Gadget name: Trudeau Electric 11-Piece 3-in-1 Fondue Set
It looks like: A miniature model of a UFO spaceship.
How it’s supposed to work: Fondue pots keep cheese and chocolate fondue at the perfect temperature (somewhere between warm and hot) so you can serve your guests the ultimate, decadent dip for everything from baguettes to apples.
How we tested it: We prepared a batch of Cook’s Country Cheese Fondue (recipe is free through March 4, 2013) and timed how long it stayed at our desired temperature once it was transferred to the Trudeau Fondue Set.
How it actually works: This fondue pot held our cheese at the right temperature for well over an hour, leaving us with ample time for a leisurely meal. The double boiler distributed heat evenly, preventing hot spots. Chocolate fondue also turned out well, and when we took out the stoneware insert and used just the stainless steel pot, we got excellent results with oil and broth fondues for cooking meat.
Drawbacks: We wished the control dial had exact temperatures as opposed to a simple red stripe. Also, we were forced to make the fondue in a separate pan and then transfer it to the fondue pot; the added step meant one extra dish to wash.
Good to know: When shopping for fondue pots, models that employ fire may look exotic. However, you have to buy special fuel, and the flames tend to scorch the cheese and break the fondue. The electric Trudeau, on the other hand, keeps the temperature steady.
My favorite part: Its versatility and ability to handle all types of fondues. Other pots we tested could do cheese and chocolate but not oil and broth. This pot could do everything.
Overall: This pot may not have the romance of a flame, but otherwise it has it all.
Watch Christopher Kimball and Adam Ried discuss fondue pots on the “Upscale Meat and Potatoes” episode of Cook’s Country TV: