Best-Panini-Presses

Very few can deny that a fantastic grilled sandwich with delectable cheese oozing from the sides and fabulous grill marks on the crispy top is the ultimate in American comfort foods. While the Panini is a classic Italian creation, Americans are famous for turning an otherwise ordinary sandwich into something of a gastronomic delight. And when it comes to making the best Panini at home, you will need the best Panini presses. This nifty device allows you to create a mouthwatering sandwich that will impress your family and friends and give you that much-needed ego boost.

The classic Panini press can only do one thing: make fabulous grilled sandwiches. Modern versions can do more than just grill a piece of bread. In this review, we’ll look at 10 of the best Panini presses you can buy and use to whip up fabulous sandwiches and other foods right in your home.

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I. Our Top Picks for Panini Presses

Products & FeaturesImage & Price

1. Our #1 Pick: George Foreman GRP1060B Grill and Panini Press

George-Foreman-GRP1060B-Grill

2. Runner-Up: Cuisinart GR-4N 5-in-1 Griddler

Cuisinart-GR-4N-5-in-1-Griddler

3. George Foreman GR10B Indoor Grill and Panini Press

George-Foreman-GR10B-Indoor-Grill

4. iSiLER 4 Slice Panini Press Grill

-iSiLER-4-Slice-Panini-Press-Grill

5. Cuisinart Electric Griddler

Cuisinart-Electric-Griddler

6. Chefman Electric Panini Press Grill and Gourmet Sandwich Maker

Chefman-Electric-Panini-Press-Grill
7. Hamilton Beach  Electric Panini Press GrillHamilton-Beach-Electric-Panini-Press
8. Breville Duo Nonstick Panini PressBreville-Duo-Nonstick-Panini-Press
9. Cuisinart GR-150P1 Griddler DeluxeCuisinart-GR-150P1-Griddler-Deluxe
10. IMUSA USA Electric Stainless Steel Panini MakerIMUSA-USA-Electric-Panini-Maker

II. What to Look for When Buying a Panini Press

Panini-Press

There are many factors that can impact one’s decision when buying a Panini press. However, focusing more on the features that you really want can help you bring home a device that is perfect for making grilled sandwiches and a whole lot more. Here are some of the most important things you need to look for when buying a Panini press.

Manual vs. Electric

In general, Panini presses are manual devices. You put the sandwich in between the plates, press the lid, and heat the device over a heat source. If you want a press with an integrated heating element, then you need an electric Panini press. These devices are called Panini grills because they already have the heating element built into them.

Plate Material

If you want a sturdier press, pick one with a cast iron plate. These presses are heavy, more expensive, and can be very tricky to clean. Another common plate material is steel with a nonstick coating. These devices are a breeze to clean, less expensive, and lightweight, too. The only issue is that they are not as durable as cast iron plates.

Floating Hinge

One essential characteristic of a Panini press is a movable top plate that is integrated into the lid. It is best to get a press with a floating hinge to allow you to make grilled sandwiches of varying heights or thickness. This can also improve the versatility of the device. You can put a large slab of meat without any fuss and both sides of the food will cook evenly.

Additional Functions

There are products that double as griddles. You get to remove the grill plates of the device and replace it with griddle plates. You can then use the press to cook a variety of foods. There are also products that allow the 180-degree unfolding of the top lid. You get a conventional grill this way.

Heat Settings

Think of the Panini press like a toaster. It has heat settings that allow you to brown your sandwiches in different shades. Some products come with advanced thermostat settings for precise temperature control.

Ease of Maintenance

Presses with a nonstick surface are easier to clean than cast iron products. You can also choose a Panini press with removable plates that you can wash and sanitize in your dishwasher. Some products come with an angled design for draining drippings from the food.

Safety Features

Always look for presses with insulated handles. These devices can reach at least 500 degrees Fahrenheit. It is easy to burn yourself if you’re not careful. It is also crucial that the device comes with appropriate electrical safety protections. It would be nice if the Panini press also does not have exposed edges of hot elements. You will also want the Panini press to have a locking mechanism, especially when storing the device.

Size

Pick a Panini press that has the correct size relative to the space of your countertop. Make sure that there is plenty of space for other kitchen items.


III. The 10 Best Panini Presses

1. George Foreman GRP1060B Grill and Panini Press

George-Foreman-GRP1060B-Grill

If you’re looking to make amazing Paninis for your buddies this weekend, you should get the George Foreman GRP1060B Grill and Panini Press. This is an electric press that does more than give you exciting grilled sandwiches. It has a large, nonstick cooking surface area and a very accommodating hinge that allows you to slap a thick cut of steak into the device.

