Who doesn’t love a gourmet sandwich- warm, crispy bread stuffed with your favorite cold cuts and dressing? A panini sandwich is always a good idea for a snack, lunch, or dinner. It can make your entire day! Experiment with assorted fillings and top it with vegetables for a complete meal. If you want to make your own at home, that’s what a panini maker is for.
Did you know that you can also use a sandwich press for cooking sausages, burgers, and steak? You get ribbed and charred texture with this handy machine. In this article, we’re going to rundown 5 of the best panini presses that you can use in so many ways.
Best-rated Panini Presses 2020
You can still enjoy healthy and delicious sandwiches even if you’re one busy bee. Let’s see what brands are on our recommendation. We also have options that are suitable for those who have budgeted money.
|PANINI PRESS NAME||DIMENSIONS||WEIGHT||WARRANTY|
|Breville BGR820XL Smart Grill||14 x 14 x 5.8 inches||19 lbs.||One year limited|
|DeLonghi America, Inc CGH912C Indoor Grill||13.4 x 12.2 x 6.5 inches||12.8 lbs.||One year limited|
|Cuisinart 5-in-1 Griddler, GR-4N||13.5 x 11.5 x 7.1 inches||8 lbs.||Three years limited|
|Hamilton Beach Electric Panini Press Grill||11.6 x 12.6 x 4.5 inches||5.8 lbs.||One year limited|
|IMUSA USA GAU-80102||4.9 x 16.7 x 14.8 inches||9.7 lbs.||Limited 90-day|
1. Breville BGR820XL Smart Grill
The Breville Smart Grill is a stainless steel and cast iron square ribbed panini press. With this panini maker and indoor grill, you get beautiful square ribbed marks. It comes with a grill plate and a griddle, both of which can make burgers, paninis, and gourmet sandwiches.
This Breville BGR820XL model wasn’t called a smart grill for no reason, because it’s one of the most innovative panini presses in the market today. If you’ve been enjoying the convenience of a smartwatch and smartphone, you will love this.
It has an Element IQ technology that ensures perfectly cooked meats and sandwiches. This technology makes use of heat sensors that are on the plates. It can regulate the temperature of the plate, depending on the food. This innovation eliminates the possibility of undercooked or burnt meat.
This quick panini maker has two cooking options with four heat settings. You can use the panini mode to make a gourmet sandwich and quickly switch to a barbecue mode. This press opens to 1900 degrees to accommodate your grilled burgers, grilled chicken, and steak.
It also has a built-in timer and temperature controls. You can even choose from degrees Celsius or degrees Fahrenheit, whichever you like more. These kitchen appliances from Breville are quite versatile and deserve to be a staple in your kitchen alongside your gas and electric ovens.
Similar to the Breville BSG520XL panini duo, this is a no-fuss panini maker: it’s well-made, it can do almost anything, and it cooks wonderfully.
- Even heat
- Has a drip tray
- Equipped with an ergonomic handle
- The nonstick coating quickly wears off
- Quite heavy
- Not for heavy use
This quick gourmet sandwich maker by Breville can help you make great paninis for the family. It’s ideal for small families since this model can work efficiently with small loads.
It’s more than just your regular sandwich makers. The even heat technology is perfect for grilling burgers and steaks. You’ll thoroughly cook your burgers to the core, which means no cold spots or undercooked meat.
2. DeLonghi America, Inc CGH912C Indoor Grill
Do you need a panini and sandwich press that can also work as a grill?
This DeLonghi America Inc. CGH912C panini maker boasts of ceramic coated plates. This indoor grill has a Durastone coating that makes the plates scratch resistant and ensures even temperature. It has a large cooking surface that can serve a family of 5 or 6, and it has five different functions for your cooking needs.
The knobs are convenient because they’re in front. That way, you can effortlessly regulate the cooking temperature according to your cooking needs.
If you’re into weight loss, this kitchen appliance by DeLonghi America Inc. will help you make healthy but tasty meals. It comes with two cups where you can catch the oil drippings, so you’re ensured that the excess fats won’t have to go into your burgers or steaks. The ceramic coating makes the cooking plates heat up rather quickly so you can whip up healthy meals faster.
