If you’re wondering what are the best meats for fondue, this article is for you.
Fondue is the perfect Swiss-origin delicacy that is best enjoyed with loved ones gathered around to dip pieces of crusty bread, juicy meat cuts, or vegetables into a pot of mouth-watering and cheesy goodness.
Moreover, for the most pleasant treat, you should choose a top-notch wine to enjoy with fondue. Imagine, a glass of wine and cheesy fondue melt in your mouth, how fascinating!
But speaking about meat, the best ones for fondue are beef cuts like filet mignon, sirloin, and tenderloin. However, chicken, fish, pork, and seafood are also great options. In the end, it all depends on your personal preference.
If you want to learn more about meats for fondue and how to cook them, read on.
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Table of Contents
What Are The Best Meats for Fondue?
When thinking of fondue, most people imagine a shared meal that includes a pot full of flavorful, melted cheese and small chunks of bread. However, fondue is a super-versatile dish.
Meaning, you can easily replace your dipping bread with veggies or meat of your choice. Or replace your melted cheese with broth or oil. You can also experiment with various types of cheese.
For example, you can mix your ideal cheddar cheese with some other cheeses and enjoy a good dish. Let’s get back to the meat. Dipping different meats into fondue goes way back to the French vineyards.
Workers employed in the fields had to explore their creativity and find easy ways to satisfy their hunger after a long day at work. They would get some meat cuts and cook them in a pot of oil. This cooking style is known as Fondue Bourguignonne, meaning ‘beef fondue’. This is how fondue went viral.
Meaning, it has spread far and wide since they didn’t have the Internet back then. Now, let’s take a look at some of the best meats for this iconic Swiss dish you can use for your next special event.
When cooking beef in fondue, you’re given flexibility.
For example, you can utilize either oil or broth. Either way, keep in mind that you want it cooked quickly and thoroughly for the beef to come out tender and very juicy.
Also, pick the right beef cuts to get the best results. I highly recommend that you splurge a little and opt for something good such as the following recommendations.
Let’s check out some of the best beef cuts for fondue.
This is a well-known beef cut that goes by different names. For example, some people know it as an eye fillet. It’s a slice from the loin of the beef. And it’s often cooked as a steak because it’s tender.
- Filet Mignon
Another well-known steak cut that’s perfect for fondue is Filet Mignon. It means tender filet. It’s another part of the tenderloin. However, it’s a smaller end of the slice that’s also tender and juicy.
If you’re looking for the best meats for fondue, look no further than Sirloin. It’s a cut from the same part of the cow as the club steak, porterhouse, and T-bone. And it’s very flavorful and yummy.
As with regular steaks, you have a wide selection of options when it comes to cooking these beef cuts. It depends on your personal preference, cooking skills, spare time, and how you like your steak.
However, it’s worth remembering that beef cuts like the ones I just stated are best-liked medium-rare. Also, beef cuts often utilized for roasting and stewing might not be the right choice for fondue.
The cooking process utilized in fondue just won’t give these cuts enough time they need to become soft. And you will probably end up with chewy and tough cuts. So, it’s better to invest in better cuts.
The options I mentioned aren’t the cheapest in the market. However, you can also find something cheap that will work just as well as expensive meats. All you need to do is prep the meat beforehand.
Meaning, you need to use a decent meat tenderizer tool to tenderize the meat and marinate it overnight. The main functions of meat tenderizers and the marination process will reduce its toughness. Just make sure to drain off the marinade before cooking it in your oil to prevent any splattering.
Pork is another type of meat that goes well in fondue. It’s easy to prepare and delicious, especially when utilizing oil. However, it requires prep work before you can dip it into your fondue.
Avoid cheaper cuts because they’re usually sinewy. Meaning, they will turn chewy and tough for sure. If you opt for pork cuts, pick something tender yet with a certain amount of fat for flavor.
