The terms Panini grill, Panini press, and Panini maker can confuse one in meaning. In real essence, all these have an interrelation as they mean almost the same thing in definition. But again what is a Panini press? In shading light to this, we can look at the definitions and see where the difference occurs. The terms Panini press and Panini grill are usually used interchangeably for the same product even though there might be a slight difference between the two. A Panini maker would probably just refer to both of them in general as they both make Panini.
A Panini maker is constructed in such a way that two plates with a raised grill on each one are heated with an outside heat source or electricity. Well, when coming to the difference now, when the appliance creates enough heat to grill the Panini then it can be called a Panini grill whilst when the appliance produces enough heat to press and hold the sandwich, then it can be called a Panini press. This is because it only presses but doesn’t cook the sandwich, unlike the Panini grill.
But all in all, the mode of operation doesn’t conflict as much. However, advancements in technology have made it possible to combine the two into one thus making a Panini grill press.
Editor’s Recommended : 5 Best Commercial Panini Press
The following are the 10 best Panini press maker that you should probably consider
#1 1500 watt nonstick panini press by Breville
The problem with some panini presses is that unless the surfaces are sprayed with cooking spray, they will stick. Spraying a panini press down with cooking spray before using it can also damage the surface over time, especially if you use it regularly.
Fortunately, Breville’s panini press contains a surface that does not stick. This is very useful if you use it regularly and will come in very handy if you need it for an establishment that serves sandwiches that require a panini press. The fact that you do not need to spray it down with cooking spray before using it will not only save time but it will also make it last much longer.
Another nice thing about Breville’s panini press is that it has adjustable heights this will give you options that you need when it comes to making different kinds of sandwiches. Again, this is very useful if you need a new panini press for work or any other situation where you will be using your press constantly.
The adjustable height function of Breville’s panini press can be a little difficult to use for those who are new to it, however. Also, the bottom plate is flat, meaning that it is possible for the sandwiches you make in it to move around more than you might like them to.
#2 Electric panini press grill with locking lid by Hamilton Beach
Anyone who is interested in using a panini press for food items other than panini-type sandwiches will get a lot out of Hamilton Beach’s panini press. Being able to operate with the top being locked, it is not only possible to make open-faced type sandwiches with it, but also much easier to do so since the top can lock.
Not only is Hamilton Beach’s panini press completely nonstick, but there are also grids on both the top and bottom parts of it. This means you will not need to flip the sandwiches you place inside of it to grill it perfectly on both sides.
An issue that some encounter with panini presses is that there is just not enough room to make multiple sandwiches. Hamilton Beach’s panini press solves this issue by being very spacious in its design. With the grids being 10 inches by 8 inches, you will not have any issues fitting multiple sandwiches in the press if necessary.
However, this impressive size does take away from some of the value of Hamilton Beach’s panini press. You will need ample space for the press, and this may not be possible if you are using it in an environment where your space is already crowded with other appliances.
#3 “Griddler” panini press by Cuisinart
Cleaning a panini press can be one of the most difficult, complicated, and time-consuming tasks imaginable. Even worse, a lot of panini press machines do not come with proper cleaning tools and if they do, these cleaning tools are often not designed to clean the panini press perfectly.
The Griddler, by Cuisinart, solves this issue in two ways. First, the design is very simple. Containing only a couple of parts, you will not need to worry about anything getting stuck in any smaller parts, which is an issue with some of the more complicated panini presses. It also comes with a cleaning tool that works its way into the grids perfectly.
Another thing that comes with the Griddler are instructions and recipes. This is slightly useful for anyone who is new to using panini presses. Something that is very useful for those who are new to panini presses are the indicator lights that it operates on. It is very easy to use the Griddler, and it cooks very quickly as well.
The Griddler can operate without needing to close, but it will take considerably longer for it to cook anything on the bottom surface than if it were closed. This can be troublesome for anyone who wants to make open-faced type sandwiches or anything of that sort. Also, the top does not lock, which is something else you should watch for.
#4 Titanium infused 2-in-1 panini maker and grill by Oster
The majority of panini makers have a simple design that does not typically lend itself to options that one might need when using a panini maker. In most cases, they can make sandwiches but nothing else.
Being a combination panini press and grill, Oster’s panini press solves all of those issues. Being able to open to 180 degrees, you can use Oster’s panini press as a flat grill, which means you can not only cook panini-based sandwiches but also grill meat and vegetables. This gives you many more options than any other given panini press.
Oster’s panini press is very, very easy to clean as well. The titanium-infused surface makes it very easy to clean off anything you cook on it without any issues at all. The grids on the surface are also a little wider than other panini presses, making it even easier to clean. Among the few panini presses that allow options, Oster’s is by far the easiest to clean.
Because Oster’s panini press offers a lot of options, it can be complicated to use, especially if you are not very experienced in cooking with panini presses. While it is nice that it can fold to 180 degrees, this can confuse some users when using it.