You can make easy gourmet sandwiches, burgers, kebabs, and steaks with this DeLonghi indoor grill. Indeed, you have to have one in your kitchen. It will save you a lot of time, especially if you’re rushing through the day. Whether for breakfast, snack, lunch, or dinner, you can’t go wrong with a meaty sandwich.
- Removable plates for cleaning
- Large cooking surface
- Plates heat up quickly
- Comes with a spatula
- For heavy use
- You have to catch the oil with the drip cups manually
DeLonghi America Inc. heats up excellent and fast. The even temperature is perfect in making delicious sandwiches faster. The ceramic material is a superb heat conductor, so it makes the plates heat up quickly. It’s ideal for those who are on the go and don’t have much time to make delicious paninis.
The large plates can accommodate more sandwiches and burgers. It’s perfect for a big family or if you’re entertaining guests. This panini press withstands heavy use, too.
3. Cuisinart 5-in-1 Griddler GR-4N
This 5 in 1 panini grill griddle offers five different options for your cooking. It’s quite versatile, and you can use it for more than just making sandwiches and grilling. The multiple options allow you to cook a wide range of food with one convenient kitchen appliance.
The body of the Cuisinart GR-4N 5-in-1 Griddler panini and sandwich maker is brushed stainless steel with a beautiful finish so that it would blend more with your modern kitchen interiors. It looks sleek and pristine too. The handles are ergonomically designed and easy to lift.
The plates are easy to install and replace. Though replacement plates may cost a bit since the plates are high-quality material, it includes a spatula too. And it’s recommended that you use this with the press and nothing else.
You have an option to use either the grill pans or the skillet. You can get those beautiful square ribbed marks with the grill pan of this panini press. And you can make perfect pancakes with the smooth griddle pans.
It has a digital display that allows you to see the temperature. You can adjust the temperature via the knobs located at the front.
- Easy to clean
- Has a digital display
- Floating top plate
- Does not heat up quickly
- The grease tends to drip on the countertop
- Is not precisely nonstick and the coating peels off easily
The floating cover allows you to grill meat that is quite thick. So if you want your burgers and steaks a bit more chunky, this Cuisinart panini press can help you get lovely grilled marks.
The pans are easily removable and reversible. And it can be used to cook a wide range of food: choose one of the five options. So this is one versatile product that can help you make not just gourmet sandwiches, but gourmet recipes as well.
4. Hamilton Beach Electric Panini Press Grill
This Hamilton Beach Grill and Panini Press have several features that help you cook more foods with one go. The pans can be opened to 180 degrees to reveal a larger cooking surface. The cafe-style floating covers adjust to the size of the meat. The top and bottom plates are nonstick, so there’s no need to flip your food.
It can help you whip up more sandwiches in one load. This panini press by Hamilton Beach will leave a ribbed texture on top of your crispy warm bread.
It looks rather fancy too because the brushed chrome finish makes this an elegant tool in your kitchen. And if you don’t want it lying on your countertop, it’s easy to store upright so it won’t eat up much space in your cabinet.
This Hamilton Beach electric panini maker and grill combo are easy to use. You turn it on, and when the indicator lights turn green, it’s time to pop in your sandwich.
- Large cooking surface
- Has a top lid lock
- Easy to use
- Allows for easy cleaning
- Not that sturdy
- Uneven heat
The Hamilton Beach panini press is so easy to use. Since it doesn’t have multiple settings, the fuss-free cook will be happy to use this. You turn it on and wait for the light to turn green. And there you go, you can pop it your sandwiches and steak and wait for it to cook.
You will also find this very handy if you have limited space in your kitchen countertop. You can store it upright when not in use, and it is straightforward to clean too. Even if the cheese has oozed out of your grilled cheese sandwich, you can wipe it all off.
5. IMUSA USA GAU-80102 Large Electric Panini Press
What sets the IMUSA USA GAU-80102 apart is the floating hinge of the covers. If you can cook thick meats with other models, you can cook “thicker meats” with this panini press. This model might look like what they use at the cafes. It seems rather posh with its polished stainless steel exterior.
This 1400-Watt, sizeable electric panini machine also boasts an even larger cooking surface than any other brand. It has a smooth, nonstick coating, making it very easy to clean.
