What We Like
Retains heat well
Easy to clean
Ideal size for small kitchens
What We Don't Like
Fuel must be purchased separately
Sick of your standard weeknight dinners? Fondue can be a fun, festive change to the menu. With the right fondue set, you can prepare melted cheese and chocolate or even aromatic pots of oil or broth for cooking meat, seafood, and vegetables. The VonShef Fondue Set features an adorable, cherry red 63-ounce porcelain enameled cast iron pot that can be used on the stovetop or set over an adjustable burner for tableside cooking and warming. Keep reading to find out how well this set performed in our kitchen and whether it’s the best choice for your fondue needs.
Performance: Melted chocolate in minutes
We found the VonShef fondue set to be the perfect size for our dinner party of four. We used the 1.6-quart set to make a chocolate dessert fondue from semi-sweet chocolate chips, a bit of unsalted butter, and cream, and served it alongside an assortment of fresh strawberries, sliced bananas, and mini biscotti.
Rather than prepare it on the stove, we were able to make the fondue right at our dinner table. We combined our ingredients in the fondue pot and set it over the burner dish filled with a tin of Swiss fire gel. The fondue set comes with two burner options: a standard burner dish that fits solid fondue gel packs and a burner insert that can be filled with methylated spirits. It’s worth noting, however, that this set doesn’t include any starter fuel, so you’ll need to buy some in advance of your first fondue night.
We found the VonShef fondue set to be the perfect size for our dinner party of four.
It took us less than ten minutes to melt 6 ounces of chocolate chips into a perfectly smooth, dippable consistency. We found the enameled interior of the pot be virtually non-stick and experienced no issues with the chocolate scorching the bottom of the pot.
Larger recipes may take a little longer to cook or melt but, if you wanted, you could prep recipes in the same pot on the stovetop over more powerful heat and then move the pot to the fondue stand for serving.
Design: Simple, functional, and fun
This set strikes a really great balance between design and function. The cherry red pot and color-coded fondue forks are festive, fun, and plain adorable. The cast iron pot, lid, and stand feel durable and very sturdy, too. The fork rest/lid fits the pot well, but is really only needed if you’re cooking meat or vegetables. We like that the burner plate doubles as a drip tray so you can keep your dining area clean, as well.
The only thing we don’t like about VonShef’s design is that the burner and burner plate get warm enough to heat the surface they’re sitting on. Since we placed the set directly on our table and noticed the heat after the fact, next time, we’d place it over a trivet or other heat-resistant surface just to be safe.
The only thing we don’t like about VonShef’s design is that the burner and burner plate get warm enough to heat the surface they’re sitting on.
The fondue pot is easy to set up and since it’s smaller than other cast iron sets, it’s easier to store in compact kitchens. The smaller size also means you can easily use it outside your kitchen; we’ll definitely be taking it to our outdoor patio for al fresco dining!
Heating Capacity: Can’t beat cast iron
Because the pot is smaller in diameter than similar cast iron models, we found it heated very quickly and stayed hot while we enjoyed our fondue. Cookware made from cast iron is known for its ability to heat evenly and retain heat. The cast iron stand also gets very warm over the burner, which may help transfer heat to the pot.
Cast iron cookware is durable and versatile, but the porcelain enamel can be brittle and crack or chip if not properly handled and cared for. Washing by hand, using wooden or silicone utensils, and allowing the pot to completely cool before submerging in water can all help protect and prolong the life of the pot’s interior.
Cleaning: Super simple to wash by hand
The VonShef set isn’t dishwasher safe and must be washed by hand. While that’s a slight bummer, we found that the enameled pot and lid washed clean with little effort. If you’re worried about hardened chocolate and cheese, a quick soak of the fondue forks in warm water will help loosen fondue remnants. Our only word of caution: Make sure you dry the cast iron parts right away to keep their uncoated rims from rusting.
Price: A lot of bang for your buck
The VonShef Fondue Set retails for $40. It’s a very affordable traditional fondue option, offering charm that’s reminiscent of the Swiss Alps, and excellent heating capacity and retention. The cast iron pot can be used on the stove, in the oven, or tableside as part of the set, making it a versatile piece of cookware for more than just fondue (think: small batches of soups, dips, and cocoa). It’s also durable and, with proper care, should last for years to come.
VonShef Fondue Set vs. Swissmar Lugano Cast Iron Fondue Set
The $100 Swissmar Lugano Cast Iron Fondue Set features a long-handled enameled cast iron fondue pot. Whilt the 1.6-quart VonShef set proved large enough for four people, the 2-quart Swissmar set is a better choice for larger groups. It also includes six color-coded fondue forks, a burner dish and snuffer, and a wrought iron rechaud (AKA stand).
The Swissmar Lugano set is very attractive and available in multiple color options—a definite perk for anyone who likes to match their cookware to their kitchen. Overall, you really can’t go wrong with either fondue set. Both choices are durable, versatile, easy to clean, and offer excellent heating capabilities. The choice here comes down to your budget, which style pot you prefer, and how many mouths you have to feed.
- Product Name Cast Iron Fondue Set
- Product Brand VonShef
- Price $39.99
- Weight 8.25 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 8.7 x 6.3 x 8.7 in.
- Material Enameled cast iron
- Capacity 1.6 qt
- Warranty 2 year
- What’s included Enameled cast iron pot and fork ring/splatter guard, cast iron stand, burner dish, burner plate, six fondue forks