It’s impossible to not love a great panini, right? Sandwiches like these are the perfect mealtime option, and they can be made with an endless assortment of ingredients, from classics like turkey and swiss to more adventurous combinations like bacon, strawberry, and brie.
Plus, getting a quality panini doesn’t require a trip to a gourmet sandwich shop. Making them at home is actually quite easy especially if you have a high-quality panini press. Perhaps you are wondering: Isn’t it possible to just make a panini in my toaster oven? It is technically possible.
However, a panini press is an excellent kitchen tool if you want beautiful grill marks, melted cheese, and a crisper crust on your sandwiches. Basically, a panini press makes it easy to upgrade anything in between two slices of bread instantly.
Additionally, panini presses aren’t just for sandwiches. Panini presses are great for grilling bacon, making hashbrowns, and even whipping up breakfast omelets.
Here are our top-rated picks for the best panini press for you if you’re in the market.
|George Foreman GRP4842P|
|Cuisinart Electric Griddler|
|Hamilton Beach 4-in-1 Indoor Grill|
|George Foreman 2-Serving Panini Press|
|Hamilton Beach Panini Press|
1. George Foreman GRP4842P
Cooking on ceramic is a great experience. One of the main benefits of ceramic cookware is that it’s nonstick, so you don’t have to use extra oil or fat when it comes to cooking. Ceramics are also non-reactive, which means your food will never be contaminated by any nasty chemical additives.
The George Forman Multi-Plate Evolve Grill delivers a restaurant-quality panini as well as a ceramic plate, a floating hinge system (which is great for thicker sandwiches), a digital control panel, and removable dishwasher-safe plates.
2. Cuisinart Electric Griddler
Featuring a sleek stainless steel exterior, the Cuisinart Electric Griddler ranks highly on numerous “best of” lists on the internet.
In addition to being one of the most stylish kitchen appliances in the world, this gorgeous device is actually five appliances in one: a panini press, a contact grill, a full grill, a full griddle, and a half grill/half griddle.
Using the panini press option, you can adjust the height to accommodate different bread thicknesses. For grilling and griddling, you simply flip the reversible cooking plate to cook burgers, chicken, vegetables, and quesadillas.
Additionally, the easy-to-read LED screen provides a setting, temperature, and timer, so you’ll never have to guess again.
3. Hamilton Beach 4-in-1 Indoor Grill
It’s no surprise that Hamilton Beach 4-in-1 Indoor Grill & Electric Griddle is chosen by Amazon as their electric panini press of choice.
This four-in-one appliance comes with three interchangeable nonstick plates so you can switch it from grill to griddle and vice versa, depending on what you want to prepare – paninis, burgers, pancakes, etc.
A special splatter-proof plate allows you to cook bacon without splatters, and you can control the temperature. The tilting design and dishwasher-safe plates made it easy to clean, and reviewers praised its flexibility for making their favorite recipes.
4. George Foreman 2-Serving Panini Press
It shouldn’t be too hard to find a compact panini press, and George Foreman’s 2-Serving Classic Plate Electric Indoor Grill And Panini Press is a good option.
Due to its small size and compact design, it’s ideal for small households. Even a small kitchen has room for this model since it can cook up to 2 servings at a time and takes up 31 percent less storage space.
The versatile nonstick coating makes it easy to wipe down after use, the flat setting is great for paninis and the classic George Foreman tilt is great for lean cooking. Despite being a bit flimsier than some of our other picks, it’s hard to beat for the price.
5. Hamilton Beach Panini Press
Easy-to-use Hamilton Beach Electric Panini Press lets you make sandwiches, quesadillas, sweet fruit turnovers, and more.
You’ll always get perfectly toasted sandwiches thanks to the nonstick top and bottom plates and floating lid. You can also grill pizzas and sandwiches open-faced with the top lid extended 180 degrees.
Amazon buyer writes, “This grill is great because there aren’t a lot of settings to worry about. Just turn it on, watch for the light, and you’re ready to grill.”
Things to Consider Before Buying a Panini Press
If you’re looking for the perfect panini press, there are quite a few things to consider. Here are some things to consider before committing, from materials to maintenance.
In addition to aluminum and cast iron, Panini presses are also available in nonstick versions. Aluminium plating is a cost-effective option that heats up quickly. However, aluminum has a poor heat retention capacity. Despite being heavier than aluminum, cast iron is nonstick and easy to maintain (just wipe it clean).
Even though they require a bit more maintenance, they’re durable and will last forever. It is important not to scratch nonstick surfaces, but they are easy to clean and require little to no oil.
Most panini presses are designed for easy cleaning once they move out of the budget range. You can choose cast iron plates that are easy to clean, or you can choose removable plates that can be washed in the dishwasher. The cleaning instructions will vary by model, so check them before you buy.
Sandwich presses are distinguished by floating hinges, timers, and precise control over temperature. This hinge allows your sandwich to float above the top of the press without being crushed. While most presses do not damage the food you’re grilling without floating hinges if you’d prefer a gentler touch, choose a floating hinge.
A timer may not be necessary for everyone. You may want to use a timer if you find yourself multitasking during dinner preparation, or if you burn a lot of food.
You may not need anything more sophisticated than an on-off switch if you’re just making the occasional pressed sandwich.
Although not all panini presses feature temperature controls beyond an on/off switch, if you plan on using it more creatively, such as to grill meat, you may want to consider one that does.