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I recently visited a fondue restaurant, which had a cooktop built into the table. By all appearances, the cooktop appeared to be an induction cooktop, but I wasn't sure; it could have simply been a contemporary-style glass-top burner.

Does an induction cooktop lend itself well to quickly heating (and maintaining the temperature of) fondue? I thought about getting one of the various portable induction burners available online.

In a more general sense, is there a 'best' type of heat source for fondue?

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In my experience, the lowest setting of my induction cooker - 120 watts - is too high and results in scorched chocolate and will also burn dairy products like a cheese sauce. I wouldn't use it for a fondue - I would use a candle.

It's possible this restaurant had specialty induction cookers that could reach lower temperatures. My single-burner el cheapo induction cooker is standard off-the-shelf.

Edited to add:

I use my induction cooker, never my gas stove, for deep frying. With my induction cooker (which goes up to 2000 watts), 600 watts is the perfect setting for deep frying and no fiddling is required - it always works perfectly. So for hot oil fondues, where you're essentially deep frying meat, I absolutely would use an induction cooker. It would be my cooking tool of choice.

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Induction is not necessarily the most even heat available. Some induction cooktops only heat a small ring that looks like a circle of bubbles when boiling water. This means a great deal of energy is pumping through a relatively small amount of surface area. Conversely, some induction cooktops will heat very evenly. If you have a conventional ceramic or electric coil, that's as even as it gets assuming you have a flat pan. Gas can be very even, but like induction it depends on the unit.

One of the best things you can do is to 'pattern' your stove. Take a pan with a flat bottom and put a 1/2 inch of water in the bottom. Turn the stove to high and see what pattern the bubbles form. For my induction cooktop, it forms the ring that I described above.

The easy way out is to buy a thermostatically controlled electric fondue pot.

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