10 Best Panini Presses: Your Buyer’s Guide (Updated!)

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Maybe it’s the bread, or the creative possibilities, or how they always just seem to hit the spot, but a sandwich just feels like the perfect meal, doesn’t it? Delicious, handheld, crave-worthy – the best. So, if you consider yourself a connoisseur of this lunchtime staple, it’s time to add some oomph to your kitchen game with one of these incredibly cool kitchen gadgets: a panini press.

The perfect way to add some incredible texture and a whole lot of flavor to your favorite handheld recipes, a panini maker helps you create the perfect sandwich every time. Our list of the best panini presses features appliances from all the top brands. We’re talking Breville, Cuisinart, Hamilton Beach, George Foreman, and more. Some of these panini grills are so versatile you can even grill up meats, vegetables, and fish in addition to sandwiches. To find the perfect panini press for you, read on.

These Are The Best Panini Presses Available Right Now

Breville Smart Grill Amazon Customer Reviews
  • More than a panini press
  • Smart technology
  • Unique design, "BBQ Mode"
Price: $299.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Cuinisart Griddler Amazon Customer Reviews
  • More than just a panini press
  • Dual-temperature control
  • Sleek design
Price: $199.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
best panini press Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Ideal for sandwiches of all sizes
  • Upright storage
  • Has power and preheat lights
Price: $60.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
cuisinart griddler Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 5-in-1 design
  • Removable nonstick cooking plates
  • Adjustable temperature controls
Price: $99.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
panini press Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Durable scratch-resistant surface
  • 1500 watt
  • Includes on/ready lights
Price: $79.94 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
panini maker and grill Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Makes waffles, paninis and more
  • Heat searing burst
  • Plates are removable
Price: $163.82 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
De'Longhi CGH800 Contact Grill and Panini Press, panini press Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Double-sided cooking plates
  • Adjustable thermostat
  • Easy to clean
Price: $99.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
panini maker and grill Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Upscale stainless steel housing
  • Floating lid
  • Stay-cool handle
Price: $49.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
panini press Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Ideal for paninis and gourmet sandwiches
  • Non-stick removable cooking plates
  • Large cooking surface
Price: $79.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
New House Panini Press Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Natural nonstick coating
  • Versatile cooking experience
  • Easy to clean
Price: $35.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Breville Smart Grill

    Pros:
    • With all kinds of features and functions, this is more than just a panini press
    • Make sandwiches, sear meat, cook eggs, make pancakes, etc.
    • Features smart heat sensors and technology
    • Cooks closed for sandwiches, lays completely flat for "BBQ Mode" so you can cook on both plates at once
    • Plates and drip tray are removable and dishwasher safe
    • 1800-watts of cooking power
    Cons:
    • Only features one ribbed plate
    • More expensive option
    • Can be more complicated to use

    If you’re looking for the best panini press with all kinds of cool features and multiple functions, this smart indoor grill from Breville is an excellent choice. More than just a gourmet sandwich maker, this appliance bridges the gap between the outdoor and indoor cooking experience for an incredibly cool, versatile, and must-have kitchen gadget.

    Equipped with a ribbed plate on top and a flat plate on the bottom, this appliance has a unique design that can either be closed for sandwiches or lay completely flat – called “BBQ Mode” – for a larger cooking surface perfect for searing meats, making pancakes, and cooking eggs. The plates are also interchangeable, the drip tray is removable, and both are dishwasher safe. An additional ribbed plate can be purchased here.

    Here’s the cool part: featuring embedded heat sensors that register when cold food is added to the grill, this appliance actually reacts to temperature drops and compensates by injecting heat for a rapid recovery back to the desired cooking temperature.  This design, along with 1800-watts of cooking power, ensures faster cooking and reduced pre-heating time. There are also adjustable timing and temperature controls.

