Today, Panini presses come with different features to look for. With so many options to choose from, you need to consider your budget to narrow down. You may want to buy a simple Panini press or multipurpose one to sear and grill food. If you want to use this machine regularly, look for the features like non-stick (removable) plates, floating hinge, large grill area and easy to adjust temperature control.
Buyer’s Guide – What to Look For?
There are many benefits on choosing the best Panini maker to prepare different kinds of dishes. First benefit is that you can get the amazing and exciting taste just from your home. All you need to choose your ingredients to put inside the bread rolls and slices. Most of the Panini makers come with pre-defined temperature settings for grilling and preparing Panini. So, there is nothing to worry about temperature. If you have already used grilling machine, you can easily adjust speed according to your need. Great designs and easy storage are other perks of Panini makers.
But it is not that simple to choose the best Panini press. In this guide, we have discussed some of the important features to look for.
First of all, you may find different varieties of Panini makers but you need to focus on only two varieties.
First are dedicated Panini makers which have basic grilling functions and temperature settings which are defined previously. Second are multifunctional makers that are used for different things. So, it is always wise to look for multipurpose Panini makers as it can generally be used for five purposes, i.e. by adjusting temperature and changing modes, which are best for Panini making and grilling recipes.
Surface Area for Cooking
It is up to the type of Panini press you choose. If you pick multipurpose machine, you can use both sides of grill to have more room for cooking. You have wider area for grilling and cooking by opening its lid. But things go different if you go with standard Panini maker. You can cook only 2 to 3 paninis one time in a standard cooking area. Many products come with large cooking area.
It is another important consideration when looking for a Panini press. You can choose from two different types of grilling plates.
First are non-sticky aluminum plates which are often used in most Panini makers and are affordable. But they are not much durable as they may peel off over time.
Ceramic plates are another type of plates built with sturdy ceramic plates to cook Panini faster. It is also known for energy saving. You can choose from aluminum and ceramic according to your cooking methods and needs.
It is another major deciding factor when choosing the best type of Panini maker for you. Most Panini makers don’t have temperature control as they have pre-set temperature which is good for Panini and sandwiches.
If price is not your pain point, you can also get temperature control options. For example, some Panini makers have some temperature levels and two different modes. According to your griddling or grilling needs, you can turn the knob by picking the right temperature. It gives better control with seamless processing.
In this aspect, you need to look for just a few factors. Lid design is the first feature to look for. Prefer floating lid design if you don’t want to stress about thickness and prepare the best Panini. Also consider the storage options and size of the Panini maker to pick the best machine that can meet your size expectations.
Along with the above considerations, easy cleanup, power, and pricing are other important consideration. Some Panini makers are designed as per specific wattage standards. Consider the wattage compatibility in your house before buying one. Pricing is another important factor as many people look for quality.
Best Panini Press Reviews For 2018
After considering the above points, here are some of the best Panini makers you should look for –
1. Hamilton Beach 25460A Panini Press Gourmet Sandwich Maker
Hamilton Beach 25460A is both a gourmet sandwich maker and Panini press and is easily available at best prices. If you are looking for simple features, it is a great choice as there is no high expectation with it. When it comes to price point, it is very impressive. You can meet all your needs related to grilled sandwich as you may want to use different ingredients that have different thicknesses.
The design is very common but is optimized well to make various sandwich recipes. Overall, it is quite durable and has good flow in hinges. The device also has café style floating lid. It has around 10×8-inch of non-sticky plates on grilling area which is wide enough for several sandwiches at one time. These plates are also easy to cleanup.
But lack of controls is a flaw you may not like in this machine. It has preheat light and power light which come handy to know whether sandwich is ready. But there is no room to adjust temperature. But it is easy to store and lightweight. It is a dedicated grilling appliance which is cost effective as well.
- Affordable and easy to use
- Grilling plates are non-sticky and easy to clean up
- Grilling area is wide enough to prepare multiple sandwiches at a time
- No temperature control
- Lack of controls is a major design flaw
2. Cuisinart GR-1 Griddler Panini & Sandwich Press
Cuisinart GR-1 Griddler Panini & Sandwich maker has got common design but extraordinary features and competitive pricing. It has brushed stainless steel housing to resist fingerprints and scratches to a great extent. You can prepare all kinds of sandwich and Panini recipes you like with its floating lid. This small equipment measures 13x5x10.5 inches in dimensions so it is easy to store and it weighs just 7.4lbs. It is a pretty cool and handy device when it comes to usability and design.
