I had a fondue pot not too long ago that was one word- SCARY! It used a little flame under it and you had to use denatured alcohol to fill it, which was a bear to find in my neck of the woods. After a few times of using it and realizing that the flame was too hard to adjust, and the temperature was too hard to keep steady, um, I accidentally (I say accident but perhaps it was fate) dropped the pot on the floor and it cracked.
Fondue is one of those things my kids and I have as an every once in a while thing and it's a nice girls night in sort of thing. Daddy isn't included in fondue. After several months without a fondue pot, in Target one day I grabbed the Rival Stainless Steel Electric 3qt. fondue pot for $29.99 and decided to bring fondue nights back to our house.
Like I said, this is electric, and it does have a temperature dial that goes from warm on up to over 400 degrees. Boy that dude heats up fast too! No wandering around waiting for it to heat up. It holds 3 quarts, and you also get 8 fondue forks which all have a different colored dot on the end and the pot has a removable fork ring where you can rest your fork in the pot.
This also has one of those magnetic cords which can be a tad annoying, but it has its reasons. I find that this cord stays in pretty well and won't pop out every time you move the pot. You will need an extension cord, or at least I found I did when I used it at my table and the table is a good distance from the wall. I just used a little short household extension cord, but if you need to use this say at a buffet table or something like that you would probably need a much longer cord.
When you first get your pot, you need to wash all the parts. The pot itself is non-stick, but not meant to be put in water at any time. I stick the fondue forks and the little fork holder in the dishwasher and no problem. After you get everything cleaned up, you need to temper the pot, which you just stick some vegetable oil in the pot, heat it up, then let the pot cool completely and then wipe out the excess oil. It didn't take long to do this either, and I really didn't have much oil to clean out either.
So, when you are ready to cook, (you get several recipes in with the directions), it really takes no time to heat up the pot, and you could really do some meat fondues in this one where you have to fry stuff in oil, and have no problem getting your oil to the right temperature. Around here we just do cheese fondue, and this had no trouble melting a brick of cream cheese in no time. I really like the warm setting on this as well, it keeps stuff from going stone cold but yet it doesn't burn anything either.
Do note though after long periods of use the exterior gets a tad warm. Not horribly warm, but be sure to warn people not to stick their hands directly on it. This really cleans up quite nicely too, even with the cheese most of the excess just slid right out and I only had minimal clean up.
I was thinking the other day this might also be good during the holidays or perhaps other get togethers not only for fondue, but things like hot dips or soups. It does hold a good amount and has no problem heating up, so you could keep things like Rotel hot too.
Overall, no complaints here. It is nicely priced, works well, cooks evenly, heats up fast, and cleans up great. I wish I had bought this ages ago and never got the one with the flame!