. If necessary, empty some water.

Place the pan and bowl over medium heat on the stove.

Heat until the water boils--it should stay at a low simmer.

Place the ingredient you are looking to melt or heat in the bowl, and stir constantly until the correct consistency and temperature is achieved.

Things You Will Need

  • Glass bowl
  • Saucepan, similar in size to glass bowl


  • A metal bowl can be substituted for the glass bowl, but you will need to remove it to see whether the water has reached a boil.


  • Make sure you don't use a bowl that has any flammable or meltable decorations.
  • Never leave a double boiler unattended over a lit flame.
  • The bowl will be very hot when you remove it from the pan--be sure to use an oven mitt.

About the Author

Amy Spiro has been a journalist and freelance writer based mostly in New York City since 2008. She has been published in "The Jerusalem Post," "The Jewish Week" newspaper, "New York Family" magazine, the "Washington Square News" and online at Baking and Mistaking. She has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and politics from New York University, and a certification in baking and pastry arts from The Jerusalem Culinary Institute.