Shopping & Reviews

The Best Fondue Pots for a Winter Filled with Melted Chocolate and Cheese

From electric to romantic candle-lit models, these are perfect for a fondue party.

By Hannah Selinger

Published on January 26, 2022

What’s the fastest way to a food lover’s heart? Is it through chocolate? Through cheese? If you said fondue pot, you’re covering all the bases. If you’re not sure how to shop for the best fondue pot, we’re here to solve all your hard-pressed questions. As experts like Alexandra Jones, a Philadelphia-based food writer and the author of Stuff Every Cheese Lover Should Know will tell you, you should be looking for “sturdy construction, the ability to evenly distribute and retain heat,” and “the ability to go from stovetop (where you'll probably be doing the initial heating) to the table.” There’s plenty more to consider, too, which is why we tested through six different pots in search of the best method of bringing melty cheese and chocolate to your mouth. 

In our quest to find the ultimate in fondue-ing, we bring you a thoroughly vetted breakdown of what we loved, what we liked, what we didn’t care for, and what we suffered through in the name of science. Long live the melt! 

Our Top Picks

Best Overall

Capacity: 1.9 quarts | Dishwasher-Safe: no | Power Source: gel burner  | Material: copper with ceramic insert

What We Like

  • Nice aesthetic
  • Large capacity
  • Excellent heat distribution

What We Don't Like

  • Hand-wash only
  • No temperature control
  • Copper requires maintenance

Why we chose it: This easy-to-use, all-purpose fondue pot has a lot of great qualities. 

With great heat distribution, large capacity, and a nice aesthetic, we found that this fondue pot was great for a crowd. It’s good for those who have never used a fondue pot before, and can keep cheese from burning or breaking. The copper, while pretty to look at, tarnishes quickly (you’ll need special materials to retain luster). It’s also hand-wash only, so take note. But if you’re looking for a basic, reasonably priced model that won’t suffer too many pitfalls and that looks nice on the table, it’s hard to go wrong with the Swissmar Lausanne.

Best Value

Capacity: 1.5-quarts | Dishwasher-Safe: yes | Power Source: electric  | Material: stainless steel

What We Like

  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Temperature-control
  • Color-coded forks

What We Don't Like

  • Medium-capacity
  • Cheap material
  • Not as aesthetically pleasing as some pots

Why we chose it: An inexpensive model that’s perfect for the fondue novice. 

With temperature controls and color-coded forks, this inexpensive fondue pot has some of the bells and whistles of top models–and it’s even dishwasher-safe. The capacity is more on the medium side, so plan accordingly. It’s also made from cheaper materials, so cheese has a tendency to burn or break if you’re not being vigilant since it’s less heavy-bottomed. The real sacrifice is that the pot is not as beautiful as some of the tonier models.

Best Electric

Capacity: 3-quarts | Dishwasher-Safe: yes | Power Source: electric  | Material: brushed stainless steel

What We Like

  • Nonstick interior
  • Serves up to eight
  • Large capacity

What We Don't Like

  • Teflon isn’t for everyone
  • Some scalding risk
  • Hard to regulate temperature

Why we chose it: An electric model that will keep the party going even when you’re doing something else. 

With its large capacity and nonstick interior, this electric fondue set is made for a crowd. Teflon makes this pot extremely easy to clean, and it’s also dishwasher-safe, a fun two-fer. Because it’s electric, this pot can get very hot, meaning there is some risk of scalding. It can also be difficult to regulate temperature at times. 

Best Candlelit

Capacity: 1 quart | Dishwasher-Safe: Not disclosed | Power Source: tealight | Material: ceramic

What We Like

  • Nice aesthetic
  • Microwave-safe
  • Ceramic is dishwasher-safe

What We Don't Like

  • Ceramic prone to breakage
  • No temperature regulation
  • Smaller capacity

Why we chose it: A romantic and delicate addition to the world of fondue. 

This pretty fondue set is microwave-safe, and ceramic as a whole is dishwasher-safe, though we must disclose that Boska does not specifically say whether this vessel can go in the dishwasher. The aesthetic here is streamlined and romantic. It’s a nice way to serve fondue, even if the heating can be uneven at times. Ceramic, though, can be prone to breakage, and there is no way to regulate temperature. At one-quart, this is one of the smaller fondue pots, and it’s best for those looking to entertain smaller groups.

Best for Chocolate

Capacity: 13.5 oz. | Dishwasher-Safe: no | Power Source: candlelit | Material: ceramic and stainless steel

What We Like

  • Easy to clean
  • Double-lined to prevent burning
  • Nice aesthetic

What We Don't Like

  • Not dishwasher-safe
  • Small capacity
  • Only comes with two forks

Why we chose it: A fondue set that’s best for the chocolate crowd. 

This chocolate-specific fondue set comes with a double-lined pot that prevents chocolate from burning, a must with this temperamental ingredient. The ceramic is easy to clean and the set looks cute on any dessert table. It is not, however, dishwasher-safe, and its small capacity and two-fork setup means that it is really only designed for the tiniest of parties.