For all kinds of paninis, pre-set temperature is nice. It has wide, non-removable, non-sticky cooking area which measures 11×7-inches. The best part of it is that you don’t have to flip the bread or Panini as both lower and upper plates are grilled. It has power and heating-ready indicators, which are found in various common panini makers. It also includes a cleaning tool for easy cleanup. With all such considerations, it is clear that it is the best panini maker in mid range.
- Brushed housing made of stainless steel
- Easy to adjust floating hinge with preset temperature
- Non-sticky plates that are grilled on both sides, so no need to flip
- Indicator lights
- Includes cleaning tool for easy cleanup
- Non-removable grill plates
- High price
- Lacks in temperature setting
3. Breville BSG520XL Panini Duo 1500W Nonstick Panini Press
If your budget allows, Breville BSGS520XL is the best deal for better customization and build quality. It is one of the best choices for your panini making. Breville is an Australia-based kitchen appliances brand. And BSG520XL Paninii Duo is very easiest to use panini makers. Simply connect the machine to power outlet and it will notify you once the device is ready. It has wide cooking area which measures 7.5×11 inches to cook multiple sandwiches at once.
When it comes to performance, Breville BSG520XL heats faster thanks to Quantanium cooking area and flat bottom plate. So, your panini will be ready within minutes. You can easily customize with floating hinge, i.e. from height settings for different purposes like Toast, Melt, Lock and Open. But the problem is that you will need to flip the sandwich to grill other side due to flat bottom. It is also easy to store and is light. If even heat distribution and better build quality is your call, Breville BSG520XL Panini Duo is your best bet.
- Superior heat distribution with one ribbed and one flat surface
- Proper heat for searing with 1500W motor
- Great build quality
- High price
- Non-removable plates
- Lacks timer and temperature control
- Needs to flip the sandwich
4. George Foreman GRP472P 5-Serving Panini Press and Removable Plate Grill
Do you love grilled sandwiches for breakfast? Can’t your kids live without crispy waffles dipped in chocolate?
George Foreman is one of the most respectable and reputable brands making quality grills and kitchen appliances. The 5-Serving GRP472P Panini Press and Removable plate grill comes with 3-in-1 functions. It serves as a waffle maker, Panini press and a griller to meet all your cooking needs. You can always get well-cooked grilled food with its 500 sear burst feature.
It has also get dishwasher safe plates to save a lot of time for you in scrubbing. It has ceramic non-stick coating which needs less butter and oil. So, it is easy to cleanup and healthy for cooking. You can easily adjust the temperature from 325 to 400 degree F. with buttons.
- Dishwasher safe removable plates
- 3 cooking modes make it very versatile
- Easy to cleanup and healthy with non-ceramic coating
- Small display
- Small cooking space
- Needs extra time to cool down before cooking
5. IMUSA USA GAU-80102 1400W Large Electric Panini Press
Make restaurant-worthy grilled sandwiches, Panini, veggies, meats, chicken, and pork chops etc. with IMUSA Panini Press which comes with preset temperature controls. You can grill every sandwich with perfection that is toasted with golden brown.
IMUSA is considered one of the topmost and kitchen appliance brands. It is based in Latin America as well as the US. It produces lots of house ware cookware, gadgets, espresso, appliances, and specialty products. The quality of products has been tested well and trusted by homemakers for over 80 years.
- Cool touch handles and polished stainless steel build
- Easy to clean non-stick surface
- Heat and power indicator lights
- Best choice to make Panini, grilled sandwiches, chicken, and veggies
- Easy to adjust cooking heights with floating hinge
- Top plate is heavy and bread sticks
- Plates fall out too often when cooking
Now that you have enough information about buying panini press and key features. So, you can easily pick the best ones, hopefully. We have combined our reviews and our honest opinions in a complete and easy way. As you finish reading, we hope you have clear know how of buying the best Panini press so you can get the best tasting and restaurant worthy sandwiches and Panini.