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?
Fondue Pot Buying Guide
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
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.
We all like to have guests for dinner from time to time, but serving the same few meals can become quite boring. If you’re looking to spice things up around the dinner table to keep your guests coming back for more, then you should consider purchasing a fondue set! While having fondue is fun and delicious, having the wrong fondue set or not knowing what you’re doing can turn an exciting evening into a night filled with a house full of the smell of burnt cheese. First thing’s first, let’s talk about picking out the perfect fondue set for your evening get togethers.
Types of Fondue Pots
There are four different types of fondue pots and they each have their own purpose around the dinner table.
Cheese Fondue Pots
This type of fondue pot uses an adjustable alcohol or gel fuel burner to maintain a constant temperature in order to keep melted cheese from solidifying again. Typically these pots are made out of ceramic or earthenware, have a flat bottom, and large openings used for dipping.
Hot Oil/Broth Fondue Pot
This type of fondue pot must be able to withstand extremely high temperatures without cracking, so it can cook your meat all the way through. With that being said, these pots are typically made out of stainless steel, cast iron, or copper. Keep in mind, ceramic isn’t acceptable to use as a hot oil or broth fondue pot.
Dessert/Chocolate Fondue Pot
This type of fondue pot is smaller than a cheese or meat fondue pot. They use a tealight to keep the melted chocolate at the correct temperature. They are typically made out of ceramic, earthenware, porcelain, and sometimes tempered glass. If you want something a little more fun, you can always get a chocolate fountain, as well.
Electric Fondue Set
Electric fondue sets are usually versatile enough to be used for all types of fondue, which is why a lot of people choose to purchase this type of fondue set. All you need to do is plug it in, set the temperature, dip and enjoy!
Other Necessary Equipment
While the fondue pot is the most essential piece of equipment, there are other things that you need to purchase, as well. Before you can have your first fondue party, make sure to check if you need the following items.
Make sure that you purchase the correct type of fuel for the fondue pot that you purchase.
The fondue set you purchase will most certainly come with the necessary burners, but make sure you know where to purchase them in case they need to be replaced.
Of course, when eating fondue, you have to make sure to buy the proper utensils so people aren’t burning themselves.
Lazy Susan/Serving Trays
It goes without saying that fondue parties can a bit messy, which is why it’s important to have serving trays or a lazy susan to make things a bit easier.
Now that you have a general idea of what you’re looking for, take a few minutes to check out some of the best fondue pots that are on the market today.
My Top 10 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.
1. 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
Not electric which doesn’t really bother me
2. 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
Big enough for regular fondue parties
Only one source of heat
3. 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
The forks got interchange with a wooden one instead of the silver that was advertised.
4. 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.
Electric powered for convenience
Electric might be a turn-off for fondue purist
5. 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
Sometimes it fails to heat up due to failure in the magnetic plug
6. Nostalgia FPS200 6-Cup Stainless Steel Electric Fondue Pot
Dinner parties are a great way to spend time with your closest friends and family members. While they’re typically a fun time regardless of what you serve, adding a fondue pot to the mix can really take the fun level up a few notches. With this six-cup capacity Stainless Steel Electric Fondue Pot from Nostalgia, you’re able to make up to three pounds of chocolate, cheese, or whatever else your heart desires. This fondue pot is capable of keeping fondues at the perfect temperature with just an adjustment of the control dial. Thanks to the cool-touch side handles, you’re able to easily move and handle the pot without the consistent fear of burning yourself. This fondue pot from Nostalgia also comes with six color-coded forks that sit nicely in the notches on the rim, so your guests will be able to serve themselves without mixing up their eating utensils. This product is made out of high quality stainless steel, so if you’re looking for a durable fondue pot, this might be the best one for you to invest in.
Detachable parts are dishwasher safe
Easy to clean
Easy to use
Heat control is a bit irregular
May be too small for some
Heat doesn’t get high enough to cook meat
7. Oster Titanium Infused DuraCeramic Fondue Pot
Having friends over for dinner can be a lot of fun, especially if you enjoy serving people. If you’re the type of person who enjoys hosting dinners, then this 3-quart Titanium Infused DuraCeramic Fondue Pot from Oster might just be the next thing you purchase. This titanium DuraCeramic fondue pot comes with a nonstick coating that lasts eight times longer than other standard nonstick coatings. This PFOA- and PTFE-free surface can actually cook up to 30% faster than comparable products, and it can be cleaned up quickly and easily! The temperature control is not only adjustable, but it’s removable, as well, so it can be conveniently operated and cleaned. For an added safety measure, this fondue pot comes with a magnetic breakaway cord. This impressive fondue kit also comes with eight fondue porks, a removable plug, and a fork holder ring. If you’re looking to impress your guests with a dinner party that they’ll never forget, make sure to check out this Titanium Infused DuraCeramic Fondue Pot from Oster. You won’t regret it!
