Best 10 Fondue Sets
As Of March 2021
Nothing sets a dinner party’s tone than having a meal with creamy and running cheese. But to take your party’s meals a notch higher, consider adding a fondue set to your collection of kitchen gadgets.
Think about it - your guests can enjoy a dipping well full of seasoned cheese for their bread and crackers. Or a chocolate fountain for marshmallows and fruit pieces for those in need of a sugar rush.
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Best Fondue Pots to Spruce Up Your Dinner Party Delicacies
The festive season might be here, but there is never a wrong time to throw a dinner party with the best cheese dipping and chocolate fountains. That is why we consider buying a fondue pot, an investment that requires your undivided attention. The next party you throw will be the talk of the town!
Imagine dipping a piece of warm bread in a sauce with cheese, herbs and wine? Yes, cheese is delicious on pizzas and burgers, mouth watery even, to look at. But in a melting pot with an array of aromas that leave your tongue wanting more! Now, that's a treat that's hard to beat.
But that treat is only hard to beat when you know what you are doing, and you have the right gadget by your side. With our guide, you get to bring Switzerland delicacies to your doorstep with the best fondue pots in the market. We are also here to make your shopping time as blissful as it can get. A shopping guide plus top 10 recommendations are here to save you from all the confusion associated with online shopping.
What is a fondue?
Fondue is a melted cheese delicacy from Switzerland where one dips food pieces like bread and crackers. The treat is enjoyed from a communal pot placed on a heat source, like a stovetop, spirit lamps, or tea lights to keep the fondue hot. There are long-stemmed forks for hygiene purposes that one uses to dip the bread or crackers into the fondue.
While the main fondue from the Swiss is the cheese fondue, there are other types of fondues that you can make. It is made from mixing different kinds of cheese and adding herbs or liquids like wine for taste and liquefaction. To make chocolate fondue, melt chocolate on low temperature with a mix of cream to liquefy the fondue. This fondue is ideal for desserts where one can dip fruits like strawberries, pineapples, melons, kiwis or bananas. If you are catering to children or need to satisfy your sweet tooth, you can provide marshmallows.
Oil fondue, also Bourguignon fondue, is made using oils such as vegetable, olive, canola or peanut oil. Broth fondue, also known as Chinese fondue, uses beef broth and other types. With both the oil or broth fondue, you boil the liquids to cook pieces of meat or veggies. It's best to pre-boil these to shorten the cooking time on the fondue.
How do fondue sets work?
Although all fondue sets are for cooking cheese, oils, broth or melting chocolate for dippings, the working will mostly depend on the heat source. Some types use open fire where you use candles to keep the fondue hot, while others are electric and use electricity as a source of heat.
There are fuel-based fondue sets with a burner for putting the liquid or gel alcohol to use as fuel. With such a set, you just fill the burner with the fuel, light the fire and place the fondue set on top of the burner cover to keep it warm.
Thanks to technology, you can enjoy adding a set of electric fondue pots to your kitchen appliances collection. However, it is best to also think about the pot's heating source and consider whether it works for your setting.
A fondue pot that uses electricity as the heat source is more efficient with better heat control options. Unfortunately, these are only ideal for indoor usage due to proximity to power sockets. Unless you have a power outlet outdoors, you are better with other heating sources, like an open flame or fuel.
Fuel-based and open-flame fondue pots are more flexible for both outdoor and indoor usage. An open flame pot is smaller and better for more intimate gatherings or entertainment of fewer than 3 people, where you can use tealights. With fuel-based fondue pots, think about the pot's fuel since each fuel type comes with its own costs and risks.
Are you able to control the heat settings of the pot to keep the fondue warm? Ingredients like cheese or chocolate burn when left on high heat for long. Electric fondue makers will mostly have an adjustable temperature setting while the traditional ones might have an adjustable burner.
A simple misstep when using a fondue set can wreak havoc- we are talking about burns or even fires. The good thing is that most modern sets are integrated with safety features that increase your safety when making fondue. Some safety features to consider are a thermostat when buying an electric fondue set. You also need features like a long rubberised handle or heat-resistant handles on both sides of the pot.
If you are buying an electric fondue maker, ensure it has a breakaway cord, which disconnects the fondue from the power cable when it's tripped. You also need to confirm whether the set includes a snuffer, allowing you to extinguish the fuel safely.
You will come across several materials, from cast iron to stainless steel, ceramic, or enamelled material, which can be quite confusing. So, what suits you? Ceramic material is quite common and very easy to clean. While it is slow when heating up, it holds and distributes heat well, making it ideal for desserts like cheese and chocolates.
