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The 8 Very Best Fondue Pots

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Fondue is an ideal party food — it’s easy to make and a delight to eat. And it’s basically edible entertainment as your guests gather around a bubbling pot, dipping chunks of bread into melted cheese. But the fun only lasts as long as your fondue pot can stay at the right temperature.

Typically, fondue pots are composed of a metal or ceramic base, a stand, and a heat source. By elevating the base above a heat source, they gently warm ingredients like chocolate, cheese, or butter to keep them liquid and dunkable. To find the very best models, I tested four sets and consulted six experts, including chefs and cookbook authors.

What we’re looking for

Capacity

The size of your fondue pot should depend on your plans and what you’re serving. If you’re hosting a big gathering or preparing a lighter, broth-based fondue, a larger pot will feed a crowd and accommodate more volume as the fluid expands when it boils. A fondue date for two requires a petit pot — a smaller portion could spread out too thin in a large vessel, increasing the likelihood of burning. Below, we’ve listed the capacity of each pick.

Material

Taylor Erkkinen, owner of Brooklyn Kitchen, recommends looking for thick-bottomed pots that absorb heat evenly. But both Erkkinen and René Bollier, the chef and owner of André’s Confiserie Suisse, emphasize the importance of pairing the appropriate pot with the right fondue. For example, chocolate fondue requires a low, even temperature, so you should look for a material that diffuses heat, like ceramic. Broth- and oil-based fondues, on the other hand, should be served piping-hot, so you should opt for materials that conduct heat efficiently, such as copper or stainless steel. Cast iron, meanwhile, is known for its ability to distribute heat evenly, which prevents hot spots and reduces the risk of burning. We’ve noted the material of each fondue pot below.

Heat source

Commercially available fondue pots typically use small candles, ethanol gel, or electricity as heat sources to keep their contents hot. These all burn at different temperatures, so the best choice depends on your intended use. Tea candles will keep chocolate fondue melted without scorching it, while ethanol will provide the extra heat and additional burn time you need for a get-together. For soups or more technical recipes, electricity offers the most precision and control.

Note that using candles or ethanol gel means dealing with an open flame, so safety is essential. Look for a stable stand that won’t slide off and spill, Bollier says, especially if you’re dealing with cheese fondue, which should be stirred while it’s eaten. We’ve described the heat source for each pot below.

Best overall fondue pot

Capacity: 80 ounces | Material: Enameled cast iron | Heat source: Ethanol gel

Ilana Simon, author of The Fondue Bible, says she swears by her Le Creuset fondue pot for its durability and versatility. Enameled cast iron is the best material for cheese fondue, Simon says, because of its unparalleled ability to retain and distribute heat. That’s why she uses the Le Creuset to start batches of fondue directly on the stovetop, and then moves the entire dish to the stand — this eliminates the need to transfer hot melted cheese into a new dish, risking spills or burns. She also praises the shape of this set, noting that the brim of the pot (which holds enough to feed six) has a width that allows for easy stirring. This model is available in three bright colors, including Le Creuset’s signature orange.

Best less expensive fondue pot

Capacity: 54 ounces | Material: Glazed stoneware | Heat source: Tea lights

For fondues with subtle flavors, Didier Pawlicki, the chef and owner of La Sirène in New York City, says he prefers an organic source over ethanol gel, which might affect the taste. But the challenge with a tea light, Pawlicki says, is that it may not get hot enough to reach the desired temperature for cheese fondue (around 158 degrees Fahrenheit). This Boska set solves that problem by using the combined power of five candles. I tested it myself and found that the tea lights did generate enough heat to keep a full pot of cheese melted. It also diffused heat well — I never burned a batch, but did achieve a crispy crust by the time I reached the bottom. This model is also dishwasher safe, which makes cleaning up greasy dishes a breeze. The ceramic exterior is a pleasing matte white and showed no sign of discoloration after multiple uses.

Best electric fondue pot

Capacity: 96 ounces | Material: Stainless steel | Heat source: Electric

Pawlicki says he prefers electric pots like this Cuisinart machine for oil- or broth-based recipes like bourguignonne fondue because they can reach and maintain high temperatures with greater control. Setup takes under a minute, and it heats up quickly, Pawlicki says. Jessie Sheehan, a recipe developer and author of Snackable Bakes, also recommends this model, saying the electric functionality makes the whole process easier because you don’t have to deal with a burner or finding ethanol gel. For serving, this model includes eight color-coded fondue forks, which Simon says makes it easier for guests to keep track of their utensils.