#5 1400 watt panini press by Imusa
People who use panini presses in restaurants or other places where a lot of food needs to be served to a lot of people often run into two issues: First, they do not have a lot of room to make everything that they need to make. It also takes a lot longer than they want for the panini press that they possess to finish what they need to finish.
Imusa’s panini press solves both of these issues decisively by being very large and very powerful. It uses 1400 watts and has an adjustable heat level, which reduces waiting time a lot, even when using it to make smaller sandwiches. It is also a very impressive 12 inches wide by 10 inches long. This gives you a lot of room to make anything you need.
There are a few things that you should know about Imusa’s panini press, however. First, the surfaces do not contain grids, meaning it struggles a little more when grilling. It is still possible for Imusa’s panini press to grill, but it is not as optimized as panini presses that contain grids.
You will need to dedicate space to Imusa’s panini press because of its size. The size also means that there is a chance that Imusa’s panini press will not cook as evenly as you might want it to. This is especially true if you are only using it to cook one or two things.
#6 Dual sandwich nonstick grill by Cuisinart
Something that a lot of panini presses lack is an “organized” way to make whatever you place on the grill. Most of them come with a flat heating surface or a grid design surface with no real way of organizing what you want to cook on it.
While this is negligible for food items such as meat or vegetables that you want to cook on a panini press grill, this can affect the quality of sandwiches that you cook with it.
Fortunately, Cuisinart’s dual sandwich grill is specifically designed for sandwiches, with the inside containing a deep pocket sandwich grill and an indentation for slicing sandwiches in half, you’ll have no trouble making near-perfect quality sandwiches every time with Cuisinart’s dual sandwich grill.
Containing exactly two spots with two different indentations for sandwiches, you also will never be confused as to how many sandwiches you will be able to make with Cuisinart’s dual sandwich grill. You will want it if you need a panini press specifically for making sandwiches.
However, if you are interested in a panini press that can do a little more than making sandwiches, you will need to look elsewhere. The sandwich indentations of Cuisinart’s dual sandwich grill mean that it specializes in making sandwiches. It will struggle when cooking other food items.
#7 3-in-1 sandwich maker by Aicok
Countertop panini presses and grills are fantastic on their own, but some of them can struggle when it comes to making sandwiches and waffles. While it is possible for any panini press to make sandwiches and waffles, most panini machines contain flat plates which are not very suitable for sandwiches or waffles.
Aicok’s 3-in-1 sandwich maker solves this issue decisively. Containing plates for sandwiches, waffles, and a standard horizontal line design plate, you will be able to make waffles and sandwiches much easier with it compared to other panini presses.
You can also use the standard design plate to make other kinds of food items with Aicok’s 3-in-1 sandwich maker, making it nearly perfect in its versatility.
However, it can be a bit more troublesome to use and clean Aicok’s 3-in-1 sandwich maker because of the separate plates that it uses. Switching them out and cleaning them can prove itself to be a nuisance at times.
Another questionable quality about Aicok’s 3-in-1 sandwich maker is its size. With the plates being only 21 centimeters long by 14 centimeters wide, you will be limited in the size of the waffles and sandwiches you can make in it, among other things.
#8 3-in-1 detachable waffle and sandwich maker by Laukingdom
Panini presses can only do so much when it comes to making waffles and sandwiches. While it is possible for them to toast waffles that are frozen and make sandwiches in a similar way, you will not have many options when making waffles from scratch with a standard panini press, and you might struggle to make sandwiches to perfection.
None of this is an issue with Laukingdom’s 3-in-1 waffle and sandwich maker. Containing separate plates for waffles, sandwiches, and a standard grill plate, you will be able to make waffles from scratch with it and you will also be able to make sandwiches to perfection with it.
The horizontal grids on the grill plate on Laukingdom’s sandwich maker also make it possible to make omelets, steaks, and other such protein-based food items.
Laukingdom’s sandwich maker is quite small, measuring in at about 9 inches long by 3 inches wide. While this makes it easy to carry around, it also will limit you if you want to use it to cook for multiple parties.
You also will need to be patient when using Laukingdom’s sandwich maker. Yielding only 750 watts, it will take a little longer for it to heat up compared to other sandwich makers and panini presses that yield over 1000 watts.
#9 6-in-1 sandwich maker with timer and temperature control by Deik
The majority of panini presses in existence typically only contain one temperature. This can greatly reduce versatility and can affect the overall quality of many things that you cook in a panini press.
Fortunately, Deik’s 6-in-1 sandwich maker has solved this problem by containing a temperature control system. This allows much more versatility compared to other sandwich makers and is very useful if you are using it to cook multiple food items for multiple parties. It also contains time settings as well, which is useful if you are multitasking.