Best Splurge

Capacity: 2 ½-quarts  | Dishwasher-Safe: no | Power Source: gel burner | Material: aluminum

What We Like

  • Oven-safe up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Slotted rim for resting forks

What We Don't Like

  • Not dishwasher-safe
  • Expensive
  • No temperature regulation

Why we chose it: The crème de la crème of the fondue pots, this pot can even go in the oven. 

With a limited lifetime warranty, slotted rim for resting forks, and ability to go into the oven, this model seemingly has it all–and a price tag to match. It is expensive, which is a drawback for some, and it has no temperature regulation. It also cannot go in the dishwasher, which some fondue lovers may find problematic at this price point.

How We Chose These Products

The majority of these pots were tested using a standard classic cheese fondue recipe. The chocolate fondue pot was tested using a classic chocolate fondue. A fondue was prepared outside of the pots and then placed into the pots to test heat retention, potential for burning, potential for breaking of cheese/chocolate, ability to dip food in, capacity, ease of use, safety of use, and ease of cleaning.

Features to Keep in Mind When Shopping for a fondue pot

Types of Fondue Pots

Fondue pots come in various shapes, sizes, styles, and materials—and with various features, which should inform your decision-making, says Alexandra Jones. Electric pots, she says, “can be used for a variety of different fondue styles,” including high-heat cooking in broth or oil, or low, even melting of cheese or chocolate. There are some cons, like the requirement of an outlet, but some models come with breakaway plugs. “A small, candle-powered pot may be less intimidating to a first-time fondue maker than one heated with a Sterno or butane burner, but a single candle won’t be able to keep more than a small quantity of cheese molten.” Materials used range from stainless steel to ceramic to enamel-coated cast iron.

Heat Source 

“Generally, candles are used for smaller pots and sterno for larger pots,” says Tia Keenan, cheese expert and author of three cheese-focused cookbooks. “What's most important is that the heat source is sufficient for the size of the pot, and that it burns long enough to sustain even heat throughout the session.” Some pots are also heated via an electric heat source, and those are controllable by dial. 

Overall Design & Aesthetics 

Design, Keenan says, is actually an integral part of the fondue experience. “Fondue meals embody the communal joy of eating,” she says. “They should beckon you to enjoy and experiment, so I think aesthetics are very important. A beautiful pot presented with artfully arranged ingredients are a part of the whole experience.” If you feel drawn to a particular pot, so be it: perhaps that’s the pot for you.

Temperature Controls

Not all pots are equipped with temperature control settings (you’ll find these, more notably, on the electric pots). They allow you to increase and decrease the settings on the pots, which is particularly useful if you’re heating chocolate or using oil in your fondue. Temperature controls are not necessary on fondue pots, but they can be useful, and some people do prefer them. 


As with anything involving food and fire, fondue can become a safety hazard. “The number one rule for safe-fonduing is to never leave your pot unattended,” Keenan says. “That being said, I had a ceramic pot crack and "explode" from getting too hot after I left it unattended. It was a huge pot that I used as part of a buffet on Christmas Eve. No one was injured, but there was a lot of hot cheese everywhere!” Some fondue pots offer built-in safety precautions, like fork holders, heat rings, and pot guards, which you can look for when shopping. 

Ask the Experts

Q: What can you dip in cheese and chocolate fondues?  

“You're really only limited by your imagination,” Keenan says. “For cheese I like to offer lots of veggies—some raw, some cooked, and some pickled–and really great breads cut into bite-sized pieces. For chocolate, I like fruits, meringues, marshmallows, and cubes of pound cake or even toasted bread sprinkled with sugar and warming spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.” The options, she says, are practically endless.

Q: How do I clean a fondue pot if it is not dishwasher-safe?  

Actually, a fondue pot isn’t as hard to clean as you might think, Keenan says. “If there's anything left in your fondue pot (there shouldn't be!) pour it out,” she says. “Soak the pot in dish liquid and hot water for 20 or so minutes, then wash with a sponge.” 

Q: What else can I make in a fondue pot?

There’s only one answer, Tia Keenan says: nothing. 

Q: What is the best material for a fondue pot?  

“Material is pretty important,” Alexandra Jones says. “It's going to determine what melts best in your pot. Glazed ceramic is traditional. It holds heat well and helps distribute it evenly. This style of pot is best for forming the crunchy crust of toasted cheese at the bottom of the pot that traditionally concludes a fondue session. Enameled cast iron is the other go-to for low-and-slow melts like cheese and chocolate, but it's sturdy enough that you can use it for broth and oil, too.” Stainless steel, Jones says, will work as long as the bottom is heavy, and copper-clad retains heat nicely, but they’re harder to clean. “As beautiful as they are, I'd shy away from vintage models, which tend to be made from thin aluminum, and which can heat unevenly and won't hold heat as well as cast iron or ceramic.”

Our Take

Fondue pots range in style from electric to candlelit to everything in between. Our best overall, the Swissmar Lausanne, struck a happy medium between traditional and luxe: it’s a copper-finished pot with a large capacity and excellent heat distribution that will stand the test of time. Still, if you’re in the market for a smaller, more high-tech, or less expensive pot, we’ve tested the pros and cons of all those models, too. 

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