Best Panini Presses

Review & Comparison, Last Update November 15, 2021
Would you like to diversify your family meals by adding hot, toasty panini stuffed with a variety of melt-in-your-mouth fillings and a perfect blend of smokiness? Well, a panini press is what you need. It will be love at first bite! Look at our panini press review and make your pick! ...Read more ...Read less
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BEST 2021
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Plate Design
Grill Surface Area
Heating Options
Top Plate Height Adjustment
Power
Usability
Materials
Dimensions
Warranty
 
PROS

Thanks to the informative LCD display and mechanical dial, you can select a temperature in the range from 175ºF to 450ºF, while a timer with a count up and count down features will help you control the cooking time.

CONS

The power cord is only about 2 ft.

OUR VERDICT

The Griddler® Five is an extremely versatile unit that can substitute 5 different appliances, and, thus, save some kitchen space. It's a panini press, contact grill, full grill, full griddle, and half grill/half griddle all in one. Plus, its functionality can be further expanded by getting waffle plates by the manufacturer.

detailed parameters
Plate Design

Grill/Griddle removable reversible plates

Grill Surface Area

11" x 9"

Heating Options

Grill/Panini cooking modes, Sear function, Adjustable temperature (from 175ºF to 450ºF)

Top Plate Height Adjustment

Floating lid, Opens up to 100° or 180°

Power

1500 W

Usability

LCD-screen with dial, Preheat indicator, Timer function, Convenient large handle, Scraping tool included (Dishwasher safe)

Materials

Stainless-steel housing with plastic elements, Advanced George Tough™ non-stick cooking plates

Dimensions

16" x 13.8" x 8.8"

Warranty

3 years

PROS

A small grill surface along with an 1150-Watt heating element ensures very quick heat-up time. Actually, the unit heats up 35% faster than most other similarly-sized models. So, in just 10 minutes, you'll be able to enjoy yummy steaks.

CONS

The cooking surface could be larger.

OUR VERDICT

The George Foreman GRP1060B is surely one of the best compact electric grills you can find on the market. The model offers an ultra-quick and healthy way of cooking paninis, hamburgers, steaks, and chicken breasts. It can fit two burger patties or two chicken breast at a time.

detailed parameters
Plate Design

Removable grill plates

Grill Surface Area

~8" x 8"

Heating Options

N/A

Top Plate Height Adjustment

Floating lid, Opens up to 100°

Power

1150 W

Usability

Power/Preheat lights, Convenient large handle, Cord wrap at the bottom

Materials

Plastic housing, Non-stick cooking plates

Dimensions

12" x 12" x 6.5"

Warranty

3 years

PROS

The Hamilton Beach 25460A is made with a locking latch that tightly presses the top and bottom cooking plates. The floating lid is designed for making sandwiches of any thickness and with all kinds of fillings.

CONS

The grill plates are non-removable. 

OUR VERDICT

In terms of quality to price ratio, there aren't many other panini presses that are so good as the Hamilton Beach 25460A. It has a reasonable price point, is quite powerful, and fits small spaces perfectly thanks to its upright storage design. Good choice for families that love experimenting with sandwiches.

detailed parameters
Plate Design
Grill plates
Grill Surface Area
10" х 8"
Heating Options
N/A
Top Plate Height Adjustment

Floating lid with lock, Opens up to 100° or 180°

Power

1400 W

Usability

Power / Preheat lights, Convenient large handle, Storage latch for upright storage, Cord wrap at the bottom

Materials
Sleek stainless-steel housing, Non-stick cooking plates
Dimensions

12.6" x 11.6" х 4.5"

Warranty

1 year

PROS

It's not a typical panini press with both the bottom and top heating elements but a grate-type grill with a simple hood. Only the bottom plate here heats up, while the lid serves as a simple dome. This design resembles a real BBQ grill.

CONS

It requires a reasonable time to reach the desired temperature.