Easy to clean
Comes with adjustable heat controls
Heats up quickly
Must follow cleaning directions or it will stop working
Heating element may break
Power cord may have poor connection
8. NutriChef PKFNMK23 Small Appliance Countertop Set
Some people enjoy hosting one other couple for dinner, and some like to have an entire house full of guests. If you like to have quite a few people at your dinner parties, then you might want to check out this fondue set from NutriChef. Considering its size and the number of forks that it comes with, this fondue set is absolutely perfect for large groups. This electric fondue set has cool to the touch handles, as well as, an adjustable rotary temperature control, which makes serving and cooking from a fondue pot a whole lot easier. The cooking capacity of this electric fondue pot is just over two quarts, and it even comes with a removable serving bowl. NutriChef understands what can happen with fondue, so they’ve made this pot non-stick and heat-resistant, so you don’t need to worry about ruining it if you’re not paying close attention. It’s also safe to put on the kitchen table or countertop, so you’re able to place it in the most convenient place for your guests to enjoy. If you’re looking for a reliable, fun fondue pot, then this might be the best option for you to consider.
Easy to clean
Compact and lightweight
Non-stick and heat-resistant
Heating plate may start smoking
Can’t be used for cooking meat
Non-stick surface gives off a horrible smell for the first few uses
9. Dash DFM100GBRD04 Electric Fondue Set with Nonstick Pot
When looking for a fondue set it’s absolutely essential that you make sure to find a product that is safe and reliable. This incredible Electric Fondue Set with Nonstick Pot from Dash is without a doubt one of the best products on the market. The precise temperature control on this fondue pot ensures that you’re able to make a variety of delicious foods, including cheese, chocolate, meat, frying oil, and much more. This fondue set from Dash can hold up to three quarts of food, so if you like entertaining large groups around your dinner table, then this product might be perfect for you. Because this electric fondue set is compact and takes up very little counter space, it’s absolutely perfect for a wedding or new home gift! This fondue set comes with a one year manufacturer’s warranty, eight color coded forks, a recipe companion cookbook with 15+ recipes, and access to the continuously growing Dash Recipe Database. If you’re ready to start melting some chocolate for the kids, don’t hesitate to add this to your shopping list today.
Great for meat
Easy to use
Easy to clean
May be too small for some
10. Electric Fondue Maker 1500W Stainless Steel Electric Fondue Pot
If you’re serious about your fondue game, then this Electric Fondue Maker by AICOK would be a great purchase for you to make. This multi purpose fondue pot is capable of making cheese, chocolate, or oil for meat. For convenience, this impressive set contains eight color coded forks and a stand to hold your forks. This fondue pot by AICOK was made with convenience in mind, especially when you take into consideration the fact that every single component was designed for easy assembly. Not to mention, all of the removable parts and accessories are dishwasher safe for easy cleanup. After all, no one wants to spend a couple of hours in the kitchen after hosting a dinner! You’re able to precisely control the temperature of this fondue pot, so there’s no need to worry about burning your chocolate or cheese before you’ve gotten the chance to enjoy them. If you’re looking for a reliable fondue pot, make sure to check this one out before buying anything else.
Two year warranty
Heating element doesn’t heat evenly
The heating element may not get hot enough
Pan isn’t non-stick
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 is the Best Oil to Use for Fondue?
Hot oil fondue allows you to cook bite sizes of meat quickly and tastefully. Since there are so many oils to choose from, it’s important to understand which ones are the best. Before you can pick an oil, you have to know the smoking point of the oil, which is dependent on what kind of cooking that you’re going to be doing. Let’s take a few moments to discuss the different oil options you have to choose from.
Canola, Peanut, and Safflower Oil
Canola oil doesn’t have much flavor, but it does have a high enough smoke point to be a nice choice for fondue. On the other hand, peanut and safflower oil are high in saturated fats, will add some nice flavor to your meat and they also have a high smoking point.
Olive oil has plenty of flavor, and because it’s a monounsaturated oil, it is a slightly healthier option. Extra virgin olive oil has a higher smoking point that regular olive oil, so if you want a lighter fondue with a nice flavor, use the extra virgin olive oil.
This oil is not only the healthiest of all the oils, but it also has the highest smoking point, as well. This oil will give your meat a nice flavor without being too overbearing.
Why is it Called Fondue?
- While fondue was created by the Swiss in the form of cheese served in a communal pot, it received the name fondue when it was brought to the United States. Ever since the 1950’s, the term “fondue” has been used to generalize any type of food served in a communal dipping pot.
Is Broth or Oil Better for Fondue?
- The main reason why people choose to use a specific broth or oil for their fondue is the enhancement that it can bring to the taste of the meat that they’ll be using. Like so many things in the world of fondue, your personally preference comes into play when thinking about whether you’d like to use oil or broth.
How Hot Should Fondue Broth Be?
- Because you’re cooking meat in the broth, the temperature needs to be hot enough to thoroughly cook the meat. With that being said, it’s important to get the broth (or oil) to 375 degrees fahrenheit before you can put your meat into it. Make sure to purchase a fondue pot that is capable of getting that hot before you attempt to cook meat in it.
How Much Oil Do You Use for Fondue?
- Like so many things, there are a couple of things that factor into how much oil you should put into your fondue pot. The first being how big your fondue pot is, and the second being how much food you plan on cooking. The general rule of thumb is to fill your fondue pot ½ or ⅓ of the way with oil.
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.