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Owning a fondue pot means you can really take your dinner parties up a notch.
It’s a really fun cooking method when hosting a dinner party for a small group, or you can buy multiple pots for larger groups.
If you’re a fan of cheese fondue, then it offers you almost instant access to a communal bowl of delicious, oozy, melted cheese.
If you’re thinking about investing in one, you’ll need to know how to use a fondue pot properly before rocking it out onto the dinner table.
Here are tried and tested tips and tricks you’ll need to host your own successful fondue party.
Types of Fondue Pots
The vast majority of fondue pots are heated using candles, a spirit lamp, or electric.
If you’re wondering what type of fondue pot to buy, you’ll need to give some consideration as to what kind of food you want to serve in it first.
Ceramic fondue pots are great for melted cheese and chocolate.
These pots should be restricted to fondues that don’t require a lot of heat.
As such, you should make sure that your cheeses and chocolates have low melting points.
The foodies among you that want to access higher temperatures should seek out a metal fondue pot that can withstand intense heat.
Metal fondue pots are great conductors of heat and can, therefore, be heated up to much higher temperatures.
Enamel Cast Iron
The final type of fondue pot you may come across is made from enamel cast iron, which can be used for any kind of fondue.
Other Fonde Party Equipment You’ll Need
When you’re throwing a fondue party, there are a few other things you’ll need to provide your guests with so that they can serve themselves.
Fondue Forks or Skewers
Your fondue pot will usually come with a set of forks or skewers when you purchase it.
These forks are used for cooking and dipping and are often color-coded.
In this way, your guests can tell theirs apart from the others.
Your guests will also need a plate or two to keep their cooked and uncooked foods separate from each other.
Fondue forks are just meant for cooking, not eating, so you and your guests will also need another fork that you can eat with.
The reason for this is that the fondue forks can get very hot while cooking and, therefore, shouldn’t be placed in the mouth.
Having separate forks for eating also helps to prevent the spread of germs within the shared fondue pot.
Everyone at the table will also very much appreciate a napkin or serviette so that they can keep their mouths and hands clean.
Fondue can often be a bit messier than your average dinner party, after all.
How to Use a Fondue Pot
Depending on the type of fondue pot you have, you can decide to host different kinds of fondue parties.
When making cheese fondue, you’d need to prepare and heat the cheese fondue before transferring it to your fondue pot.
Shredded or grated cheese will melt more quickly and evenly.
Still, it is recommended that you allow the cheese to melt slowly over a lower heat.
You can then add some wine, beer, or champagne to prevent curdling.
More than that, it will also enhance the flavor of your fondue.
Stir constantly with a wooden spoon in a figure-eight movement until your cheese pieces collapse and become smooth.
If your fondue does start to separate, just add a squeeze of lemon juice and beat it in.
If you want your fondue to be slightly runnier, add more wine or apple cider.
- Try rubbing your fondue pot with a clove of garlic before adding the cheese fondue mixture to it.
- Scrape off and serve the cheesy crust that is left over from cooking to your guests.
This part of the dish is called “la croute” or “la religuese,” and your guests will love it!
This is a high-heat fondue process that involves cooking meat and vegetables in oil or stock.
Prepare your raw meat and vegetables by cutting them into bite-sized pieces, removing any fat, shell, or peel, and marinate them (optional).
If you are using any dense, root vegetable, cook them a little bit first so that they’re crisp but tender.
You can squeeze lemon juice over your prepared veggies to prevent them from going brown between now and when you’re ready to serve them up to guests.
Arrange your meats and veggies on platters, keeping raw meat and vegetables separate, and refrigerate them until you’re ready to serve.
Preheat your cooking liquid (oil or stock) in your fondue pot on the stove to just below the boiling point.
Then, transfer the pot back to its holder on your dinner table.
- If you’re cooking in oil, consider using something other than your standard canola or vegetable oil.
Peanut oil works really well and offers a lot of flavors.
- If you want a lower-fat alternative, you can use stock as your base cooking liquid.
Match the stock flavor to compliment the types of meat you’re serving, and it will also create a tasty broth.
- If you’re having a seafood feast, then cooking in white wine or champagne is also an option.
Chocolate and Dessert Fondues
Make sure you choose chocolate that has above 50% cocoa sold content.
Some types of chocolate are better for melting purposes than others.
The better quality chocolate you use, the better your chocolate fondue will turn out.
Heat your chocolate slowly over a double burner, if possible, while stirring constantly.
You’ll also need to heat up some cream so that the chocolate doesn’t harden again when you combine them.
Once your cream is heated, you can add it to your melted chocolate to prevent it from setting.
The cream will also make your chocolate fondue nice and creamy.
Once you’ve transferred your fondue pot to the table, it will only require a small amount of heat to keep it warm.
- Try adding a touch of your favorite liquor to your fondue mix to change the texture and flavor.
Kahlua, baileys, malibu, Cointreau—it’s your choice!
Items for Dipping
If you’re looking for ideas on what you can use for dipping in your fondue, then check out our lists here for some inspiration.
Cheese Fondue Dippers
Cooked meats, such as ham, chicken, salami, sausage, and seafood, are among the top choices for dipping in cheese fondue.
You can also serve fruits, such as apples, grapes, or pears.
When it comes to bread, you also have lots of options, including crusty bread, rye bread, Italian or French bread, or even croutons or breadsticks.
Lastly, for vegetables, you can get cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, potatoes, and pickles.
Bourguignon Fondue Dippers
For bourguignon fondue, choose any meat, fish, game, or seafood you and your guests prefer.
Vegetables like onion, broccoli, baby carrots, turnips, potatoes, zucchini, squash, pea pods, mushrooms, and small sections of corn on the cob are all great options.
Chocolate Fondue Dippers
Firm fruits, such as strawberries, banana, pineapple, kiwi, apple, mango, grapes, cherries, figs, and even dried fruit pieces, are the perfect dippers for chocolate fondue.
You can also serve cake or cookies, such as angel cake, pound cake, cheesecake, vanilla or chocolate chip cookies, marshmallows, and miniature muffins.
- Chop or slice all of your dipping items into bite-sized chunks so that you can pop them straight into your mouth.
- Chill your fruits before serving and dipping.
The lower temperature of the fruit will help the chocolate stick to them better.
- When dipping with bread or cake, using day-old stuff, so it doesn’t crumble as easily.
- For cheese fondues, pre-cook your dipping items, such as veggies, fish, and meat, as the temperature of the cheese won’t be high enough to cook them through.
Half of the fun from fondue comes from trying different things and finding odd combinations that really work together.
Really, when it comes to sourcing dipping items for your fondues, the sky’s the limit!
Lastly, don’t forget to turn off the heat of your fondue pot when you’re finished with it.