Easy Cheese Fondue

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Jakey Boy with his twins enjoying cheese fondue at night on our porch.

My youngest son, Jakey Boy, had a birthday in February, so I bought him an electric fondue pot and invited his family for dinner.  The fondue was meant to be our appetizer, but it should have been the main attraction.   I wasn’t sure he would like or use the fondue pot, but it was a huge hit with the kids and adults!  His kids all said they wanted fondue for their birthday dinners, and the baby got her wish last week when they used the pot to make chocolate fondue!  

Chocolate Fondue!

Circling around the fondue pot until it was empty reminded me of my days during the 70’s and brought back many fond memories!  

A few pro tips: be sure to get an extension cord if you have an electric fondue pot, and break down some cardboard boxes to line your table, inside or outside to avoid a lot of cleanup.

All gone.

Basic Cheese Fondue

Yield:  6 servings 



  • 1 small garlic clove, halved
  • ¾ cup dry vermouth, which I always keep on hand. Otherwise, use white wine.
  • ½ pound good quality Gruyère cheese, grated
  • ½ pound Emmentaler, raclette or Appenzeller cheese, grated (note I used two kinds of Gruyere since I couldn’t easily find Emmentaler)
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp brandy (optional
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
  • Juice of half a lemon if desired at the end.  For me, not optional
  • Crusty bread cubes, steamed broccoli or cauliflower, carrot, celery or fennel sticks, cubed apple, seedless grapes, clementine sections and/or dried apricots (for serving)

Have everything measured and out on the table when you make the fondue!

Rub the cut side of garlic on the inside of the fondue pot, rubbing the bottom and halfway up the sides. Turn on the pot and add vermouth, then bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. If you have an electric pot, put it on #7 to simmer the vermouth.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss the cheeses with cornstarch. (I did this the night before, grated the cheese in the Cuisinart, added the cornstarch, tossed it well then put it in a sealed container). Add a handful at a time to the simmering wine, stirring until the first handful melts before adding the next. It took very little time for the cheese to melt, but you must rapidly stir constantly with a rubber spatula.  Reduce heat to medium (#3) and stir constantly until the cheese is completely melted. Add brandy if using, and heat until bubbling, about 1 to 2 minutes. Season with pepper and nutmeg, if desired. Squirt in a little lemon juice at the end.  

Serve with cubed crusty bread (I got a baguette so every piece had crust to hold it together)  and other accompaniments listed above.   Red grapes were a hit. 

To clean the pot, let it cool.  Fill the pot with hot water and Oxiclean and let is sit for 10 minutes.  Don’t submerge the pot because of the outlet!  Use a plastic bench scraper to remove any baked-on cheese, then use paper towels.  If you have to use a rag, get an old one you can throw away because it is impossible to get the cheese out.  I would not use a sponge for the same reason other than for the outside of the pot.

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