10 Alternate Uses for Your Fondue Pot
By Suzanne Raga
Whether your pot is filled with gooey cheese or melted chocolate, fondue makes for some seriously fun (and seriously delicious) eating. But you can do so much more with your fondue pot, from making soup to keeping food warm before you serve it. So grab your skewers and read up on these 10 alternate uses for your fondue pot.
1. MAKE SOUP.
A warm bowl of chicken noodle or tomato soup can be comforting in the winter months. Thankfully, you can use your fondue pot to heat up broth or frozen homemade soup. Just pour the liquid and other ingredients into your fondue pot, wait 30 minutes to an hour (depending on your pot and heat setting), and enjoy a bowl of soup.
2. DEEP FRY FOODS.
An electric fondue pot can double as a small deep fryer. Fill your pot with oil and deep fry your food of choice, whether it’s onion rings, calamari, mini donuts, tempura, or latkes. To avoid hot oil splatter, keep the oil level as low as possible, stick to frying small batches of food, and make sure to keep an eye on the temperature so you don’t burn yourself.
3. KEEP APPETIZERS WARM.
When cooking for guests, oven and stovetop space often come at a premium. If you’ve got meat cooking in the oven and vegetables staying warm on the stove, bring out your fondue pot to keep appetizers and other small bites warm until you serve them. You can also fill your fondue pot with extra dip, sauce, or self-serve chili for those Super Bowl party hot dogs.
4. MAKE YOUR HOME SMELL GOOD.
Air fresheners and perfume can make your living space smell better, but your fondue pot can quickly transform your home from malodorous to magnificent. Pour water and vanilla extract into your pot, set it on a low heat, and let the fondue pot do its thing. As the vanilla extract slowly heats up, the aroma will waft around the room. If you’re a fan of essential oils, try lavender, lemon, or your favorite calming or invigorating oil instead of vanilla extract.
5. MAKE "CAMPFIRE" S'MORES.
Although fondue pots are often used to simply melt chocolate for dessert, you can turn your pot into a makeshift campfire for s’mores. After melting chocolate in the pot, hold a skewered marshmallow above the heat to soften it. Spread the melted chocolate and marshmallow on a graham cracker, and voila! Campfire fondue pot s'mores.
6. PREPARE SHABU-SHABU OR HOT POT.
Your fondue pot is perfect for several Asian styles of cooking, such as Shabu-Shabu, Steamboat, and Mongolian Hot Pot. Recipes vary, but the gist is this: Boil water or broth in your fondue pot and add thin slices of meat and vegetables. Beef, tofu, mushrooms, and pea shoots work particularly well. You can sit around the communal pot with friends or family while the hot water cooks the ingredients. Use skewers or chopsticks to remove the food, dip it in sauce, and enjoy!
7. IMPROVE YOUR COMPLEXION.
Most DIY facials start with opening your pores, and your fondue pot can certainly help with that. Heat water in the pot and hold your face over the steam, being careful not to overheat or burn your skin. Once your pores feel open, put a cleansing mask on your face and relax. For a more spa-like experience, add sprigs of rosemary or a few drops of essential oils to the water before heating it up.
8. STORE EXTRA STUFF.
Kitchen space comes at a premium, and it can be difficult to find storage space to stash all your pots, pans, and cooking tools. When you’re not using your fondue pot, take advantage of the space inside of it by storing extra utensils, whisks, and graters in it. And if for some reason you’re having a party without fondue, you can even fill your pot with ice and chill a bottle of white wine.
9. SERVE COCKTAIL WEENIES.
Mini hot dogs in barbecue sauce are always a hit at parties and tailgates. By putting cocktail weenies in a fondue pot with your favorite barbecue sauce, you can keep the "little smokies" warm for hours. Just be sure to provide enough skewers.
10. MAKE TEA OR COFFEE.
If your coffee maker is out of commission and you’re suffering from caffeine withdrawal, a fondue pot can come to the rescue. Boil water in the pot and add instant coffee or your favorite tea bag. You’ll be sipping your favorite warm beverage in no time.
All images via iStock.