How Do Chocolate Fountains Work?

Chocolate fountains look so elegant and fun, don’t they? Perhaps you’ve always dreamed of buying one, but maybe you’re a bit concerned if it’s all a little too complicated. Or maybe you’ve already bought one, and now you’re sitting there, staring at the individual parts thinking, ‘how the hell do I put this thing together and get it running?’.

Whatever your situation, whether it be curiosity or you being stuck at a crossroads, you’ve come to the right place.

Today we’ll be talking about how to set up your fountain, how to get it running, and all the other bits in between. So buckle up, and let’s begin.

How Do You Set Up A Chocolate Fountain? 

Right, you’ve purchased or rented a chocolate fountain. Great stuff. Now you need to set it up. Don’t be afraid; this shouldn’t be too difficult.

But you are going to have to assemble your chocolate fountain.

Different fountains may come with different parts and will certainly come with different instructions. 

Today we’re going to start by going through the most common and basic steps involved with setting up a chocolate fountain. Starting with…

Washing The Fountain

Yes, I know you haven’t even used it yet, but you still need to start by washing the fountain’s different parts.

This is going to be used to feed people chocolate, after all. So you need to ensure that it’s clean. 

So in soapy water, wash the parts clean of any dirt and dust, then allow them to air-dry.

Attach The Auger Tube

The auger tube is a very important piece of the chocolate fountain. It is connected to the basin bowl, and it holds all of the tiers. 

But it also is where the chocolate will be transferred from the basin bowl all the way up to the top so it can cascade down along the tiers.

It should be very easy to attach the auger tube to the fountain’s base and then attach the tiers to the tube afterward.

Install The Auger

The auger is what will push the fountain up the auger tube. So follow your instructions to install this important mechanism. 

Secure the auger by locking the crown in place.

Test The Fountain

It’s as easy as that. Now you just need to test it. So plug it in and run the machine without chocolate. Check its function ok and that it’s also level.

How To Work A Chocolate Fountain Machine?

Right! Well done, you’ve got your fountain all set up. Now it’s time to actually work it so you and your guests can enjoy it. So let’s talk through the next steps!

Source Chocolate and Other Ingredients/Utensils

Before you go any further, you need to make sure that you’ve got everything else that you need.

So, for a chocolate fountain, you do, of course, need…chocolate!

Belgian luxury chocolates are the best. There are also chocolates out there specifically designed for melting and chocolate fountains. Just know that the higher the cocoa butter content, the better. 

Read more: Best Chocolate For Chocolate Fountain • The Top 5 To Use! •

You’ll also need your dipping food snacks. You want anything that will go well with the chocolate, but you also don’t want anything that will leave bits of it in the fountain. This could lead to blockages and consequential breakages. 

And, of course, your guests will need something to use to dip food into the fountain as well as other necessary items to make the eating process very pleasant and clean. So make sure you have skewers, paper plates, and napkins.

Read more: What To Dip In A Chocolate Fountain • The Best Options To Try! •

Melt The Chocolate 

You can’t just stick your chocolate bars in the fountain. You’ve got to melt the chocolate so that it’s of the right consistency for the fountain.

We’ll talk a bit more about how you melt chocolate in a moment.

Position Your Fountain

Now you need to put your fountain in the place where it will stay for the evening.

Make sure you put it somewhere safe, preferably on a sturdy table. And, of course, near an electrical plug. Otherwise, it won’t get the power it needs to run.

If possible, place a tablecloth under your fountain. It could get messy, so you want to be prepared for that!

Oh, and put the dipping foods beside it as well.

Turn on Your Fountain

Pretty simple, right?

Usually, just the flick of a button.

Oh, and just make sure it’s plugged in!

Fill The Fountain

Once you have your melted chocolate and your fountain is on and running, get your chocolate in the basin bowl.

It will do the rest for you!

Remember, make sure to check your manual to see if there are any specific instructions your fountain comes with.

Now the fountain is ready to serve!


Throughout the evening, you will need to check on the fountain to make sure that there are no blockages and that the chocolate is still at the right viscosity and consistency.

If there are blockages, turn the fountain off, unplug it and clear it.

If the chocolate has lost its perfect viscosity and consistency, then make sure the heating function is on.

You almost might need to add more vegetable oil again to help regain that perfect viscosity and consistency.

Disassemble And Clean


If you do that, then the chocolate will cool and harden, leaving a near impossible cleaning job for you when your hangover kicks in.

So, follow your manual instructions to disassemble the fountain.

Clean the individual parts in soapy water.

Some parts may be dishwasher-safe. Again, check your manual to make sure.

Once it’s all completely clean, place it back in its packaging. Good job!

Read more: Can You Leave Chocolate In A Chocolate Fountain?

How Long Does A Chocolate Fountain Take To Heat Up?

It will depend on the type of chocolate fountain you have, so check the manual it comes with. But on average, fountains will take about 3 to 5 minutes to heat up.

