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When you notice the days getting shorter and your sleeves get longer, it’s a sure sign that hot chocolate season is upon us. Sure, you could dump a packet of cocoa powder into a mug with water, nuke it in the microwave, and hope for the best. But you’ll most likely end up with an exploding cocoa catastrophe or clumps of undissolved powder caked to the side of your mug. Instead, invest in our top picks for the Best Hot Chocolate Makers that whip chocolate in with the milk for a velvety, ultra-creamy finish.
To find the very best hot chocolate machine makers, Meggan and I discussed her favorite models that she uses to make her own hot chocolate and the features that a great one should have. For the ones she hasn’t used, we researched the best ones on the market, reading through cooking experts’ thoughts, reviews on retailer sites, and reviews of hot chocolate makers published by experts. Below, you’ll find our top picks for the best hot chocolate maker machines.
Table of Contents
Our Top Picks
- What’s in Meggan’s Kitchen: Hamilton Beach Electric Milk Frother & Warmer – $45.99 at Walmart
- Meggan’s Splurge Pick: Instant Pot Dual Pod Plus Coffee Maker – $174.99 at Target
- Also Great: Zulay Electric Hot Chocolate Maker – $58.79 at Amazon
- Best for a Crowd: Nostalgia Retro Frother and Hot Chocolate Maker – $44.99 at Amazon
- Best Budget: PowerLix Handheld Milk Frother – $10.99 at Walmart
Reviews of The Best Hot Chocolate Makers
1. What’s in Meggan’s Kitchen: Hamilton Beach Electric Milk Frother & Warmer
Meggan bought this electric milk frother a year ago when she wanted to replace her old stick frother. When she realized she could also use this milk frother to make hot chocolate in less than 2 minutes, she and her kids were hooked! It’s now a winter staple in her household.
This hot chocolate maker has 4 temperature settings with an automatic shutoff function and indicator light, so her kids can make hot chocolate on the lowest heat setting without worrying about them getting burned or leaving the unit on. There is also a setting for cold froth, which she says is a nice touch for chocolate milk (a.k.a. iced hot chocolate).
The unit itself is small and compact (similar to the size of a spice grinder), so it doesn’t take up too much space. Since it’s quiet and easy to clean, it was a no-brainer that it’s what Meggan calls the best hot chocolate maker!
- Capacity: 10 oz.
- Size: 4.25” x 6.22” x 8.11”
- Cleaning and care: Hand wash
- Makes: Hot chocolate, steamed milk, hot froth or cold froth
- Automatic shutoff
- Nonstick interior
- Cord-free serving
- Hand wash only
- Stirring whisk can be tricky to clean
Buy the Hamilton Beach Electric Milk Frother & Warmer:
2. Meggan’s Splurge Pick: Instant Pot Dual Pod Plus Coffee Maker
If you want a hot chocolate maker that uses pods rather than packets and brews in single batches, Meggan also has (and loves) this one by Instant Pot. It’s technically branded as a single-brew coffee machine that works with both Nespresso capsules and Keurig pods, but Meggan has found that it makes extremely creamy hot chocolate if you use pods. Plus, it comes with a reusable pod you can fill with your own ground coffee or hot chocolate powder, making it a versatile gadget for your at-home coffee bar or handy for your next Hot Cocoa Party.
It’s a bit pricey, but it’s a splurge that Meggan uses practically every day. It’s easy and efficient to use with practically no mess — just rinse the removable drip tray as needed. If you’re on your way out the door, you can drip your hot chocolate right into a travel cup, as long as it’s not taller than 7 inches.
- Capacity: 8, 10, and 12 oz.
- Size: 7” x 13” x 14”
- Cleaning and care: Rinse and clean drip tray
- Makes: Hot chocolate, coffee, espresso
- Compatible with Nespresso capsules and K-cup pods
- Multiple brewing sizes
- Travel mug friendly
- Easy to clean
- Expensive if only using it for hot chocolate
What Others are Saying:
Food Network gave the Instant Pot Dual Pod Plus Coffee Maker a positive review. It also has a 4.1-star rating on Amazon with more than 1,700 reviews.
