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Fondue is a dish that involves melting a food, typically cheese, in a pot so other foods can be dipped into it and eaten. Foods commonly dipped in include fruit, bread, and meat. Several people eat from the same fondue pot, though each person has his or her own fork. The fork has a long handle, allowing the diner to dip the food into the fondue without burning his or her hand.
When looking for a fondue pot, there are several things to consider. Traditionally, the pot is made of earthenware and placed on a small burner in order to keep the contents inside warm and liquefied. This traditional version is called a caquelon or caclon. It may also be made of enameled iron or glazed ceramic.
Aside from holding on to tradition, there really is no advantage to using a traditional fondue pot. If you want to purchase this type, however, be sure it is heavy and thick in order to provide for proper distribution and retention of heat. You will also need a hot plate or alcohol burner to keep the contents warm after melting them on your stove.
A much simpler design is an electric pot. If you decide to purchase an electric fondue pot, be sure to select one that has an adjustable temperature control. This way, you can melt the food inside and then turn the heat down in order to keep it warm. Ideally, the electric pot should be able to be turned up as high as 425°F (about 218°C).
You also need to be sure to select a fondue pot that is large enough to hold plenty of dip for all of your guests. Keep in mind that several people will be eating from the same pot. To make clean up easier, the pot should also have a non-stick interior.
In addition, your fondue pot should include forks that are designed specifically to go along with the pot. Ideally, it should have a storage system for the forks, such as a fork ring that can be attached to the pot. That way, there is less chance of misplacing the utensils.