I highly recommend that you try pork loin. Keep in mind that it’s not the same as pork tenderloin and can’t be used as a substitute in recipes for side dishes with pork tenderloin. It’s a cut of meat along the dorsal side of the animal’s rib cage that’s often thicker and broader.
It also features a lovely coat of fat on top, making it excellent for fondue. Just ask the butcher to remove the bones from your meat. It will make a difference and provide even better results.
Chicken is a perfect option for fondue. You can either cook it using oil or in a broth. That being said, you have various options when it comes to chicken parts. I suggest utilizing chicken breast.
Remove the bones and skin beforehand and tenderize the cuts. I like chicken breasts because they cook perfectly. This is because they’re nothing but pure white meat with barely any sinew or fat.
It’s crucial to remember that the usual rules of frying chicken will still apply in this process. Meaning, you can’t treat your chicken as you would beef. You must cook it all the way through. Watch for pink spots in the middle. There shouldn’t be any.
You can use a sharp and superior poultry shear to cut your chicken into small pieces. Make sure that your chicken is cut in 1/2-inch cubes or 1/4-inch slices. Once your oil has achieved 350°F, just place the pieces inside. They should come out perfect after just one minute of cooking.
Some people don’t like seafood and think it’s not a good choice of meat for fondue. But there’s nothing wrong with trying new things and experimenting in the kitchen.
Surprisingly, most seafood prepares well in broth and oil. Seafood is such a wide category. Meaning, you have a lot of good options to choose from including the following.
Shrimp is a staple of any delicious fondue lunch or dinner. Don’t forget to devein and clean your shrimps properly and you will enjoy a lovely meal with your loved ones in no time.
Although it’s a somewhat expensive choice of meat, the lobster will make your fondue lunch or dinner special. Don’t forget to take off the shell fists. Lobster is quite delicate, so it’s best to prepare it in broth, instead of oil. Otherwise, your lobster meat will become chewy and tough.
- Fish Fillets
There’s a wide array of fish to pick from. Therefore, you’re practically spoiled for options in this regard. I highly recommend using good-quality smoked salmon or tuna, as they’re rich in antioxidants.
Watch this video to know more:
How Do You Prepare Meat for Fondue?
Fondue is a fun and social manner of consuming food with loved ones while entertaining. Cheese fondue is probably the most popular fondue. However, a broth or oil fondue can be just as enjoyable.
Nowadays, meat fondue is either cooked in a seasoned broth or oil. That said, let’s learn how to prepare different types of meat for fondue and surprise everyone with something they will never forget.
How To Cook Beef for Fondue?
The goal of preparing beef in a fondue is to have it prepared quickly but nicely. Roasting beef or roasting beef won’t do the trick. They won’t get enough time to soften and will be chewy.
Opt for filet mignon, sirloin, or tenderloin since they will cook to your preference, well-done, medium, or rare, and stay tender and juicy. If you’re on a budget, marinate a cheaper cut of beef.
This will help the meat become softer. However, don’t forget to drain off the marinade before placing it in hot oil. Beef can be prepared in either oil or broth and served with a fresh side salad.
- Instructions for Cooking Beef in a Broth Fondue
First and foremost, trim the fat from the meat. Then, slice it into about 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch pieces. Heat the broth to 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place your meat on a fondue skewer or fork at approximately one minute, depending on your taste, and put your meat in the broth. Or you can use a good kitchen timer to make sure the time is correct and prevent the meat from overcooking.
- Instructions for Cooking Beef in an Oil Fondue
Again, the first thing you want to do is trim the fat from the meat. Then, slice it into 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch cubes. Heat the oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Put a cube of meat on a fondue skewer or fork. Them, put it in the oil for 30 seconds to 1 minute, depending on your preference.
How To Cook Chicken for Fondue?
The boneless, skinless breast is the perfect part of the chicken to utilize for fondue. It will cook perfectly and you won’t have any fat or sinew. Make sure that your chicken is completely cooked. There shouldn’t be any pink parts left in the center. Serve your chicken with side dishes of your choice.
