Serving a sandwich can be done in many ways. Some people are happy to just add some ingredients between two slices of bread and others create impressive meal times by serving pressed sandwiches. A panini sandwich press heats the bread to a crispy and delicious delight, and although a press is not an essential kitchen appliance, these sandwich presses can often be transformed into mini indoor grills. This versatility makes a press not only a great gadget, but also a useful one.
List of best sandwich presses
- Most popular – Cuisinart 5-in-1 griddler
- Best ceramic – George Foreman Multi-Plate Evolve Grill
- Best compact – Brentwood Compact Dual Sandwich Maker
- Best large – Chefman Panini Press Grill and Gourmet Sandwich Maker
- Best multi-functional – Hamilton Beach 4-in-1 Indoor Grill & Electric Griddle
- Best budget – Hamilton Beach Electric Panini Press Grill with Locking Lid
Things to consider before buying
These machines all have an on and off button, but the more advanced and multi-functional models usually have better temperature control.
Are you looking for only a sandwich press or do you have the need for a more versatile appliance? The more functions your machine has the higher the price will be. Many of the basic panini sandwich presses double as indoor grills, but some also function as waffle makers or griddles. The non-stick plates are often removable for easy changing and cleaning.
The size chosen depends on the family makeup and how often it will be used. Some make a single sandwich whereas others can make up to six sandwiches at the time. The size of your kitchen as well as storage and counter space should also be considered.
Overview of best sandwich presses
1. Most popular – Cuisinart 5-in-1 griddler
Real sandwich lovers enjoy this Cuisinart 5-in1 griddler which makes not only great sandwiches but also functions as a contact grill, panini press, full grill, full griddle, and half grill/half griddle. The height of the floating cover can be adjusted depending on the thickness of the food being cooked. The adjustable temperature controls with indicator lights work well and make for even warming of the non-stick cooking plates that are both reversible and removable for easy cleaning by hand or in the dishwasher.
There are two observations for this Cuisinart griddler; the grill is not even when fully opened which makes it challenging to prepare eggs or pancakes, and the integrated drip tray to drain grease is on the small side. Overall, it is a fantastic machine and unsurprisingly the most popular choice.
Related: Best electric indoor grills
2. Best ceramic – George Foreman Multi-Plate Evolve Grill
Ceramic cookware has a fantastic non-stick surface and very little extra fat or oil is needed when preparing food. The floating hinge system is handy for thicker sandwiches, although it might push the food to the front of the machine. The digital control panel displays the cooking time and temperature but it takes a few cooking sessions before finding the perfect setting. The easily removable plates have cool-touch features and are dishwasher-safe.
Read also: How to cook in a tiny kitchen
3. Best compact – Brentwood Compact Dual Sandwich Maker
This compact sandwich maker is perfect if you live alone or have limited kitchen space. There is a safety lock and cable wrap which makes it easy to store upright and save space in your cupboards. It makes up to 2 grilled sandwiches with easy cut diagonal indentations. However, take care not to overfill as thick sandwiches will be squashed. The cool touch handles allow you to freely open, close and move the unit. The power/pre-heat indicator lights are convenient but don’t control the temperature.
Read also: Essential tools to make pasta
4. Best large – Chefman Panini Press Grill and Gourmet Sandwich Maker
This 4-slice grill-panini press combo can be used to press sandwiches or you can be opened at 180 degrees for easy grilling! The floating hinge adjusts to accommodate any size of sandwich and the closed cooking surface fits four sandwiches or two large paninis. Plugging in the device functions as the on/off button. There is no temperature control, but the heat spreads evenly. The non-stick coated grill plates and drip tray are removable for effortless cleaning.
5. Best multi-functional – Hamilton Beach 4-in-1 Indoor Grill & Electric Griddle
This four-in-one appliance is delivered with three interchangeable non-stick plates to enable a switch from grill to griddle. Six sandwiches can be cooked in the closed position and up to twelve portions when opened at 180 degrees. The adjustable temperature control allows cooking at low or high heat settings and a pre-heat light shows when the unit is ready to start cooking. There is a special splatter-proof plate to make crispy bacon and all the plates are easy to remove when cool and can be cleaned easily by hand or dishwasher.
6. Best budget – Hamilton Beach Electric Panini Press Grill with Locking Lid
This Hamilton Beach model panini press comes without whistles and bells, but it does what it says and makes up to two great sandwiches at one time. There is an indicator light that shows when the machine is on and ready for cooking, but the temperature is not adjustable. Take care not to make sandwiches too thick as they might not fit in this press. The non-stick plates are good quality and easy to clean.