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Old 10-18-2007, 01:47 PM   #1
Assistant Cook
Join Date: Oct 2007
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How do I use gel chafing fuel on a fondue set.

Hey there,

I just managed to find this forum in my quest for answers so I hope you can help me out here :)

Sorry if I seem dumb :P

Ok....a few months ago I bought a cast iron fondue set from amazon. I also bought some gel chafing fuel from ebay. this stuff (doh I cant paste urls yet on the site due to the site rules, but if ebay search Sterno Fondue fuel then you'll see what i'm referring to :))

The question is....how should I use it :).

the fuel tins that I bought have a heat indicator on them - so presumably they're able to be run straight in the tin and distinguished......so what do I do with them? just throw a match into the chafing fuel.....or alternatively not blow myself up, and put some sort of wick or paper or something on it to be the lit part?

The fondue set says it works with methylated spirits or fondue gel, it comes with a smaller sized tray of sorts that it says to put the gel into to go under the fondue. Presumably that would be a better fit for the purpose I'm using the gel for, so I'm guessing that it will be a case of scoop some of this stuff into the bowl...but again, do I just light the gel or some sort of wick :)

Thanks for the help and again, sorry for the dumb questions :P just trying to stay alive


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Old 10-18-2007, 02:16 PM   #2
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Hey, Tuck. Welcome to DC :-)

I used to use these when I was a server at the local officers' club, when we had buffets. You just light the gel in the tin with a match. If it seems to be putting out too much heat, you can partially cover the opening with the lid. I wouldn't take the fuel out of the tin.

Keep the lid - when you're done with the fire, put the lid back on and it will extinguish the fire. If I'm looking at the same item you bought - Amazon.com: Cooking Fuel - Gel: Home & Garden - the product description says it's reusable, as long as there is still fuel in the tin. HTH.
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Old 10-19-2007, 10:29 AM   #3
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You could also use a sparker over the gel if you're wary of burning yourself, but a match will do fine.
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Old 10-19-2007, 10:35 AM   #4
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hi guys,

thanks for the replies - ok so I was brave and lit it last night as a test now that I knew it wasnt going to explode on me :)

Luckily it just fits under the fondue set so should be ok to use.

I took a look at the burning metal thingy (sorry for my lack of terminology :P) that came with the fondue set. It had a sort of cartridge with an unremovable mesh over it with some sort of wool cloth flattened under the mesh. There would be no way that the gloopy gel from the tins would go under the mesh. The instructions just say to put either metholated spirits in it, or fondue gel. I would presume that buying some meth spirits and pouring it onto the cloth-like pad would be how to use that.

Would I be right in thinking that once that has burnt off, then that 'cartridge' will be unusable, as presumably the cloth would have burned away. And I'm also presuming that you can buy some sort of replacement cartridges though I havent managed to find any of these to buy yet.

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Old 10-23-2007, 12:12 PM   #5
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The 'thingy' with the cotton and mesh is for alcohol - I just take the cotton out after removing the screen and drop the Sterno can right in there. If it is what I'm thinking of it also has a swinging lid attached to the handle to control the heat. Been wrong before
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Old 10-29-2007, 09:45 AM   #6
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While I am not in America, I have a metal fondue set which I use with the gel inserts. I buy them in a pack of three from department stores (over here that is David Jones and Myer, not the Targets and Kmarts of this world though) or from kitchen speciality stores. They come in packs of three. Anywhere that sells fondue sets would sell the gel or at least could order it in for you.

You don't want the heat to high, just high enough to keep the oil at the right temperature. You don't want your meat greasy. When you have finished, just cover the gel up and save for next time. I often get one and a half to two fondues out of it.

A tip for your next fondue - set a bowl of tempura batter by the side of your fondue and dunk your seafood and vegetables in the batter before you dunk in the oil. Yummy and oh so fresh! Be careful though with seafood - keep it dry or the oil will spit. Scallops aren't so good, nor is delicate fish.
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Old 10-31-2007, 12:18 PM   #7
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P.S., I think most of us agree that the dumb question is the one you do not ask. If you don't ask, you've stopped learning.
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