Cheese Fondue – Best Cheese To Use, Other Ingredients and More

Oct 30, 2020 | Appetizers and Snacks, Recipes

After reading this post, the only question you’ll have about cheese fondue is, why aren’t you eating it right now? Before jumping into cheese fondue, this post will talk briefly about what fondue is generally and the different types, such as oil and chocolate. Then, it will get into how to make cheese fondue and some variations on the recipe, including how to make a traditional fondue and a beer cheese fondue. Then, it will cover what to serve with your cheese fondue. And finally, this post will give a brief guide for what to look for when buying a fondue set, new or used. If you have any questions about cheese fondue that this post doesn’t answer, please ask them in the comment section below, and I will answer them to the best of my ability.

Cheese Fondue


Imagine it is a beautiful winter day, and you’ve been hitting the slopes for hours with your best friends. As you enter the warm cabin overlooking the valley below, your wind burnt face stings. You and your friends joke as you prepare a meal of meat, vegetables, bread, and melted cheese. You sit back, sipping wine, discussing the day’s adventures and laughing about the misadventures. All the while spearing morsels of food on a long metal fork and dipping them into the molten cheese that sits atop a flame in the centre of the table. Is this a dream? Some nirvana that could only exist on the plains of fantasy? No, this, my friend, is Fondue.


Fondue was very popular in 1970s North America. Even though we often think of it in a romantic context, it comes originally from Switzerland, where it is eaten after a long day of skiing the Alps. It is just as likely to be shared among a family as it is by a couple on a romantic getaway. It’s unclear when or why Fondue fell out of favour in North America. However, it would be fair to guess it had to do with the health craze of the 1980s and the low-fat craze of the 1990s. Whatever the reason for losing popularity, it’s a shame because sitting down with people you love drinking wine and dipping food in melted cheese is a wonderful experience.

What exactly is Fondue?

Fondue is a serving style where food is dipped into a pot of hot cheese, oil, chocolate, or broth. Each diner is given a long metal fork or skewer that they use to pick up food to be dipped into the fondue pot. The fondue pot is a metal or ceramic pot that is set in a frame above a small flame. The flame can come from a candle, a Sterno, or a specific fondue fuel.

Types Of Fondue

There are three main types of fondue. They are cheese, oil, and chocolate. Cheese fondue is traditionally a combination of melted Swiss Cheese (such as gruyere) mixed with wine. The recipe in this most varies from the traditional recipe slightly, as you will see in a moment. Oil fondue is when oil is heated and added to the fondue pot. Raw bits of steak and seafood are common accompaniments of an oil fondue. Chocolate fondue is typically a combination of Swiss chocolate melted with sweet wine, liquor, or Irish cream. Often berries, bananas, oranges, marshmallows and sweet bread such as brioche are dipped in chocolate fondue.

How To Make Cheese Fondue

There are different ways to make cheese part fondue. The most traditional method is to melt cheese with wine. However, the method used in this post is to make a cheese sauce starting with a bechamel. This cheese sauce method is preferred because the cheese goes a little further, making the fondue more cost-effective. To make the bechamel, melt one tablespoon of butter, and whisk one tablespoon of flour into it. Cook, whisking for two minutes. Next, whisk in one cup of milk, salt, white pepper, mustard powder, onion powder, and garlic powder. The measurements can be found below. Simmer the sauce, whisking, for about eight to ten minutes.

The Best Cheese For Fondue

The best cheese to use for a cheese fondue is the cheese that has always been used to make cheese fondue. That is Emmenthal. However, Emmenthal can be expensive. Because of this, it is preferred to cut the Emmenthal with an equal amount of a less expensive but equally good cheese such as Jarlsberg. If making a beer cheese fondue, sharp cheddar is a more complimentary flavour.

This recipe requires three cups of grated cheese in total. A 50/50 mix of Emmenthal and Jarlsberg is preferred, but any combination of those types of cheese will work. Swiss Knight Cheese is another good option. Whisk the cheese into the hot bechamel, a little bit at a time, until it has all been incorporated and it’s all melted. The final step is to taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning as needed with salt, pepper, and a little lemon juice or hot sauce as needed. A few drops of lemon juice or hot sauce will add a slight acidity to the flavour of the fondue, drawing out and brightening the natural flavour of the cheese. Transfer the cheese sauce to your fondue pot and set it over a flame.