  2. 2. Cuisinart Griddler, Elite

    Pros:
    • More than just a panini press, there are six cooking functions
    • With dual-temperature controls, you can adjust cooking temperatures per plate/side
    • Sleek and gorgeous design
    • Removable, reversible nonstick grill/griddle plates
    • Comes with an integrated drip tray and cleaning/scraping tool
    • Lays completely flat for 240 square inches of cooking surface
    • Plates are dishwasher safe
    Cons:
    • More expensive option
    • Some concerns over quality of non-stick finish
    • Requires storage space

    We’ve included another Cuisinart Griddler on our list, but if you’re looking for a panini press with a little more oomph, be sure to check out the Elite model. Featuring six cooking options, you can use this Griddler as a contact grill, panini press, full griddle, full grill, half grill/half griddle, and a top melt. The dual-function plates are removable, reversible, and are non-stick. 

    Much like the Breville Smart Grill on our list, this option also lays completely open and flat so that you can extend your cooking surface to 240 square inches. That’s right – make eggs on one side and sear bacon on the other. Featuring an electronic display that lets you set a timer, and adjustable dual-zone temperature control functionality, this appliance offers a truly customized cooking experience. 

    This appliance can also features a sear setting that reaches 500-degrees.

  3. 3. Hamilton Beach Electric Panini Press Grill with Locking Lid

    Pros:
    • Ideal for sandwiches of all sizes
    • Upright storage
    • Has power and preheat lights
    Cons:
    • Lacks an on/off switch
    • Grill plate can’t be removed
    • Some complain that it cooks unevenly

    This panini press doubles as a gourmet sandwich maker and comes in medium and large sizes. Don’t be shy when it comes to loading up your favorite sandwich, as the floating lid can accommodate sandwiches of various thickness. Nonstick grids impart those classic grill lines onto your food, while also allowing fat to drain away.

    Power and preheat lights let you know when the machine is on and ready to cook. The cooking surface is large enough for a big sandwiches, or two smaller ones. High customer ratings, affordable price tag and fast shipping makes this product Amazon’s Choice for panini presses.

  4. 4. Cuisinart GR-5 Griddler

    Pros:
    • 5-in-1 design
    • Removable nonstick cooking plates
    • Adjustable temperature controls
    Cons:
    • Short power cord
    • Doesn’t automatically shut off
    • Can’t set individual side temperatures

    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. A temperature range up to 450 degrees accommodates various cooking and grilling needs.

    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.

  5. 5. Breville Panini Press

    Pros:
    • Durable scratch-resistant surface
    • 1500 watt
    • Includes on/ready lights
    Cons:
    • No temperature range
    • Lacks removable plates
    • Tough to clean

    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.

  6. 6. George Foreman Evolve Grill

    Pros:
    • Makes waffles, paninis and more
    • Heat searing burst
    • Plates are removable
    Cons:
    • Takes awhile to heat up
    • A few complain of uneven cooking
    • Short power cord

    The George Foreman Evolve Grill makes fresh and delicious paninis. However, if you’re looking for more than just a panini press, you’ll appreciate how this grill also comes with waffle plates and ceramic grilling plates. In fact, you can use the versatile plates for chicken, burgers, grilled veggies and more. A quick burst of heat, up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, is useful for searing meat.

    Whether you’re cooking steak or making a panini, the adjustable grill plates are designed to accommodate your food. The grill plates are coated with a nonstick ceramic material, which makes cleanup simpler and reduces the need for extra cooking oil. As an added bonus, the grill plates are removable and dishwasher safe.

  7. 7. De’Longhi Contact Grill and Panini Press

    Pros:
    • Double-sided cooking plates
    • Adjustable thermostat
    • Easy to clean
    Cons:
    • Some users wish it generated more heat
    • No on/off switch
    • Subpar locking feature

    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.

  8. 8. Ovente Panini Press Grill

    Pros:
    • Upscale stainless steel housing
    • Floating lid
    • Stay-cool handle
    Cons:
    • Some wish it reached a higher cooking temperature
    • Plates aren’t removable
    • A few complain of uneven temperature distribution

    If you don’t need this much cooking space, you can find a smaller two-slice model in various finishes. It also comes in a larger six-slice size. Each model is equipped with a built-in LCD display that can be used to track time and temperature. There’s also a timer.

