This fountain uses a mechanical auger to draw chocolate, not an electric pump. Has a small profile, and is easy to disassemble and clean. Can also serve as a cheese fountain.
Auger assembly can be very noisy during operation. Limited 2-pound capacity.
This 3-tier fountain is made from stainless steel and finished in elegant black to fit in with your decor. Suitable for chocolate, fondue, BBQ sauce, and even liqueur. Mechanical auger flow cuts down on clogging risk.
Somewhat limited by 1.5-pound capacity. Auger can be a bit loud.
Convenient electric plug-in operation that melts chocolate and keeps it warm for serving. Compact and portable design allows for easy transportation. Can be safely positioned on any counter or kitchen table. Easy to clean.
Some owners report issues with temperature control.
It may look complex, but this 4-tier cascading fountain assembles quite easily. Its 2-pound capacity is perfect for midsized groups. Suited for chocolate, cheese, liqueur, and other sauces. Controlled via simple dial.
Cascading design makes this fountain slightly more cumbersome to clean. Loud.
Can hold up to a pound and half of chocolate at once. Has a separate heat and motor function that ensures that both chocolate and power does not get wasted. Each tier is stainless steel making it easy to clean up when done.
Some users noted that it was loud when operating.
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While a fountain of gently cascading chocolate might seem like the stuff of fairytales or the highlight of a child’s dream, in reality, anyone can add the delicious fun of a chocolate fountain to their party or event. Once only available to professional event planners or caterers, today’s consumers can find an abundance of chocolate fountains for sale that are geared toward home use.
If you’re looking for a chocolate fountain and wondering how to choose one, we’re here to help.
Sometimes referred to as a “fondue fountain,” a chocolate fountain adds a decadent touch to your party or social gathering and is a fun way to serve your guests. You’ll find chocolate fountains at birthday parties, bridal and baby showers, holiday gatherings, and family reunions. It seems that people everywhere enjoy a little dose of sweetness when they’re celebrating.
A chocolate fountain needn’t be a one-use appliance, either. You can use your chocolate fountain over and over again, and it can dispense more than just chocolate. Most fountains can also cascade melted cheese, barbecue sauce, ketchup, melted caramel, thickened maple syrup, and even cream cheese frosting.
Consider the following applications:
A chocolate fountain can serve as a nacho cheese fountain with hotdogs, apple slices, meatballs, or pretzels for dipping.
A chocolate fountain can serve as a ketchup or barbecue sauce fountain with chicken nuggets, meatballs, hotdogs, or French fries to dip.
A chocolate fountain can dispense maple syrup. Possible dippers include chicken nuggets, fruit, bacon roll-ups, and waffles.
A fountain that dispenses frosting or Nutella is great for dipping cookies, doughnut holes, marshmallows, or fruit.
Chocolate fountains designed for home use are generally smaller and less sturdy than their commercial counterparts. They are not elaborate or complicated devices, but there are still a few cool features to look for when choosing one.
Noisiness is a major concern with chocolate fountains; one of the biggest complaints is that the motor is too loud. Look for a unit specifically marketed as quiet or silent during use.
If the chocolate gets too thick and gloopy, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for what kind of oil to add to thin it out. I use cocoa butter.
Adjustable feet are a must. If the fountain is off-center, the melted chocolate won’t cascade evenly, and the fountain could begin to wobble. Adjustable or stabilizing feet allow you to compensate for a slightly uneven table or counter.
Most commercial chocolate fountains are made entirely of stainless steel, but many home fountains are made of plastic, sometimes with a stainless steel bowl. Although plastic fountains can actually be easier to clean than stainless fountains, an all-plastic unit is likely to fail sooner than a stainless steel model.
For easy cleanup, look for a chocolate fountain with a removable bowl and dishwasher-safe components.
Whichever fountain you choose, once it is shut off, the basin will cool down, and any remaining chocolate will harden. It’s crucial to clean the fountain before this happens. Otherwise, your cleanup will be much more difficult.
Auger-style pumps lift the chocolate out of the basin to the top of the fountain, where it cascades down the fountain tiers. These fountains are usually suitable for other foods, such as melted cheese or ketchup. Simple pumps that merely suck the chocolate out of the basin are more likely to clog or break with thick cheese or sauce.
A healthy capacity is important, although you can always keep the chocolate flowing by refilling the basin when it runs low. Most smaller chocolate fountains for home use hold one to four pounds of chocolate at a time, with roughly one pound of chocolate serving 10 guests.
Some fountains allow you to turn off the heat if you are going to cascade a non-warm sauce like ketchup.
A built-in bubble level shows you right away if your fountain is straight or not and makes it much easier to adjust the feet. Without this feature, a separate level needs to be used to check for evenness.
Considering their entertainment value, chocolate fountains are a bargain. Most models intended for home use cost between $35 and $50.
Very large or commercial fountains commonly cost over $100.
A. Your chocolate fountain needs to be on a level table or countertop where your guests can easily reach it without stretching uncomfortably. Watch out for drafts or air conditioning vents; air blowing directly on the fountain could cause the chocolate to cascade unevenly, or even worse, splash or splatter. Cold air can cause the chocolate to harden in the fountain, so keep your device away from cold spots.
It’s also a good idea to set the fountain away from crowded areas such as a dance floor or busy kitchen doorway.
A. You can use a chocolate fountain outdoors as long as you have an electrical outlet nearby and a sturdy, even spot to place it. But doing so is usually asking for trouble. A breeze or sudden gust of wind could splatter the chocolate or fill the basin with dust. A chilly day will cause your chocolate to harden instead of cascade. Also, remember that many insects like chocolate just as much as you do! In most cases, you’ll want to keep your chocolate fountain inside.
A. Yes. The chocolate in a fountain needs to melt easily and stay melted, requiring a higher percentage of oil than the typical candy bar. Bags of chocolate specially formulated for chocolate fountains are available wherever the devices are sold.
If you want to make your own fountain chocolate, follow this rule of thumb: you need ½ cup of vegetable oil for every pound of chocolate.
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