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.
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.