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There are few things as comforting as unctuously melty cheese, whether it be on a pizza, burger, or atop a pile of nachos. But fondue takes this decadent pleasure to another level: a bath of cheese traditionally seasoned with garlic, wine, and cherry brandy becomes the dip for hunks of warm bread—it's an interactive dining experience that's best shared with friends.
But if you don't love dairy, not to worry. Fondue isn't limited to cheese; other popular iterations include meat cooked in wine sauce (akin to Chinese hot pot) or chocolate (for dipping fruit and other sweet items). You'll need a special pot to host your own fondue party, so we've gathered our favorite fondue pot picks for you to choose from.
Retains heat well
Easy to clean
Forks are not color coded
Fuel must be purchased separately
This enameled cast iron fondue pot has the aesthetic of the traditional fondue pot, so it’s great for traditional cheese fondue meals. The sturdy cast iron pot retains heat well and can be used right on the stove, so you don’t need to dirty a second pot to melt the cheese and then transfer it. The stand is made from wrought iron and holds a gel container that provides the heat.
The six included fondue forks have three tines instead of the more common two, so they hold food a little more securely. The set includes one 3-ounce fire-gel container to get you started right away.
The enamel coating in the cast iron pot means that the pot doesn’t need to be seasoned before use, but nonstick or wooden utensils should be used for cooking the fondue. It should be hand washed. The pot can be used on any heat source. The pot is two quarts, so it will be useful even after the fondue is over—you can use it for warming sauces or heating milk for hot cocoa, and it’s attractive enough for serving.
Dishwasher safe nonstick interior
Easy-to-use temperature control
Nonstick interior is prone to scratching
Fork rest sits loosely on top of pot
While an electric fondue pot isn’t traditional, it’s certainly convenient—and this fondue pot is also very attractive. It has a brushed finish on the bowl and ring, and a mirrored finish on the stand and handles. The ring has notches to hold the forks in place.
This pot can be used with any type of fondue, including oil, broth, chocolate, or cheese. Temperature is controlled with a dial with eight different settings. Foods can be heated right in the pot—no need to heat anything on the stove first. For oil cooking, it takes 10-15 minutes to reach 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
The bowl is three quarts and has a nonstick coating for easy cleaning. After removing the temperature probe and cord, the rest of the components can be washed in the dishwasher.
Eight fondue forks are included, so this is perfect for larger gatherings.
While this is designed for fondue, you could use it for keeping soup, stew, chili, or other foods warm for serving as well.
Simple and sturdy design
Retains heat well
Great for small spaces
Fuel must be bought separately
This design looks simple, and that’s the beauty of it. It’s attractive, but not so flashy that it overshadows the food, while it’s also built for easy cooking. The 1.6-quart enameled cast iron pot retains heat, which keeps the food at serving temperature without fluctuations, and the adjustable flame burner means the temperature can be tweaked for the perfect result. The sturdy cast iron stand holds the pot securely, perched over the flame while the base protects the table.
The included snuffer makes it simple to safely snuff the flame when the party’s over. This includes six color-coded forks, so guests can keep track of their own food. The lid keeps the heat in while still offering access to the pot, while the center hole design keeps the forks neatly separated so they stay where they’re put. This can be used for chocolate, cheese, or even for cooking food in hot oil or broth. Fuel is not included and needs to be purchased separately. It can use either methylated spirits or solid fondue gel.
Ceramic interior is easy to clean
Versatile for use with cheese. meat, and chocolate
Hand wash only
There’s no need to break the bank to have fun fondue. This very affordable electric fondue pot runs on electricity, so there’s no need to buy or store the fuel for it and it’s ready whenever you need it. The pot has a ceramic interior that’s easy to clean when cooking is done, and the temperature control is removable, with a breakaway magnetic cord for safety when the pot is on the table.
