It seems the U.S. is on a sandwich making binge and the panini is at the forefront. A panini press is the easiest way to get your hot sandwich craving satisfied and I have tracked down the three most popular sandwich presses on the market for your money.
When searching for your best panini press, there are some features you will want to consider. Even heating, the right size press (do you need one, two, three or four sandwiches pressed at one time?), easy storage, exterior styling and breadth of functions are the top features most people consider. Overall a sandwich maker appliance is capable of lasting for years without service or repair, other than cleaning them after use. If you are concerned about breakdown, check for a warranty.
Breville BSG520XL Panini Press
Breville makes great, sturdy, solid products in general, and the Breville Panini Press is no exception. You will return time and again to this kitchen appliance because it makes the sandwich making process so easy to accomplish.
The unit consists of a flat plate and a grilled plate—the flat plate allows for even cooking throughout the sandwich and the grilled plate provides the grill marks every panini needs to look authentic.
Reviewers love the floating hinge, which allows for an ever changing thickness in sandwhiches. It’s only fault seems to be that the plates aren’t removable for cleanup—not really a big problem because wiping down the plates is pretty easy to do.
For the price, the Breville is a great choice for your kitchen.Check out more reviews here.
Cuisinart GR-11 Griddler 3-in-1 Grill and Panini Press
The Cuisinart Panini Press is the Breville’s sandwich maker’s biggest rival, and it’s understandable when you take a look at the machine’s features. Not only is the sandwich press ready to make a great sandwich it’s also a grill, known as a Griddler, and folds open so that you can take advantage of both internal plates for cooking.
This is the machine with removable plates for dishwasher cleaning. If you don’t have a dishwasher, and many of us don’t, the plate removal may not matter. If you already have a grill, the grill function may not be necessary.
Reviewers love this product and cite it as the perfect gift for a college student and the perfect kitchen appliance for families with teens. Read more reviews here.
Hamilton Beach 25450 Gourmet Panini Press
Hamilton Beach has its own version of a hot sandwich maker, it’s called the Gourmet Panini Press. It’s designed for deli style grilled sammies and sports a floating lid that is guaranteed to allow all thicknesses to grill evenly.
The unit has fixed plates that are easy to wipe clean, a lid that will lock in the upright position for open-faced grilling and the unit-once cleaned and ready for storage-has a locking lid for vertical storage.
Folks purchasing this product say it’s a “no-frills” affair, but it does its job very well. Plus, it’s the lowest priced press of the three and that combined with its workhorse function might be the perfect reason to buy this product. Read for more information on features.
Still looking for the perfect panini maker?
There are quite a few more products on the market. Some combine functions similar to the Cuisinart Griddler and some are very basic in function. Most are nice enough that they look great sitting out on the counter and if you are using this machine alot, which everyone seems to do, putting it away may be an extra step you won’t want to bother with.
A few things to be aware of as you make your decision: make sure the size of the machine fits your needs and the cleanup required is what you are okay with. Some people don’t like the wipe down option. However, taking the plates out and putting them back in time after time might be just as undesirable—it’s a personal choice.
If you want to see more of the Best Panini Press on Amazon, check these out.