Cozy and Delicious: Our Guide to the Best Fondue Pots
Winter is the perfect time to embrace the joys of chocolate or cheese fondue, made in your very own electric or manual fondue pot.
Even if a European skiing adventure isn't in the cards this winter, you can still enjoy one of the most blissful alpine pleasures imaginable: fondue. All you need to bring the chalet closer to home is a fondue pot and a few family members or friends to share the communal experience. Can't decide which fondue pot is right for you? We've got plenty of inspiration to get you all fired up.
First, a little history lesson. Cheese fondue originated in the western Swiss Alps around the late 17th century, and by 1930, it had become Switzerland's national dish. In the 1960s and 1970s, the heyday of fondue, home cooks everywhere hosted fondue parties. And today? Yes, fondue has definitely made a comeback in recent years. And it's no wonder why. Who can resist bubbling cheese fondue, typically Gruyère and vacherin, with white wine, kirsch, and cornstarch, bittersweet chocolate melted with heavy cream, or Fondue Bourguignonne (hot oil or broth for frying or searing thin slices of meat)?
The variety of fondue pots is as infinite as fondue recipes. Choose from pots compatible with induction, gas, electric, and ceramic stovetops and equipped with burners to keep the melted ingredients hot or electric fondue pots that let you moderate the temperature, both in a range of sizes. As an added safety measure, look for pots with long handles or splatter guards. Several cast-iron models come in retro shades of red, orange, or avocado, while others made of cast-aluminum, stainless-steel, copper, or ceramic, are clean-lined and contemporary.
While many fondue pots are multitaskers, some are best used for a specific food product, like chocolate. And nearly all come with pronged forks, allowing you to spear and dunk tidbits like bread cubes, roasted potatoes, vegetables, pound cake, marshmallows, strawberries, banana slices, or whatever else you fancy into that hot pot of gooey goodness.
Hammered Copper Fondue Pot
Crafted in Italy from heavy-gauge hammered copper, this elegant one-quart fondue pot is the perfect vessel for both sweet and savory fondues. It's lined with nonreactive tin and features an adjustable chromed burner, plus six wooden-handled stainless-steel forks for safe dipping.
Shop Now: Ruffoni "Historia" Hammered Copper Fondue Pot, $350, williams-sonoma.com.
Glazed Ceramic Fondue Pot
Lighter than cast-iron or metal models, this 2.6 quart ceramic French wonder employs Emile Henry's proprietary "Flame" technology, a highly resistant glaze that prevents sticking, allowing you to cook your fondue with a minimum of fat. Six forks are included, so plan a family meal.
Shop Now: Emile Henry "Flame" Cheese Fondue Set, $161.54, amazon.com.
Electric Chocolate Fondue Set
Red, white, and adorable, this small but efficient electric fondue maker has a dial that lets you moderate the temperature for melting and heating chocolate, a non-stick bowl (no messy cleanup!), a removable handle and spout, and four stainless-steel forks.
Shop Now: Trudeau Electric Chocolate Fondue Set, $24.99, amazon.com.
Large Cast-Aluminum Fondue Pot
This fondue pot comes with eight color-coded stainless forks, meaning no one will forget which one is theirs. Made from stainless steel with an aluminum base that allows for uniform heating, it comes with a removable cast-aluminum insert so you can easily make the switch from stovetop cooking.
Shop Now: All-Clad Cast-Aluminum Fondue Pot, $199.95, williams-sonoma.com.
Enameled Cast-Iron Fondue Pot
A throwback updated for modern living, this enameled cast-iron pot melts cheese, chocolate, or oil on the stovetop, and reaches its gooey stage once you move it atop the chrome burner with adjustable air vents. It comes with eight color-coded forks.
Shop Now: Crate and Barrel Red Cast-Iron Fondue Set, $39.95, crateandbarrel.com.
Electric Fondue Set with Temperature Regulation
Preparing a memorable dessert is a cinch with this handsome electric fondue set featuring a modern mirror-finish, stainless-steel bowl, and impressive 1000-watt heating element that lets you regulate the temperature with ease.
Shop Now: Mont Brule Electric Fondue Set, $99.95, williams-sonoma.com.
Ceramic Fondue Pot Set
A stylish departure from the classics, this elegant ceramic fondue pot is microwave safe, letting you instantly melt your cheese or chocolate before setting it over a tea light and oak wood base. Available in two sizes, either with two or four stainless-steel forks.
Shop Now: Boska White Fondue Pot Set, from $29.99, amazon.com.
Copper Fondue Pot with Ceramic Insert
Bringing European cachet to the table, this copper-plated stainless-steel pot with a paste/gel burner heats in flash, quickly cooking oils for fondue Bourguignonne. The ceramic insert acts as a double boiler, rendering cheese and chocolate bubbly.
Shop Now: Swissmar "Laussane" Copper Fondue Set, $120, crateandbarrel.com.
Large Stainless-Steel Fondue Set
Chocolate and cheese heat evenly and quickly thanks to the stainless-steel construction of this timeless three-quart beauty. It's outfitted with a ceramic insert with slots to hold six color-coded forks and large handles for easy portability.
Shop Now: Sur La Table "La Marque 84" Stainless-Steel Fondue Set, $89.95, surlatable.com.
Black Cast-Iron Fondue Pot
Designed by Sigurd Persson, a Swedish sculptor, designer, and blacksmith, this black cast-iron fondue set resembles a mini cauldron and comes with a burner and wooden plate to catch any drippings.
Shop Now: Gense Cast-Iron Fondue Set, $174, royaldesign.com.
Large Aluminum Fondue Pot
Easy on the eyes (and easy to clean thanks to its nonstick technology), this 3.25-quart brown and silver aluminum fondue pot is equipped with a wire pot rack, six forks, a fuel holder, and snuffer.
Shop Now: Circulon Aluminum Fondue Set, $99.99, wayfair.com.
Mini Cast-Iron Fondue Set
From Alsace, France, comes this mini cast-iron fondue set; it's a versatile dinner addition that keeps butter warm and melts caramel or chocolate fondue for each person at the table. A candle, stand, and four forks complete the tiny package.
Shop Now: Staub Cast-Iron Mini Fondue Set, $136, westontable.com.
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