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Fun with Fondue #35 - Pre-Loved Fondue Pots - Holiday Fondue Ideas
November 27, 2015

I've been getting more and more questions from people who suddenly find themselves with a pre-loved fondue pot and have no idea how to use it. And, with holiday-season parties soon to fill our social calendars, I thought I'd use this month's newsletter to review the differences between fondue pots and what types of fondue you can have with them.

As for recipes, this month I'll offer a list of ways you can make fondue part of your holiday meal plan as an appetizer, main entree, and/or dessert.

Fondue Tip of the Month

What Kind of Pot is That?

So, you've inherited some fondue pot that doesn't come with instructions? Here's how you can tell what you've got.

Look at the burner:

  1. It uses small candles: Chocolate or dessert fondue pot. Technically, it could also be used to "keep cheese fondue warm" (after it's been prepared).
  2. It's a metal burner with holes: Burners like these use either gel or liquid alcohol for fuel and create a lot of heat. They're used for hot/broth/cheese fondue pots, but the material and shape of the pot itself will determine which of these fondues you should have in it. More info on burners and their fuel here:
  3. Sterno type canisters: See above.
  4. Electrical: If it's a crock-pot that can't bring liquids to a boil rapidly, then you could use it for cheese or chocolate fondue. It you can adjust the heat to low and high heat settings (where you can bring liquids to a boil), then you've probably got yourself a versatile fondue pot that is suitable for all types of fondue.

Look at the pot itself:

  1. Small ceramic: Dessert and chocolate fondue only
  2. Ceramic insert that goes into a metal pot: This insert is meant to be used for chocolate and cheese fondue, the metal pot itself (without the insert) is meant for oil and broth fondue.
  3. Aluminum, copper, or stainless steel: Oil and broth fondue
  4. Cast iron: This one will depend on the shape of the pot.
    1. Wide opening with one long handle: Cheese fondue pot, use low heat. Technically, you could use it for oil and broth, but it's not ideal since oil could splatter everywhere and you don't have a fork-holder/splatter guard.
    2. Narrow opening: Oil and broth fondue with highest heat setting. Technically, you could also use it for cheese fondue, but make sure to keep your heat low or else the oil will separate from your cheese and you'll mess up the texture/taste.

To see examples of these pots, visit this page:

If you find yourself with a pot you still can't identify with all of this information, then please post some pictures and a description on our Facebook page and I'll do my best to reply as quickly as possible.


Recipes for the Holiday Seasons

Fondue as a Snack or Appetizer

If you have people walking around and snacking on various things, then the following cheese fondue recipe with red cranberries and green chives, served with pieces of French baguette, green and red apple slices, pepperoni slices, and steamed broccoli florets would be wonderfully festive:

Fondue as an Entrée

If your family wants to sit down, chat, relax, and laugh over a delicious meal, then I recommend broth or oil fondue. Basically, you cook pieces of meat in either a flavorful broth or hot oil, then you dip these cooked meat pieces into one of several dips. You can serve broth/oil fondue with side dishes like salad, potatoes, etc.

You've never hosted an oil or broth fondue dinner? I've got all of the information you need, complete with a perfectly-paired menu (appetizers, three dips, side dishes and dessert), tips and organized grocery list here:

Fondue as a Dessert

You can't go wrong with chocolate fondue. Toblerone seems to be a popular chocolate choice over the holidays, so why not use it to make chocolate fondue?

Serve it with a selection of fresh fruit or dessert bites (donuts, poundcake, soft pretzel, etc.)

Food For Thought

"Food without wine is a corpse; wine without food is a ghost; united and well matched they are as body and soul, living partners."

- Andre Simon

That's it for now. Want more fondue tips and ideas?

Visit the site and browse through my collection of fondue recipes or explore my fondue site in French.

You'll hear back from me in a few weeks.

Until then, be careful with open flames, and have fun with fondue!


Caroline Begin
Fondue Fan and Novelist

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