The 9 Best Fondue Pots

Updated September 30, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

9 Best Fondue Pots
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 40 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Yes, all fashions come back into style eventually, even culinary ones. So, if you want to try an up-to-date version of a blast from the '70s, try one of these fondue makers at your next dinner party. Whether you want to cook meats or dip into Swiss cheese or chocolate, the sets on our list will be ideal. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best fondue pot on Amazon.

9. VonShef 500ml Electric

The small stature of the VonShef 500ml Electric makes it the ideal choice for a couple looking to enjoy a few chocolate covered strawberries, or a slightly healthier quantity of cheese than what you're bound to consume from a larger pot.
  • very simple controls
  • exceedingly portable
  • skewers and forks are plastic
Brand VonShef
Model 13/246US
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

8. Nostalgia FPS200

While it might not boast the highest capacity on the market, the Nostalgia FPS200 does have one of the more nuanced heat control dials of any electric set. It comes with six color-coded forks that will keep the party organized.
  • cool-touch handles
  • versatile support ring
  • does not work with induction heat
Brand Nostalgia
Model FPS200
Weight 3.6 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

7. Emile Henry 2.6-Quart

The Emile Henry 2.6-Quart has a very classic look and feel to it. It's made of clay from France's Burgundy region, and it won't crack or break even with extreme heat. It's a versatile addition to the kitchen, as it's microwave, oven, and broiler safe.
  • can be left over an open flame
  • lighter than iron or enamel pots
  • style is somewhat uninspired
Brand Emile Henry
Model 619922
Weight 8.7 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

6. Cuisinart CFO-1000 Lazy Susan Electric

The Cuisinart CFO-1000 Lazy Susan Electric is the ultimate dinner party accessory. It has a stainless steel ring encircling the pot that allows trays of food to be rotated around the base and presented to guests for them to snatch up and dip.
  • large 3-quart capacity
  • 4 serving cups and 8 forks included
  • cumbersome to clean
Brand Cuisinart
Model CFO-1000
Weight 9.5 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

5. NutriChef Electric PKFNMK23

With the simple dial on the front of the NutriChef Electric PKFNMK23 you can plug in and get cooking with speed and precision. The main bowl can be conveniently removed from the heating base for serving or for easy cleaning.
  • 2-quart capacity
  • pot interior is nonstick
  • no recipes or instructions included
Brand NutriChef
Model PKFNMK23
Weight 4.2 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

4. Sierra 11-Piece

The Sierra 11-Piece boasts a simple design that works well for all kinds of fondue. It can be used with a gel fuel can, a portable gas flame, or on the stovetop, and it retains its temperature long after being taken off a heat source.
  • attractive bright color
  • has a splatter ring for safety
  • tough to replace burners
Brand Swissmar
Model F66695
Weight 9 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

3. Swissmar KF-66518 Lugano

For a tasty, traditional Swiss-style fondue, the Swissmar KF-66518 Lugano is the way to go. It's made from heavy-duty cast iron and uses a 3-ounce fire-gel container, so there is virtually nothing that can break down on you.
  • provides even heat distribution
  • rests on a beautifully styled base
  • can be used on a stovetop
Brand Swissmar
Model KF-66518
Weight 9.6 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. Cuisinart CFO-3SS

The Cuisinart CFO-3SS is a great all-around value. It's moderately priced, extremely reliable, easy-to-use, and looks like it should cost a lot more than it does with its elegant, brushed stainless-steel bowl. Its electronic operation ensures greater safety, as well.
  • has a nonstick interior
  • variable temperature control
  • dishwasher-safe components
Brand Cuisinart
Model CFO-3SS
Weight 5.4 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. Trudeau Alto 3-In-1 Electric

The Trudeau Alto 3-In-1 Electric is the perfect choice for the serious fondue enthusiast. It can be used to serve an intimate meal for two or as a fun appetizer pot with groups of up to six, and its base has a thermostat control that harnesses 1,500 watts.
  • handles for safe transport
  • white stoneware insert
  • recipe book included
Brand Trudeau
Model 0829020
Weight 6.4 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

Melts In Your Pot

When most people think of fondue, the initial image conjured to the mind is one of a strawberry emerging from a pot of molten chocolate, a long strand of melted cocoa stretching between two worlds.