Best mini fondue pot

Capacity: 8 ounces | Material: Cast iron | Heat source: Tea light

Mini-pots allow you to cook smaller quantities of fondue and hold them at the correct temperature (not to mention achieve a crust quickly), Bollier says. They can also help reduce food waste if you’re cooking for two, says Erkkinen, who recommends this Staub mini-set. She says she appreciates the quality and practicality of its cast-iron, heavy-bottomed construction. Although cast iron requires some maintenance, the entire set arrives preseasoned, and the pot’s enameled bottom reduces the chance of rust forming on the exterior. Note that the four included fondue forks are fairly short, so you’ll have to stay within close range of the pot.

Best large fondue pot

Capacity: 220 ounces | Material: Ceramic | Heat source: Ethanol gel

Conversely, for an absolutely massive amount of melted cheese (or shabu shabu), Ines Chattas, the chef and owner of Open Kitchen, recommends this Boska XL pot. Chattas says the vessel’s dual ethanol burners provide enough heat to keep large batches of fondue warm, while the ceramic material diffuses the heat to keep party-size batches from scorching. For safety, this set includes a heavy wooden stand with flared legs, and for fun, it comes with 12 fondue forks.

Best chocolate fondue pot

Capacity: 18.6 ounces | Material: Ceramic | Heat source: Tea light

A bit of crusty cheese is delicious, but no one wants a bite of scorched chocolate. For this reason, Simon says she prefers a more moderate heat source like a tea light in conjunction with a ceramic base that diffuses heat. This Boska Fondue Marie fits the bill, with Bollier saying it’s perfect for chocolate — not only is it made from ceramic, but it’s also designed with an additional ceramic insert that fits into the base, creating an effect similar to a double boiler. Bollier says that with this design, the pot holding the chocolate never comes into direct contact with heat to avoid burning.

When I tested this model, my chocolate fondue stayed silky smooth. I found that the short base suited seated dinners — it was easy to dip without getting up. In addition to chocolate, this model’s gentle heat works well for melting butter to accompany artichokes or crab legs. And because the insert is removable, you can turn up the heat by removing the inner dish and placing food directly in the base.

Best durable fondue pot

Size: 51 ounces | Material: Enameled cast iron | Heat source: Ethanol gel

Bollier trusts Swissmar fondue pots for his restaurant’s fondue nights, saying that the brand’s sets arrive so complete “the only thing you need to source is the alcohol.” He also praises this set’s durability, noting that both the pot and stand have stood up well in his kitchen. Even after years of heavy use in his restaurant, the high-quality enameled cast-iron coating still hasn’t chipped or cracked over high heat. This set also includes four color-coded fondue forks.

Best fondue pot for parties

$54

Size: 48 ounces | Material: Enameled cast iron | Heat source: Ethanol gel

Erkkinen says her pick for hosting is the Twine, which combines a solid cast-iron pot and a gel-fuel canister. She says this set’s heavy cast-iron bottom resists discoloring and that the heat lasts for hours, which makes this a great choice for gatherings — hosts won’t need to worry about replacing candles or staying close to an outlet. This model also includes a cover plate that, when set inside the pot, provides a convenient place to rest fondue forks; this feature “definitely reduces the risk of a fork flipping over and spilling chocolate all over the place,” Erkkinen says. Bonus: You can use the pot for non-fondue cooking; Erkkinen says she likes to make French onion soup and potatoes dauphinoise in hers.

Some more fondue pots we’ve written about

Our experts

• René Bollier, chef and owner of André’s Confiserie Suisse
• Inez Chattas, chef and owner of Open Kitchen
• Taylor Erkkinen, co-owner of Brooklyn Kitchen
• Didier Pawlicki, chef and owner, La Sirène
• Jessie Sheehan, recipe developer and author of Snackable Bakes
• Ilana Simon, author of The Fondue Bible

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The 8 Very Best Fondue Pots