OUR VERDICT
Thie Indoor Searing Grill by Hamilton Beach can deliver an outdoor grill-like experience, but with no smoke and charcoal smell. That's achieved owing to its unique design with a "slatted" grid - the meat doesn't sit in grease and comes out with the genuine grill marks. As a result, it gets very juicy in the middle with a real BBQ flavor.
detailed parameters
Plate Design

Removable grill plate (bottom)

Grill Surface Area

12" x 9"

Heating Options

Sear function, Adjustable temperature (from 200ºF to 450ºF)

Top Plate Height Adjustment

Floating lid, Opens up to 100°

Power

1200 W

Usability

Power/Preheat lights, Convenient large handle

Materials

Stainless-steel housing with plastic elements, Non-stick cooking plate

Dimensions

16.7" x 12.4" x 6.8"

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The grilling plates boast innovative titanium-infused DuraCeramic nonstick coating that has increased scratch resistance (4x more durable than ordinary non-stick surfaces). Moreover, it's free from PFOA and PTFE.

CONS

The drip tray is rather small.

OUR VERDICT

The Oster CKSTPM6001 is an ideal option for large families. It has an 8 1/2" x 13 1/4" cooking surface that can easily fit six standard sandwiches or hot dogs. Besides bread, it can also grill boneless steaks, small frozen fish, potato slices, onion slices, zucchini, mushrooms, and other vegetables.

detailed parameters
Plate Design

Non-removable grill plates

Grill Surface Area

~10" x 8"

Heating Options

Adjustable temperature (from ~200ºF to 400ºF)

Top Plate Height Adjustment

Floating lid with lock, Opens up to 110° or 180°

Power

1200 W

Usability

Power/Preheat lights, Convenient large handle

Materials

Plastic housing, Titanium Infused DuraCeramic™ non-stick cooking plates

Dimensions

13" x 10" x 5"

Warranty

1 year

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Cuisinart GR-5B

Does It All

If you want to get the maximum performance from your kitchen appliances, the Griddler® Five is surely worth your consideration. It's the ultimate machine that combines five separate cooking options in one neat unit - a panini press, full grill, contact grill, full griddle, and a combo of half grill/half griddle. Moreover, its functionality can be further expanded by getting waffle plates from the same manufacturer. Waffle plates can be a huge bonus for those families that don't usually cook waffles very often (but love them anyway) and do not want to invest in a separate waffle press machine. All the plates (including the waffle ones) are non-stick and dishwasher-safe, so the cleanup will be easy.

When it comes to cooking results, everything on this grill turns out very delicious. In a contact grill mode, the unit cooks crispy burgers, meat, and vegetables. As a panini press, it makes perfect sandwiches, different types of bread, and quesadillas. A full grill is ideal for cooking steaks, poultry, fish and veggies. A full griddle with a flat surface is great for cooking pancakes, eggs, French toasts, and hashbrowns, while a half grill/half griddle combo lets you prepare full meals like bacon and eggs at the same time. All the grease will go in the drip tray placed underneath the unit, so you'll be able to quickly pull it out and clean after the cooking.

Review of Cuisinart GR-5B 5-in-1 Panini Press Griddler

Smart Controls

The Cuisinart GR-5B Electric griddle is the latest release from the brand, and aesthetically it looks very sleek and modern. It now has a digital display and two control buttons - the on/off button and the dial, allowing you to adjust the temperature, cooking time, and mode. When you turn the machine on, it steps you through each setting for cooking, and you should twist the dial left or right to change the setting. The unit takes about 5 minutes to preheat to full 450 degrees F, which is a decent speedup. The digital display will show you the preheat status, temperature, and cooking countdown timer. Speaking of the latter, it allows you to set the time and walk away, knowing the unit will shut off when the selected time is over.

In all, we believe that the Cuisinart GR-5B Electric griddle is one of the most sophisticated and functional models you can find on the market. With intuitive digital controls and a variety of cooking options, it'll save you much time and space on making crispy toasts, bacon, and eggs. All at the same time.
Cuisinart GR-5B 5-in-1 Panini Press Griddler in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer

Last updated price $0.00
Stock May be out of stock
ASIN B0778XLPB7

 

George Foreman GRP1060B

For Busy Families

The George Foreman GRP1060B indoor grill is surely worth checking out if you need a compact unit for a confined kitchen. It fits on any countertop and is small enough to be placed in front of another appliance like a kettle or French press, for example.