Buy the Instant Pot Dual Pod Plus Coffee Maker:
3. Also Great: Zulay Electric Hot Chocolate Maker
This is another Meggan-approved hot chocolate maker that’s made specifically for hot chocolate! She loves that with the touch of a button, it can melt chocolate chips or powder at up to 150 degrees F and blend it up with water or milk for a perfectly smooth consistency every time. It comes with two whisks: One disk for hot milk and one to make frothy hot chocolate, so you could also use it as a milk frother as well.
The detachable milk frother pitcher has an easy-pour spout, has a comfortable handle, and is made of stainless steel, so it keeps warm and is dishwasher-safe. You just clean the magnetic whisk, disc, and lid under running water, making it relatively low maintenance (so long as you do it immediately after using it so nothing gets crusted on). After use, one of the whisks can be magnetically stored at the bottom of the base.
- Capacity: 23 oz.
- Size: 9.49” x 6.54” x6.34”
- Cleaning and care: Dishwasher-safe
- Makes: Hot chocolate, cappuccino, hot milk, hot foam or cold foam
- 4-in-1 milk frother and heater
- Easy pour spout
- Auto shutoff
- Built-in temperature control
- No temperature control
Buy the Zulay Electric Hot Chocolate Maker:
4. Best for a Crowd: Nostalgia Retro Frother and Hot Chocolate Maker
If you’ve got a troupe of winter warriors to warm up, look no further than this model. It has a heated base and stirring rod that heats up to 32 ounces of hot chocolate quickly. The clear pitcher makes it easy to see when it’s time to make another batch. It’s also detachable with both an easy-pour spot and a non-drip spigot to swap between. To get to serving, just push down lightly on the serving handle of the built-in dispenser to fill a single cup or lift it to fill larger mugs.
It also has a built-in cord wrap on the bottom to keep it tidy when you store it. But the best part of this hot chocolate maker is its cheeky, old-fashioned design!
- Capacity: 32 oz.
- Size: 10” x 12” x 7.25”
- Cleaning and care: Hand wash only
- Makes: Hot chocolate, iced coffee, hot or cold froth
- Built-in pourable pitcher
- Classic design
- Large capacity
- Easy to pour
- Works with both powders and syrups
- Bulky to store
What Others are Saying:
The Nostalgia Retro Frother and Hot Chocolate Maker was named the best hot chocolate maker for large groups by Good Housekeeping and named best for families by HGTV. It also has a 4.3-star rating from more than 1,800 Amazon reviews.
Buy the Nostalgia Retro Frother and Hot Chocolate Maker:
5. Best Budget: PowerLix Handheld Milk Frother
In less than 20 seconds, this small yet mighty handheld mixer can mix up a cup of hot chocolate or creamy froth milk for lattes or cappuccinos. It’s incredibly lightweight and compact, so it’s easy to tuck away. What we love most about it is that there is a stand that holds it up in between mixes, so the mess is contained and it won’t roll off the counter. It’s the most versatile of all of our top picks because you can also use it in a dozen different ways, like whipping fluffy eggs, mixing protein powders, or blending vinaigrettes for salads.
- Capacity: N/A
- Size: 9.88 x 2.87 x 2.76 inches
- Cleaning and care: Hand wash only
- Makes: Hot chocolate, cappuccino, lattes, cold foam
- Simple to use
- Easy to store
- Comes with a stand
- No heating element
- Requires 2 AA batteries
What Others are Saying:
The PowerLix Handheld Milk Frother was named the best value hot chocolate maker by Good Housekeeping and named the best overall one by Delish. Additionally, it has a 4.5-star rating on Amazon with nearly 82,000 reviews.
Buy the PowerLix Handheld Milk Frother:
Other Hot Chocolate Makers to Consider
If luxury is what you want, luxury is what you’ll get with this model. Made by a luxury chocolate maker based in the UK, The Velvetiser makes silky hot chocolate from the company’s proprietary shaved chocolate, which is expensive. Because of its superior quality and attractive design, it’s a highly sought-after machine, but it’s only available online from the company. The Velvetiser is available at Hotel Chocolat for $150.
This model is a good pick because you can precisely control the temperature of your milk, and it’s one of the easiest models to clean because the carafe is removable and dishwasher-safe. We also love that you can use the lid that includes an inset that doubles as a measuring cup for both cocoa powder and chocolate flakes. However, it’s much more expensive than other models that do similar things, and you’re unable to use chocolate chips with it. The Breville Milk Cafe Milk Frother is available at Amazon for $159.95.