- Instructions for Cooking Chicken in a Broth Fondue
Slice the meat into 1/2-inch cubes or 1/4-inch slices. Heat your broth to 212 degrees Fahrenheit. Put the meat on a fondue skewer or fork. Place it in the broth for about 2 minutes until cooked.
- Instructions for Cooking Chicken in an Oil Fondue
Again, cut the meat into cubes somewhere between 1/2-inch and 3/4-inch. Heat your oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Put the meat on a fondue skewer or fork and place it in the oil for about 1 minute.
How To Cook Pork for Fondue?
Pork will cook well in a fondue. It needs to be a slice like a beef cutlet or a tenderloin without sinew and a little fat. Budget-friendly slices will be chewy and tough.
Just like chicken, pork needs to be cooked completely before consumption. Thinner strips of pork can be prepared in a broth. However, pork is better cooked in oils.
- Instructions for Cooking Pork in an Oil Fondue
Trim the fat from your meat, leaving a slim coating for better flavor. Slice the meat into 3/4-inch cubes. Heat your oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, put the cubes on a fondue skewer or fork and place them into the oil for 45 seconds to 1 minute. Serve your pork with dipping sauces of your choice.
How To Cook Seafood for Fondue?
Seafood is a great choice for cooking with both broth and oil fondue. You can use lobster, shrimps, crab, fish, fillets, or scallops. Just make sure you clean everything properly.
Delicate seafood cooks better in a broth while fish can be prepared in either. Serve with green salad and citrus for clearing your palate. If you opt for fish, follow the next steps.
- Instructions for Cooking Fish or Seafood in a Broth Fondue
First and foremost, check for any spoiled sign of your fish or seafood, especially if you want to use non-fresh ones. Check the sell-by date, look, and smell of the fish.
Slice the fish fillet into 1/4-inch strips. If you opt for seafood, clean it thoroughly. Heat your broth to 212 degrees Fahrenheit. Place your fish on a fondue skewer or fork.
Then, put it in the broth to cook for 1 to 2 minutes. If you cook shrimps, cook until they become pinkish. If you opt for any other seafood, cook until it’s no longer opaque.
You can serve seafood with dippings of your choice such as the well-known tartar sauce. However, many people opt for a lemony butter sauce that tastes just as good.
Watch this video to know more:
Do You Season Meat Before Fondue?
After cooking the meat, you can either season it in flavorings or sauces of your choice or have it as it is. I suggest that you prepare your sauces in advance. Put your dippings in small bowls around the pot, along with your salads, bread, and meats.
When your loved ones are ready to dive in, just fill your pit half-full of vegetable oil and heat on the hob until it’s hot, but not smoking, and enjoy.
How Much Meat Per Person for Fondue?
1/3-1/2 pound of meat per person should be enough. Whatever you go with will need to be sliced up in bite-size pieces before serving, so make sure to use a sharp knife for perfect cuts.
What To Serve With Meat Fondue?
Crusty French bread, sliced into small cubes or slices is the perfect cheese fondue companion. However, you can also serve walnut bread or sourdough with your cheese, broth, or oil fondue, and meats.
Some people like to add freshness to their meal by serving different fresh vegetables such as cauliflower or broccoli florets. You can also serve vinegary cornichons or fresh endive. Steamed and boiled potatoes are my favorite side dish. Sometimes, I serve chunks of sturdy salami and ham and they never fail.
The Perfect Comfort Food
Meat can either make or break your fondue. Thus, always consider only the best meats for fondue such as beef cuts (tenderloin, filet Mignon, sirloin), pork, chicken cuts, fish, or even seafood.
You can boost the flavors with marinades before cooking or serve them with any sauces. It’s a matter of personal taste. Just remember, because these meets cook fast, softer cuts will work best.
Take a look at local stores for their offerings and pick wisely. Hopefully, you enjoyed this article as much as I enjoyed writing it. Honestly, I’m craving fondue now. If you do too, let’s get to work.