The press heats a lot faster than your usual machine, allowing you to grill your sandwiches and cook your steaks and other food faster. There is no worrying about the fat going to your tummy either. The sloping design of the press channels fat and oil away from your food and into a drip tray. The only issue here is that the George Foreman Panini press will occupy a countertop space of 12 inches by 12 inches.

Overall, the George Foreman GRP1060B is an excellent Panini press. It is versatile, easy to clean, and a true workhorse in the kitchen.

Pros

  • Adjustable hinge
  • Advanced heating element
  • Removable, dishwasher-safe plates
  • Easy to use
  • Angled design

Cons

  • Large footprint

2. Cuisinart GR-4N 5-in-1 Griddler

Cuisinart-GR-4N-5-in-1-Griddler

You’ve got to love the GR-4N Griddler from Cuisinart. This is a device that serves as a grill, a griddle, and a Panini press. The best part of its innovative design is that the two halves of the machine can butterfly 180 degrees to extend your grilling and griddling surface areas. This is perfect if you are going to have a barbecue party or even a makeshift teppanyaki for your guests.

The construction of the GR-4N is so robust that it will never shift on your countertop. The control dials are very easy to manipulate and its sleek stainless-steel surface is a breeze to clean. The handle is exceptional to hold, minimizing the risk of burn injuries. The only comment here is that the device does not have a sloping design that can help with channeling fat away from the grill or griddle plates.

Nevertheless, we believe that the Cuisinart GR-4N Griddler remains unbeatable when it comes to versatility.

Pros

  • Multiple cooking functions
  • User-friendly controls
  • Ergonomic and safe handle
  • Very sturdy base
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Not angled design

3. George Foreman GR10B Indoor Grill and Panini Press

George-Foreman-GR10B-Indoor-Grill

You don’t need a bulky Panini press if you live alone or if you have a Lilliputian countertop space. What you need is a small device that does a good job of grilling your sandwiches and other foods. This is exactly what the George Foreman GR108 provides. It is a reliable device that can make sandwiches for two.

The GR108 has the same technical specifications as other George Foreman products. The only difference is the size. It comes with an angled design for food that is not drenched in its own fat. The hinge adjusts to accommodate any size of food that you place in its nonstick, easy-to-clean cooking surface. The downside? Well, the drip tray that the company provides doesn’t lock into the device itself. This can get messy if you don’t position the tray correctly.

The George Foreman GR108 is a good buy overall. It is compact and does a good job at making excellent Paninis.

Pros

  • Nonstick cooking surface
  • Small footprint
  • Easy to clean
  • Angled design
  • Adjustable hinge

Cons

  • Drip tray doesn’t lock into the device

4. iSiLER 4 Slice Panini Press Grill

-iSiLER-4-Slice-Panini-Press-Grill

The iSiLER Panini Maker is more than a device that can make fantastic grilled sandwiches. It is a contraption that allows you to make fabulous pizzas, omelets, barbecues, fried veggies, toast, bacon, sausages, and grilled fish. Its unique 180-degree foldaway design doubles its grilling area to create a feast for the whole family.

The thermostat controls allow you to cook your foods in half the time that other Panini presses can. There are no worries about overcooking your food or burning your Paninis to crisp. No food will ever stick onto its cooking surface, either. This also ensures effortless cleanups. The only negative aspect about this product is its power consumption. At 1200 watts, it draws as much power as a microwave.

Despite this, the iSiLER Panini Maker should still be a wonderful choice. It is perfect for small families who want to enjoy fantastic grilled treats right on the dining table. It looks modern, too.

Pros

  • Versatile griller
  • Very easy and safe to operate
  • With intelligent thermostat controls
  • Easy to clean
  • Stable and sturdy design

Cons

  • High power consumption

5. Cuisinart Electric Griddler

Cuisinart-Electric-Griddler

The Cuisinart Electric Griddler is not your ordinary Panini press that comes with different functions. It is a state-of-the-art device that makes it ridiculously easy to grill and griddle different foods. It has a contemporary design that can complement the stainless-steel motif of modern kitchens. The construction is as solid as any other Cuisinart product on the market.

What makes this Cuisinart so exciting is the inclusion of a large digital display. It works so well with its intelligent thermostat that allows you to dial in your preferred temperature settings. You can go as low as 175oF or as high as 450oF. There’s no need to guess the correct temperature of the cooking plates as the temperature already gets displayed on the LCD. And when you unfold the griddler, you get double the cooking area.

