Lots of people ask us about the points to consider while shopping for a Panini press. There are so many models of Panini presses with different features and prices that it isn’t easy to choose one that’s right for you.
This article is about electric Panini presses or grills that have been specifically designed to make Panini.
It’s best to do a little research before investing your hard-earned money in a Panini press. Our research team has identified the key points to consider while shopping for a Panini press:
How do you want to use the Panini press?
Consider the reasons why you want to buy a Panini press and how you intend to use it. How many people will you be serving at one time? Do you need an appliance with an adjustable thermostat, which will allow you to cook a variety of foods?
Do you need a unit with a drain cup for collecting extra fat? Do you need a Panini press that snaps shut and can be stored vertically in your cupboard? If you’re looking for a useful gift for someone, consider their needs and preferences.
Do you need a small Panini press?
You can use a small Panini press to make two small sandwiches or one large sandwich at a time. If you want to make more sandwiches, get a bigger griddle that can serve three or more people at a time.
Do you intend to keep the Panini press on your kitchen counter? Or, do you want to store it vertically in a cupboard and use it occasionally? If you have limited kitchen counter space, look for a compact unit with a small footprint.
Do you need a basic Panini press?
A basic Panini press may have a weighted lid and ridged nonstick plates that can’t be removed. The weight of the lid helps to ensure that the food remains in contact with the sandwich and the ridges create grill marks on the bread.
Some Panini presses have removable nonstick plates, which often have a ridged surface on one side and a smooth surface on the other. These presses offer more cooking options, and the plates are much easier to clean. A few presses also come with optional waffle plates.
Are you looking for a hinged grill?
You can open a hinged grill flat to cook food on both surfaces at the same time. This device is much more versatile than the usual Panini press. Some of these appliances have plates that are removable as well as reversible and drip trays to catch grease.
A floating hinge allows you close the lid at varying heights to accommodate sandwiches of different thicknesses.
Do you need an adjustable thermostat?
If you want to use the grill mostly to make Panini, you may not need an adjustable thermostat. However, if you if you intend to grill a lot of different things, perhaps besides Panini, a unit with an adjustable heat setting will give you more control over the cooking.
An adjustable thermostat may be provided in high-end Panini grills, which cost more. Are you willing to spend more to buy a more versatile grill that can be used to cook a variety of foods?
Do you want to use it as an indoor grill?
Most people think that a Panini press can only be used to make gourmet sandwiches. Panini presses can do a lot more than making Panini. Some of them can even be used as indoor barbecue grills.
If you want to use your Panini press as an indoor grill, look for one with a floating hinge, which is designed to be used in this way. If you want to cook items like vegetables, fish, meat, French toast and pancakes, look for a big grill with an adjustable thermostat and a drain cup to catch excess fat.
Do you want a versatile Panini press?
If you want a griddle that allows you to do lots of things, look for one that can be opened up to grill food on both sides. Look for reversible plates that are flat on one side and ribbed on the other.
If you want to make open-face sandwiches or pizzas, look for an appliance that allows you to position the lid above the food without touching it. You can use it to make your dishes according to your personal preferences.
A high-quality Panini press will last long
A low-cost Panini press may be flimsy, and it may stop working after a while. It may not cook your food evenly and consistently. It’s best to look for a mid-level appliance with a sturdy construction that will last longer. It may not do too many things, but it’s likely to do them well.
Expensive Panini presses offer more features and flexibility. They can be used for a variety of cooking jobs and can be programmed in different ways. Some of them even feature defrosters and sensors that change the cooking time based on the temperature and thickness of the food.
Will the Panini press look good in your kitchen?
While it’s important to consider the size, quality, and features of a Panini press, you also need to think about its looks. See if the appliance is made of durable material and has a robust construction.
Look for a color that will match the décor of your kitchen. Many Panini presses have a stainless steel finish, which will look good regardless of the color scheme of your kitchen.
Browse through online reviews
Once you’ve shortlisted a few models that meet your requirements, read online Panini press reviews to see if people who have used them are happy. Look for reviews that reveal the pros and cons of the models you are considering. This will make it easier for you to choose the right Panini maker.
Look for a high-quality Panini press that has the features you need and comes with a comprehensive warranty. If you can stretch your budget a bit, you may be able to get a much better appliance, which will give you outstanding service for years.