-Copper Mongolian Fire Pot
-What it is and what it does
-Use and Care Instructions
-Recipe Links for Mongolian Hot Pot dishes
-Fondue Pots, Fuel & Accessories
-Tin Lining Info
Mongolian Hot Pot
What it is and what it does!
Called a Mongolian or Chinese Hot Pot,
Firepot, Fire Pot, or Chinese Fondue Pot,
it is a large communal cooking and serving pot and the forerunner of our
modern meat fondue pots.
The traditional use of the Mongolian Fire Pot is for making a soup broth,
in which thinly sliced, bite size pieces of lamb or beef are cooked. The
compartment under the chimney (tube) was originally for charcoal, to heat
the ingredients very quickly.
Use it for meat and vegetable fondues. Or for cheese or chocolate and
dessert fondues, if you are careful not to scald the ingredients.
This type of pot is still popular in Asian
countries, but now it is made of aluminum or stainless steel, and uses
a gas or electric source of heat. Still, copper makes the best fire pot,
because of its wonderful ability to diffuse heat and conduct it quickly
and easily throughout its surface. This cooks food more evenly, with a
lower heat source than might normally be used with another pan, and prevents
hot spots and sticking.
Our copper fire pot has an alcohol burner underneath it. A baffle in the
tube helps to bring more heat to the pot. First cook the food in the pot or
another utensil on the stove. The alcohol burner will do a good job of
keeping the food hot while on the table. For the burner, use denatured
alcohol or fondue fuel.
The copper is hand hammered in Italy. Its tiny facets make light shimmer,
and also hide scratches that from time to time can occur with regular use.
The fire pot is lined inside with tin, to prevent acidic foods from
adversely reacting with the copper.
Most use it as a serving piece, for soups, fondues, etc. From time to
time, you'll see it in upscale restaurants, brought to your table for both
its appeal and its serving functionality.
A Brief History
The five main races of China are the Han of China proper, the Mongolians,
the Tibetians, the Manchurians and the Muslim tribes. Outside the Great Wall
lived the nomadic Mongols. Descendants of the great Kublain Khan, superb
horsemen who in ancient times controlled an Empire stretching from Peking to
Vienna. Here were the origins of the Mongolian Stove and many of the
barbecued dishes of China.
At night, the nomadic tribes gathered around the cooking fires and
prepared their simple meal. Chunks of meat were speared and cooked in a
stew, bubbling in a primitive cauldron.
The gourmets of Peking and Japan transformed the simple Mongolian Pot
into the festive dish we know today. Even so, it still appeals to our
primitive love of fire, food and friendship.
The Muslim tribes, following the teaching of the Prophet, did not use
pork in their diet, but Mutton. It was in this manner that mutton was
introduced into the cuisine of China.
Use and Care of the Copper Mongolian Fire Pot
Always use low heat on the stove. Copper is an excellent conductor of
heat. And always have liquid in the pot when it's being heated.
You'll probably need a ladle and fondue forks for serving. Each diner
skewers thinly sliced, bite size pieces of food firmly with their forks, and
dips cook the food in the pot; it won't take long to cook. Fondue forks come
with different color handles or handle ends, so that each diner can identify
their meal. Then use the ladle to serve, or remove, the liquids in the pot.
Review the information on our Fondue page for more tips on cooking
Instead of fondue forks, you can use tongs if you prefer to have someone
serve the food to your guests.
Wash by hand; wooden handles don't like automatic dishwashers. Avoid
scouring; if you experience sticking, heat some water in the pot to loosen
foodstuffs, then use a nylon scourer to clean up.
If the tin lining gets scratched or wears off, it is still safe to cook
in it. We recommend that you then limit your use of acidic foods in your
recipes until you get it relined. Contact us for your tin relining needs.
Once in a while, you may wish to polish the copper pot. We recommend
Wenol, which does not scratch the copper.