10 Best Panini Presses: Which Is Right for You?

panini press

While a panini press isn’t exactly at the top of the list of kitchen essentials in most households, it can certainly be a worthwhile investment. Aside from paninis, most panini presses are quite versatile and can be used to make various types of food. For example, some are ideal for paninis and gourmet sandwiches. Alternatively, you can find panini grills that reach high enough cooking temperatures to make steak, chicken, grilled vegetables and more.

Most presses have a floating hinge, which accommodates different sandwich types and thickness. If you plan on making larger sandwiches or you often find yourself cooking for a crowd, it’s a good idea to check that the surface area is large enough for your needs.

The panini press is a relatively simple product, but certain features can help sway you in the direction of one press over another. Some panini makers have indicator lights to let you know when they are on, and have reached the optimal cooking temperature. You can even find presses with a built-in timer to help you keep track as you cook. If you dread the thought of cleaning up afterwards, look for a panini press with removable grates. Some also have a pull-out or removable drip tray.


1. Hamilton Beach Panini Press

 

best panini press

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.

Price: $34.99

Buy the Hamilton Beach Panini Press here.



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

Find more Hamilton Beach Panini Press information and reviews here.


2. Cuisinart GR-5 Griddler

 

cuisinart 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. 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.

Price: $85.57

Buy the Cuisinart GR-5 Griddler here.



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

Find more Cuisinart GR-5 Griddler information and reviews here.


3. Oster Panini Maker and Grill

panini maker

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: $29.98 (25 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Oster Panini Maker and Grill here.


Pros:

  • Natural nonstick coating
  • Fast cook time
  • Comes with cleaning tool

Cons:

  • A bit small
  • Some components feel flimsy
  • Plates aren’t removable

Find more Oster Panini Maker and Grill information and reviews here.


4. Breville Panini Press

 

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: $62.49

Buy the Breville Panini Press here.


Pros:

  • Durable scratch-resistant surface
  • 1500 watt
  • Includes on/ready lights

Cons:

  • No temperature range
  • Lacks removable plates
  • Tough to clean

Find more Breville Panini Press information and reviews here.


5. George Foreman Evolve Grill

 

panini maker and grill

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.

Price: $94.99 (21 percent off MSRP)

Buy the George Foreman Evolve Grill here.



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

Find more George Foreman Evolve Grill information and reviews here.


6. De’Longhi Contact Grill and Panini Press

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

Buy the De’Longhi Contact Grill and Panini Press here.



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

Find more De’Longhi Contact Grill and Panini Press information and reviews here.


7. Proctor Silex Panini Sandwich Press

 

panini press

The Proctor Silex Panini Sandwich Press comes in at just under $20, making it a practical choice for budget shoppers. Highlights include a floating lid, which can accommodate sandwiches of various thickness, and a nonstick cooking surface. The drip tray is dishwasher safe, but can also be wiped clean when you’re done cooking. If you need a bit more space, the drip tray slides out to capture any excess oil or grease. This panini press can be stored upright.

Price: $19.99

Buy the Proctor Silex Panini Sandwich Press here.


Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Dishwasher safe drip tray
  • Floating lid

Cons:

  • Lacks temperature control
  • No on/off switch
  • Some caution it doesn’t distribute heat evenly

Find more Proctor Silex Panini Sandwich Press information and reviews here.


8. Ovente Panini Press Grill

 

panini maker and grill

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.

Price: $39.99

Buy the Ovente Panini Press Grill here.


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

Find more Ovente Panini Press Grill information and reviews here.


9. Lodge Ribbed Panini Press

 

panini press

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. This cast iron panini press is compatible with the 10.5-inch Lodge skillet and grill pan, and will also work with skillets that are at least 12 inches.

Price: $12.99 (54 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Lodge Ribbed Panini Press here.


Pros:

  • Heavy-duty cast iron construction
  • Ribbed plate
  • Oven-safe up to 500 degrees

Cons:

  • Sandwich may slide when lid is pressed down
  • Lacks non-stick plates
  • A bit small

Find more Lodge Ribbed Panini Press information and reviews here.


10. Chefman Panini Press

panini press

 

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.

Price: $39.95

Buy the Chefman Panini Press here.


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

Find more Chefman Panini Press information and reviews here.


See Also:

 

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