6 Best Panini Sandwich Presses

sandwich grilled in sandwich press

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

Things to consider before buying the best panini press 


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.

FAQ for the best panini maker

You may have questions before you purchase your maker, since you want to get the most value and service out of your new appliance. Here are a few of the most common questions everyone asks before buying their panini grill.

What is a panini?

A panini is essentially a grilled sandwich crafted from Italian breads like ciabatta or michetta and is typically served hot. Originating from Italy, the word “panini” translates to a small bread roll or a general term for a sandwich.

These sandwiches are stuffed with a variety of deli items, which might include cheese, ham, salami, and veggies like peppers, onions, and mushrooms. They are heated using a specialized grill known as a panini press.

Can you make hamburgers on a panini press?

Yes, you can make hamburgers on a panini press. A panini press is a versatile tool that can be used for grilling many items, not just sandwiches.

To make hamburgers on a panini press, pre-heat the unit to get it the desired temperature for cooking hamburgers. Choose your grade of ground beef (mince), then form it into a patty, and place it on the iron’s plate. Of course, add any of your favourite seasonings.

Close the lid of the press, and let the burger cook until you are happy with the size and doneness. Just remember that when you are done, you should clean the unit, so that it doesn’t have stale grease residue when you go to use it next time.

What can you make with a panini press?

The number of interesting items you can grill or cook on the panini press is endless. You can use it to reheat things like leftover quesadillas. You can use it to grill veggies or fruit for adding to a pizza or as a side dish for a meal.

Many people have learned to cook chicken breasts and fish to their liking, and it would work well for French toast, too. You are only limited by your imagination!

What is the difference between a panini maker and sandwich maker?

Because a traditional panini might be a lot taller than a simple sandwich, the panini maker often comes with a hinged lid to adjust the height. It is also much more versatile.

A sandwich maker is typically much simpler to operate, and is perfect for melting cheese between two thin slices of bread.

Cleaning tips for the best sandwich press

Depending on what foods you put in your sandwich press, you will want it nice and clean for the next time you use it. For example, adding cheeses and jams to your sandwich could make the plates sticky. You’ll want to wipe them down to remove the residue.

Here are a few quick tips for keeping your unit in good order before putting it away in the cupboard.

  • Do not use harsh cleaners on the unit’s outside or the plates. Wipe the outside with a gentle dish soap.
  • Do not use scrubbers or brushes.
  • Do not use metal utensils for scraping off bits. Soft plastic and teflon are better options to keep the plates’ non-stick surface like new.
  • Once you finish making your sandwiches, gently shake the unit to remove all crumbs and loose bits.
  • Try to get the clean-up done before the residue hardens.
  • If your unit has removeable plates, be sure to take them out to make it easier for you. But don’t let them soak in water, and be sure to check your manual before putting them in the dishwasher. To be honest, they will probaly not need scrubbing at all, so a nice wipe-down is fine.
  • Mop up any excess grease or oil with a paper towel.
  • If you do need to work a little harder on the grooves, be sure to cover your scraping tool with a clean dish cloth. Some people use the handle of a small wooden spoon or even a chopstick to get stuff out of the grooves.

Highlights of the best panini press

If you’re tired of boring, cold sandwiches, a panini press will be a welcome addition to your kitchen equipment. Even if you don’t have a kitchen, like in a school dorm, you will find owning one of these appliances that more handy. Keep the press in your closet and pull it out when you are feeling hungry. Very convenient, indeed.

Want to be the sandwich king or queen and make a bunch at once? Go for the bigger size! Just want a snack? There’s a mini version for that, too. Some are even multi-taskers that can grill burgers or veggies. No matter the size of your family, or what you need to warm up, toast, or grill, you’ll find the best panini press for your needs. The selection is diverse.

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