There’s nothing as refreshing and exciting as preparing a fondue party where you get to cook all kinds of delicacies. And it doesn’t matter whether it’s supposed to serve as an appetizer, a meal or a dessert, a fondue set makes a gathering fun and sociable. It saves you the hassle and time involved in preparing meals in the kitchen. Everyone gathers around and together you prepare your favorite fondue while enjoying a dining experience full of rich conversations and laughter with family, friends, and relatives.
Top 5 Best Fondue Sets for the Money (2017 - 2018) - Our Picks!
|||KitchenCraft 3-in-1 Fondue Set||Best Multi-Purpose Fondue Maker for for Chocolate, Meat and Cheese Fondue|
|MasterClass Cast Iron Meat/Cheese/Chocolate Fondue Set||Best Cast Iron Fondue Maker Set|
|Andrew James Large 1.2 Litre Cast Iron Electric Fondue||Best Electric Fondue Maker Set|
|Le Creuset Cast Iron Fondue Set with Wooden Handles, 2.3 L||Best Luxury Fondue Set|
|VonShef Premium Luxury Chocolate Fondue Fountain||Best Chocolate Fondue Fountain Set|
What’s a Fondue Set?
A fondue set is a type of cookware featuring a pot or melting bowl, and some dipping forks. Some units have fork racks, and even pans meant for the fondue ingredients. It runs on gel fuel, alcohol, butane or even electricity that has to heat from directly below the pot to cook different types of delicacies popularly known as fondue. Unlike the traditional cook set initially used for serving a Swiss dish made by blending cheese, garlic, wine, and nutmeg, the modern fondue set can prepare a wide variety of foods.
What Can You Make In a Fondue Pot?
- Cheese fondue
- Broth Fondue
- Chocolate, dessert and fruit puree fondue
- Oil Fondue
- Broth, bouillabaisse, wine and champagne fondue
- Tomato based fondue
- Vegetable fondue
- Black bean based fondue
Type of Fondue Sets
Fondue pots can be divided into categories three categories: the food they prepare, the fuel and the size.
Based on Fondue Prepared
A fondue set can either be specialized or multipurpose. A specialized fondue pot is one designed to prepare a specific fondue. Cheese fondue set is the original set. Chefs have crafted other types used for making other foods, such as chocolate fondue, meat broth, and oil fondue.
However, we have seen lots of advancement in the fondue pots today, and now some new models can handle a variety of fondues and not a particular type.
Based On Fuel
The cookware use different types of fuel for heating and cooking food. You can choose from electric, alcohol, butane and candle fondue sets. Chocolate fondue requires a little amount of heat to melt and is best heated in a unit that uses candle heat as fuel.
An electric fondue set is an ideal option considering that it’s possible to adjust heat to the level that you want depending on the ingredients you’re using. So, all materials used for the preparation of cheese, broth, oil, and chocolate fondues would work perfectly with an electric set.
Then comes the butane fondue pot which allows you to adjust the temperature depending on the ingredients in use. For instance, you can lower the heat to the level suitable to melt the chocolate and to keep it in that state. The best thing about butane fueled fondue pots is they can be used even in the remote areas given that they require no connection to work.
Just like butane, alcohol allows you to tune the temperature based on the fondue you want to prepare. Since it doesn’t need any cords, you can use even in the remote areas.
Lastly, there’s the unit that uses gel as a fuel. Gel fondue pot is best for ingredients that require low heating at a low temperature such as chocolate. That’s because gel does not heat to extreme temperatures like electricity, butane, and alcohol.
Based On Size
Fondue sets come in varied sizes giving us yet another category. They are:
- Fondue mug
- Single fondue pots
- Double fondue pots
- Fondue sets
A fondue mug works just like the rest although it resembles a mug and is best suited for a single person.
The single fondue pots, allow you to use only one ingredient for your fondue
If you want to heat two different ingredients, then a double fondue pot is a perfect choice and is usually bigger than a single pot.
A fondue set is a real deal and it comes with all the components required for the preparation of your fondue. Included in the parts of this set are pans, fork racks, thermometer, fondue pot, sauce and more.
Electric vs Flame Fondue Maker
Electricity makes for a good source of fuel for a fondue maker allowing users to adjust the temperature depending on the type of ingredient in use. Cheese, meat and dessert fondues require heating at high temperatures and electricity is the ideal source of fuel. The downside of the electric unit is that they do not allow for portability and so cannot be used where electrical connection is not available.