The Cuisinart Electric Griddler is expensive. This is understandable, given the different features it provides. This is the perfect versatile Panini press for the modern kitchen.

Pros

  • Multifunction design
  • Easy-to-read digital display
  • Fully adjustable temperature settings
  • Easy to clean
  • Solid construction

Cons

  • Quite pricey

6. Chefman Electric Panini Press Grill and Gourmet Sandwich Maker

Chefman-Electric-Panini-Press-Grill

One look at the Chefman Electric Panini Press and it would be easy to think that it is expensive. On the contrary, it is one of the most affordable Panini presses you can ever buy. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it has a mediocre performance. This gadget is as elegant as it is efficient in providing you with fantastic grilled sandwiches and more.

The Chefman features a pair of sizeable grilling surfaces with nonstick coating. The design ensures effortless panini-making and device maintenance. What is more admirable is the design of the handle. It is a lot bigger and positioned farther away from the cooking surface. This ensures improved safety during operation. You can also unfold the device to grill steaks, burgers, fish, poultry, and veggies. It doesn’t have an angled design, though.

The Electric Panini Press Grill from Chefman is a good choice for budget-conscious folks. It is effective in providing grilled foods for a small family.

Pros

  • Sleek and elegant multifunction design
  • Very safe to operate
  • Reliable floating hinge
  • Easy to maintain
  • Good value

Cons

  • Non-sloping design

7. Hamilton Beach  Electric Panini Press Grill

Hamilton-Beach-Electric-Panini-Press

If you want a fun-looking Panini press that can double as a full-sized grill for a great family barbecue, then Hamilton Beach’s 25462Z Electric Panini Press Grill is for you. The device comes with an ergonomic and safe handle that will prevent you from burning yourself. It has a butterfly opening design that doubles its cooking surface. This is perfect for weekend barbecues.

One thing nice about this Panini press is its floating hinge design. It makes it super easy to put a thick slab of meat onto the cooking surface. You can make delicious kebabs, grilled veggies, and even a sumptuous grilled poultry to satisfy your cravings. The feet of the press are very solid, allowing you to feel more secure when you place the Panini press on your countertop. Do take note that it requires plenty of space, though.

The Hamilton Beach 25462Z Panini Press has a cool vibe to it that can add a touch of fun to your kitchen.

Pros

  • Nonstick cooking surface
  • Safe and ergonomic handle
  • Floating hinge
  • Easy to clean
  • Multifunction design

Cons

  • Large footprint

8. Breville Duo Nonstick Panini Press

Breville-Duo-Nonstick-Panini-Press

The Breville Duo Panini Press has a classic design with an unusual twist. Conventional Panini presses have ribbed cooking surfaces. The Breville unit only has one. The bottom plate has a smooth surface that makes it more like a griddle. This arrangement accomplishes two things. It ensures faster heating and browning of your Paninis, while also giving your food the mesmerizing grill marks that we all love in grilled sandwiches.

The device is easy to maintain. The handle is stout and feels nice. The exterior finish of the device also gives it an elegant look. The feet never slip, securing the device on your countertop. And when you store the Panini press, you can always secure it with an integrated lock. The power draw of the unit is the only thing that can be upsetting.

Nonetheless, the Breville Duo Panini Press is a wonderful choice for people who want a reliable device to make great grilled sandwiches.

Pros

  • Large grilling and griddling surfaces
  • Floating hinge
  • Secure locking mechanism
  • Safe and good grip handle
  • Easy to maintain

Cons

  • High power draw

9. Cuisinart GR-150P1 Griddler Deluxe

Cuisinart-GR-150P1-Griddler-Deluxe

It is very easy to justify the high price tag of the Cuisinart GR-150P1 Griddler Deluxe. This is a device that takes your panini-making and griddling adventures several levels higher. Its construction speaks a lot about its quality. And when you get to the features, you’ll know that this is a bombshell.

The GR-150P1 has fully adjustable top plate to accommodate various sizes of food. Each plate has its own thermostat that allows you to dial in the ideal temperature for each cooking surface. You can also give a very nice sear to your meats with a simple press of a button. And if you want an effortless griddling or grilling, the GR-150P1 already has 6 presets to choose from. You can remove the plates for easier cleaning. You can also reverse the plates for added versatility.