This includes eight color-coded fondue forks that match the pot, and the fork holder ring keeps them neatly in place in the pot. The temperature can be set from warm to 400 degrees, and the dial indicates which temperature is best for chocolate, cheese, or for frying meats and vegetables in oil. It holds up to 3 quarts, so there’s plenty of space to serve a party without needing to refill. With the temperature probe removed, the pot can be immersed in water for cleaning, but it is not dishwasher safe.
Retains heat well
Wooden base protects table
Fuel must be purchased separately
This gorgeous fondue set will look stunning on your table and just as good on display in your china cabinet when it’s not in use. It includes a 1.6-quart fondue pot with handles, six forks, a splatter ring, a stand, a fuel burner, and a grooved wooden base.
The pot is made from enameled cast iron that retains heat at both low and high temperatures, so your fondue will stay at a consistent temperature while you dine. You can heat the pot on the stovetop or in the oven, then keep it warm on its stand once it reaches the proper temperature. Three sturdy legs keep the pot stable and provide easy access to the paste or gel fuel below. The wooden base holds everything securely and protects your table from drips or spills.
While it’s designed to be ideal for meat fondues, you can also use it for cheese or chocolate. When you’re not making fondue, you can also use this for soups, hot dips, sauces, gravies, and also use it for stovetop or oven cooking.
Ideal for up to four people
Easy to store
Candles sold separately
Designed for cheese fondue or tapas, this short, square pot comes with a wooden stand and a metal ring to hold the tea light that warms the pot. It includes four forks and comes with one tea light for the first fondue.
While this isn’t a classic fondue design, it works the same way. The small size makes it great for fondue as an appetizer or for a tapas dinner. Or set up several pots with different cheeses for a party.
While this is designed for cheese, it can also be used for chocolate. The ceramic pot is dishwasher and microwave safe.
Generous capacity for parties
Can also be used with liqueurs, nacho cheese, and other sauces
Disassembles for cleanup
Difficult to clean base
Some reviewers have experienced inconsistent heating
If you love chocolate fondue, why not have a fountain of chocolate? This holds up to two pounds of chocolate, so it’s perfect for parties and events. The heated stainless steel bowl looks good and keeps the chocolate flowing at the proper temperature with an auger that moves the melted chocolate upward and ready to cascade down.
There are separate switches for heating and for the motor. When you’re not using this for chocolate, you can use it for cheese fondues, sauces, and more—try it with barbecue sauce for your wings and ribs!
The four tiers are easy to assemble for use and just as easy to disassemble for cleaning and storage.
Our top pick is the Swissmar Lugano Cast Iron Fondue Set thanks to its beautiful cast iron construction, versatility, and excellent heat retention. For a more modern version that doesn't require you to purchase fuel separately, we also recommend the sleek, dishwasher-safe Cuisinart CFO-3SS Electric Fondue Maker.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
The author of this piece, Donna Currie, is a food writer and product tester for The Spruce Eats. A self-professed "kitchen geek," she's written many roundups on a range of essential kitchen items, from the best Thanksgiving gadgets to the top seafood kitchen tools of the year.
This piece was edited by Bernadette Machard de Gramont, an LA-based writer who specializes in global food and wine content. She researches and tests a variety of cookware, bakeware, and wine tools, and interviews field experts for their insight.
Capacity Bigger isn't always better—what you really need is enough depth to dip your food into the cheese. However, in terms of size, smaller pots are great for couples or for using fondue as an appetizer, but if you want to have fondue parties or you have a big family, a large pot makes more sense.
Heat source Electric fondue pots are efficient and have excellent heat control but need a power outlet nearby to operate. Fondue pots that use gel fuel or tea lights can be used anywhere, but you’ll need to make sure you have that fuel available—plus, be careful around the open flame!
Pot material Fondue pots are made from a variety of materials, from ceramic to metal. Some are traditional, some are design-forward, and some are purely functional. Along with different heating methods, they also have different cleaning methods. Consider your needs—as well as what type of fondue you expect to make—and choose a model that makes sense.