Finding the Right Chocolate Fondue Maker
The expression "chocolate fondue maker" can be used to represent any of the following fondue equipment:
- chocolate fondue fountain
- chocolate fondue pot
- multi-purpose fondue pot with ceramic or stoneware insert
- any sort of crock-pot type appliance that can melt chocolate
Of course, any of these appliances will allow you to dip delicious pieces of fresh fruit into melted chocolate, but each has advantages and disadvantages.
Chocolate Fountains as Chocolate Fondue Makers
Fondue fountains are great when you expect a larger group of people who will be walking around a room. Ideally, you'd want to place the fountain on a table with fresh strawberries (or other fruit) next to it, along with plates and paper napkins. Your guests would therefore be able to dip them in the flowing stream of chocolate before mingling with some freshly dipped pieces of fruit on their plate.
Although many fondue fountains come with fondue forks, it may be easier to have larger pieces of fruit that people can grab with their fingers (like strawberries) or toothpicks to poke through thick banana slices so people can easily dispose of them when they are done.
The main disadvantage associated with a chocolate fondue fountain
is that it requires a specific type of chocolate OR you'll need to mix your regular melted chocolate with oil to make it flow in the fountain. Messing up the oil to chocolate ratio would certainly ruin an evening, so I recommend the chocolate made for this purpose. Learn more about chocolate for chocolate fondue fountains.
Small Chocolate Fondue Pots
These are what I would consider to be regular chocolate fondue makers. They are normally made of ceramic and use a small tea light to melt the chocolate and keep it warm, like the chocolate fondue pot shown on the left. Although plenty of chocolate fondue recipes can be found, they normally consist of chocolate, some dairy product and additional flavoring like coffee and/or liqueur.
Such chocolate fondue makers are fairly inexpensive and normally come with four fondue forks. They are relatively small (when compared to cheese or hot oil fondue pots) and are perfect for about 4 people.
Because the candle is located under a specific spot, you'll need to keep stirring the melted chocolate to prevent it from burning right above the candle (especially if the wick is very close to the pot).
All-Purpose Fondue Sets
If you're a big fondue fan like me, you likely have a fondue pot for making cheese fondue, hot oil or broth fondue. Many of these pots also come with a removable insert that allows you to use the same pot and burner to make dessert fondue.
These all purpose fondue sets
are normally more expensive and require special fondue fuel (if they are not electric). In addition, while these pots can be used for both a meal fondue and dessert fondue, you should consider whether or not you'll want to clean it up right after dinner and before dessert.
If you intend on having chocolate fondue on a regular basis, and especially right after fondue meals, it may be best to get your own dedicated chocolate fondue maker.
Crock-Pots & Electric Chocolate Fondue Makers
While I wouldn't use my very large Crock-Pot for chocolate fondue, many people choose to use smaller Crock-Pots like the 16-Ounce Little Dipper Crock-Pot
to melt and serve chocolate fondue.
As mentioned, larger Crock-Pots aren't ideal because you'll either end up with a very thin layer at the bottom, or you'll have to use extremely large quantities to cover about 1 inch of your pot, which gets expensive. But, there is another option: you can place a smaller oven-proof dish in your Crock-Pot and use it to melt your chocolate.
On the plus side, you're less likely to burn your chocolate. However, you'll have to use the "low" setting, place the lid on your Crock-Pot and patiently wait for your chocolate fondue to be ready... which can take a while! I guess you could get it started while you're still eating dinner, and you won't have to wait too long before eating dessert!
A great alternative is to use a really small electric chocolate melting pot like the one shown on the left. While it won't serve many purposes other than melting chocolate or other dessert fondue, it will be ready faster and some of these chocolate fondue makers come with lots of useful tools.