Here’s a fun food fact: fondue originated in Switzerland as a melted cheese dish served in a communal pot and eaten by dipping bread into the cheese using long-stemmed forks. This cool way to have you and your guests cook food at the table became popular in North America in the 1960s.
The original cheese fondue has morphed into a variety of irresistible iterations, from a melted chocolate mixture to dunk fruit in, to heartier versions where pieces of meat, fish, chicken and vegetables are cooked in hot oil or broth.
Regardless of what your family’s fave fondue fix is, you need some form of fuel to keep it hot. That heat source comes from a burner filled with liquid alcohol fuel or gel packets containing a gelatinized alcohol. If you lose the burner, or the one you have stops working, then you’ll have to find a replacement.
We narrow down the four best fondue burners you can buy online. Read on and find the right one that fits your fondue pot.
Top Pick Best for Hot Oil or Broth: Swissmar Fondue Burner
You’re a fan of fondue. So much so, it’s your favorite go-to meal when you entertain a group of friends. You spend hours carefully selecting quality ingredients and preparing the platter that will hold the fondue’s food. There’s something special about a meal that brings people together as they share conversation and dip strips of beef, pork and veggies to cook quickly in a fondue pot filled with hot broth. Sadly, the burner on your best fondue set broke. If you are looking for a new fondue burner to get you back into the cooking game, then this is the model for you.
We recommend the Swissmar Fondue Burner for all your hot fondue cooking needs. This fondue burner uses gel fuel, which is ideal for keeping the liquid in oil or broth-based fondue dishes.
The handy gel fuel reservoir has a flame adjuster that allows you to control how much – or how little – heat you need. Turn it up high to get the liquid boiling, and then reduce the heat to keep it hot enough to cook the food. And when you’re done and you want to extinguish the flame, the convenient burner cap shuts it down and makes sure everything stays neat and safe.
Measuring 7 x 2 x 4 inches, this vital fondue accessory is easy to use and to clean. Works with most fondue pots that use gel-fuel burners. Makes a great replacement burner or a second one to have on hand. And did we mention that it comes in a gift box? Share the fondue magic and give one to a friend. They will thank you for it.
- Can be used with Swiss fire gel
- Makes a good replacement or additional burner
- Comes in a gift box
- Fuel not included
Top Pick Best for Cheese Fondue: Cuisinox FON-BURN Stainless Steel Fondue Burner
Brunch is your favorite meal and a regular Sunday treat is cheese fondue, one you and your family enjoy occasionally in a Swiss-style restaurant. But you don’t have to go out to enjoy all of that cheesy deliciousness. Why not make your own at home? Dip chunks of French bread into a melted cheese and wine mixture any time you want. Be a star host and enjoy fondue with friends. If you’re looking for the right burner to make cheese fondue at home, this model is for you.
We recommend the Cuisinox FON-BURN Stainless Steel Fondue Burner if you want a reliable burner that offers enough heat to melt cheese and stays hot for the duration of the meal. A great feature of this burner is that is takes gel or alcohol fuel, making it compatible with all kinds of fondue pots. Plus, it gives you the choice to use the fondue fuel you prefer.
Made from stainless steel, this attractive and functional fondue burner comes with a neat regulator, so you can control the intensity of the flame. So easy to use, too. Just fill the burner with fuel by pouring it into the mesh material of the inner cup, light the fuel and then simply rotate the regulator to open three, six or none of the holes to control the amount of heat you need. The more holes you open, the hotter the flame. Want to cool things down a bit. Closing holes cuts off the flame-feeding air to give less heat.
Another cool feature? You can remove the cup that hold liquid fluid and place a gel-type can there instead. Talk about flexibility.
- Can use gel fuel or alcohol
- Compatible with different fondue sets
Top Pick Best Burner Overall: Boska Holland Safe Fondue Fuel with Flame Regulator, Resealable, Universal Fit
Planning on a holiday celebration, romantic anniversary dinner or family gathering party? Look no further; a delicious fondue is the way to go. Whether it’s cheese, chocolate or meat, fish and veggies, everybody can be their own chef by cooking their personal favorites at the table while having fun doing it. If you are looking for a quality fondue burner to fit your fondue pot to get your party started, this is the model for you.
We recommend the Boska Holland Safe Fondue Fuel with Flame Regulator, Resealable Universal Fit burner for all of your fondue needs. Most burners require you to purchase the fuel it needs separately. Then you have to pour or place the fuel into the burner yourself, making sure not to over-fill or spill.
The beauty of these fondue burners is that they come pre-filled with fuel. No fuss, no muss, no mess. Odorless and resealable, these burners are so easy to use. Just light the wick, and when you’re done, seal it up again to use next time. These useful burners last for up to five hours, so you’re sure to not run out before the end of the meal.
Measuring 7.09 x 3.78 x 1.89 inches and weighing 3.88 ounces, these fondue burners don’t disappoint. Thanks to the movable top, you can regulate the heat and flame of the burner yourself. Safe to use, the special fluid can only be ignited in the burner using the wick, so if there is any spillage, it will not ignite, meaning there is no fire risk.
