10 Best Cheese Fondue Pots (With Photos!)
Cheese fondue is a dish consisting of melted cheeses that originated in the western Swiss Alps. With recipes dating back to the 17th century, cheese fondue became the national Swiss food in 1930.
The key ingredients of cheese fondue are cheese (with every region having its own traditions regarding the type of cheese that can be used), cornstarch, white wine, Kirschwasser (a traditional Swiss liqueur), garlic, lemon juice, and pepper. The most important thing about fondue is the way it is served.
Legend has it that the dish appeared in an attempt to ensure that people living in the harsh Swiss mountains had food which provided them with the necessary nutrients for working and surviving the very long mountain winters, even during times of fasting. Fondue provides the fats and the proteins the human body needs in winter, but it also warms up the belly.
Served in communal pots called Caquelons in which each family member dips a piece of bread or vegetable, eating fondue also served a social purpose – strengthening family or community bonds during the long winter nights when solitude easily crept into the isolated mountain communities.
The traditional fondue pot is ceramic, sturdy enough to be heated on the stove top and to prevent the cheese mixture from burning while being heated. Contemporary versions include cast-iron pots covered with a ceramic coating or electric pots. When using the traditional ceramic pot, the preparation begins with rubbing the inside of the pot with a garlic clove, to ensure the flavor is evenly distributed.
White wine, cornstarch, and then the cheese mixture are added to the pot while constantly stirring until it thickens. Kirschwasser completes the taste, along with lemon juice, pepper, aromatic herbs or tomatoes. The dish is served in the cooking pot itself and kept warm with a small burner (or by keeping it plugged in). The Swiss consider the hardened cheese at the bottom of the pot the best part of the dish as it contains all the enhanced flavors.
If the recipe seems somewhat daunting, the good news is that nowadays most stores sell pre-packed fondue cheese (including wine and cornstarch), which only needs to be heated in a fondue pot (with or without the garlic). So, the question remains, which fondue pot to use.
In choosing a cheese fondue pot, there are several things to take into account.
Traditional Pot or Electric Pot
This is a question of taste and usage. If you want an authentic dish and using an open fire source at the dinner table doesn’t worry you, go for the traditional ceramic or cast iron cheese fondue pot. However, note that this should only be used with cheese fondue, not with other sorts, such as chocolate, meat, or oil fondue. If you would prefer something more versatile, go for an electric pot which can be used for other types of fondue.
When buying a cheese fondue pot, think about how many people you want to use it for. Are you going to host large parties or use it just for the family? The smallest fondue pots are designed for 1-2 people, and they can be both traditional or electric. The largest sets can serve up to 9-10 people and hold a kilogram of melted cheese. You should always check the number of forks included in the set.
No matter whether it is an electric set or a pot suited for an induction or gas heater, the inside coating must guarantee that the cheese will not stick to the pot. Otherwise, the fondue will get a smoky taste and smell that will ruin the entire dish, not to mention the fact that it will be impossible to clean. Ceramic coating is the best but Teflon works just as well.
Heat and Splash Protection
The pot should also have some kind of handle protection as it does tend to heat up. So again, whether it is electric or not, it should not burn on touch. Traditional pots usually feature a longer handle, like a frying pan, which has exactly this purpose. Some models (mostly electric ones) come with silicone anti-splash protection, which is sometimes necessary as boiling cheese or oil can splash.
Another thing to look for is the design of the forks. All fondue pots come with several forks that are used to dip bread or vegetables into the hot cheese. Because it is a communal meal, the forks should have individual distinctive signs so the guests won’t get them mixed up. Usually, the fork handles are of different colors or have different symbols on them.
Stability and Versatility
You should also check the stability of the pot because the last thing you want is for the pot to tip over and spill hot, melted cheese all over the place. Also, with traditional pots, make sure that the heat source is easily accessible, as some tend to be very hard to reach. Ideally, the heat source should have a handle that won’t heat and is easy to reach. With electric pots, you should check whether they can also be used with induction or gas stoves because many offer this option. They should also be easy to use and intuitive, without a ton of hard to understand functions. The connecting cord should be long enough and of good quality. Look for durable materials and sturdy forks, which will last longer.
