Looking for the best Panini press… classy, durable, and efficient that will allow you to prepare delicious foods for your family in a matter of minutes? Whether you want to make a tasty breakfast sandwich, or delicious panini for lunch, having a panini press can help save a lot of time and hassle as these machines deliver quality results in no time!
Panini presses quickly prepare grilled sandwiches and a variety of other foods to perfection without making a huge mess in your kitchen. Their dual plate burners heat the food from the bottom and the top to substantially improve cooking times, and the relatively compact size of these indoor grills makes them a more space-saving solution than traditional outdoor grills.
However, like most kitchen appliances, panini presses come in a wide range of brands and models with pros and cons to using them. If you are unsure about which machine is best for your needs, look no further as this article covers just about everything you need to know to make the right decision.
You would obviously want to choose the best panini press for you, one that is made using high-quality materials and serves the actual purpose you are buying it for. This is exactly where this review guide will help you as it discusses 8 of the most popular panini presses, and highlights the key factors to consider when making a final decision.
Panini Press Comparison
Panini Press Reviews
Hamilton Beach 25460A Panini Press Gourmet Sandwich Maker
The #1 Best Seller in the Sandwich Makers & Panini Presses category on Amazon, the Hamilton Beach 25460A allows you to prepare mouth-watering sandwiches of just about any thickness. Featuring a large heating plate, this panini press provides an easy and efficient way to toast multiple sandwiches at the same time.
This model from Hamilton Beach is ideal for making long sandwiches, like paninis, and comes equipped with a floating lid that lets you press sandwiches of almost any size with absolute ease. Also, with the top plate locked into your desired position, rest assured that your sandwich would be held firmly in place during use.
The versatility of this panini maker is what separates it from other similar products in this category. The nonstick interior is of premium quality and handles grilled cheese as well as other sticky fillings quite well while facilitating easy cleaning. This model also comes with preheat and power lights to provide effortless use and easy control.
As far as durability goes, this model is built with a hard plastic and solid metal body, ensuring that the panini press will last you for many years to come. And since it’s stored in an upright position, you can save on storage space as well. Whether you prefer an ordinary sized sandwich or enjoy a panini or sandwich packed with all of your favorite ingredients, the Hamilton Beach 25460A won’t disappoint!
Not only can you grill multiple sandwiches on the grilles, but also reheat gourmet burgers, pizzas, and other bread-based foods thanks to its thorough and speedy cooking results. Therefore, if you are looking for a high-quality panini press at a reasonably low price, the Hamilton Beach 25460A is just the machine you need.
Lodge LGP3 Pre-Seasoned Rectangular Cast-Iron Grill Press
This rectangular grill press from Lodge is perfect for your outdoor grill and stovetop favorites and comes pre-seasoned which means it is ready for immediate use. It is great to push out excess grease from chicken or burgers and eliminate curls from bacon to dramatically improve the overall presentation of such foods.
The Lodge LGP3 Grill Press is made from premium quality heavy cast iron and has a unique hammered finish that truly makes it stand out. This grill press also improves cook times significantly when preheated, and features a safe, stay-cool spiral handle that ensures your hands remain comfortable when cooking over a hot grill or stove.
Whether used at home on the stove, or on a grill during camping trips, the Lodge LGP3 Grill Press is unmatchable when it comes to heat retention. Moreover, it effectively keeps food flat and ensures heat is distributed evenly. Overall, this grill press is a handy tool for the kitchen and the grill, and for its price range, it is actually decent!
Cuisinart GR-4N 5-in-1 Griddler, Silver, Black Dials
The Cuisinart GR-4N 5-in-1 Griddler provides excellent value for money, as the countertop unit not only works as a panini maker to prepare tasty grilled sandwiches, but also an indoor grill for burgers and even steak. Featuring a large grilling surface, grilling multiple pork chops or sandwiches at once is easier than ever. Unlike several other panini presses on the market, this model comes with a rotating dial that allows you to adjust the temperature of the grill. Moreover, with the help of its selector, you can easily switch between the griddle and grill functions offered by this machine.
The grill of this panini press has a green indicator light, which when on, signals it has reached the desired temperature. As far as cleaning is concerned, the process is simple and hassle-free as the griddle plates and reversible grill are removable. However, the only drawback, according to some consumers, is the heavy and bulky shape of the machine.
It takes up a lot of countertop space and can be difficult to move, particularly when it is used as an indoor grill. However, despite that, the Cuisinart GR-4N 5-in-1 offers unparalleled levels of flexibility, making it an appliance you would love to have in your kitchen. Not only does it allow you to cook great sandwiches and paninis, but also just about anything you fancy can be grilled to perfection.
Cuisinart GR-1 Griddler Panini and Sandwich Press
While some panini makers available on the market offer a variety of functions, the Cuisinart GR-1 has been designed keeping simplicity in mind. It’s just the panini press you need for making delicious hoagies, hamburgers, grilled cheese sandwiches and other incredible creations from grilling up chops or flatbreads to gently grilled vegetables, like zucchini or asparagus.
