A panini press might not be a staple of American kitchens, but if you love making tasty sandwiches, it could be a useful investment. A panini press is a contact grill that will apply pressure to both sides of your sandwich while it is toasted, and the plates on the top and bottom are ribbed, which will give your bread grill marks and cook the sandwich evenly.
Many panini presses are versatile and can make other foods besides gourmet sandwiches, with a grill or griddle option than can cook steak, burgers, chicken, veggies, bacon, quesadillas, and a plethora of other dishes.
Depending on your needs, there are a wide variety of features on different panini presses that can help you determine which one to choose. Some have a floating hinge for different sandwich types and thickness, others have a larger surface area if you are cooking for a large family. There are also presses with indicator lights, on/off switches, built-in timers, removable drip trays, and removable plates.
If you are looking for a panini press, here are some ideas that all have different features, price points, and sizes. But, the one thing they all have in common is that they will make an incredible sandwich.
1. Breville BSG520XL Panini Duo 1500-Watt Nonstick Press – $66.99
The word for Panini in Australia is Breville, and you can’t go wrong with this press from the Australian appliance company with the same name. It may not be a popular brand in the United States, but it has strong reviews on Amazon, retails starting at $66.99, and has all the standard features you would look for in a panini press.
The cooking surface is nonstick and scratch-resistant, it has a floating hinge with four different settings, on/off “Power” and “Ready” indicator lights and is big enough to cook two small sandwiches at once. The unique design also has a flat bottom plate which makes it easy to clean and allows for more even cooking. And the ribbed top plate gives you the grill marks. However, the plates are not removable, and it does not have temperature control.
2. Cuisinart GR-4N 5 in 1 Griddler – $50.83
This stainless-steel panini press can also double as an indoor grill. The reversible grill and griddle options make it so versatile that you can cook everything from paninis to pancakes. It has a large grilling surface for multiple sandwiches, you can adjust the temperature, and there is a selector switch that allows you to choose between the grill and griddle function.
It is super easy to clean, the plates and drip trays are dishwasher safe, it has a non-stick surface, and five different cooking options — panini press, contact grill, full grill, full griddle, and half grill/half griddle. On top of that, you can buy waffle plates to use with this press.
You can buy this panini press online starting at $50.83, but it is worth noting that it does have a drawback. Unlike other presses, It has a bulky, heavy shape, and it will take up a large portion of your counter space.
3. Hamilton Beach Panini Press – $20-$30
This top-rated press allows you to make restaurant quality sandwiches, but only costs a fraction of other presses on the market. If you are on a budget, this is a simple, fantastic option that you can store easily, and it is also easy to clean. The floating lid allows you to make sandwiches with varying thickness, and you can also make pizza and quesadillas.
The cooking surface will allow for one large sandwich or two small ones, and it also has power and preheat lights. The strong customer reviews and the low price of $20 – $30 make it Amazon’s choice in the panini press market.
4. IMUSA GAU-80102 Large Panini Press – $48.49
If you have a large family or enjoy entertaining, this large press is one of the best flat models you can get, and it is budget-friendly. This press features a non-stick surface and flat plates that will heat your sandwiches evenly. That means you won’t get the grill marks, but it will make this press easier to clean because you can simply wipe it down with a sponge.
You can’t adjust the temperature on this panini press, but the heat will make your bread crunchy, and it is large enough to make four sandwiches at once. Plus, it only costs $40, making it one of the best flat presses you can find for the money.
5. Oster Extra Large Titanium-Infused DuraCeramic Panini Maker and Indoor Grill – $49.99
Another affordable option for a large family, this extra-large panini press will allow you to make up to six sandwiches at once. And, it has a hinged top for varying sandwich thickness. The ceramic makes it more scratch-resistant than a regular non-stick press, but the plates are not removable, and it does not open flat.
This model retails for $50, but there is also a smaller Oster option for $30 that does open flat. Depending on what features are most important, Oster gives you options.
6. George Foreman GRP4842P Multi-Plate Evolve Grill – $84.99
This versatile press and grill are three appliances in one. It is a grill, a panini press, and a waffle maker, plus it comes with a muffin pan and a deep baking dish. If you are looking for something that will make more than sandwiches, this is one of the few presses that will offer a digital control panel for the temperature, plus it has a 500-degree searing option.
This press and grill will cost you around $87, and the removable plates are dishwasher safe, making them easy to clean.
7. Proctor Silex Panini Sandwich Press – $19.99
If all you are looking for is an affordable sandwich maker, then this option from Proctor may be a perfect fit. It costs just $20 and features a floating lid and a nonstick cooking surface. This press will allow you to make everything from a grilled cheese to a Reuben, and the drip tray is easy to clean and dishwasher safe. It also doesn’t take up much counter space when you aren’t using it because you can store it upright.
Thanks to these amazing panini press options, you no longer have to go out and pay for an expensive sandwich. Now, you can make restaurant-quality, mouth-watering meals in your own kitchen with this must-have appliance. With just a little research, you can find the perfect panini press that fits your budget and also gives you the results you are looking for.