Comparing chocolate making equipment –Best chocolate makers

by | Apr 9, 2024 | Chocolate Information

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Choosing the right chocolate making machines is crucial for making top quality chocolate. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at some of the best chocolate making machines on the market. Whether you’re a chocolate lover or thinking about starting on your own chocolate-making journey, learning about these machines can give you valuable insights into the art and craft of chocolate making. Join us as we explore the best machines that are leading the way in quality and innovation in the chocolate industry.

What is a chocolate making machine?

A chocolate maker is a piece of equipment used in the chocolate-making process. It automates and facilitates one or more stages of chocolate production, from grinding cocoa beans to refining and conching the chocolate. These machines come in various sizes and capacities, and they are designed to handle different aspects of chocolate production to ensure consistent quality and texture of the final chocolate product.

There are various types of chocolate machines designed for different scales of production:

Large-scale/Industrial chocolate production machines: These are heavy-duty machines designed for mass production of chocolate. They can handle large quantities of ingredients and are typically used by big chocolate manufacturers. Here  are the typical capabilities of such machines:

  • Production scale: 250kg+
  • Produces a standard flavor profile from variable quality cacao (often by eliminating unique flavors)
  • Operates in a continuous flow mode (as opposed to batch processing)
  • Processes large volumes of cacao in a matter of hours
  • Achieves a high level of refinement for a smooth mouthfeel
  • Machines are typically optimized for each processing step so multiple machines are required
  • Creates some limitations on recipe since low viscosity is critical for pumping chocolate from machine to machine
  • Controlled via a digital interface

Medium-sized craft chocolate production machines: These machines are designed for medium-scale production and are suitable for chocolatiers and smaller chocolate-making businesses. They offer more flexibility and control over the chocolate-making process compared to industrial machines. Here are the typical capabilities of such machines:

  • Production scale: 10kg – 200kg
  • Produces fine flavor chocolate that maintains cacao quality and flavor
  • Operates in batches
  • Achieves proper refinement over a period of several days
  • Provides custom processing parameters for each batch 
  • Machines can typically perform several processing steps
  • Controlled via digital or analog interface (older machines are sometimes revived and used)

Micro-batch/Table-top chocolate production machines: These are smaller, more specialized machines designed for making chocolate in small batches. They are often used by artisan chocolatiers and home chocolate-makers who prioritize quality and customization over quantity.  These machines are also used for running test batches when experimenting with different roast profiles or developing new recipes.

  • Production scale: 250g – 5kg
  • Produces fine flavor chocolate that maintains cacao quality and flavor
  • Operates in batches
  • Achieves proper refinement over a period of hour to several days
  • Machines can typically perform several processing or may be an all- in-one system
  • Control is usually via digital interface

Each type of chocolate machine has its own set of features, capabilities, and limitations which must be tailored to the specific needs and scale of chocolate production.

The leading industrial chocolate machinery in the industry:

Selmi is an Italian company that specializes in designing and manufacturing top-tier machinery for chocolate processing, as well as roasters for nuts, cocoa beans, and coffee. Renowned for their high-quality and efficient tempering machines and enrobers, Selmi has established itself as a leading name in chocolate processing equipment. Their versatile machines cater to a wide range of chocolate products, including pralines, bars, truffles, snacks, bean-to-bar chocolate, chocolate-coated treats, and artisanal spreads. 

FBM USA is the American brand of FBM, one of the leading companies in the worldwide chocolate machine market. Renowned for their reliability, FBM offers a comprehensive array of equipment, including roasters, refiners, melters, continuous tempering machines, cooling tunnels, panning machines, enrobing machines, and decorating systems.

Tomric Systems is a company specializing in the design, manufacture, and distribution of equipment, tools, and supplies for the chocolate and confectionery industries. They offer a wide range of products tailored to the needs of chocolatiers and confectioners, including molds, packaging, decorating tools, and machinery. Tomric is known for providing high-quality, innovative solutions that help professionals create and display their chocolate and confectionery creations effectively.

ACMC is a top supplier of equipment for the candy and baking industries in the United States. They work closely with these industries to provide the best machines and supplies.

Packint Chocolate Machines has built a strong reputation and earned the trust of a wide range of customers, from small ice cream producers to large chocolate manufacturers and bean-to-bar artisans. Their machines and services cater to diverse needs, offering everything from individual ball mills for small-scale chocolate production to fully automated processing lines. Additionally, the company collaborates with other leading manufacturers in the industrial equipment sector for chocolate, ice cream, and bakery production.

The leading small to medium-sized chocolate machinery in the industry:

CocoaTown provides machines for the craft chocolate industry.  They are also used globally to train farmers and small businesses in cocoa research institutes and programs. They offer chocolate-making machines for various needs: from lab-scale experiments and professional exhibitions to commercial-scale production and expansion.

Diamond Custom Machines offers sturdy tabletop and commercial-scale refiners designed for crafting chocolate and nut butters from the beginning stages. Their machines are user-friendly, easy to maintain, and proficiently refine cacao nibs and nuts to meet artisan-quality standards. They supply refiners to chocolate makers globally, supporting both large-scale operations and newcomers who produce chocolate from their own locally grown crops.

Spectra  specializes in stone grinders and melangers. Their grinder machines are used for making chocolate, grinding cocoa, nut butters, almonds, tahini, and more. They also offer other products like pre-grinders, mini chocolate makers, cocoa crackers, cocoa separators, chocolate tempering machines, and chocolate refining and melting machines, among others.

Santha offers strong tabletop and commercial-scale refiners for crafting chocolate and nut butters. They focus on creating easy-to-use machines that refine cocoa nibs and nuts to high-quality standards. They also prioritize providing personalized service and support to their customers – both big chocolate companies and small producers just starting out, who make chocolate from their own locally grown cacao trees.

Behmor is a company known for their innovative home coffee roasters, but they have been discovered by the world of craft chocolate makers. The Behmor 1600 Plus Roaster is versatile and can be used for roasting coffee, but it can also be adapted for roasting cocoa beans.

CocoTerra chocolate maker

So, where does CocoTerra fit into the world of chocolate making machinery?  The goal of the CocoTerra machine is to make chocolate-making easy for everyone, whether you’re a beginner or an expert. This all-in-one machine combines grinding, refining, conching, tempering, and molding into one compact appliance. In about two hours, it can produce half a pound of high-quality chocolate, saving both time and space compared to existing methods.

With CocoTerra, home chocolate-making becomes accessible to kitchen enthusiasts, food lovers, professionals, and even cacao farmers. It can be a machine suitable for home use as well as for medium or small producers who want to test their recipes before making larger batches. Even if you’ve never made chocolate before, you can use CocoTerra successfully to create your own personalized chocolate.

While it’s user-friendly, CocoTerra also offers advanced controls for those who want to customize their chocolate-making process. This allows users to adjust flavors, texture, intensity, and even cater to specific dietary needs or allergens. With CocoTerra, users can create personalized chocolates that aren’t typically available in the consumer market.

How to choose your chocolate maker

Choosing the right chocolate maker machine is crucial for achieving the desired texture, flavor, and quality of your chocolate products. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a chocolate maker machine:

  • Capacity: Decide how much chocolate you plan to make. Select a machine size that matches your production requirements.
  • Functionality: Choose the functions you need, like roasting, melting, tempering, enrobing, molding, or cooling. Make sure the machine you select has all the features you need for your chocolate-making process.
  • Quality and Efficiency: Choose machines from trusted brands recognized for their reliability and efficiency. Opting for high-quality machines will guarantee consistent results and minimize downtime.
  • Easy of Use: Evaluate the machine’s ease of use, including its controls, cleaning procedures, and maintenance needs. A simple and user-friendly machine can streamline operations and reduce maintenance time.
  • Hygiene and Safety: Choose machines with clean and hygienic designs that are simple to clean and upkeep. Safety measures, like protective covers and emergency stops, are crucial for maintaining a secure workspace.
  • Budget: Establish a budget for your chocolate making machinery and explore choices that provide the most value for your investment. Factor in long-term costs and a plan for growth, without neglecting maintenance and operating expenses.

Consumer vs. Professional Machines

Deciding between home use and professional chocolate equipment primarily hinges on factors such as size, production objectives, and budget.

Home use chocolate machines

Pros:

  • Cost-Effective – Generally less expensive upfront.
  • Compact Size – Takes up less space, suitable for small kitchens or limited workspaces.
  • User-Friendly – Often designed for easy operation, making them ideal for beginners.
  • Versatility – Can handle smaller batches and various chocolate-making processes.

Cons:

  • Limited Capacity – Not suitable for large-scale production.
  • Less Durable – May not withstand heavy, continuous use.
  • Limited Features – May lack advanced features like precise temperature control, automated functions, etc.

Professional chocolate machines

Pros:

  • High Capacity – Designed for large-scale production, suitable for growing businesses.
  • Durability – Built to withstand heavy, continuous use.
  • Advanced Features – Offers precise control over temperature, speed, and other parameters.
  • Efficiency – Can streamline the chocolate-making process, increasing productivity.

Cons:

  • Higher Cost – Generally more expensive upfront and may require additional maintenance.
  • Space Requirements – Larger in size, requiring more space for installation and operation.
  • Power – May require specialized or dedicated circuits.
  • Complexity – May require training or expertise to operate efficiently.

Whether you’re a chocolate enthusiast or contemplating embarking on a chocolate-making adventure, understanding chocolate making machines can provide valuable insights into the world of chocolate production. We hope this article serves as a helpful guide for your upcoming chocolate making journey. 

For more great articles and recipes, check out the rest of our CocoTerra blog

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact us through our social media channels.  We are @cocoterra_co on Instagram and Pinterest and @cocoterraco on X (aka Twitter) and Facebook.

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