What Is a Fire Pot?

Eugene P.
Eugene P.
Thinly sliced Kobe beef for a fire pot.
Thinly sliced Kobe beef for a fire pot.

In the most general terms, a fire pot is any form of cookware that includes within its construction a source of heat, such as a Swiss fondue pot. More specifically, "fire pot" is the literal translation of a type of Asian cuisine more commonly called a hot pot, which involves a pot containing some type of liquid being placed on a table over a heat source so diners are able to cook their own food in the simmering liquid. With Asian cuisine, a fire pot is a traditional presentation used for festive gatherings and when the ingredients served are of exceptional quality, as is the case with Kobe beef. Other pans that have heat sources attached, such a fondue pot or the African adogan, are not broadly referred to as a fire pot, although they do fit the general definition.

Fondue involves melting cheese or chocolate in a fire pit to use as dipping for other bits of food.
Fondue involves melting cheese or chocolate in a fire pit to use as dipping for other bits of food.

The overall concept of a fire pot is to have a container capable of directly receiving heat from a source and cooking the container's contents. This can be a metal or ceramic dish, although electric non-stick varieties also exist. The compactness of the pot and its accompanying heat source are two of the defining factors of a fire pot.

In Asian cuisine, a fire pot or hot pot is a heated container that is placed on a dining table and contains some type of liquid. This is usually beef, chick or veal stock, although fish stock also can be used. Placed around the pot are a number of thinly sliced pieces of vegetables or meat that can be placed on the end of a skewer and held in the simmering stock until it is cooked, after which the pieces are taken back to a plate and eaten. This allows each person eating at the table the ability to decide how well cooked each item is; it also eventually makes the sauce in the pot very flavorful as a result of the addition of the different ingredients.

Unlike an Asian-style fire pot, a fondue pot is not usually used for cooking the food that is presented at a table. Additionally, the liquid used in a fondue pot is usually different types of cheeses or thick sauces instead of stock. The purpose of fondue is to provide a hot accent to foods that are dipped in the pot without having to worry about actually cooking the food itself. To compensate, fondue usually involves pieces of food that are already cooked or, as with bread or fruit, are capable of being eaten unheated.

Discussion Comments

disciples

I have never heard of an Asian fire pot before but I am particularly interested now that I have read this article. What really caught my attention was the bit about the broth being flavored over the course of the meal as people dipped different things into the boiling liquid. I am really intrigued because that means that no two broths would be alike.

Imagine that, a meal that you might eat a hundred times in your life and every time it turns out a little bit different. I love that element of the unexpected and it makes the meal seem like an event.

summing

Fondue is one of my all time favorite foods. I know that some people really look down on it, but be real, that stuff is delicious. The idea of it just makes so much sense. Take delicious things and then dunk them into hot pots of other delicious stuff. How can you go wrong?

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    • Thinly sliced Kobe beef for a fire pot.
      By: kentoh
      Thinly sliced Kobe beef for a fire pot.
    • Fondue involves melting cheese or chocolate in a fire pit to use as dipping for other bits of food.
      By: uckyo
      Fondue involves melting cheese or chocolate in a fire pit to use as dipping for other bits of food.