Stainless steel material is durable and heats up very fast and handles high temperatures. Enamelled cast iron fondue sets are the best choice if you are looking for a colourful option. These heat up more quickly than ceramic fondue pots and also hold up the heat quite well. For meat fondue, stainless steel or cast iron fondue set is the best. A stainless steel fondue pot can work for desserts if it has a non-stick coating, which keeps the ingredients from sticking to the pot's surface.
You might think that a larger pot is the best choice, but sometimes it is not. What matters, mostly, is the depth. Is it enough for one to dip bread or other delicacies into the fondue without hitting the bottom of the pot?
Sizewise, the ideal capacity will depend on why you want the fondue pot in the first place. Are you looking to host family parties and get-togethers that will have many individuals? If so, then you need to get a fondue set with a large capacity. But if you need a set that caters to a small and more intimate group, like your date nights and movie dates with your close friends and relatives, you are better off with a small capacity fondue pot.
Does the fondue set include a set of forks? These go a long way in ensuring the fondue party sticks for general health measures. Everyone will be using the fondue forks to scoop their share. To avoid confusion when you are serving different ingredients, go for forks with varying colours. You would want to consider a fondue pot with a fork rack or fork rings that hold the forks in place, so they don't slip into the fondue.
Some fondue pots are made to use when making desserts or cheese while others are best for meat. Others accommodate making the three types of fondues. A 3-in-1 fondue set is ideal if you want a pot that serves all purposes. If you want a fondue pot that serves only one purpose, consider one built for making that particular fondue.
Which type of fondue set is best?
The best fondue pots for you will depend on the features you are looking for and what you need the fondue for. Will you be cooking for a large crowd, will the event be indoors or outdoors, and what fondue do you envision serving?
With Electric fondue sets, you have better control of the temperature. It makes them the best for broth or oil fondues because you can always get to the highest temperatures without burning the contents. You can also dial down to the lowest prefered temperature as the pot's contents decrease to avoid burning the pot.
A manual pot is ideal for life on the move or catering to a small gathering. A few modern but manual fondue pots include an adjustable fuel burner, giving you better control of the heat. The more traditional ones do not have this, so you will have to keep an eye on the temperature to avoid burning the fondue.
It would be best to consider what fondue you would be serving, apart from the temperature control. The build for a cheese fondue and chocolate fondue pot is very different from that of a meat fondue. The meat fondue sets tolerate higher temperatures than the cheese and chocolate sets.
How to use a fondue set?
You use a fondue set by placing the fondue bowl on the heat source and heating the contents. Depending on the bowl's model and build, you can use electricity, fuel or other open sources like candles. Ensure the bowl stays on the heat source to keep the fondue warm or hot for maximum enjoyment.
For the ultimate Swiss experience, it's best to go for a set with other accessories like fondue forks. We also recommend getting one with a splash guard, fork ring, and a stand. These go a long way in helping you control the cooking and serving experience of the fondue.
What Makes Chocolate & Cheese Fondue Pots Different From Meat Fondue Pots?
Fondue pots for cheese and chocolate have a lower tolerance to temperatures because the cheese or chocolate will burn at high temperatures. As such, the build of these fondues ensures you can retain the pot on the heat source at a low temperature without spoiling the decadent.
Most of these use open-source heat sources like portable burners or tealights. Meat fondues, on the other hand, require higher temperatures. That's why most are electric, which gives you more control over the heat settings.
How many people can one fondue set serve?
This depends on the capacity of the fondue set. An individualised set can cater for less than three people. You will find a wide variety of traditional models that need an open fire source like a candle or tealight work for such a gathering. For a large fondue party, you are better off with a quart capacity of about 2.5 to 3. With most sets in the market, you can serve up to six people.
Are fondue sets safe for home use?
Yes, fondue sets are safe for home use. Still, you must read the manufacturers directions on usage for extra safety measures. When using fuel-based or open-source fondue sets, you need to be extra careful with the setting, so your guests do not topple over the pots and set everything on fire.
The same applies to the electric sets. Ensure the cables connected to the power source are not left in an open area where one can trip over the same. The set might have a breakaway cord, but it never hurts to be extra careful with the setting.
Are you ready to get the ultimate Swiss fondue experience from the comfort of your home? A fondue set is what you need, and this guide helps you get the best. From cheese fondue sets to chocolate, meat and broth fondue makers.
Whether you want to keep it all traditional with open-fire fondue makers or getting a little more modern and digital with electric fondue pots. Whichever melting pot tickles your fancy and keeps the cheese and chocolate warm and drippy; we have got you covered!