To have a great fondue experience, you need to know how to light your fondue burner safely. First and foremost, you need to make sure that you are using the right type of fondue pot and the right type of fondue fuel.
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Learn more about fondue gel fuel
Lighting the Alcohol or Gel Burner
Your hot oil fondue, broth-based fondue, and cheese fondue require high heat to keep the liquid warm enough to cook your pieces of meat or keep your cheese liquefied. Alcohol fondue fuel and/or gel fuel fondue can be used in a Fondue Burner for these types of fondue.
While liquid alcohol is a dangerous fuel because it is so easy to spill, it is also simple and cheap to use. However, you can't purchase it online because it is highly flammable and can't be shipped. Fondue gel fuel is often a good alternative. There are safety measures to follow:
- Never fill the alcohol burner while it is still hot and never overfill it.
The best way to proceed is to take the burner away from the fondue pot to a safe work area like the kitchen counter. If you are refilling the burner, wait for the burner to cool off. Then carefully pour the liquid into the bottom of the burner.
Your burner should have holes or some kind of mesh with an absorbent pad inside. As soon as you see the level of liquid approaching the holes or mesh, stop.
If you spilled any fuel around or on the burner, wipe it off. Bring the refilled burner (unlit) back to the table and place it underneath your fondue pot. If you spilled any alcohol on your way to the table, especially near the pot, wipe it off.
Make sure that all flammable material is far from the burner (i.e., napkins, paper, etc.). Open the air holes to the maximum opening and carefully bring a lit match to the holes.
Once your burner is lit, discard the used match. Adjust the openings to the desired temperature.
The Boska Holland Safe Fondue Fuel with Flame Regulator, Set of 2, Up to 5 Hours Burn Time, Reseal able, Universal Fit are special one-time use burners that do NOT require you to fill them. They are safer to use as they are already pre-filled with fuel and require the wick to light them so spillage no longer is an issue.
If you are using gel fondue fuel or have a gel burner like the Trudeau Fondue Safety Burner that can use Swissmar Swiss Fire Gel tins or pourable gel fuel and the instructions on how to light your fondue burner are similar to the alcohol burner except for a few major differences.
The fondue burners that are compatible with gel fuel cartridges have a removable bottom half, like this one: Trudeau Fondue Safety Burner.
The part that contains the fuel (sometimes with a mesh surface or surface with holes) can be removed. NOT ALL BURNERS have a removable bottom half, so DO NOT FORCE YOURS TO OPEN!
A gel cartridge can be inserted into the metal casing and the top of the fondue burner with the opening for air can be placed on top of this bottom part.
If you are not using a gel cartridge, you must still remove the bottom portion (with the surface with holes or mesh) and pour the gel directly into the bottom of the fondue burner. Return the top and light as per the alcohol burner instructions. The advantage of using gel fuel is that you don't have to wait until the burner has cooled off.
When you are done eating, simply put the cover on the burner and it will smother the fire.
If you have misplaced the burner for your fondue pot, you may be able to use a “Sterno” type of burner for your hot oil, broth or cheese fondue.
A Sterno is fuel in a container such as this Sterno fuel container.
Simply place it under your fondue pot and light it.
Lighting the Candlelit Fondue
Simply make sure to prepare your fondue on the stove pot using a double boiler or two pots (small pot in a larger one containing water).
When your dessert fondue is ready, you transfer it to your small fondue pot. Your fondue pot only has to keep it warm and liquefied so that your guests can dip their pieces of fruit, cake, or other dippers into it.
This is why the fondue burners for these pots are unscented tea lights. Light the candle with a lighter or match.