Fondue got its start in Switzerland, where bread cubes were dipped into a communal pot of melted cheese heated by a candle or similar flame. The concept traveled to America where it was embraced by some restaurants. Later, the idea of chocolate fondues for dessert as well as hot-oil fondues and broth fondues, where meats or vegetables were cooked to taste, became popular. In the 1970s, fondues reached their height of popularity for home entertainment, then slowly faded. But they never completely... disappeared.
Now, fondue is popular again. Today’s fondue pots can be found in many different styles, from traditional flame-heated models to more convenient electric models. Traditional cheese fondues are usually melted on the stove, then transferred to the serving pot, where they need to stay just warm enough for serving.
Non-electric fondue pots often use fire-gel containers for heat. Those gel containers are sold for heating chafing dishes or for camping. They burn cleanly with little soot or odor, so they’re great for indoor use and provide a nice ambiance. Refills for the gel containers are also available, but can be messy. Some small fondue pots use simple tea lights for heat.
The fondue pots that use a flame as the heat source are only appropriate for cheese or chocolate; they don’t get hot enough for hot oil cooking or for simmering broth. Electric pots, on the other hand, can be used for oil or broth fondues, if they can reach the proper temperature. Here are the best fondue pots on the market today.
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This enameled cast iron fondue pot has the aesthetic of the traditional fondue pot, so it’s great for traditional cheese fondue meals. The sturdy cast iron pot retains heat well and can be used right on the stove, so you don’t need to dirty a second pot to melt the cheese and then transfer it. The stand is made from wrought iron and holds a gel container that provides the heat.
The six included fondue forks have three tines instead of the more common two, so they hold food a little more securely.... The set includes one 3-ounce fire-gel container to get you started right away.
The enamel coating in the cast iron pot means that the pot doesn’t need to be seasoned before use, but nonstick or wooden utensils should be used for cooking the fondue. It should be hand washed. The pot can be used on any heat source. The pot is two quarts, so it will be useful even after the fondue is over—you can use it for warming sauces or heating milk for hot cocoa, and it’s attractive enough for serving.
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While this looks nothing like a traditional fondue pot, it’s perfect for fondues as well as for holding and serving other warm dips at a party or on a buffet. The cooking insert and lid are both made ceramic. The insert is removable for easy cleanup, and both it and the lid are dishwasher safe.
This holds 1½ cups, so it’s great for small dinners, or for appetizers, or it can be refilled as needed. The stainless steel exterior will look good on the table and it’s easy to wipe clean. With this... warmer, it will take 30 to 60 minutes to heat ingredients in the pot, so it might be faster to heat on the stove, and simply use it for serving.
This warmer doesn’t include fondue forks, so they’ll need to be purchased separately. Since this is electric, you won’t need a separate heat source.
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If you’re looking a fondue pot that looks elegant on your dinner party table, look no further. The 3-quart fondue pot from All-Clad is large enough for a party, and the ceramic insert is stovetop-safe so you can cook the cheese or melt chocolate right in the insert before serving.
The stand is made from 18/10 stainless steel that won’t rust, stain, or discolor. The pot is made from the same stainless and has an aluminum disk bottom for even heat distribution. It also has stainless steel riveted... handles so it’s easy to move, even when it’s full of piping hot chocolate sauce. The set includes the pot, insert, lid, stand, fuel holder, and six forks.
The pot is designed so the forks sit straight and won’t tangle during use, so everyone can keep track of their own fork. All parts are dishwasher safe for easy cleanup.
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Attractive and functional, this fondue set includes a porcelain-enameled cast iron pot for excellent heat retention, and it has a splash protector ring for safety. The six included fondue forks each have different color on the end so everyone can tell which fork is theirs.
The flame burner is adjustable so you can make sure the chocolate or cheese stays melted, but doesn’t burn. A flame snuffer is also included so you can easily and safely snuff the flame when you’re done serving. You can use... either solid fondue gel or methylated spirits for fuel depending on which you prefer.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
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While an electric fondue pot isn’t traditional, it’s certainly convenient—and this fondue pot is also very attractive. It has a brushed finish on the bowl and ring, and a mirror finish on the stand and handles. The ring has notches to hold the forks in place.
This pot can be used with any type of fondue, including oil, broth, chocolate, or cheese. Temperature is controlled with a dial with eight different settings. Foods can be heated right in the pot—no need to heat anything on the stove first.... For oil cooking, it takes 10-15 minutes to reach 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
The bowl is three quarts and has a nonstick coating for easy cleaning. After removing the temperature probe and cord, the rest of the components can be washed in the dishwasher.
Eight fondue forks are included, so this is perfect for larger gatherings.
While this is designed for fondue, you could use it for keeping soup, stew, chili, or other foods warm for serving as well.
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Designed specifically for chocolate, this fondue has two heat settings and comes with 10 skewers, 10 forks, and a spatula. While this isn’t the most elegant looking fondue pot for a fancy dinner party, it’s great for fun family desserts or parties. It holds about two cups.
Besides using it for fondue, it can be used for melting chocolate for coating cake pops, fruits, or candies, or for making ganache or for melting candy melts for decorating candies, cookies, or cakes.
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Designed for cheese tapas or fondue, this short, square pot comes with a wooden stand and a metal ring to hold the tea light that warms the pot. This includes four forks and comes with one tea light for the first fondue.
While this isn’t a classic fondue design, it works the same way. The small size makes it great for fondue as an appetizer or for a tapas dinner. Or set up several pots with different cheeses for a party.
While this is designed for cheese, it can also be used for chocolate. The... ceramic pot is dishwasher and microwave safe.
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While cheese and chocolate fondues are quite common, fondue pots that can handle the high heat of cooking meats are less common – and those that can handle the heat sometimes overcook and burn cheese or chocolate. This one can handle all three with ease.
The pot holds 84 ounces, so there’s plenty of space for hot oil, but this also includes a ceramic double-boiler pot for cheese and chocolate that fits inside the metal pot. Water in the metal pot shields the ceramic pot from excess heat and even... heating when cooking chocolate or cheese.
The electric base has a thermostat to control the 1500 watts of power, so you’ll have plenty of heat for cooking in oil or broth. It has an easy-release power cord for safety. This includes 6 fondue forks.
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