Do You Fondue?

This dipping pot of bubbling goodness is back in style. It's essential to learn about fondue cooking, so you can cook safely and easily, without any disasters or disappointments. Fondue cooking can be fun and easy by cooking simple recipes. If you have a fondue pot hidden away, dig it out and dust it off. If you don't own one, they can often be found at thrift stores and garage sales, but even at retail prices, they aren't too costly.

Types of Pots, Burners and Accessories

Pots:

Stainless steel and Aluminim are used for all types of fondue cooking, but need lower temp for cheese and chocolate, so they don't burn.
Enamelware/Cast iron pots are used for all types of fondue recipes.
Ceramic pots are typically used for cheese and chocolate.
Metal with nonstick coating for all types of fondue cooking, but some can't reach a high enough temperature for oil.
Stainless Steel with glass inserts for all types of fondue cooking.
Stainless Steel and Copper with interchangeable inserts for all types of fondue cooking.

Burners and Accessories:

Alcohol burners can be used for chocolate, cheese, broth, and oil.
Candles such as votives and tealights are fine for chocolate, but not ideal for cheese, broth, or oil.
Butane heat is good for chocolate, cheese, broth, and oil
Gel fuel like sterno are best for cheese and chocolate, but aren't the best choice for broth and oil.
Electric pots can be used for all types of fondue cooking.

The following are suggestions for accessories:

Dipping bowls
Sectioned plates
Color coded fondue forks
Grilling mitt
Tongs
Butter warmer sets

Safety and Etiquette Tips:

Heat on stove and transfer to fondue pot.
Fondue forks are for cooking, dipping, and swirling. They are not used to eat with. Transfer your cooked food on a plate. No one likes a double dipper.
Place your fondue pot on a trivet and not directly on your table.
Don't move a hot fondue pot and don't leave it unattended with small children.

Bring on the Food

Types of oils to use:

Canola
Olive Oil
Vegetable Oil
Peanut Oil
Safflower Oil
Corn Oil

Cheeses commonly used in fondue recipes:

Emmental
Gruyere
Appenzeller
Fontina
Raclette
Cheddar

Food suggestions to dip in chocolate fondue:

Pretzels
Fresh and dried fruits
Cookies
Marshmallows
Pound cake
Biscotti
Graham crackers
Brownies

Fondue Recipes:

http://www.recipegoldmine.com/fondue/fondue.html
http://www.recipehound.com/Recipes/fondue.html
http://allrecipes.com/Search/Recipes.aspx?WithTerm=fondue
http://www.recipezaar.com/recipes.php?q=fondue

Dipping Sauces:

http://www.greatpartyrecipes.com/dippingsaucerecipes.html
http://www.thedenverchannel.com/food/2848642/detail.html
http://www.recipezaar.com/recipes.php?q=fondue+dipping+sauce

Bonus Tidbits

As you can see, fondue cooking is versatile. It can be enjoyed alone, with family, for a party, or for couples. There's a fondue tradition that states if food drops from your fork and into the fondue pot, you have to buy wine for the host or kiss the person next to you. This might encourage or discourage your fondue manners.

Additional Tips:

Can use fondue pots to keep gravy, baked beans, soups, or sauces warm.
Can use a crockpot as a fondue pot.
Can use bamboo skewers.
Leftover cheese and meat fondue items can be used in soups, eggs, or served on potatoes. Leftover dessert fondue can be used on ice cream.
Fondue pots can be used as an emergency heat source for cooking during power outages.
Fondue is great served outside or inside and during any season.
Can use a fondue pot as a Chinese Hot Pot
Great for Valentine's Day

If new to fondue cooking, you might want to start out with broth, oil, or chocolate fondue recipes. If you really want to do cheese, try adding corn starch to prevent the cheese from separating or adding lemon juice or kirsch, so the cheese doesn't get too stringy.

Enjoy your fondue cooking.

photo by moriza