And did we mention that these handy fondue burners are eco-friendly? Made of recycled materials, the container can be disposed of in its entirety after use, to be recycled again. Guilt-free fondue fun at its best.
- Easy to use
- Comes pre-filled with fuel
- May not fit all fondue pots
Top Pick Best Decorative: Swissmar Wrought Iron Rechaud with Fondue Burner
You consider yourself to be a fondue master. It’s a way of eating that suits your diet and gregarious lifestyle. Preparing fondue for a group of friends is economical and less wasteful than traditional meals, as everyone cooks and eats the foods they prefer. To accommodate your eclectic taste in fondue, you have a sweet collection of fondue pots to satisfy any craving that comes your way. If you’re looking for a cool fondue stand and burner to fit all your crafty and stainless steel fondue pots, then this is the model for you.
We recommend the Swissmar Wrought Iron Rechaud with Fondue Burner with a traditional style wrought iron base as a perfect start to entertaining your family and friends. Your ceramic fondue pot will look right at home on this old-styled stand, but so will your sleek stainless steel pot.
This set comes with a Swissmar fondue burner can be used with Swissmar gel liquid or cans. With the gel fuel reservoir, flame adjuster to regulate how much – or how little – heat you need and a burner cap to extinguish the flame when you’re done, all that’s left is deciding which fondue pot you’d like to use, you’re good to go. It doesn’t get much easier than that.
- Stand can be used with most fondue pots
- Uses gel fuel only
- Fuel sold separately
Things to look out for:
Consider these things when looking for a fondue burner so you will choose a model that works best to suit your needs:
It’s a given that you need a good burner to make fondue; burners provide the heat source to keep your melted chocolate warm and your broth or oil hot to cook meat, fish and veggies.
Having the correct burner for the specific kind of fondue you desire is essential for cooking success. But before choosing a fondue burner, it’s important to understand what kind of fuel or fuel sources a fondue burner uses. Some accommodate only one kind of fuel, while others work well with more than one.
There are several types of fondue fuel used in fondue making. These include paste fuel, gel fuel, candle lights, alcohol, butane and sterno. The type of fondue you want to make will dictate the type of pot and fuel you should use. Of course, it’s always best to read the manufacturer’s instructions that come with your fuel burner to know which fuel to use in it.
As a general rule, liquid fuel creates more heat than gel fuel, so if your burner supports both, you may want to use liquid alcohol fuel for hot oil and hot broth fondue. Gel fuel works great for cheese fondue. You can also use alcohol fuel for it, but you may want to reduce the heat slightly by reducing the size of the openings on your burner.
A Butane Fondue Burner
Butane is odorless, safe to use, versatile and is best used for a fondue that needs hot oil or broth to cook beef, pork, chicken or veggies, as it is typically too hot to use with chocolate fondue. A butane fondue burner burns for different lengths of time and can burn on high for an hour, on medium for three hours and for nine hours on low, and can vary depending on the size of the butane fondue burner.
An Alcohol Fuel Burner
Alcohol is as versatile as butane when used with a fondue burner unit that has an adjustable burner option. A small flame using alcohol fuel is good for chocolate; a medium flame works well for cheese fondue; and a large flame is recommend for use with oil or broth. Using an adjustable burner unit allows you to control the flame by opening or closing the top of the unit. You can close the top completely to turn off the burner.
Generally, there are two types of burners that use alcohol fuel. One type consists of a small tin filled with glass wool. To operate, you pour the alcohol fuel over the wool and then ignite it with a match. The other style has a small receptacle with a wick. You fill the receptacle with the alcohol fuel and you light the wick. Both styles control the flame through an adjustable lid that controls the amount of air coming in. These kinds of fondue burners are considered safe, although it’s recommended not to move the fondue unit while the burner flame is on.
Gel Fondue Fuel
Gel fuel includes Sterno in tins, small units or bottles. When used with an adjustable burner unit, it works for most fondue pot types however, it’s not as good a choice as alcohol or butane fuel for a fondue that uses oil or broth.
Typical fondue burners that use gel fuel are comprised of three pieces. The extinguisher part should be placed on top of the burner when you are done with the meal and want to put the flame out. The other two parts of the fondue burner unit that uses gel fuel has a bottom that holds the fuel and a fitted cover with adjustable vent holes to control the intensity of the flame.
Gel fuel generally lasts a good amount of time in terms of heat duration. Three ounces of gel fuel on high will burn for approximately 90 minutes. This fuel source is considered safe to use and is available at most hardware stores.
Tea Light Candles
This source of heat for fondue is used mainly for chocolate fondue. With such a low melting point and a penchant for burning easily, chocolate for fondue should be melted on the stovetop first and then transferred to the fondue pot. Tea candles keep the chocolate warm enough so that you can dip pieces of fruit or cake into the heated chocolaty liquid.
Liquid fuel creates more heat than gel fuel, so if your burner supports both, you may want to use liquid alcohol fuel (see below) for hot oil and hot broth fondue. Gel fuel works great for cheese fondue (and you can also use alcohol fuel for it, but you may want to reduce the heat slightly by reducing the size of the openings on your burner). Leave the air holes open. The larger the opening, the higher the heat coming out of your fondue burner. When you are done eating, simply put the cover on the burner and it will smother the fire.