One of the few state-of-the-art panini and sandwich makers priced below $100, a great feature of the Cuisinart GR-1 is it is easily adjustable, allowing you to grill a panini regardless of its thickness and size. Another quality worth mentioning is its sleek and professional appearance. It’s classy and high-tech looks chic on just about any kitchen countertop.
This particular model from Cuisinart is quite easy to operate. All you have to do is plug it in, and keep an eye on its helpful ‘ready-to-cook’ indicator light, and get cooking. Its preset temperature will do the rest, and soon you get a quick, delicious meal to enjoy, that too, without having to spend all day in the kitchen!
Although it would have been nice if the machine had featured variable heat settings, like most outdoor grills do, most panini makers conventionally come with only one heat setting. So, at least the Cuisinart GR-1 sticks with that tradition. When it comes to cleaning, you will appreciate the fact that the panini maker comes with a special tool to scrape the grill, which wipes it clean with a moist towel.
As far as storage goes, a locking lid mechanism allows you to place the panini press in a vertical position, and therefore it takes up less space. All in all, if you are looking for a reasonably priced panini press that works well, the Cuisinart GR-1 is undoubtedly the one you should consider.
Cuisinart GR-11 Griddler 3-in-1 Grill and Panini Press
If you have cravings for mouthwatering and succulent steaks, perfectly toasted sandwiches and yummy burgers, you should consider the Cuisinart GR-11 Griddler and Panini Press. It comes with bottom and top grill plates that are not only non-stick but also removable to ensure cleaning is a hassle-free process.
Similarly, both the grill plates heat up quickly and maintain a consistent temperature to make sure your food, no matter what you are cooking, is evenly toasted and grilled. And with its special dip tray, you can rest assured that excess oil and grease are drained away for low-fat and healthy cooking.
The Cuisinart GR-11 Griddler and Panini Press is professionally designed for thorough cooking and comes with a floating hinge that allows you to adjust the height to accommodate sandwiches of all thicknesses. So, whether you like your sandwiches thick or thin, you can be sure they always will be grilled and toasted to perfection!
This panini press also features preset temperature settings, which is perfect for grilling and cooking sandwiches, burgers, steaks and a variety of other food types. And the best thing of all, this model only requires little space on your kitchen countertop and enhances the look of your kitchen with its impressive and sleek appearance.
If you are looking to cook healthy and terrific-tasting treats for your friends and family, the Cuisinart GR-11 Griddler and Panini Press is just the machine you need. With this kitchen appliance, you can easily grill steaks and toast mouth-watering sandwiches whenever you desire.
Hamilton Beach 25450 Gourmet Panini Press
If you are looking for a panini press which offers a nice blend of features on a relatively large scale, the Hamilton Beach 25450 is just the machine you need as it lets you make delicious paninis and sandwiches for a whole crowd!
Most sandwich makers on the market struggle a little when used with store-bought bread, and so does this particular model from Hamilton Beach, but comparatively less than the others. Sandwiches are perfectly toasted with this machine, and all the ingredients inside melt just right to give you the results you are looking for.
Once cooked, sandwiches peel off the Hamilton Beach 25450 quite smoothly. The large grill plates are fine when it comes to cleaning, but since the grooves in the surface are a bit more squared than most other panini makers, you may find it hard to get into the nooks and corners for thorough cleaning. Since this unit is big, upright storage is a plus.
While some may consider the large cooking area as frustrating, others will find it a great addition. It all comes down to how many people you have to cook for on a daily basis! The Hamilton Beach 25450 gets hot on the outside after use, but with the handle staying relatively cool, you have nothing to worry about.
All things considered, this panini press isn’t a favorite to clean, as the grill plates cannot come off to be placed in the dishwasher. However, it does produce some really tasty and mouthwatering sandwiches. The bread toasts nicely, without it being smashed, while all the ingredients melt to perfection to effectively satisfy your taste buds!
Cuisinart GR-150 Griddler Deluxe, Brushed Stainless
A powerful panini press, the Cuisinart Griddler Deluxe offer a wide range of features and an impressive 1800 watts of power, allowing you to make just about everything, from sandwiches and burgers to pancakes and seared steaks. If you want to cook for a crowd, you will appreciate the large size of this model, but it does make storage a bit more difficult than usual, especially when the unit is not being used.
This panini press comes with two non-stick aluminum plates that are not only removable but also reversible. This means adjusting your machine between the grill and griddle modes is easy. Moreover, controlling the temperature of the Cuisinart Griddler Deluxe is straightforward, as each of the plates features a separate control, which can be fine-tuned according to the dish you are cooking.
These controls can be adjusted to give you temperatures ranging from 250 to 450 degrees. And with its additional sear buttons, you can also increase the heat up to 500 degrees, lasting for two-minute intervals. After you are done cooking a meal, there are a few features to help you with cleaning the machine.
This model comes with a special cleaning tool to get rid of stuck-on food, and a built-in tray to catch the excess grease that accumulates as you are cooking. To sum it up, the Cuisinart Griddler Deluxe gives you a variety of cooking options, thanks to its precise temperature controls, and is versatile and powerful, making it a great panini press for its hefty price!
George Foreman GRP4842MB 3-in-1 Multi-Plate Evolve Grill
The George Foreman 3-in-1 Multi-Plate Evolve Grill offers a whole range of cooking options for you in just one appliance. On the ceramic grill plates, you can make just about anything, including delicious meals like burgers, chicken, veggies or steak, and even grill up a panini or sandwich to add the finishing touches to it.
With the high-heat searing option, you can raise the temperature of the grill up to 500 degrees to achieve tasty, restaurant-like results at home. The digital control panel is useful as it displays the grill temperature and cooking time. Moreover, since its buttons are leveled with the exterior of the grill, the surface is easy to clean.
The grill plates are covered with a multilayer of ceramic coating that is non-stick, which ensures lasting durability and helps to get rid of excess butter and oil. Moreover, with the grill plates being dishwasher-safe and completely removable, cleaning them is a hassle-free process. Handling the plates is easy, even if they are still warm, thanks to the cool-touch release features of this panini press.
A flat surface always comes in handy, and the George Foreman 3-in-1 Multi-Plate Evolve Grill comes with an adjustable grilling hinge, allowing you to accommodate sandwiches, vegetables and even thick cuts of meat. The evolve grill system is versatile, convenient and lets you create multiple delicious meals in no time, making it a great panini press for its price!
Panini Press Selection Guide
Finding the best panini maker to cook quick, delicious meals at home can be tricky. Since you have a multitude of options available in the market, finding the best machine for your needs can be a difficult process. However, to help you out, we have discussed 3 key factors to consider when shopping for a panini maker:
Ease of Use
It is understood that the most dreaded aspect when it comes to preparing meals at home is cleanup. Some manufacturers simplify this process by including removable grill plates that are dishwasher safe. This means you can conveniently place the panini press in the dishwasher when you need to clean it.
The controls of the panini press will determine how easy it is to use. While some models are simple and offer only a single knob for heat selection, others come with a variety of options for fine adjustments, such as special settings for searing meats or specific temperature selection, among others.
Size and Power
Since panini presses are known for the convenience they offer, size is a main concern. You should look for one that easily fits onto your kitchen countertop without taking too much space while providing enough cooking area to make the kind of meals you want. These machines are available in a wide range of sizes and shapes, so it is a great idea to determine whether you need to use the panini press as a contact grill to cook full-fledged meals, or just to make yummy sandwiches.
The wattage of your would-be panini press is another important factor you must consider, as it will have a profound effect on how quickly the grill plates heat up, how consistently they maintain heat, and more importantly, how effectively they can cook meals, such as steaks or burgers. Remember, panini presses with a higher wattage are often more expensive, so choose one that best suits your needs.
The grill plates are the most important feature of a panini press. The type of plates will determine the dishes you can cook, how your food is presented, and how difficult it is to clean the plates. This all is dependent upon the surface of the plates, the material they have been constructed with, and whether they are exchangeable or removable.
Typically, panini presses come in two distinct surface types: flat and grooved. The latter does particularly well with chicken breasts, burgers, steaks, sandwiches and other dishes on which you want grill marks. The flat style plates, on the other hand, prepare French toast, pancakes or eggs. Some models have top plates that fold all the way back, allowing you to use the machine as a contact grill.
You will also come across models that offer interchangeable or removable plates. Some offer removable plates that are reversible for added versatility. If you want a variety of cooking options available, you could opt for a panini press with two grooved grill plates for paninis, two flat griddle plates for pancakes, one of each, or even all of the above.
The plates on most panini presses are often made from cast iron or aluminum. Cast iron plates are much expensive and heavier than their aluminum counterparts. They get hotter than aluminum, and retain heat better, especially when cooking hearty items, like burgers. However, since they might degrade and flake, they need occasional seasoning to prevent the food from sticking to the surface. The weight of these plates also makes it difficult to store away when not in use.
Aluminum plates, however, are far cheaper and lighter than cast-iron plates, and typically come with non-stick coatings like ceramic or Teflon. Moreover, they also offer a higher heat transfer rate, ensuring your panini maker heats up quickly and maintains even heat throughout.
Panini makers provide an easy and quick way to make a range of foods. From freshly chopped veggies to grilled sandwiches, these machines have a wide variety of applications, making them a must-have appliance in any kitchen!
Whether you want to make a tasty breakfast sandwich, or delicious panini for lunch, having a panini press can help save a lot of time and hassle as these machines deliver quality results in no time!
While all the panini presses mentioned in this article are considered the best by many consumers, choosing one comes down to your needs and the kind of dishes you are looking to cook. You should compare your preferences against the features and specifications of the panini presses you are interested in, and hopefully, you will be able to find one that best suits your needs.
For our money, the Top Pick is the Cuisinart GR-1 Griddler Panini and Sandwich Press.