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Fondue At Home - Is It Really Worth It?

DISCLOSUREThis post contains affiliate or referral links to something I love, but will support the cost of running this site if you click and/or make a purchase. My love is genuine and was not swayed by any form of compensation, if at all. I paid for all of the fondue stuff with my own money. I am currently receiving a free trial of  the paid version of Once A Month Meals as an affiliate. There is a free version, but I plan to stick to the paid version once my trial ends.

I've always wanted to go to The Melting Pot, a fondue restaurant, but having never tried fondue, it always seemed cost-prohibitive to me (not to mention I was a single parent for such a long time that spending money on such things seemed frivolous).

With that and the fact that I wanted to enjoy fondue with a group, I decided to invest in a fondue set. Naturally, I looked on Amazon first. If the fondue-whim hadn't come about less than 24 hours before the night I decided I wanted to delve into fondue with friends, I would have just waited the whopping two days with my Prime shipping. I ended up paying more for the Cuisinart 3-Quart CFO-3SS Electric Fondue Maker with a 20% off coupon from Bed, Bath and Beyond.

Right now, it's $44.55 on Amazon. Although Amazon prices change, use that as a price point. The price at the bottom of this post is live. If you have an ad-blocker enabled, you might not be able to see it.

I may have jumped the gun and purchased the fondue set first, but I did do a little research and decided that electric was the way to go. Different types of fondue (for example cheese fondue, oil fondue, commonly used for proteins, broth fondue and dessert fondue) require different temperature settings. The Cuisinart CF-3SS has eight temperature settings and can handle it all.

Why would I want to make fondue at home, you say? If you're like me, you might have thought that fondue was just cheese for dipping and chocolate for dipping. It's so much more than that. I didn't really grasp that from The Melting Pot's menu, but Debbie of Debbie's Home Shop did a great job of  explaining almost everything you need to know about fondue.

The most important thing I learned before the party was what groceries to shop for, fondue etiquette, dipping sauces, that you literally cook the proteins (raw) in the fondue pot and recipe basics.

It wasn't until after that I'm looking at Debbie's post thinking, I could have literally followed her every instruction and things would have been perfect. I went overboard.

Here's how our two-day fondue fest went down.

THE FONDUE POT // As I mentioned before, I bought the fondue pot at Bed, Bath and Beyond. I ordered it online for in-store pickup and paid for it in-store with a 20% off coupon. Plan ahead folks. Not only could I have saved a few bucks, about an hour at Bed, Bath and Beyond, but also the extra money I spent on things while I was in store.

I ended up with a $24 GIANT cutting board (which I actually needed), eight empty spice jars (which I needed, but should have gotten 10), a cheese grater (that I didn't use and may never use) and some As Seen On TV toilet bomb things that didn't really work.

Buy it on Amazon. In fact, if you're looking to host a fondue party, having more than one fondue pot makes a huge difference. I don't have a huge dining room table. I'd say it's normal sized, but can expand. We didn't expand it, but since it's rectangular not everyone could easily reach the fondue pot. With more than one fondue pot, you can also make different types of fondue at the same time.

By the way, this guy is dishwasher safe. I love kitchen gadgets, but when they're hard to clean, they're not my friend.

THE FOOD // If you're going to invest in a fondue set, find some basic starter recipes and buy only the ingredients you need for those. Unlike the path we chose, I would not recommend having a fondue party. In fact, I would just try one recipe on one day, then space it out. Maybe try one per week or even one per month.

It's not cheap, folks. That's why it costs so much per person at a fondue restaurant. Not only did I spend money on the equipment, but I also racked up a pretty penny on cheeses, ingredients for dipping sauces and things to dip in the various styles of fondue.

The dessert fondue seemed to be the easiest, then the oil fondue. The cheese fondue ended up being the most complex. I bought way too many varieties of cheese and not enough of each. However, the first batch of cheese fondue was awesome.

For the oil fondue, choose only one protein. It's not a good idea to have different types of raw proteins in the same oil. We were going to use steak, but somehow it got moved from the fridge to the freezer on accident. So, we had shrimp. Unfortunately, the shrimp was TINY. You definitely want to get a BIG shrimp. It's a lot easier to handle with the fondue "forks".

It felt like we were eating one green pea at a time or one bean. It was portion-control gone WILD. Whatever protein you use for the oil fondue, make sure it's enough for an actual bite instead of a nibble.

FONDUE ETIQUETTE AND FOOD SAFETY // The fondue fork is used for dipping and/or cooking. Do not eat off the fondue fork. Not only can it cause burns, but it's unsanitary. Plus, if you're using it for proteins, there was just raw food on there. Each person should have one fondue fork as well a dinner fork.

If you don't have fondue plates (they're divided), be sure to have separate plates for raw proteins as well as plates for cooked ingredients. It goes without saying, don't double dip.

Now, the Cuisinart fondue set I bought has 8 forks. With four people at two forks each, if you're using an oil-based fondue or a broth based fondue, the more forks you use the cooler the temperature of the fondue.

THE VERDICT // We haven't used the fondue pot since late January. I am a cheese-a-holic, but I seriously think I got cheesed out. Then again, it's not really an every day occasion thing, but I do want to use it more.

Last week when I did my first once a month cooking session, I found an oil fondue recipe for Fondue Bourguignonne, which we'll be making as soon as we know when the teenager is off work to join us.

The big thing for me is being able to add variety to our home-cooked meals, so we're not tempted to eat out as much. We've saved a ton of money by not eating out in general. To me, the prices at a fondue restaurant likely have A LOT to do with the prep and the cleaning and less with the food.

If you're throwing a "party" with multiple fondue courses and you don't like to prep and clean, fondue at home may not be for you.

Since I decided to throw a "party" before ever making fondue, I found this Kindle eBook to be a fantastic investment. The price at the bottom of the post is live.

IS IT REALLY WORTH IT? // The fondue pot paid for itself in just one weekend for us. Over 5 courses, we fed eight mouths. That's about $400 at a restaurant. That's about what we spent on the equipment and ingredients. Again, we went OVERBOARD on the ingredients and ended up using them for meals that same week.

The fondue pot I chose was the best fit for my family, but for a party, you definitely need more than one. I love that it's dishwasher safe and with it being electric it can handle multiple types of fondue.

As far as prep and clean-up goes, it's a lot of work, even if you're just having fondue for two at home. Then again, if you use it just a few times a year, it's worth it to me.

QUESTIONS & COMMENTS // Did I miss anything? Probably. Feel free to ask any questions or share your comments below.



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melsaywhat: Fondue At Home - Is It Really Worth It?
Fondue At Home - Is It Really Worth It?
Should you invest in a fondue pot(s) for home use? Find out our experience with fondue at home here.
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