The Best Fondue Pots for Every Dipping Occasion

The winner is the Cuisinart CFO-3SS Electric Fondue Maker.

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best fondue pots
Photo: Amazon

What's the Deal with Fondue

Now a delicacy at ski chalets and cozy restaurants, fondue first became popular in 17th-century Switzerland as a way to stretch resources and feed large families. Peasants could use hardened cheeses and stale bread to make a full, hot meal.

By the 18th century, the dish was named after the French word for "melt" and became a staple. (It later became a symbol of Swiss unity thanks to the Swiss Cheese Union marketing campaigns in the 1930s). As soon as the dish hit the World's Fair in 1964, New York restaurants quickly adopted it, and soon after it was popularized as an American dish.

Which Cheeses to Use in Fondue

Some cheeses are better at melting (without burning) than others. Gruyere is a classic choice, as is raclette and Gouda. Fontina, Emmentaler, and Chällerhocker are also great picks, and cheddar will work as well. Although mozzarella and American melt well as toppings, they're not quite the right texture for dipping. In fondue, the cheese is typically mixed with a dry white wine, which acts as an acid to balance both the flavor and keep the texture smooth.

The cheese must always be grated and added in by the handful to make sure it melts evenly (no one wants lumpy fondue). Tossing shredded cheese in cornstarch helps to thicken the mixture without lumps. Stumped about cheese selection? Murray's Cheese makes it easy, with their own fondue mixes that melt to the perfect consistency.

Recipe: Classic Swiss Cheese Fondue

The Best Fondue Pots

The best raclette, Gouda, and Fontina will only melt in the proper fondue vessel. Wondering what to look for in a fondue pot? We've rounded up the ideal styles for every occasion, from full-flame pots for large fondue parties to tea-light ones meant for tapas. Consider how much you'd like to spend, how many people you need to feed, and how dishwasher-safe you'd like the tools to be. Do you like stainless steel, cast iron, ceramic, or even glass?

Thanks to its generous 3-quart capacity and an ultra-safe magnetic power cord, the Cuisinart Electric Fondue Maker earns our top choice.

These are some of the best options for every fondue style.

Best Overall: Cuisinart Electric Fondue Maker

cuisinart fondue pot
Amazon

With eight fondue forks, a 3-quart capacity, temperature control, and a nonstick interior, this set from Cuisinart is the one-stop shop for making and enjoying fondue. There's a reason it has so many five-star ratings on Amazon and ranks as the best-seller in electric fondue pots. The value of this model specifically averages a perfect rating, and customers also appreciate how easy it is to use. The power cord also attaches with a magnet, so you'll never risk yanking the hot contents onto the floor or a loved one by accident. The set works with cheese, chocolate, broth, and oil, so you're free to choose your own fondue adventure.

To buy: From $70 (originally $110) at amazon.com, williams-sonoma.com, or macys.com

Best Enameled Cast Iron Pot: Swissmar Lugano

swissmar cast iron fondue
Amazon

This sturdy pot is as close to classic fondue as it gets. The Swissmar Lugano set includes six fondue forks, a 2-quart enameled cast iron pot, and the rechaud burner stand. The pot itself can be used on any heat source, so it works just as well on the stovetop too. The pot comes in three colors: black, cherry red, and deep blue—but the enameled interior is the classic white in all versions.

To buy: From $120 at amazon.com, bedbathandbeyond.com, walmart.com, or surlatable.com

Best Ceramic Pot: Boska

boska ceramic fondue pot
Food52

Boska is known for its fondue sets across the board, and its ceramic pots are reliable and easy to clean, plus they look great on the table. For a smaller size and a budget option at just $30, the 750-milliliter Boska pot is easily heated with three tea lights, and the pot is microwave-safe for melting the contents quickly. For a centerpiece at a dinner party, the 1-liter ceramic fondue pot also comes with four forks and a stainless steel base, but sports oak handles and an oak bottom for the base. Both pots are dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup.

To buy: Boska 1-liter Fondue Set, $89 at food52.com or amazon.com

To buy: Boska 750-milliliter Fondue Set, $25 (originally $30) at amazon.com

Best Electric Fondue Pot: Swissmar Mont Brule

swissmar stainless steel fondue
Williams Sonoma

Another quality Swissmar product is the electric version of the classic 2-quart fondue set. The flameless heat makes it heat faster while also being safer for families with small children. The adjustable thermostat control is more precise than a flame for heating either cheese or chocolate to the perfect melty consistency. The stainless steel material makes the set easier to lift and store as needed once fondue season ends.

To buy: $80 (originally $100) at surlatable.com or $110 at amazon.com

Best for Fondue Parties: "Mr Big" Fondue

mr big fondue pot
Food52

If you've got a large family that visits often or enjoy hosting friends, a large fondue set is for you, and this Boska means business. With a full 1.5-gallon capacity, it's meant for people who don't mess around when it comes to cheese. The pot is fire-proof ceramic, the base is oak, and it includes 12 forks for dipping. Who says your tailgate spread can't include fondue?

To buy: $400 at food52.com

Best Small Pot: Crate & Barrel

glass fondue pot
Crate & Barrel

On the other end of the spectrum, a fondue for one or two is the perfect treat to keep at home. This little glass and ceramic number from Crate & Barrel is the perfect size for just that, with a 3-cup volume, two bamboo forks, and a dishwasher-safe pot and base. The pot's borosilicate glass is designed to withstand heat, and the simple design makes it easy to operate and store away. Looking for smaller, more individual fondue pots? Boska also makes a 6-ounce size that can do even smaller batches. Waste not, want not!

To buy: Boska Tapas Fondue, $30 at amazon.com

To buy: Glass and Ceramic Fondue Set, $20 at crateandbarrel.com

Best Versatile Pot: All-Clad Fondue Set

all clad fondue pot
Williams Sonoma

For cheese and chocolate, most fondue pots will do the trick. But if you seek a hot oil and meat element for your fondue setup, this set from All-Clad is a great fit. The 3.5-quart size is plenty for the usual goodness of cheeses and melted chocolate, but also leaves the option to cook meat in oil by removing the insert. The cast-aluminum pot is stovetop-friendly, and it comes with eight color-coded stainless steel forks.

To buy: $200 at williams-sonoma.com

Best Chocolate Fondue Fountain: Nostalgia Chocolate Fondue Fountain

chocolate fondue fountain
Amazon

Set up your dessert fondue right nearby your cheese fondue with the most popular chocolate fountain on Amazon. It's a steal at just $25 and can also work with everything from nacho cheese to barbecue sauce. The three-tier tool has a 24-ounce capacity and is easy to assemble and store. All it requires is to melt the chocolate in the microwave, then the interior heating element will keep it flowing as long as it's still full.

To buy: $40 at amazon.com

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