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Fondue Pot

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  • Keri T. Feb 22, 2005 10:49 AM

For an engagement gift I am planning on buying a fondue pot for my friend, does anyone have any opinions on the different ones out there? I saw that All-Clad makes one, has anyone tried it?

Thanks

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  1. What kind of fondue does she make? The metal ones are fine for meats and seafood but get too hot for cheese and chocolate unless you use a candle with them. Ceramic is better for cheese and chocolate. Amazon has a number of choices that work for a variety of fondues. They have a couple of electric ones on sale that you can adjust the temperature on and there is one from Bodum that has a glass insert for cheese and chocolate. Your All-Clad a on sale for $119. and there were some from LeCreuset for $99

    3 Replies
    1. re: Candy

      Thanks, I didn't know that about ceramic. I think she'd only do chocolate and cheese. I liked the bodum one actually (I was looking on Amazon I think).

      1. re: Keri T.

        I'm very happy with my Le Creuset one for cheese - just made it for Valentine's Day. I make the fondue on the stove, then serve it in the fondue pot. Haven't had any cleaning problems. You might want to consider giving the pot with a nice bottle of Kirsch - to put in the fondue and drink with it.

        1. re: MMRuth

          I have a Le Creuset one that I am more than happy with. I have only used it for cheese so far, but it is great.

    2. I would look for the '70s-era Teflon-coated electric versions with a thermostat you can set and maintain an even temperature. The only disadvantage is that these versions tend to have short cords, and are therefore better for sideboard-placement rather than in the center of a room. Otherwise, however, they are far superior to dealing with Sterno and open flames; much more reliable and manageable. And very easy to clean.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Karl S.

        But with a teflon pan you can't develop the fond, that tasty browned layer on the bottom that you then let fry until crispy and then scrape off.

        1. re: Karl S.

          I agree, get a non-stick electric one. Much easier than sterno, and very easy to cook cheese, chocolate, oil, or broth. If you're really worried about developing the cheese crust you can get an electric one that doesn't have the non-stick coating. However, we threw a fondue party and cleaning a cheese fondue pot without non-stick coating is a bitch! It took several long soaks with lots of scrubbing in between. No one could even consider eating the cheesy crust it was stuck on the pot so badly.

          1. re: Jujubee

            You have to let the last bit of cheese cook down and soon it will brown and the oil will separate from the solids. Keep going and soon the crust will come off the bottom with just a bit of scraping with a butter knife. The only thing I can think of that comes close in taste and texture is a baked crisp made from only grated parmigiano.

            Makes for an easier cleanup too.

        2. I don't think they should be allowed to make fondue pots in anything but a 70's design. I saved my parents avacado, tear drop shaped one from being tossed when they decided they needed a new one and love it.

          1. I love our little cheaply-made, must-be-tin-or-some-other-cheap-metal type pot. It must have cost about $20 at K-mart. That being said, if I wanted to buy another one (which I've considered), I would buy an electric one. As one poster said, with the electric ones you don't get the "fond", but, frankly, I'm just as happy without that - it's REALLY tough to clean up (requires soaking the thing for at least 24 hours). Good luck!

            1. I bought a WestBend fondue pot about a year ago and am happy with it. It's electric so I can maintain the heat easily and not worry about it. The cord is short but, if needed, I can use an extention. The only downside I find is the size. It's pretty large and takes quite a bit of chocolate (my favorite dip!) to fill it so for smaller parties I always have leftovers that I don't want to reuse.

              Link: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/...

              1. I have a vintage Stelton pot that I absolutely adore, but I have not had good results with cheese fondues. They tend to suffer from scorching. I am not sure that there is any way around it. I have been told that shielded metal or ceramic-lined pots are the best type for cheese fondues.

                Erik M.

                Image: http://home.comcast.net/~silapaahaan/...

                2 Replies
                1. re: Erik M.

                  The problem with virtually every fondue pot I've ever seen for sale in the US is that they're made for beef fondue, with a relatively narrow and deep thin-walled metal pot over a comparatively aggressive heat source. Cheese fondue is properly made in a caquelon, a wide and shallow casserole-like pot with a side handle, traditionally earthenware but now commonly seen in enameled cast iron. I have a ceramic one I purchased many years ago in the States and a cast-iron one I brought back from Switzerland several years ago. I use either on a stove that was originally intended for beef fondue with a typical alcohol burner - with the burner turned all the way down and the caquelon it works perfectly for cheese fondue.

                  1. re: FlyFish

                    Thank you for the input, FlyFish.

                    I often wonder if the fuel that the pot was actually designed to use, some thirty years ago, is the very same as, or at least interchangeable with, that available today. I have noticed that the liquid fuels that I have tried do not burn very cleanly.

                    FWIW, my Stelton pot is Danish.

                    Regards,
                    Erik M.

                    Link: http://www.stelton.com/Default.aspx

                2. Thanks for all the input, as she is only going to use it for cheese and chocolate I think I am going to get the Le Crueset one (plus Broadway Panhandler is having a sale). I'll also get her some good accessories (food-wise) and would be up for any suggestions.

                  Thanks