There’s a wide range of panini presses to choose from, not to mention a variety of features to consider. If you’re shopping for a panini press, you can start to narrow down the options by focusing on products that match your budget. You may also use to buy a straightforward panini grill or a multi-use machine that can also grill and sear food. If you plan on using the panini press on a regular basis, features such as a floating hinge, removable (non-stick) plates, adjustable temperature settings, and a large enough grill surface area are crucial. Here’s a look at the top best panini presses that will offer lots of bang for your buck.
1. Hamilton Beach 25460A Panini Press Gourmet Sandwich Maker
You can grill sandwiches of just about any thickness with this panini press. It’s also equipped with a cafe-style floating lid, enabling you to evenly press sandwiches of all sizes. Not only does the lid accommodate sandwiches of just about any size, but it also leaves those desirable grill marks behind. Storing this grill is easy thanks to its convenient upright storage design. If you enjoy keeping close track of your food’s progress, you’ll appreciate the grill’s power and preheat lights.
Price: $23.00 (52 percent off MSRP)
- Ideal for sandwiches of all sizes
- Upright storage
- Has power and preheat lights
- Lacks an on/off switch
- Doesn’t always cook sandwich contents through
- Occasionally burns sandwich
2. Cuisinart GR-4N 5-in-1 Griddler
This five-in-one countertop grill is a panini press as well as a full grill, full griddle, contact grill, and part grill/part griddle. Making paninis is a breeze thanks to a durable panini-style handle along with a floating cover that adjusts to the thickness of the sandwich. A contemporary brushed stainless steel housing gives this panini press a modern appearance. Nonstick cooking plates promote even heat distribution. They’re also removable and reversible, allowing you to drain off extra grease for a healthier meal. Adjustable temperature controls with indicator lights allow you to stay in control of your panini and follow its progress. This product includes gourmet recipes and a scraping tool.
Price: $79.99 (51 percent off MSRP)
- 5-in-1 design
- Removable nonstick cooking plates
- Adjustable temperature controls
- Short power cord
- Knobs seem a bit cheap
- Doesn’t have a built-in timer
3. Oster DuraCeramic Panini Maker and Grill
Tired of seeing your grill’s nonstick coating wear off sooner than expected? You’ll appreciate this panini grill’s non-stick ceramic coating, which is highly durable and won’t flake or peel, even with continuous use. It’s also easy to clean. The natural ceramic coating is made without harmful chemicals. This unit opens up flat for grilling and is equipped with adjustable feet to help tilt the unit if necessary. It also cooks up to 20 percent faster, helping to save time and energy. There are two drip cups to capture excess fat, along with a handy cleaning tool.
Price: $29.66 (26 percent off MSRP)
- Natural nonstick coating
- Fast cook time
- Comes with cleaning tool
- A bit small
- Some components feel flimsy
- Plates aren’t removable
4. Breville BSG520XL Panini Duo 1500-Watt Nonstick Panini Press
This 1500-watt panini press has plenty of power. It also features a durable scratch-resistant cooking surface that seems to hold up well over time. Other features include a flat bottom for quick uniform cooking along with a ribbed top plate that leaves behind those coveted grill marks. A total of four height settings ensures an ideal height for just about anything you want to grill. Many owners appreciate the on/ready lights, which helps them keep track of the food’s progress. A cord wrap and brushed stainless steel housing are additional perks.
Price: $69.95 (36 percent off MSRP)
- Durable scratch-resistant surface
- 1500 watt
- Includes on/ready lights
- No temperature range
- Lacks removable plates
- Tough to clean
Find more Breville BSG520XL Panini Duo 1500-Watt Nonstick Panini Press information and reviews here.
5. Hamilton Beach 25450 Gourmet Panini Press
This panini press features a floating lid that allows it to make contact with and cook sandwiches of just about any size. If you’re in the market for a high-quality panini press that allows you to cook deli-style paninis at home, this one is an optimal choice. This panini press features a number of goodies, including power and preheat lights along with a locking lid and a convenient upright storage design. It’s also equipped with nonstick grids, enabling a less stressful cleanup. This panini press is large enough to let you make multiple sandwiches at once.