1. Silit Silargan Cheese Fondue Set
The Silit Silargan Cheese Fondue Set is a traditional fondue set that has received high ratings on Swiss and German online testing sites.
It features a modern design, metal handles, and is suitable for all types of cookers. For maintaining heat, it uses a safety gel burner made of rust-proof stainless steel. The set is meant for 6 users, with 6 individually numbered fondue forks. The product’s presentation highlights the fact that the pot can be used for cheese, meat, and oil fondues.
The set contains everything needed: the pot, the table warmer stand, the burner, and the fondue forks. All fondue types meant to be cooked in this pot follow the same principle: the ingredients are first heated in the pot on the stove and then the pot is transferred to the table and kept warm using the table warmer stand and the burner. The pot is suitable for all oven tops, including induction.
The forks are used to dip bread, raw meat, fish, and cut vegetables, depending on the type of fondue.
The ceramic surface is very sturdy and doesn’t scratch easily and the handle doesn’t heat up. It is dishwasher safe, but many users prefer cleaning by hand because they consider this better protection against scratching.
2. Cuisinart CFO-3SS Electric Fondue Maker
With over 2,000 overwhelmingly positive reviews on Amazon, the Cuisinart CFO-3SS Electric Fondue Maker is an electric fondue set currently featured as an Amazon editorial recommendation.
It is suitable for chocolate, cheese, broth, or oil, and it includes a base, bowl, a temperature probe, 8 fondue forks, a fork rack, and a nonstick interior.
It has a sleek and contemporary design. The combination of finishes brushed on the bowl and ring and mirrored on the stand and handles gives the fondue set a very stylish look.
It is sturdy, easy to clean, fast to melt the cheese, and has a magnetic electric cord. Many users mention the short electrical cord, but at the same time praise the safety awareness of the producers.
It can be used as a double boiler as it is a good size, and, when used as such, it can provide a 2 or 3 fondue-type course meal. To do this, half-fill the pot with water and sink into it a second pot.
The second pot contains the fondue ingredients, which melt as the water in the first pot is brought to boiling point. The set can be used for cheese, oil, and chocolate fondues at the same meal.
3. Tefal Simply Invents EF351412 Fondue Set Blue/Indigo
The Tefal Simply Invents EF351412 Fondue Set is a high-quality electric fondue set made in France by Tefal.
It features a removable fondue pot with non-stick coating, heat and defrost functions, and 8 color-coded forks. It also comes with 8 small cups that can hold individual cheese portions.
It’s very stable and easy to clean, but it has a short electrical cord and the pot can’t be used separately.
The vivid blue is also mentioned as a design plus of the product. Some users say this Tefal fondue set has an advantage over traditional fondue pots in that it is safer to use on the dinner table, as it doesn’t need a burner to keep it warm.
The small cups come in very handy, along with the rotating function, which makes the fondue set easily accessible by all party guests.
Some customers complain, though, about the lack of stability, a fragile-looking, plastic temperature control knob, and the fact that the pot can’t be used on the oven top.
4. Le Creuset Cheese Fondue Set Savoyarde & Bourguignonne Cherry Red
Featuring a vivid red, traditional fondue pot color, Le Creuset Cheese Fondue Set Savoyarde & Bourguignonne Cherry Red is a beautiful classic fondue set usable on all types of cookers, including induction.
It is dishwasher safe and made of cast iron with an enameled interior. It has a 30-year warranty, 6 fondue forks with color coding, and comes with a recipe book.
The traditional French craftsmanship guarantees high quality materials, but, at the same time, comes in as rather expensive.
It is highly rated for the quality of the materials and the traditional, sturdy design of the product. The red hints to the traditional fondue pots used in France and Switzerland.
The fondue set is easy to clean and, according to several customers, after several years of use, the set is still in good shape and the results of the cheese fondue are still great.
Some complain about the size of the pot, as it is rather small, although it is suitable for four persons.