If you're more of a cheese lover, you might, instead, see a perfectly cubed piece of bread oozing with a cream colored cheese.

Either way, the two most common ideas of fondue rely on the phenomenon of the melt. But what makes a cheese or a chocolate melt into that brilliant goo? Heat is the obvious answer, but it's not the whole picture.

Fondue pots create heat in one of two ways. Either they produce it from an internal coil that's excited by electricity, as with your plug and play fondue pots, or they sit above a small flame.

Both methods heat pretty slowly (though electric is faster), so most fondue is made on the stove top and transferred to the fondue pot where it's kept at just the right temperature for serving.

That's all well and good, but it doesn't quite get to the heart of my question. After all, if I put ice in a fondue pot, I certainly can't enjoy the same dipping experience in the water that the ice becomes as I can the thick, sweet chocolate lava.

What it comes down to, then, is fat. Both cheeses and chocolates melt into that ideal fondue texture when heat lets their respective fat molecules drift and spread.

If a cheese has too low a moisture content, like a Parmesan, the fat has less wiggle room, and the cheese won't melt as much. Similarly, if acid has been employed in its processing, as is the case with a ricotta, for example, the bound proteins prevent those fats from melting properly.

Chocolates can suffer the same fate if improperly made, but usually the concern there is with corners cut in the quality of ingredients. The fat in chocolate that makes it so perfect is its cacao butter, which, for the record, is not a dairy ingredient. It's a butter in much the same way that peanut butter is a butter.

Oftentimes, chocolate manufacturers will use little to no cacao butter to save as much money as possible, and they replace the missing fat content with soy lecithin or hydrogenated vegetable oils.

The result is a chocolate that will still melt, but the flavor and texture are nowhere near the quality of pure, 100% cacao butter chocolate.

Lots Of Pots

There are as many brands and styles of fondue pots out there as there are variations of cheese fondue recipes, and one good thing about these devices is that they're all built to last a good long while.

The only downside to that durability is that you won't have a good reason to upgrade should you decide you want a bigger, better pot.

To help make your decision as simple as possible, we'll look a little more deeply into the two main styles of pots, and let you choose from among your preferred camp.

Electric fondue pots can get a lot bigger, since the only thing they need to compensate for any increased surface area is a larger heating coil.

Flame-based fondue pots are limited by the available sizes of fire canisters, and the limits presented by the width of a single flame. Pass a certain diameter on the bottom of the pot and your heat won't be evenly distributed.

That said, flame based fondue pots are inevitably going to last longer than electrics since they have next to nothing that can go wrong. A connection in your electric unit might short out, and then you have no heat.

The other consideration is stylistic. Electric units look flashier in more modern kitchens, and the more traditional pots will fit in better in a homier space.

Know how many people you want to feed, and know what kind of impression you want to make. The rest of your decision will be primarily feature-based.

Fondue's Not So Rustic Origins

The history of the fondue pot itself is inseparable from the history of fondue, the oldest known recipe for which dates back to Switzerland at the turn of the 18th century.

Given the proximity of the countries, it's difficult to say for sure whether the dish originated in Switzerland, France, or Italy, but the Swiss do claim it as a national dish.

The myth that still surrounds it, though, is that it was a kind of peasant food served up in the mountains. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Fondue from then and now share something very important in common, and that's fancy cheeses. I don't mean old farmer's cheeses that almost disappeared only to have some brilliant capitalist rebrand them as artisanal.

No, the cheeses called for in the earliest fondue recipes were expensive imports, and there wasn't much likelihood that the peasants were splurging on Gruyere.

It wasn't until the 1960s that a fondue craze took root in the US. Take yourself to any garage sale in any suburb in middle America, and you're bound to find somebody's grandmother's dust-encrusted, 60-year-old fondue set.

Since then, not much has changed in the design of the pots, though electric units eventually came along to threaten the traditional models, and the fire gels have gotten a little safer and hotter.

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Last updated on September 30, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity.

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