Customer Reviews: Rival FD300D 3-Quart Fondue Pot, Black
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on December 31, 2011
**Update Edit**: I originally wrote this review in 2011, after a decade of use. It is now 2015 (coming up on 2016!), and our two original pots are still going strong! I did order two backup pots, as I mentioned intending to do... as yet, we haven't even opened them. We're still fonduing away with our original pots. I can't think of any other small appliance we own that gets used as regularly as our two pots do, and yet still works perfectly!

My husband and I received two of these pots in February 2002 for our wedding shower. Yes, we had actually registered for them - we love to fondue. We're coming up on 10 years of use of the same two pots we were given at our shower, and they are still going strong. Notice that I am posting this review on New Year's Eve 2011/2012 - we just used them again for an afternoon fondue.

I'd say we use these at least monthly, sometimes more frequently. They are useful for so many things beyond just fondue, even as a small deep fryer. I've used them as a backup for my two crock pots when serving a buffet - they're great for keeping soups, sauces and such nice and warm during a lengthy serving time. I've used them to serve Italian Beef & au jus, warm apple sauce, warm appetizer dips, etc. They'll keep these foods warm for hours without burning.

I know a few reviews have mentioned the cord - both the length and the break-away safety feature. A few thoughts on this: Yes, the power cord is short. This can be very inconvenient, especially since I doubt most of us have an electrical outlet in the middle of our dining room table. I know I don't. What I do have, however, is a surge protector strip with a very long cord. We set that down in the middle of the table, and securely wrap the cord a few times around the leg of the table before plugging it in. Then the pot is plugged into the surge protector. This ensures that no one is going to trip over a dangling extension cord and gives us peace of mind that the draw of electrical power into the pot isn't going to overload a flimsy extension cord.

For us, it's well worth it given the high quality of this pot and the even heating it provides. In ten years use, we have never once burned anything in the pot... and trust me when I say that is less because of our own cooking skills than it is because of the high quality of the pot's heating design.

We've also never had trouble with the breakaway actually breaking away when we didn't want it to.

A few tips: Don't use metal implements for stirring/serving. The fondue forks are fine (you wouldn't be dragging them along the interior of the pot anyway), but you don't want your non-stick finish chipping so use only plastic/silicone/wood/etc. for any serving or stirring implements.

We found that the rings designed to hold forks when you're cooking meats and such are sort of useless. We just don't use the rings. On the other hand, we generally only fondue with close friends & family, so we tend to just batter up the meat or whatever and sort of dump it all into the oil or broth. Then after it cooks long enough, we scoop it out with a mesh ladle we have for our Wok. Then we just divvy up the meat (or sliced potatoes, or stuffed mushroom caps, or whatever) and pop in another batch to cook while we enjoy the one that just came out. Your mileage may vary.

There is a little recipe book included with the pot. The Swiss cheese fondue recipe in it is to die for, but I'll warn you that your measurements for four of the main ingredients (1 lb of shredded Swiss cheese, 3 level Tbl. flour, 3/4c milk & 3/4c. warm white wine) need to be EXACT. Even half an ounce off with the cheese, for example, will make the fondue too runny or gritty. So weigh/measure carefully. Put the flour in a zip lock bag, add the shredded cheese, and close the bag almost all the way. Then blow the bag up like you would a balloon, and finish sealing it. You can then shake the bag vigorously, thus ensuring the cheese is well coated by the flour.

I have also found that it is much more effective to put a teaspoon or two of jarred minced garlic (with a little juice) in the pot and spread it around with a paper towel than it is to rub the pot down with a garlic clove. This, by the way, in addition to the non-stick surface, helps keep your food from sticking. You WILL notice a difference when it comes time to clean up a cheese fondue if you've skipped the garlic step. Major pain in the butt.

If you do manage to get a food to stick to the surface and it's not coming off easily, fill the pot with hot water and turn it on for a few minutes. A drop or two of Dawn in the water helps too. We all know that "non-stick" only means "easier" not "slides off like water on a duck." While the water is still hot in the pot, a plastic bristled bottle brush will help with gently removing the food off the pot. Personally, the only food we've ever had any problem with sticking was cheese fondues that we didn't clean up immediately after use.

