May 21, 2023 | Samuel Albert
Before buying that fondue set that you've been eyeing for quite a while, you need to consider three different things:
- The space to store your fondue set when not in use,
- The number of times you will use your fondue set, and
- The money spent on buying it.
Is it really worth buying it? Or can you do without it? If you are like me and don't have a fondue set (either it's not in the budget or you care to buy one in the near future), TAKE HEART, we can still make a sumptuous gooey cheese feast without breaking the bank.
To make a delicious and lump-free cheese fondue without a fondue set,
- Use a thick-bottomed metal saucepan
- Never compromise on the cheese quality
- Gentle heat is the sacred commandment
- Mix finely grated cheese with cornstarch thoroughly
- Never dump all the cheese into the cooking pot, as this will lead to clumping
- Constant stirring is a rule of thumb for fondue making
- Bamboo skewers work well instead of fondue sticks
I'll share more of my tips on how to do just that – plus provide a foolproof fondue recipe, so you can get started right away. So grab your ingredients, and let's get cooking!
1. What To Use If I Don't Have A Fondue Set?
If you don't have a fondue set, take a good look around your kitchen and make use of what's already there in your kitchen like,
- A Heavy-Bottomed Pan - Made of cast iron or hard anodized aluminum is a great fit for a fondue pot. These vessels will help in even heat distribution, which prevents the cheese from burning.
- A Slow Cooker - Cooking slow and low is the specialty of any slow cooker, which suits our recipe perfectly. Add all the ingredients and let it cook. But remember to stir in between at regular intervals.
- A Double Boiler - A double boiler is the best option if you don't have any of the above. And the best thing about this is that anyone can set up one, and it mimics the fondue pot. Set up a bowl of water to boil and place another bowl on top of it. The gentle heat of the boiling water slowly melts the cheese, which needs to be constantly stirred.
- Microwave - Last but not least, this is your lifesaver. Though you need to bring the pot out many times to stir and check the consistency, the process lasts only a few minutes - with the extra perk of 'you don't need to continuously stir it.'
2. What Are A Few Tips And Tricks To Make A Lump-Free Fondue?
To achieve that perfectly smooth, chunk-free, delicious fondue,
- Finely shred the cheese. This helps in uniformly melting of the cheese.
- Next, thoroughly coat the cheese with flour or cornstarch to prevent clumping. This also helps make your fondue thick in consistency.
- Rub a clove of garlic on the insides of the fondue pot to enhance the flavor and aroma of your fondue dish.
- For a smooth fondue, use white wine. Now gently heat it.
- Add the cheese in small batches and wait for each batch to melt off before adding the next.
- Stir continuously to ensure the cheese has melted and does not stick to the bottom.
- Add lemon juice to emulsify the cheese and wine mixture.
- Your cheese fondue is ready to be served. Enjoy!
3. How To Fix My Gritty Fondue?
Nothing can spoil your appetite quite like a gritty fondue. Luckily, this culinary fault can easily be remedied.
- Sometimes, using the wrong type of cheese, like cheddar, could be the problem. You can easily solve the issue by using either Gruyere or Emmental or a mix of both to attain a silky smooth fondue texture.
- Dilute your fondue by whisking in a splash of wine to your fondue and see if this fixes the issue.
- If this does not resolve the issue, use a fine-meshed sieve or a cheesecloth to strain the fondue. This will remove the graininess or any unwanted lumps from the fondue.
- If straining has not resolved your issue, then try using a food blender when your fondue is still hot.
- Or try the famous cornstarch and water slurry method. Mix the solution to the fondue and stir it over low heat until all the grittiness has disappeared.
I hope one of these methods has worked for you and you have successfully restored your fondue to its original glory.
4. How To Prepare Cheese Fondue On Stove Top?
Cooking a basic cheese fondue on a stovetop is no biggie, and you'll be surprised when you find out how simple the steps really are.
- Cheese, of course (Gruyere and Emmental are popular options) - 1 pound
- Cornstarch (preferably) or all-purpose flour - 2 tablespoons
- Dry white wine - 1 cup
- Garlic clove - 1 sliced
- Fresh lemon juice - 1 tablespoon
- Black pepper (freshly ground) - according to taste
- Spices of choice like nutmeg, Dijon mustard, and others.
The recipe is as follows:
Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash
- Finely grate the cheese.
- Mix in the flour or cornstarch thoroughly until it evenly coats all the shredded cheese.
- Peel the garlic and slice it. Rub the slit garlic on the insides of the pot.
- Add the white wine to the pot and gently simmer it.
- Once it has reached medium heat, lower the heat and add the grated cheese a little scoop at a time, stirring all the while with a wooden spoon and making sure that the cheese has melted off before adding a fresh scoop of cheese.
- Add lemon juice and black pepper. Add the other spices. Keep stirring to make sure the cheese is smooth and doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Your cheese fondue is ready to be served.
This makes a perfect dipping for fruits, vegetables, bread, sausage, and other choice assortments.
Cheese fondue is a comfort food that can be made easily by anyone at home. Though not everyone has access to a fondue set, you can always use what you have available in hand and can still make it a success.
So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and get started. Make your favorite cheese fondue for dinner and give a big surprise to your family.
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