IMUSA USA can also take the place of your waffle maker. With this, you can quickly start making pancakes and mashed potatoes. The smooth surface is slightly easier to clean too, so if you are not into more chores, this is for you.
You can also cook meat with it, but make sure that you’re using the low cut since it doesn’t have any catch drip feature. But it does have a large cooking surface so you can load up more than two sandwiches at a time.
- This is the most affordable panini maker out of all that we have listed
- Cool to touch handles
- Extra large cooking surface
- Does not have grill plates for the ribbed marks
- Temperature cannot be adjusted
- Doesn’t have a drip tray
This posh looking panini maker is ideal for thick bread and sandwiches. It presses down well, so it would work correctly for thick sandwiches or even your quesadillas. The smooth surface is perfect for cooking vegetables too.
Do take note that this gourmet sandwich press doesn’t have any grill plates. So the IMUSA GAU-80102 Large Electric Panini Press might not be for you if you’re looking for those grill marks for your sandwiches or burgers.
Buying Guide for the Best Panini Press
Cooking power & capacity
A bigger panini press would allow you to make more paninis faster. Choose a larger panini machine if you regularly serve lots of people with delicious sandwiches. But, keep in mind that with great cooking power comes great electrical consumption.
The food you can make with a panini press isn’t limited to nice and crispy grilled sandwiches. With a panini maker or panini duo, you can also make hamburgers, waffles, French toast, grilled chicken, omelets, pancakes, roasted potatoes, and hash browns.
The cooking plates or the grill plates are also an important component of your panini press. The main cooking surface can be ceramic, glass, cast iron, or Teflon (the material used for nonstick panini presses). No matter the cooking plate’s material, if it is removable, it’s going to be easier to clean.
The cooking plates usually have ridges, but some panini makers do have smooth plates. A smooth surface is also easier to clean and versatile when it comes to the ways you can cook. However, you won’t get the distinct grill marks on your bread or meat without a ridged cooking plate. If you’d like to have a reversible cooking plate with a grill and a griddle, opt for a higher-end panini press such as Cuisinart GR-4N.
The panini press’s hinges, drip tray, and temperature control are important, too.
Most people prefer floating hinges in a panini maker because of their flexibility; that way, no matter how thick you want your sandwich is, you can always close on it. And if you wish to cook an open-faced panini, you can achieve an even cook by positioning the top plate near the open end of your sandwich. A flexible hinge gives you that freedom in height adjustment.
On the other hand, the drip tray is another useful part of your panini press; it catches all the excess grease and keeps it away from the grill plates.
Lastly, a temperature control dial is a component present only in some panini makers. These are useful if you’re critical of your food’s temperature or if you want consistency in every cook.
Tips on How to Use Your Panini Press
Read the instructions
Many people don’t bother to read the user manual, despite it containing all the info you need to know about operating your panini press.
Start reading the manual as soon as you get the panini press out of the box, so you know how to operate, clean, and repair your machine – after all, each brand and model has its own set of instructions.
If you want a faster cook, preheating your panini press would make a huge difference. Once the surface is nice and hot, the food can then begin to cook pretty quickly! It will also give consistency in your cooks, which is something you’d always want.
Clean your panini press regularly.
Clean your equipment immediately after every use. Empty the grease drip tray, collect and recycle the oil for future cooks. For panini makers with removable plates, it’s best to remove them completely and wash them in the dishwasher (if they’re dishwasher safe). For non-removable ones, scrubbing with a damp sponge is enough to clean the cooking surface, but be careful not to wet the electrical components inside.
Apart from making gourmet sandwiches, a panini press can offer more value. This thing can help you whip up healthy meals for the entire family. You don’t have to use extra oil for cooking the food since you can extract the excess fat from your burgers via the drip features.
Our review lists down top-of-the-line brands suitable for your cooking needs and lifestyle. Whether you need one for multipurpose cooking or to create epic sandwiches, we have the right choice for you.
For me, cooking is a beautiful and relaxing activity- more so eating! To match my appetite, I always make sure that my kitchen & dining aesthetics are on point. With my suggestions, I’m sure you can achieve the same thing.