Your fountain might be able to melt chocolate; it might not. But one thing all fountains must be able to do is to produce heat.

Chocolate fountains need to produce heat so that the chocolate flowing through them stays at the right viscosity and consistency.

If the viscosity and consistency change, then the flow will be disrupted.

The chocolate becoming too cool and hardening is the biggest threat to the viscosity and consistency changing.

Once you’ve turned your chocolate fountain’s heating function on then, it should take between 3 to 5 minutes to heat up to the right temperature.

Now, this will, of course, vary depending on the model you’re using. So, once again, check your manual to find out what it says about heating up times.

If you find that your fountain isn’t heating up at all, check it’s plugged in at the mains!!

Where Do You Put The Chocolate In The Chocolate Fountain?

You put your chocolate into the basin bowl. This is the case if it’s melted or yet to be melted.

Let’s start with pre-melted chocolate. If you’ve already melted it, then you just need to add it in.

You put your melted chocolate into the fountain’s basin bowl. Then you turn it on, and the chocolate will be transported around the fountain so that it flows and cascades consistently down the tiers.

Now you could be melting your chocolate inside the actual fountain. Some chocolate fountains can do this of their own accord without you having to pre-melt the chocolate. 

So, if your situation is that you’re putting unmelted chocolate in the fountain, you add it into the basin bowl as well.

This is where the chocolate will be melted. 

Make sure that you only turn the heating function on and not the actual motor.

You don’t want the motor to run until the chocolate is melted to the right viscosity and consistency that will allow it to flow and cascade down the tiers.

Do You Melt Chocolate First For Chocolate Fountain?

You can melt chocolate before adding it to the fountain, or you can melt it in the actual fountain.

Two things to consider. The first is what can your fountain actually do? 

Can it melt chocolate to the right viscosity and consistency on its own? If so, then you can melt your chocolate in the fountain so you won’t have to do it before.

If your fountain can’t melt chocolate, then you will need to melt the chocolate before adding it to the fountain.

So the functions your fountain possesses will determine if you need to melt your chocolate beforehand.

The other thing to consider is your personal preference. 

Some people like to melt their chocolate in the fountain; others like to do it in the microwave or on a hob. So it’s really up to you to decide.

How Do You Melt Chocolate For A Fountain?

You can melt chocolate for a fountain by using a pan and a hob, a microwave, or the fountain’s basin bowl if it can perform that function.

So there are three conventional methods.

You may have another method of melting the chocolate. As long as it is hygienic and it transforms the chocolate into the right viscosity and consistency, then I don’t care.

But here are the three most suitable ways.


Simply place your chocolate in a microwavable bowl. Add the right amount of vegetable oil required. (Don’t worry, I’ll give you the figure for that soon.)

Then heat the chocolate in 1 minutes spurts, stirring at every interval.

Continue to do this until the chocolate is completely melted and at the right viscosity and consistency so that it will flow and cascade properly down your fountain’s tiers.

Pan & Hob

It’s simple. Put the chocolate in and the right amount of vegetable oil, then whack on the heat.

Stir with a wooden spoon until it’s melted and at the right viscosity and consistency.

In The Fountain

Some chocolate fountains come with a melting function in their basin bowls.

You would simply add your chocolate into the basin bowl and then turn on this function.

This method will take much longer than the others, although you won’t have to transfer melted chocolate from the microwave or a pan into the fountain. Trust me that can get messy.

The price you pay for convenience with this method is a longer melt time, which could take nearly an hour to get the right viscosity and consistency. So leave plenty of time to do it before your guests arrive.

Read more: How To Thin Chocolate For Fountain • The Right Way •

Do You Need To Put Oil In A Chocolate Fountain?

You may need to put vegetable oil into your fountain to help smooth out the chocolate so it can get to the right viscosity and consistency.

You’ve set your fountain up. You’ve melted your chocolate. You’ve put your melted chocolate into your set-up fountain. But something’s not quite right. 

The flow and cascade of the chocolate seem off. It’s not elegant like it is supposed to be. It doesn’t look smooth, and it doesn’t appear to be flowing properly. 

Why is that? Well, it’s because your chocolate isn’t at the right viscosity and consistency. 

It needs to be at the right viscosity and consistency so that it can flow smoothly. 

Now don’t worry, because you may think that that batch of melted chocolate has gone to waste. Don’t chuck it out just yet. It can be fixed.

You fix it by adding vegetable oil. This will smooth out the chocolate, so it is at the right viscosity and consistency.

A ½ cup of vegetable oil should be used per 5 pounds of chocolate you have in the fountain. So make sure you keep track of how much you’re putting in.

Simply add the oil into your mix of melted chocolate and mix it in.


So there you have it. A comprehensive guide to setting up and running your chocolate fountain.

There’s a lot to be prepared for, of course.

But it’s all worth it in the end!

Looking to buy a chocolate fountain? Then the following guides may be of interest: