Why buy a fondue pot? To celebrate good life. Nothing epitomizes good life than on a winter evening a gathering of family and friends dipping into a communal pot of fondue. Whether you’re having cheese, chocolate or even meat, good taste, friendship and love is shared in this simple pot.
Regardless of the size of the gathering—a huge family over the dining table of just cozying up with a special someone—there is always a fondue that suits the event and just waiting to be discovered.
So that’s a reason to buy a fondue pot. In fact, why not buy a lot of pots and try every variant of fondue available at the same time?
How To Make Fondue
You might be familiar with chocolate and cheese fondue, but do you know that you can also make meat varieties? This means that you can actually maximize the goodness by serving three fondue courses—first the cheese fondue, the meat fondue as the main course and lastly, chocolate fondue for dessert. Needless to say, this must all come with appropriate dipping.
Ideally, chicken or beef are used for meat fondue, but some adventurous souls actually tried the pork and actually found it to be equally good. But if you’re not using electric pot and are stuck with the traditional one, I suggest you stick with chicken and beef because pork tends to be unsafe when undercooked.
But regardless of what fondue you make, the fun is not complete if you don’t have a suitable dip. Marshmallows, cheese and fruits are popular for chocolate fondue. But you can also be more adventurous and try to dip chunks of cheese into meat fondue. Or you can also reverse the order and dip the meat into cheese fondue.
Some would go a bit overboard and make a tandem of fondue pots—one meat and one cheese—and have a selection of vegetable and meat dips. This makes an all-in-one dinner that requires some hours in the gym the day after just to burn all the calories.
What to Look for in a Fondue Pot
When buying a fondue set, you have to take a lot of things into consideration. There are endless choices out there depending on the kind that you want to make. As suggested, you can buy a lot of pots and enjoy all kinds of fondue you can think of.
With so many fondue sets available, picking the one that suits your needs can be daunting if you don’t know exactly what features to look for. You have to examine the quality, the features and where you can purchase the sets.
- Where to buy
The materials for the fondue set affects its price. For example, a set that’s made from stainless steel or cast-iron is generally more expensive than the classic ceramic pot.
But the ceramic pot, on the other hand, carries a more traditional and classic feel into it that you might prefer it if you want to add a sense of authenticity to your experience.
There are sets that include color coded forks, support rings and easy to grip handles. While these adds to the cost, it also adds to the usefulness of the set.
As already mentioned, some sets have added features like color-coded forks and easy to grip handles. These features add to the usefulness of the set.
A color-coded set of forks, for instance, removes the confusion of which one belongs to whom. The support rings hold the fork when you put them down and the easy to grip handle makes carrying the pot easy especially that it contains hot materials.
Buying online has replaced the way we traditionally purchase things. It is more convenient with the little caveat of not being able to examine the item in person. If you fully trust the seller and the reviews are good, buying a fondue set online is not a bad idea.
On the other hand, if you prefer to visit a brick and mortar store, you have the advantage of really examining the fondue set at face value.
Having one or several fondue sets is a great way to enjoy classy communal cooking. Obviously, the quality and feature are highly important because you don’t want substandard utensils for a classy occasion.
My Top 5 Fondue Set Selection
Although fondue started in Switzerland, the practice of dipping bread cubes in melted cheese has swept all over the world. While we thank the Swiss for sharing with us this classy dining practice, most fondue sets are no longer Swiss made. In this review, I rely primarily on my experience and that of other reviewers rather than the set’s place of origin.
Swissmar Lugano Cast Iron 9-Piece Cheese Fondue Set
This classic looking enameled cast iron fondue set is the best of both worlds. It carries the classic look but underneath is the strength of cast iron. Great for cheese fondue meals, the sturdy cast iron retains and distributes heat evenly.
This fondue set is traditional in a sense that it has a stand that’s made from wrought iron and a 3- ounce fire gel container where you can put the flammable gel that provides the heat. You might think twice about using this set for meat fondue.
Instead of the regular two, the fork that comes with this set has 3 tines to hold the dip better. The pot is hand-washable only and it can double as a warmer for milk, cocoa and sauces.
- Sturdy construction of cast-iron
- Classic look with the enamel coating
- Heats evenly
- Elegant look
- Not electric which doesn’t really bother me
All-Clad Stainless Steel Fondue Pot with Ceramic Insert
If you love the elegance of stainless but also can't let go of ceramic, then All-Clad is what you're looking for. It's made of stainless steel with a ceramic insert which is stovetop safe, it's easy to melt the cheese and chocolate before serving.
This 3-quart fondue pot is huge enough for parties and its stand is made from strong stainless steels that don't rust or discolor. Its aluminum disk bottom ensures even heat distribution and the riveted handle for ease of movement even when the pot is full of scalding hot goodness.
You don't have to worry about losing track of your own fork because it's designed to sit straight and it won't tangle during use. The good news is, all the parts of this set are dishwasher safe.
- Distributes heat evenly
- Dishwasher safe
- Big enough for regular fondue parties
- Only one source of heat
VonShef Fondue Set
A classy porcelain-enamelled cast iron, this fondue set is known for even heat distribution. It's focused more on functionality with its splash protector ring which ensures that no amount of what it contains spills over the one carrying it.
It has color coded forks to help you take note of which one you're using and the flame burner is adjustable to ensure what you’re cooking just melts but doesn't burn. To add more to its functionality, it also has a flame snuffer to make it easily snuff off the flame when the burner is not in use. You have a good selection of fuel like fondue gel and methylated spirits.
- Highly functional design
- Even heat distributions
- Classy design
- The forks got interchange with a wooden one instead of the silver that was advertised.
Cuisinart CFO-3SS Electric Fondue Maker
So far the items that were reviewed where flame heated, but this one is electric powered. There is actually room for electric powered fondue set especially if you want convenience. It may not be classic but it's functional—all you need to do is plug it and focus more on melting the fondue.
This set has a brushed finish on the bowl and mirror finish on the handles and stand which make up for the classic look. The notches in the ring and the color coding in the fork ensures that you keep track of what's yours.
This set is also highly versatile, you can use it for broth, chocolate or cheese. You can easily control the temperature with a dial which is a plus for electric powered sets.
The bowl has 3-quarts capacity with 8 fondue forks, which makes it big enough for parties. It has a non-stick surface for easy cleaning.
While designed primarily for fondue, it can keep soup and other food warm for serving.
- Huge capacity
- Electric powered for convenience
- Electric might be a turn-off for fondue purist
Trudeau Alto 3-in-1 Electric Fondue Set
While you can easily find fondue sets that can melt cheese and chocolate, only a few can handle the heat of cooking meat fondue. Those that can cook meat also tends to overcook cheese and chocolate. This is not so with the Trudeau. This set can handle meat, chocolate and cheese with ease and without over cooking.
It has a huge capacity of 84 ounces which makes it ideal for parties. It has a double-boiler that fits inside the metal pot which you can fill with water to prevent overcooking the cheese or chocolate.
This is also electric powered at 1,500 Watts so you can easily cook meat and broth. It has 6 color coded fondue fork and an easy-release power cord for safety.
- High power at 1,500 Watts
- Versatile, it can cook meat, cheese and chocolate fondue
- Huge capacity
- Sometimes it fails to heat up due to failure in the magnetic plug
The clear winner is the really classy Swissmar Lugano Cast Iron 9-Piece Cheese Fondue Set. The price factor is just unbeatable and its big enough for typical fondue parties.
The classy look is also unbeatable and reminiscent of traditional Swiss fondue sets. This adds to the romance associated with fondue parties.
I would not mind using electric fondue sets except that I don't have need for them. The ones I reviewed here are excellent picks except for the Trudeau Alto 3-in-1 Electric Fondue Set which fails to heat up sometimes due to the malfunctioning magnetic plug. This really needs the attention of the manufacturer but if you're into meat fondue, electric powered fondue sets are the way to go.
How about you? Would you like to share your romantic fondue experience? Share a thought or two in the comment section below.