    A floating lid accommodates various food thickness, whether you’re making a panini or are grilling chicken. The cool-touch handle keeps hands from getting burned, even after the appliance is fully heated. Other features include nonstick grills and a drip tray to capture excess oils and fats.

  9. 9. Chefman Panini Press

    Pros:
    • Ideal for paninis and gourmet sandwiches
    • Non-stick removable cooking plates
    • Cooking surface can fit up to four slices at a time
    Cons:
    • Lacks temperature control
    • Contact grills can’t be removed
    • No on/off switch

    The Chefman Panini Press is a versatile appliance that’s ideal for making paninis and gourmet sandwiches. Highlights include nonstick plates, which make cleaning up easier and allow you to use less oil when cooking, and a removable drip tray. This grill opens wide enough to fit food of various types and sizes. There’s enough room to fit four slices at a time on the cooking surface. A floating hinge lets you cook thinner or thicker paninis. Non-skid feet hold this panini press firmly in place.

  10. 10. New House Kitchen Stainless Steel Non-Stick Panini Press

    Pros:
    • Natural nonstick coating
    • Versatile cooking experience
    • Easy to clean
    Cons:
    • A bit small
    • Some components feel flimsy
    • Not a big name brand

    With the New House Kitchen and Panini Press Grill and Gourmet Sandwich Maker, you get multiple functions in one appliance. Featuring an adjustable floating hinge, this sandwich maker can accommodate sandwiches of all sizes and thicknesses, and with just the push of a button, this panini press opens to a flat cooking surface, perfect for grilling meats, vegetables, fish, and more. With a closed cooking surface of 5. 5” X 8. 75” you can make up to two sandwiches at a time.

    The grill-surfaces are coated with an easy-to-clean nonstick surface, and the grill is equipped with a dishwasher-safe drip tray.

Pizza, Pasta, Paninis

Like all the best carbs, paninis are an Italian classic, too. While the origins of the sandwich are somewhat vague, the first mention of a panini - or something similar to it - can be traced back to the 16th-century. Introduced to the United States in the mid-20th century, this type of sandwich became popular in America in the 1970s and 1980s, and the love affair continues to this day. 

A panini is essentially a grilled sandwich made of high-quality Italian bread (Ciabatta or Foccacia), deli meats, cheeses, and vegetables. While that sounds like any other sandwich, a real panini is unique because of the type of bread used, and, of course, the panini press.

Designed specifically to make paninis, these appliances apply pressure and heat to the top and bottom of the sandwich at the same time. Due to the ribbed plating synonymous with a panini press, the bread receives a nice crust and texture, while the interior of the sandwich becomes warm and the cheese melts. Sounds good, right?

While Italy is the source of the panini, Thomas Edison actually invented the earliest known sandwich grill. Edison's invention has of course been modified over the years, with Breville now touting that they invented what we use today.

Why Buy A Panini Press?

If you're a fan of sandwiches, a panini maker is the kind of kitchen gadget you'll love having. Aside from making delicious handheld meals, these appliances actually do more than the name suggests. Many of the panini press options on our list function as multi-purpose kitchen tools with features that offer you the flexibility and versatility of an indoor grill. Heck, our number one pick is called a "smart grill" and it bridges the experience of outdoor cooking with indoor convenience.

Chicken, steaks, vegetables, eggs, bacon, pancakes - you can grill it and make it all with these appliances. And, of course, if you're just wanting a panini maker there are several top models on our list that just do that.

Sandwiches: Next Level

From making homemade bread to growing herbs and vegetables to whipping up condiments, there's a lot of fun that can be had in the kitchen. And, with the home cooking trend expected to last, there's never been a better time to DIY your favorite meals and sandwiches. So, if your a fan of this lunchtime favorite, just like Friends' Joey Tribbiani, treat yourself to a panini press and have fun creating your own homemade classics.

See Also:

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