Flame fondue is the best option when portability is a major consideration. Gel fuel, alcohol, candle and butane power a fondue maker by providing a hot of varying temperatures to heat the contents. They’re the best option for outdoor fondue preparation given they require no cord and are highly portable.
Fondue Set Equipment
Other than the fondue pot or bowl, more equipment/components and supplies accompany it to make a complete set. We may have mentioned some of them along the way, but it would pay to get a little deeper.
- Fondue fuel – this what a unit uses for heating. As pointed out, different pots are designed to use a specific fuel type. Common sources of fuels for fondue include electricity, candle, gel and butane.
- Fondue forks – these are the components of a fondue set that you use to dip your food into the fondue. The forks are either disposable or reusable with the latter being the best as you’ll not need to keep buying. Also, the forks can either be two prongs or three prongs. It’s important to note that fondue forks get extremely hot due to the director exposure to heat. As such, by all means, avoid eating food directly from them.
- Fondue plates – in most occasions, you’ll find it during the preparation of meat fondue in broth and oil. These critical components come with compartments allowing you to separate the raw meat from the cooked meat. Also, the plates assume different shapes, designs, and color. Some are square while others are round and it up to you to choose what matches with your taste perfectly.
- Fondue Burners – the burner is the compartment that holds the fuel. That is where you put your alcohol or gel. It features air holes that need lighting every time you want to heat your ingredients. The candle fondue burner functions slightly differently.
- Thermometer – the temperature level may not be a big deal when it comes to cheese and chocolate. Meat fondues require that you maintain the temperature of the oil and broth high. Specialized deep frying thermometers are used to help check the temperature level.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Fondue Set
The market is awash with fondue sets, and you might be spoilt for choice. As such, below are some of the things that should make your shopping simpler.
Type of Fondue
You can make different types including chocolate, meat, and cheese. To prepare each of the fondues, you’ll need to heat the ingredients at varying temperature levels. That calls for the use of different sources of heat as well. If you plan to prepare different fondues, a universal set would be the best choice. If you’re mostly interested in one fondue type, then a specialized unit is what you want.
A multipurpose fondue set is the best if you aim to try all the different fondue types rather than a specialized unit that will limit you. Electrically powered fondues set are the ideal choice as they allow users to adjust the temperature such that you can heat just any ingredient.
As always, cheap items come with flaws or limitations. While you might be on a budget, it’s advisable not to compromise on the quality to save a few bucks. Make sure the fondue is functional and serves your purpose.
If you don’t want a cheap unit that cannot withstand high temperatures, then you have to focus on the quality of the unit you buy. Older and probably the cheaper and low-quality models used ceramic and earthenware for construction. However, these materials cannot stand extreme heat. Stainless steel, cast iron or copper are the best materials for fondue pots because they are sturdy and do not crumble under high temperatures.
If you expect a large group of guests who’ll dip multiple forks, then you’ll need a large-sized unit. The rule of thumb regarding size is to choose based on the number of people expected.
Electricity fondues are the most common and probably the best when consideration is multiple usages. However, given that you need to have the electrical code at all times, it does not allow remote use. If you want to enjoy your fondue in the outdoors under the stars, then you may consider units that use alcohol, butane or even gel fuel.
This characteristic would suit the ceramic pot best. However, before you settle on any material, be sure to check that it’s thick enough to retain the heat. That way, you can keep the contents at the average temperature even if the source of the heat is off.
Ease of Cleaning
Hygiene matters a lot in the preparation of food. Some fondue units are detachable and allow some level of disassembly to make cleaning easy. Other models are even dishwasher safe making cleaning super easy.
Imagine a scenario where you’re using oil and broth for meat fondue, and by accident, the thing falls on you. It would mean sustaining some severe burns. Before committing to any single unit, ensure that the base is stable enough for your safety as well as those around you.
Fondue Usage and Safety Tips
- Use a trivet to avoid burning your table with the hot fondue pot
- Make sure the food is dry before serving to avoid splattering oil and broth
- Don’t use water if a fire starts. Instead, cover it using a lid to remove the oxygen
- Ensure that the pot is always attended to avoid burning children
Without a doubt, fondue makers are have become a crucial part of the kitchen cookware. They have made it possible to bond with family, friends, and relatives. We hope this guide will help you in purchasing the best fondue for your needs.