Something else that makes Deik’s sandwich maker stand out is that it can open to a flat 180 degrees, thereby converting it into a grill. This is what gives it the “6-in-1” feature. When this flat design is combined with temperature control, the possibilities are endless.
The size of Deik’s sandwich maker is very impressive, measuring 11 inches long by 9 inches wide. While this allows you to use it to cook several items, it also means that you need to make sure that you have ample space for it.
Because Deik’s sandwich maker also contains multiple plates, it can also be troublesome to clean. The plates do attach and detach easily, but because they are so large, cleaning them can be time consuming.
#10 Contact grill and panini press by De’Longhi
Using a panini press to make a sandwich usually does not result in a lot of dripping grease. However, you will encounter a lot of grease if you use a panini press to cook meat or anything else that contains a lot of juices.
A lot of panini presses do not account for this very well. Containing drip trays that still demand a lot of cleaning afterward, cooking food items with juices is not ideal.
De’Longhi’s contact grill solves this problem with its design. When something is cooked on it, the juices will run towards the same bottom left corner every time. To micromanage dripping, simply place the drip cup under this corner and you will not need to worry about dripping. This makes cleaning after cooking with it very easy.
Another fantastic thing that De’Longhi’s contact grill possesses is an adjustable thermostat. With a small knob located at the base of the machine, it is easy to cook anything on the press at whatever rates you desire.
De’Longhi’s contact grill seems to be designed more for grilling meat and vegetables than anything else. While you can make other kinds of food items with it, they will not have the kind of quality that panini presses that contain different plates for waffles and sandwiches yield.
Types of Panini Presses
There are two types of Panini presses, the manual Panini press, and the electric Panini press or grill. Some are made of stainless steel while some are cast iron Panini press. A manual Panini press would require a heat source in order to operate. It is ideal for outdoor activities such as camping where you can use a stove so as to produce the necessary heat for the device. This is achieved by placing the device on top of the stove so that the heat can spread out and enable you to press the Panini. This can at times become a bit tricky if you do not have the right skills to enable you to operate the manual Panini press. This is because at certain intervals you would be required to turn the sandwich inside the press so that it can cook evenly not leaving out some parts uncooked. It is therefore a challenge if you are used to the electric Panini press or grill. However, it should not be a big deal as all you need to do is to regulate the heat and the sandwich thus making everything okay.
The electric Panini press or grill on the other hand is quite easy to use and convenient as you don’t have to worry about a lot of stuff like heat regulation. You just plugin and you are good to go. In most cases, the electric Panini makers are referred to as Panini grills. This is because they grill the food that is in them without requiring an additional heat source. Most of these appliances have non-stick cooking grill plates that can be easily removed for cleaning purposes. This makes it easy to maintain them as cleaning is an important practice in the maintenance of any device. The only requirement for these devices is that you get a power source that you can plug in and heat the plates which will be used for grilling.
How to Choose a Panini Press
Choosing the best Panini maker out of the two can be a challenge also. When you are stuck between acquiring a manual Panini maker and an electric one, you should focus on the suitability of both of them. If you are the type who loves outdoor activities and events then probably the best sandwich maker for you would be the manual Panini press. This is due to its flexibility in usage as you can make sandwiches or Paninis outside using the heat of the stove or a fireplace. The electric model which is the Panini grill is convenient for those who enjoy being indoors and at the same time enjoy Panini making. You would just need to plug in and make your delicacies in the comfort of your house. It is therefore up to you to see which model would suit you best depending on your preferences and how you live.
Tips on Using Panini Presses
Usage of a Panini press duly depends on whether you are using it as a commercial Panini press or just domestically. It is easy if the usage is domestic as you would just require the regular Panini press device. However, if you are using the press machine for commercial purposes then you would probably need the commercial one which has more specifications and features. It is important to note that even if a Panini press is designed majorly for sandwiches, it can be used for several other food preparations. You can take a look at just how to use a Panini press below:
- Can be used with veggies. A Panini press machine can be used to make sweet smoky vegetables by the usage of a mini grill. Before you grill, you can brush the veggies with a little salt, olive oil, and pepper so that you enhance the taste and aid in the grilling.
- Can be used to make tiny cakes. Yes, a Panini press can actually be used to make cakes. You can make small-sized cakes with the use of this device and this is not hard once you know how to prepare the cake before placing it on the Panini press.
- Can be used to prepare meat. There are a lot of people who would love to eat meat and actually eat it in different forms. As many people love grilled meat, a Panini press can be essential in preparing just that plus you can also prepare bacon and kebabs in it.
- Can be used with fruits. When using a Panini press with fruits, you can sprinkle a little sugar on the fruit and then grill it for an awesome tasting dessert.
There are a variety of Panini presses and grills in the market right now and thus choosing the right one can be a problem. Since this is an issue, it is important to have a guide for choosing the right Panini press that you can use effectively. According to the following Panini press reviews, you would be able to identify the best Panini grill or press that would work well to suit your needs.