There’s nothing quite like a good panini. The taste of the melted cheese in between two luscious slices of bread, warmed under a hot grill is enough to make anyone melt. A panini press can give you that glorious taste on a daily basis, and that’s why you’re here - to experience the love of a hot sandwich every single day.
There are a lot of panini presses on the market so it can be a bit tricky to know what you’re looking for, but we’ve got you covered. Here, we’re going to show you the best panini presses out there so that you don’t have to look. We’ve also written a handy buyer’s guide to help you to know what you’re looking for!
Top 5 Best Panini Press
OUR TOP PICK
If you’re a grilling enthusiast, or even just someone that doesn’t mute commercials, you’ve likely heard of the lean, mean, grilling machine - George Foreman. This grill features removable plates for easy cleaning, and it’s both lightweight and compact enough to store it easily. But you’re not here to hear about cleaning and compactness - you want to hear about how this grill makes a mean sandwich!
The George Foreman 4, as we have said, is lightweight but still provides plenty of space for you to be able to cook an entire meal using one. The grill features an improved heating element, which means that it can heat up to 35% faster than the models that came before this one. Not only can you cook stunning paninis, but you could also cook around 3 frozen burger patties in under 15 minutes.
The panini press has a non stick coating designed to make cleaning that much easier - all you need to do is lift the sandwich off the grill plates and you can enjoy your panini without the fear that you’re going to have to spend hours scrubbing it down afterwards. It’s relatively small so it’s ideal for the single person with a penchant for sandwiches, or it can be used when entertaining a group. Everyone will be in awe of your panini preparing prowess!
- Lightweight and highly portable
- Easy to clean
- Attractive, modern appearance
- You can’t adjust the temperature
Are you looking for an affordable grill that comes with a bunch of awesome features? This may be just the panini press for you! This model comes with a bunch of cool additions, such as adjustable temperature and an LCD display just to start with.
The grill cooks rather quickly for a range of different meals. You aren’t limited to just cooking paninis! The grill also features an open mode that will give you extra indoor grill space, so all of your food will cook evenly at the same time.
The panini press features non stick plates which means they are easy to clean, and there is also a drip tray that comes with it which will collect any fats from the sandwich or any meats. In addition to this, the press has removable plates, which also makes it easy to clean. As a whole there is a lot to love about this press - why not give it a try?
- Removable plates
- Easy to clean
- Fast operation
- It can be easy to damage the side buttons
Did someone say delicious sandwiches, all with a warranty? You heard us right - you’ll get stellar taste and peace of mind all in one package with this bad boy. Coming with a non stick and scratch resistant cooking surface, this device will provide you with a seamless sandwich making experience.
There is a lot to this grill, and just to start with this doesn’t just make sandwiches. It’s so versatile that it is ideal for grilling a range of different foods with ease. The device has large plates to allow you to serve a number of sandwiches and it also doesn’t smell after you grill.
The panini press offers 1500 watt capacity, and the plates are also two sided. You’ll even get free tech support from Amazon with your purchase!
- Comes with a recipe book
- You can’t remove the cooking plates
As far as value is concerned, the George Foreman 2 is definitely one of the best options out there. Sure it’s not got as many features as some of the more expensive options but it definitely has enough on offer to make it a worthwhile investment.
The grill comes with durable and tough non stick coating that is designed to allow for an efficient and fast cleaning up process. It’s also very simple to cook using it, and it has an exclusive sloped surface that is designed to reduce the amount of fat and grease. Ultimately, this makes for a much healthier meal!
The grill is somewhat small but there’s still plenty of space for you to be able to cook two sandwiches at once. The size also means that it’s rather portable, so you can take it on a camping trip with you for an easy breakfast. Delicious!
- Easy to use
- Doesn’t have temperature control and there are no dishwasher safe parts
The Hamilton Beach Panini Press Sandwich Maker is a reliable option that you are sure to love for all of your panini toasting requirements. It’s not all that expensive either, so you’ll probably save a little bit of money while still getting stellar sandwiches.
The grill makes toaties to the level you would expect from some of your favorite sandwich restaurants, but you won’t even need to leave the house to get them. It comes with a floating lid that will provide even grilling, and it can toast sandwiches with a range of different thicknesses. It also has power and preheat lights that can help you to know when your panini is ready.
In addition to all of this, the grill isn’t all that difficult to use. You don’t need to worry about reading an instruction manual! Of course, the grill does not feature removable plates, but it’s still pretty easy to clean despite this.
- Works with a range of sandwich thicknesses
- Quick heating
- Pans cannot be removed
Best Panini Press Buying Guide
There are a lot of panini press options out there, and it can sometimes be a little bit tricky to make the right decision. If this sounds like you, here are a couple of things you should consider before you buy your panini press.
Before you buy a panini press you should always check the build quality. If you are planning on paying a lot of money for a panini press then it needs to be well designed and it should last a long time.
Different manufacturers will provide different kinds of accessories along with their panini presses. For example, some brands will give extra tools that help with making it much easier to clean the unit and operate it, and some others may not come with any accessories at all. It is vital that you check what kind of things you are going to be getting with your panini press.
A timer is one feature you should look out for, as this will mean that it’s easier to operate your panini press.
