Friday, February 20, 2009

Buying A Fondue Pot

By Andrew Long

Fondue has come back in style in a big way. No longer is it that groovy fad from the seventies, now it's a great way to add some fun to any dinner party. But in order to make fondue, you'll need a fondue pot. Here are some things to consider when buying a fondue pot.

Perhaps your desire to own a fondue pot is because you've recently had it at a party or out at a fondue restaurant. Most likely, you've tried cheese or chocolate fondue but did you know that you can also make a hot oil or broth fondue? Knowing what types of fondue you plan on making will help you pick the right fondue pot.

Those old fashioned fondue pots with a small tea light candle underneath them are cute but not very effective at melting cheese. If you get one of those, you'll have to heat your ingredients on the stove and then move them into the fondue pot on the dinner table. The best way to go is an electric hot pot. Just turn the dial and it heats up. No open flame to worry about and even the most stubborn chocolate will melt nicely in an electric fondue pot.

Another great new feature that some fondue pots have is a magnetic cord that just snaps apart if pulled. This comes in very handy if you have pets or children who never sit still and may trip over the electric cord. Chocolate covered pets are probably pretty hard to clean so these new snap off cords really come in handy.

Accessories are always important to consider when buying anything. The same is true with a fondue pot. You could create the greatest, most delicious fondue masterpiece but no one is going to enjoy it if you don't have any fondue forks. Be sure your set comes with forks. A fork holder ring is nice to have too but don't worry if you set excludes it because it isn't necessary.

Being able to control how hot the fondue pot is getting is very important when cooking meat or hot oil fondue. Most of the time a temperature of about 350 degrees is needed to cook filet, pork or chicken thoroughly. Having a temperature dial on the pot makes it easy.

A non stick coating is important too. Melted cheese is pretty sticky so unless you enjoy cleaning your fondue pot for days at a time, I'd go with a non stick surface.

The best way to clean up a fondue pot is not to have to do anything at all. And the only way that a fondue pot would clean itself is in the dishwasher. A dishwasher safe fondue pot is a dream come true.

Burning your hands would ruin your fondue dinner. Having a pot with a cool touch handle would help you to avoid this. But one of those big oven mitts would probably work just as well. And for that matter, you really should be moving a hot fondue pot anyway. This feature isn't that important.

And if you're cooking hot oil fondue be sure not to use one of those old fashioned ceramic fondue pots. The high temperature of the oil could crack the ceramic pot and then scalding hot oil will get everywhere. If you want to make chocolate, cheese and hot oil fondue then you should go with an all purpose fondue pot made of stainless steel.

These are some of the things to remember when buying a fondue pot. Try to pick one that has the features that are most important to you and you'll be making fondue in no time.

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