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Buying guide for Best chocolate fountains

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.

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Remember to have plenty of skewers on hand. Expect that each guest will dip at least three items in the fountain, so purchase skewers accordingly, and allow for plenty of extras. Also, provide a convenient spot for your guests to dispose of skewers after use.

Why buy a chocolate fountain?

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.

Expert TIp
Give yourself an hour or two before guests arrive to get the chocolate melted, transferred to the fountain, and flowing.
BestReviews Cooking and Baking Expert

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.

What to look for when buying a chocolate fountain

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.

Tolerable noise output

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.

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Expert tip

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.

BestReviews Cooking and Baking Expert

Adjustable feet

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.

Sturdy construction

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.

Ease of cleaning

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.

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Expert TIp
Avoid using your chocolate fountain outdoors altogether. Bugs, leaves, and dust can get into the chocolate, clogging the fountain and possibly ending up in someone’s mouth.
BestReviews Cooking and Baking Expert

Suitable capacity

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.

Heat adjustability

Some fountains allow you to turn off the heat if you are going to cascade a non-warm sauce like ketchup.

Built-in level

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.


  • Provide guests with small plates or napkins to catch drips and minimize the mess.
  • It’s best to avoid dipping foods that crumble or fall apart easily, such as cake. A fountain full of crumbs not only looks unappealing, but it’s also likely to clog.
  • Never leave your chocolate fountain unattended near children or pets. Temptation could lead to a large mess.
  • Before using your fountain, preheat the basin and melt the chocolate in your microwave or over your stove. Most fountains are not hot enough to melt solid chocolate, but they are warm enough to keep pre-melted chocolate in a liquid state.
  • If the chocolate hardens in your fountain, use a blow dryer to melt the candy before turning on the fountain. Hardened chocolate could break the auger or burn out the motor.


Q. Where is the best spot to set up my chocolate fountain?

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.

Q. Can I use a chocolate fountain outdoors?

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.

Q. Does my fountain need special chocolate?  

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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