What to serve with the Cheese Fondue

There are many options for what to serve with your cheese fondue. An important point to remember is that accompaniments should be fully cooked as the cheese will not be hot enough to cook meat or vegetables. Another point is that it is best to offer a variety of ingredients, but it is not necessary to go overboard. A few good quality ingredients, such as bits of ham, roasted mushrooms, slightly cooked broccoli, rare beef tenderloin, good bread, and boiled potatoes, are more than enough. Other vegetables that would work include roasted zucchini, asparagus, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. You can also serve cold cuts like roast beef, smoked turkey, etc.

Ham Dipping Into Cheese Fondue

Cheese Fondue

Common in the 1970s and throughout Switzerland, cheese fondue is making a come back it's time that you got into the game. Delicious bits of food dipped in melted cheese, how could it not be delicious?
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Fondue
Cuisine: Swiss
Keyword: Cheese, Cheese Sauce
Servings: 6 people
Author: Chef’s Notes



  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 1 tbsp Flour you can use gluten-free all purpose flour
  • 1 cup Whole Milk
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp White Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Mustard Powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder optional
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder optional
  • 1 1/2 cups Emmenthal Cheese, grated
  • 1 1/2 cups Gruyere, grated


  • Melt the butter in a medium pot on medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for two minutes while continuously whisking.
  • Pour the milk into the pot and whisk in the salt, white pepper, mustard powder, garlic powder (optional), and onion powder (optional). Whisk until the mixture is just below a boil. Turn the heat down to low and simmer, while whisking for 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and whisk in the grated cheese a little at a time until all the cheese is incorporated. Taste the cheese fondue, and season it with salt as needed.
  • Transfer the fondue to a fondue pot and serve.


Replace the milk with beer and substitute the Emmenthal with a sharp cheddar to make beer cheese fondue. 
To make a more traditional fondue, substitute the milk for wine and omit the flour and butter. 
If the fondue lacks sharpness, add a few drops of Tabasco sauce. 
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Other Types Of Cheese Fondue

Beer Cheese Fondue is made by mixing an amount of beer with the cheese while it’s melting. For four cups of grated cheese, one cup of beer would be more than enough. Beers such as porter, stout, ale, IPA, or many others may be used. When making beer cheese fondue, traditional Swiss-Style Cheese can be used, but it can also be substituted with Cheddar of any kind.

Buying The Best Fondue Set

Before buying a fondue set, consider how often you will actually use it. A fondue set is a great thing if used a few times a year. But it’s also the type of thing that gets pushed to the back of a cupboard, never to be seen again. If you think you’ll only use your fondue pot once or twice, consider buying a used one at a yard sale or even borrowing one from a friend or family member. However, if you are the type of person that loves to entertain and you always have people over for dinner or game nights, it might be worth investing in a nice set or even a few different sets of varying sizes.

When buying a fondue set, ceramic is a better material than stainless steel. Ceramic will hold its heat longer, heat more evenly, and is less likely to burn your cheese or chocolate on the bottom. Avoid electric models if for no other reason than it takes the romance out of fondue. Fondue is also a great way to prepare a meal or occupy some time when the power is out, which is another strike against the electric models. Any other fuel type is fine, and fuel can be found in any kitchen store and most grocery or hardware stores.


Fondue is a wonderful way to bring your family and friends together, slow down, and share a delicious meal that isn’t difficult to prepare. Don’t stress about what to serve with your fondue. It’s meant to be a relaxed affair and an enjoyable experience. Experiment with different types of cheese and other ingredients to create your own unique fondue recipe. And, unless you will use it often, don’t spend a lot of money on a new fondue set, as used ones are easy to find for sale or even to borrow. That leaves only one more question, why aren’t you eating cheese fondue right now?

If you have any questions about cheese fondue that this post didn’t answer please leave them in the comments below.


  1. Nancy

    5 stars
    I came to the website looking for a mac and cheese recipe. Found it that recipe and can’t wait to make it. Then I found this cheese fondue recipe. Is it my imagination or is the cheese sauce for mac and cheese exactly the same as the recipe for cheese fondue???? The both look great.

  2. Chef Ben Kelly

    You’re not wrong. They are very similar. And, I actually use any leftover fondue to make mac and cheese.


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