This model offers the easiest way on the planet to make hot chocolate at home! Just fill the reservoir in the back with 6 to 12 ounces of water, press a hot chocolate pod into the top, and press the start button. When the hot cocoa is done, you simply toss the pod. There’s no mess at all! The Instant Pot Dual Pod Plus Coffee Maker is a much more versatile option, so we didn’t name this one a top pick. The Keurig K-Mini Single Serve Coffee Maker is available at Amazon for $69.63.
Why You Can Trust Us
Hi! I’m Belle, an award-winning content creator and adjunct professor who works in restaurant PR in the Midwest. Over the course of 20 years, I’ve held almost every position imaginable in various restaurants, including ownership of a Korean-concept hot dog cart. My writing and on-camera work can be seen on Better Homes & Gardens.
To find the very best hot chocolate machine makers, Meggan shared with me the ones she personally uses, and together, we decided on the qualities and features that all great hot chocolate makers should have. To expand on the list, we researched the product category extensively to determine whether or not popular models recommended by others met our specifications. We looked for trusted brands with a history rather than off-brands that are clearly knockoffs.
Once we had a list of our top options, we narrowed down our favorites to create our roundup of the best hot chocolate makers you can buy for rich and decadent hot cocoa at home.
Everything to Know Before Buying a Hot Chocolate Maker
What to Consider Before Buying a Hot Chocolate Maker
Choosing the right hot chocolate maker involves considering several important factors to ensure that it suits your preferences and needs. Here are some key factors to keep in mind:
Amount: Consider how much hot chocolate you want to make at once. Hot chocolate makers come in various sizes, from single-serve machines to larger capacities for multiple servings.
Recipe type: Do you prefer the ease of store-bought hot cocoa powder or a single-use pod? Or do you want to make Hot Chocolate from scratch? Some hot chocolate makers only work with powdered hot chocolate mixes or pods, while others can melt down chocolate chips or chocolate flakes.
Versatility: Some hot chocolate makers can also froth milk or make other beverages, like coffee, giving you more bang for your buck.
Care: Most hot chocolate makers need to be hand-washed, so read the manufacturer’s care guidelines before tossing it in the dishwasher. Hot chocolate can get sticky, which is why we prefer ones with carafes that contain the mess and don’t have too many parts. Bonus points if you can wash it in the dishwasher.
How Do You Make Homemade Hot Chocolate?
If you’ve always wondered how to make homemade hot chocolate, you’ve come to the right place! When she was a kid, Meggan’s grandparents took her cross-country skiing during the freezing Wisconsin winters. As a reward for all their hard work, her grandma would prepare her recipe for creamy Hot Chocolate and top each mug with a mountain of gooey marshmallows and chocolate sauce. Meggan still uses the same recipe today to warm her bones when the cold weather hits.
Can You Make Hot Chocolate in a Coffee Maker?
Yes, you can make hot chocolate in a coffee maker by replacing coffee grounds with hot cocoa powder, although it’s not the most common method. You’ll need to scrub the machine to make sure you thoroughly remove any residual cocoa or hot chocolate mix to prevent any unwanted flavors in your next batch of coffee. But if you have a coffee maker that uses pods, you can always use a hot chocolate pod instead.
How Do You Make Hot Chocolate Bombs?
Hot chocolate bombs have gained popularity as a fun and interactive way to make hot chocolate. These chocolate spheres are filled with hot cocoa mix, marshmallows, and other delicious surprises. When hot milk is poured over them, they melt and release the cocoa mix and marshmallows, creating a delightful hot chocolate. To make them, you’ll have to fill two halves of a chocolate sphere with cocoa powder and treats if you choose before sealing the melted sides together.
The Best Hot Chocolate Recipes and Toppings
Prices were accurate at time of publication.
Belle DuChene is an award-winning digital content producer who has a passion for all things lifestyle including food, fashion, and French culture. (And French wine, of course!) Over the course of 20 years, she's held almost every position imaginable in various restaurants and has eaten her way through the side streets of more than 20 countries. Always a student, her kitchen looks like a library of culinary school textbooks and she will sit for the level one sommelier exam with the Court of Master Sommeliers this summer. Belle owns an award-winning content creation agency, teaches communications at three colleges and universities, and tutors in French. In addition to Culinary Hill, her writing and on-camera demonstrations have been published on BHG.com.