- Floating lid
- Power/preheat lights
- Nonstick grids
- Takes awhile to heat up
- Nonstick coating prone to peeling/flaking
- Doesn’t always heat up sandwich fillings
6. De’Longhi CGH800 Contact Grill and Panini Press
Double-sided contact cooking plates ensure fast and even toasting and grilling. A height-adjustable hinge allows this press to accommodate food of various sizes. Many users particularly like the adjustable thermostat, which enables full control over the panini-making process. An easy-view temperature range window also lets you keep close track of the temperature while you’re making the food. If you’d rather not spend much time cleaning up, you’ll appreciate the nonstick grill plates with an accompanying oil and grease drain cup. All you need to do is wipe the grill plates clean and empty out the cup as needed.
Price: $69.95 (50 percent off MSRP)
- Double-sided cooking plates
- Adjustable thermostat
- Easy to clean
- Some users wish it generated more heat
- No on/off switch
- Subpar locking feature
7. Cuisinart GR-300WS Griddler Elite Grill
Aside from a panini press, this grill also acts as a contact grill, full grill, full griddle, top melt, and a combination half grill/half griddle. It’s outfitted with removable and reversible nonstick grill/griddle plates for added convenience. If you like staying in control of your meal as much as possible while it cooks, you’ll appreciate the dual zone temperature control. With a total of 240 square inches of cooking space, there’s plenty of room to make several paninis at once. As an added bonus, this unit is capable of searing up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit for two minutes.
Price: $189.99 (48 percent off MSRP)
- Dual zone temperature control
- Ample cooking space
- Can sear food
- Inconsistent locking feature
- Large top handle
- Top/bottom plates heat up at different rates
8. Waring Commercial WPG150 Compact Italian-Style Panini Grill
This commercial-grade panini grill is made with a durable stainless steel material that not only looks great, but also holds up well over time. A removable drip tray makes cleaning up that much easier. Aside from paninis, you can use it to cook chicken, vegetables, hamburgers, and more. Ribbed cast iron plates promote even heat distribution and a speedy cooking time. They also leave desirable grill marks on the panini. The unit comes with heat-resistant handles, making it easier for you to operate even when it’s reached the highest operating temperature. Other handy features include an on/off switch along with ready indicator lights.
Price: $365.24 (55 percent off MSRP)
- Stainless steel construction
- Ribbed cast iron plates
- Heat-resistant handles
- Very heavy
- Top grill lies unevenly on paninis
9. Lodge LPP3 Square Ribbed Panini Press, 8.25-inch
If you’re looking for a durable panini press that won’t break the bank, this cast iron press is worth a close look. Aside from promising even heating throughout your food, it’s also seasoned and comes ready to use. The ribbed cast iron plate and skillet grill work together to sear evenly on the top and bottom. You can use the press in ovens up to 500 degrees. Its deep ribs help to expertly sear and press food.
Price: $46.67 (22 percent off MSRP)
- Heavy-duty cast iron construction
- Ribbed plate
- Oven-safe up to 500 degrees
- Sandwich may slide when lid is pressed down
- Lacks non-stick plates
- A bit small
10. VillaWare NDVLPAPFS1-SHP Panini Grill
You can use this Villaware product as an indoor grill or a panini maker. It’s outfitted with generously sized 11-inch by 9-inch grilling plates, ensuring multiple heat settings. A large ergonomic dial control gives you more precise control over the temperature throughout the cooking process. The ready light indicator in the middle will pulse to let you know that it’s reached the desired temperature. Cleanup is easy thanks to non-stick removable cooking plates. This panini press can be stored vertically if needed.
- Multiple heat settings
- Non-stick removable cooking plates
- Vertical storage
- Short power cord
- Takes up a lot of counter space
- Very basic manual
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