Over 1000 years ago, Chinese hot pots were used as a means of presenting hot, fresh stews and soups in chilly winter months. These original clay pots have since evolved into ceramic and metal pots and have become one of the key cookware types in Asian culture. Today, Chinese hot pots are used both to cook foods in the oven and on the tabletop. The steamed foods that it creates are regarded highly as a health-conscious method of cooking since no fat or oil is required. Nutrients can also easily be kept in this way and the full flavor potential of each food can be realized since no aspects of the original meat, seafood and vegetable qualities are lost.
Tabletop hot pots, much like fondue pots, have become an attractive home entertaining choice and restaurant choice for many people. These pots are placed in the center of the table and deli-sliced meats can be cooked by each individual person. Vegetables can also be cooked this way, creating a fun and interactive eating experience.