These pots have served us extremely well over the last decade. We've actually decided to buy two more and keep them in reserve just in case Rival ever decides to discontinue making these. We do NOT want to be without these pots - they are our favorite small appliance and very much loved in our family.
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on February 24, 2009
This pot is great for making quick fondue. Unfortunately, it comes with a really short cord. I have to use an extension cord to set it on the table. Also, it seems to be either too hot or not hot enough. On the plus side, I have washed it in the dishwasher a bunch of times with not a single problem. I make a lot of fondue & it has been very reliable. It's good when you want to make a quick fondue dinner & not have to deal w/the fuel pots and all the irritation that goes along with that. I like this pot overall. Great bargain, too!
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on June 16, 2011
This Rival fondue pot is the best. (I have 4) I have tried others and ended up giving them away. We use beef or chicken stock and it heats up quickly and stays hot with all the meat laden forks in. We are a family of six so I use 2 for meat, 1 for cheese, and 1 for chocolate.
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My family loves fondue, and not just cheese. We actually prefer fondue with meat cooked in oil. So, we need a pot that gets real hot to bring the oil up to temp to cook meat safely. This pot is a great size and the temperature adjustment is easy to use and maintain, so I bought three.

However, the pot has a MAJOR FLAW - the "magnetic breakaway plug for safety." At first this seems like a good idea. The problem is that the slightest movement disengages the plug, and it's not immediately apparent. So the oil or cheese ends up losing heat very rapidly. This is a real hassle when doing a fondue party for many people because when you finally notice the pot is no longer on, you end up waiting and waiting for it to come back to temperature. I miss the days when people could be relied on to have common sense and be careful when working with a hot fondue pot, and not have unnecessary "safety" features added to perfectly fine appliances. They don't feel the need to add this breakaway plug to electric griddles...

This would work great if you are looking for a fryer that will stay on the counter, but not so great for fondue. Sadly, it seems that all the new models of fondue pots have this safety feature.
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on February 13, 2012
Excellent for both oil and cheese, probably chocolate, but I have not tried that particular type of fondue yet. As for this product, it is excellent with easy thermal control. We bought one and tested it out with a vegetarian cheese fondue night when we hosted a good friend of the family. Wine, Cognac, Fondue and Milles Borne (a card game). It was a wonderful night.

So we bought one for my uncle for his birthday, and brought ours over and did garlic flavored oil in one (we cooked scallops, beef and lobster in the oil), cheese in the other and had another wonderful meal.

Great value, good build quality and it is fully submersible for exceptionally easy cleaning.
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on June 20, 2012
Bought this for a chocolate fondue dessert. It was wonderful. Everyone had a great time and it worked perfectly. Yes, we needed an extension cord but it was no biggie. Needed it for the big table anyway to access AC outlet on the wall.

I would highly recommend it. We had 8 people, make about 2 cups of chocolate and had plenty left over. Yes, its big, but that's a good thing when you have lots of people over. I rather have extra room than need more.

Super easy to clean, nothing stuck to it. I will use it again with cheese some day. yummmm.
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on February 16, 2012
I bought two of these to create a fondue dinner night for my hubby on Valentine's Day. These fondue pots are great. However, for us, they are huge. If we have friends over they will be perfect though. We put cheese in one and oil/broth in another for meats. The one for oil/broth was ready before the cheese fondue was.. by the time we went to set up the cheese one, most of the broth had cooked off. Maybe we had it up too high..
I love the nonstick, but I am worried about the fondue forks scratching the nonstick surface. If this happens then they will be useless since teflon is toxic when it flakes off in your food! It came with eight forks. Awesome for parties of 4. One for meats and one for other items, for each person.
Also, they stack for storage- awesome!
It heats up fast! Almost too fast (as mentioned above with the oil/broth cooking off).
I highly recommend these!
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on November 15, 2012
This pot is great- you can make as little or as much as you without burning your ingredients. it is a very large pot, though. Great, easy cleaning.
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on January 25, 2013
High quality non-stick coating (I've used it a few times already and have had to clean it, so I can tell)

I think my favorite feature has to be the removable plug and temperature gauge. It's of a much higher quality than other appliances in this category (like fry daddy's, etc) Very accurate and responsive.

The handles are formed comfortably so you can confidently move it from kitchen to table, and the 3- quart size really is ideal for a fondue for 2-6 people.

It's typical Rival quality... very good.
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on December 8, 2012
I highly recommend this non-stick fondue pot. It is very easy to clean and care for. The pot heats up quickly for cheese and chocolate fondues. It is a great entertainment appliance. My family and friends love it. The down side is you need to keep an eye on the plug. If over extended, the plug will break away from the pot.
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