5. Swissmar Lugano 9 Piece Cheese Fondue Set in Deep Blue
The Swissmar Lugano 9 Piece Cheese Fondue Set is a traditional fondue pot for 9 people. It is very similar to Swiss traditional pots as it is made of enameled cast iron, can be used on the stove top, and uses a gel-container for keeping the contents warm when it is not on the stove.
It comes in three colors: traditional black, a deep blue, and red. The interior of all three versions is white enamel. It is a sturdy and stable product that won’t tip over because of its weight.
It is highly rated for its stability, the high-quality materials, the authentic design which gives off a very Swiss-restaurant vibe, and the good enamel and paint coating.
The forks, though, are not exactly like the traditional ones (they are wider, although they have the same three prongs).
6. Baumalu – 385052 – Cast iron cheese fondue set 6 persons red color
Another traditional red cheese fondue set recommended by German and Swiss users, the Baumalu-385052 comes at a reasonable price and is suited both for stove top and oven.
Made of cast iron, it features an enamel coating, which is very easy to clean and is dishwasher safe. However, it is recommend you fill the pot with water after using it and let it sit overnight, cleaning it the next day with a very soft cloth as it scratches easily.
You need to be extra-cautious when carrying the pot from the stove top to the dinner table, as it is heavy and melted cheese is very hot, which can be dangerous.
Due to the fact that the pot does not have a splash guard, it should only be used for traditional fondues, such as cheese, chocolate, or steak sauce.
7. VonShef Fondue Set with 6 Forks Stylish Cast Iron Porcelain Enamel Pot
A stylish cheese fondue pot, the VonShef Fondue Set is a cast-iron pot with an enamel coating and features a useful splash guard.
This pot can be used for cheese, oil, and chocolate fondues and it is easy to clean due to the coating. It works well both on the stove top and in the oven but check the dimensions first, as it is rather tall and may not fit inside your oven.
It features a good quality enamel, which is very easy to clean, and all the components are a good fit.
However, some users complain about the chafer bowl for the fire gel, the quality of the forks, which are fragile, and the drip pan, which is also fragile.
8. Severin Fondue, FO 2400
The Severin FO 2400 fondue set is an electric fondue pot that can be used with cheese, chocolate, and oil fondues.
With a detachable cast-iron pot that can be used on gas and induction stove tops, it is dishwasher safe and comes with splash protection, a black plastic heating base with an integrated 5-stage thermostat.
The stainless steel pot is placed on top of this. There are no markings for the maximum filling level. The splash guard is designed to hold the fondue forks.
The device takes about 20 minutes to melt the cheese or heat the oil. With oil fondues, cooking the meat will take an additional 10 minutes. Some reviews mentioned the fact that the meat is not evenly crisp after being cooked in this pot.
It is very affordable (huge plus!) and easy to clean.
9. H.Koenig ALP1800 electric Fondue Set
Another Amazon best buy recommendation, the H. Koenig fondue set comes with very good Amazon reviews.
It features a detachable large pot and a splash guard, which also functions as a fork holder. The pot is suitable for all kinds of fondue, and it is very stable. Unlike previous models from H. Koenig, there are no problems with overheating.
A great feature is the ability to adjust the temperature along with its sturdiness. While it’s mostly designed for cheese, chocolate, or French meat fondues, such as Savoyarde or Bourgignone, it can also be used for Chinese fondues or hot pots.
On the downside, the plastic parts can be fragile and there were reports of cracks after just a couple of uses.
10. Syntrox Germany 3 in 1 Raclette-Grill-Fondue Appenzell for 8 Persons
A multifunctional product, the Syntrox Germany 3 in 1 Raclette-Grill-Fondue Appenzell can grill, and prepare fondue and raclette at the same time.
It is composed of a grill pan, a fondue pot with color-coded forks, and 8 individual raclette pans. You can grill, make fondue and raclette while sitting around the dinner table.
It is very easy to use and clean, despite the complex layering. Also, it makes a wonderful gift, as the combination of functions and the multiple parts are very eye-catching.
The fondue pot must be heated on the stove top and then kept warm on the heated pan.
The grill pan is well rated, though the raclette pans seem to heat up slowly and can be fragile.