The Cuisinart GR-150P1 Griddler Deluxe already has everything you will ever need to make fantastic Paninis, fabulous steaks, sumptuous teppanyaki meals, and many more.

Pros

  • Multiple adjustable settings
  • Durable grill plates with customizable settings
  • Multifunction design
  • Easy to maintain
  • Solid construction

Cons

  • Expensive

10. IMUSA USA Electric Stainless Steel Panini Maker

IMUSA-USA-Electric-Panini-Maker

If you don’t mind not having the beautiful grill marks on your sandwich, then the IMUSA GAU-80103 Electric Panini Maker is for you. This device has a modern design and a floating hinge that makes it easy to make a Big Mac-like sandwich that will wow the crowd. The handle feels solid and is cool to touch. Burning your hands is impossible.

One thing you should know about the IMUSA Panini Maker is that it doesn’t have ribs on the nonstick plate. You won’t have that grill marks that you may want from your sandwich. The design makes it more a griddle than a grill. This is perfect for teppanyaki style dishes. The absence of ribs also makes cleaning a lot easier. Making a Cubano and other similar sandwiches will be a cinch.

While the IMUSA GAU-80103 does not provide lovely grill marks on food, it still makes it easy to turn ordinary breads into fabulous pub-style sandwiches.

Pros

  • Durable, nonstick plates
  • Contemporary design
  • Cool touch, ergonomic handle
  • Easy to operate and clean
  • Floating hinge

Cons

  • Doesn’t produce grill marks

IV. Panini Press FAQs

What is a Panini press and how does it work?

A Panini press is a gadget that heats food to a desired internal temperature, while imparting desirable characteristics on the food’s exterior. The external characteristics can come in the form of grill marks, a crispy finish, or melted cheese, or a combination of any of these.

The classic Panini press produces excellent sandwiches. However, it is a versatile appliance that can also serve to cook other foods, like bacon, mini cakes, hash browns, and waffle cones, among others. The device comes with two heating surfaces that ‘clamps’ the food in between.

A Panini press is quite different from a Panini grill. A Panini grill already integrates a heating element within the device itself. A Panini press, on the other hand, only compresses the food. You will need to heat the whole device over an external heat source.

The result is the same, however. You still get warm, almost toasty sandwich with excellent grill marks. That is why many people do not make any distinction between a Panini press and a Panini grill.

How to use a Panini press?

If you’re using an electric Panini grill, switch it on first to warm the grill plates. Fill your bread with your favorite sandwich stuffing. Place the bread on the bottom plate of the press. Push down the top lid of the press and wait a few minutes for the bread to have that nice golden-brown finish.

If you’re using a manual type of press, the process is similar. The only difference is that you will have to place the bread in the device first before you heat the press over an external heat source.

How to clean a Panini press?

Modern Panini presses come with a nonstick cooking surface. The plates are also removable. Both features allow for ease of cleaning. A nonstick surface only needs a simple wipe with a clean cloth for it to be cleaned. Check if the plate is also dishwasher-safe. You can sanitize it better this way. Don’t forget to wipe clean the exterior surface of the Panini press.

How to make a Panini without a press?

It is possible to make a Panini without using a fancy Panini press or grill. You only need two heavy, flat-bottomed materials to press your sandwich. You can use an ordinary skillet for the bottom plate. The top plate can be a heavy dish plate, a lid, or even a heavy pan. This will help push the sandwich down.

Assemble your sandwich and spray the surface of the skillet with a cooking spray. You can also use oil or butter, whichever you prefer. Place your sandwich in the skillet. Cover it with your improvised top plate and weigh it down using a heavier material. You can use a large and heavy can or even a kettle filled with water.

Once the bottom of the sandwich is cooked, you can remove the weights and flip the sandwich over. Replace the weights and continue cooking your sandwich.

Where to buy a Panini press?

Amazon is still the best place to buy a Panini press. The selections are extensive and the customer support is impressive. You can also try eBay, Walmart, and Home Depot, as well as other popular e-commerce platforms.


V. Conclusion

A good-quality Panini press is one that has durable grill plates. It is also easy to clean and maintain. The hinge should be adjustable to accommodate different thickness of sandwiches. The device should also be very safe to operate, freeing you from the risk of burns, electrical shocks, and getting hammered by the device. While you can pick a manual Panini press, electric Panini grills offer unparalleled convenience. The 10 Panini presses we reviewed here should be great choices to pick from. Choose the best panini presses and get ready to create a restaurant-worthy sandwich you and your family will be drooling over.

The 10 Best Panini Presses

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