This is perhaps one of the most important things to consider, as it is the grill plates that are going to help make your delicious panini! Grill plates for a panini come in a lot of different forms, such as cast iron, glass ceramic, and non stick teflon. The plates can come in stovetop and electric versions, so you will need to opt for one that will fit with your needs. You should also be able to remove the plates so that they are easier to clean.
Usually panini makers will comes with either rigged or smooth plates. The main problem with smooth surfaced plates is that they don’t leave grill marks that are a hallmark of restaurants on the panini. Smooth surfaced plates are going to be a lot easier to clean too, so that is certainly something you should keep in mind while you are making your decision.It’s also possible to find panini grills that have reversible plates, but you’re going to need to spend more money on those probably.
Of course, it’s important to look for a plate that has a long lasting non stick feature. This means your food will be released easily, saving you having to dig your meal out from the clutches of your panini press for a few comedic hours. It’s also a good idea to opt for a panini press that has removable plates, as they tend to be a lot easier to clean. The plates should also be able to evenly distribute the heat, so you don’t get any hot spots. This is important to make sure that your food is cooked throughout.
Panini Presses don’t always come with temperature controls. If you are planning on using a panini press in order to also prepare other foods, for example pizzas or burgers, then you should opt for one with a temperature setting rather than a pre set panini press.
You will need to have a drip tray as it will collect up all of the juices that can drip from the press and into a tray and this is much easier to dispose of. The alternative is making a complete mess out of the kitchen countertop.
A panini grill that comes with floating hinges tends to give a little bit more control on the kinds of sandwiches you are able to prepare. It’s usually a good idea to opt for floating hinges as they let you adjust the height of the top part of the grill, meaning it doesn’t end up making contact with the bottom while you prepare certain kinds of meals. It also means that you aren’t limited by the height of your sandwich.
Griddles and Grills
The traditional style of panini press comes with a grill on top and this results in grill marks, but the griddle is placed on the bottom. It’s possible to get units with a grill and a griddle, or you can get one with either of the options on their own.
Again this is largely going to depend on the brand that you buy from, but it’s always a good idea to go for a panini with a longer warranty as it will give you more peace of mind in case something goes wrong.
Power and Capacity
It should come as no surprise that the bigger the device is, the faster you are going to be able to make more paninis. Of course, you should opt for a panini press that will best suit your needs. If you are a lone wolf only making paninis for yourself then you probably aren’t going to need to get a big device. Alternatively, if you have a larger family then a larger panini press would be a lot more useful to you. It should be noted, however, that larger devices are going to eat up more power, so always think about your needs first.
The chances are that you aren’t going to find a panini press that does more than, well, pressing paninis. With that being said, some panini presses are a lot more versatile than others are, which means you will be able to do a lot more with it. It also means that there’s no need to buy another device to do something else because your panini press will have the task already handled for you.
Whenever you’re using any electronic item, safety is a massive concern. Panini presses can get very hot while you use them, and can generate high temperatures even above 500 degrees which can cause some massive injuries if you aren’t very careful. So, you should always make sure that your panini press comes with a heat resistant safety handle so that you don’t end up burning yourself.
We’ve already somewhat mentioned this in the rest of our buying guide, but easy cleaning is a real game changer when it comes to a panini press. It means you don’t need to worry about scrubbing your grill down after use and you can just enjoy your lovely sandwich with your loved ones. Non stick coatings are the way to go here because, as the name suggests, it means food won’t stick on the grills. Some panini presses also come with built in trays like we mentioned earlier, and some have special angling modes which are pretty handy. You can also buy special cleaning grill brushes which is a big help for cleaning.
There are a whole bunch of panini presses on the market and they are all priced differently, so it can be tricky to know whether you will find what you want in your budget range. Ultimately, you need to think about narrowing down the things that you want in accordance to your requirement and budget. Also think if you are going to be using the panini press a lot, if you will use it for family or commercial purposes and other important questions. You need to think about these things before you make your purchase.
Ease of Storage
If you’re planning on storing the press inside your cabinet, you should check if it is possible to store it in an upright position so you are able to save a little space. In order to make the storage safer and easier, many of the presses actually come with locking features and cable storage areas placed on the bottom of the unit.
Best Panini Press FAQ's
What are you able to make in a panini press?
This largely depends on what kind of press you have gone for, but you can make pretty much anything with a panini press. They usually have a few different names, such as indoor grills and sandwich makers, so thankfully you don’t need to worry that you’re buying a one tricky pony. It’s possible to open a lot of presses flat and this will give you more grilling space, and you will still grill that perfect sandwich when you need to.
What is the perfect bread to use for paninis?
Most sandwich experts out there say that ciabatta is the perfect bread for paninis. With that being said though, a whole grain baguette or a focaccia should work perfectly well. You should try to avoid using airy and light breads because they won’t grill as well as you want them to.
How can you season a panini press?
Before you try to grill, you should first make sure that you put some oil on the press to make sure that it’s totally clean, with no bacteria in the way. It’s a lot like making sure that you watch your kitchen utensils.
All you need to do with this is to preheat the press to around 400 degrees Fahrenheit or 204 degrees celsius. If the temperature isn’t adjustable then you should just wait until the ready light flashes. Once you have done this, then pour a tiny amount of oil right onto the center and spread it using a dry and soft cloth. You should allow the press to heat the oil for around 15 minutes or just until the oil evaporates.