Although the manufacturer claims it to grill 4 servings at once, the model can fit only two burger patties or two chicken breast at a time. It has a modest 60 sq. inch cooking surface and is targeted mostly towards small families. However, every coin has two sides - a small grill surface along with a decent 1150-Watt heating element makes this unit really fast. That is to say, the George Foreman panini press promises to heat up 35% faster than most other similar models. So, in just 10 minutes, you can go from switching it on to enjoying yummy meals. 

The grill preheats in about 4 minutes - when it reaches the sufficient temperature, the green indicator light turns on. On average, the unit can cook 4-oz burger or 7-oz steak rare in 4-5 minutes, medium in 5-7 minutes, and well-done in 6-8 minutes. To let you accommodate different cuts of meat, it has a 1-inch adjustable hinge.

Review of George Foreman GRP1060B Removable Plate Grill and Panini Press

Easy Cleanup

Another perk of this mini machine is the exclusive fat removing design with a bit tilted grilling surface. That slight slope gives the device the "lean mean fat reducing" effect and is capable of draining up to 42% of fat. The grease, in its turn, gets into a large drip tray that can collect a good amount of juices from the food. Just like the grill plates, it's completely removable and dishwashers safe. You should simply let it cool down, empty and clean with warm soapy water or put into a dishwasher.

Removing the plates is an easy process as well. You need to push the release tabs on both sides to detach them from the grill. The plates boast advanced George Foreman Tough non-stick coating, so we believe you'll hardly find any dried-on food on the surface to clean.

In all, we can say that the George Foreman GRP1060B is a real workhorse among portable electric grills. It ensures 35% faster pre-heat time and 42% reduction in fats, meaning it can bring you fast food experience in a much healthier manner.

George Foreman GRP1060B Removable Plate Grill and Panini Press in the use

Additional Info

User Manual

Last updated price $0.00
Stock In stock
ASIN B00KDVJLJW

 

Hamilton Beach 25460A

Big Sandwich? Not a Problem!

When making panini, quite often it’s challenging not to put the whole store of filling on it, for we all strive for the best taste sensations. As a result of this longing for more, we get a huge burger that cannot be put between the plates without losing some of its ingredients. The sandwich is cooked but only partially and most of the filling has run away. Sounds familiar to you? If so, then the Hamilton Beach 25460A Panini Press is what you need. 

The press machine opens wide and has a height-adjustable hinge, which allows accommodating even the biggest of sandwiches. The café-style floating lid helps evenly press a sandwich of any size. So, eventually, you will get a well-done panini with a crispy crust and traditional, deliciously appealing crosshatch marks on your grilled food. In a word, with the Hamilton Beach 25460A Panini Press, you'll be able to prepare mouth-watering gourmet sandwiches with lots of tasty fillings, which will beat all of your previous culinary records!

Review of Hamilton Beach 25460A Panini Press

Not Only for Panini

Having this panini press in your kitchen, you'll be able to make breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The thing is that the appliance is suitable for making not only sandwiches but also all traditional meals as well as steaks. The best thing is that it cooks them all requiring no oil at all, making it a good choice for healthy eaters. Moreover, all excessive fat that will appear in the process of cooking will be removed through the drain channels into the grease cup.

The Hamilton Beach 25460A is also good for cooking vegetables and it provides unbeatable performance when it comes to cheese meals. So, you'll be able to diversify your healthy menu and try different combinations of cheese by purchasing this. That being said, the panini press like this is also great for preparing desserts. For example, you can make grilled cones and then use them for wrapping your home-made ice cream. As you can see, with the Hamilton Beach 25460A Panini Press, your cooking options won't be limited.

Hamilton Beach 25460A Panini Press in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer

Last updated price $60.59
Stock In stock
ASIN B00IWOJRSM

VIDEO
Hamilton Beach Panini Press Unboxing & Review

What customers say about this product

Size & Weight

The size is not too big or too small for the counter. I've had it a few months now and it's still hanging in there.

Key Specs

My husband always uses thick sourdough bread and is happy with the way his sandwiches turn out. I told him to butter the grill, not the bread, and so now his results are much better.

Features

A wonderful tool that I have been using a few weeks. The Press is sturdy, fits food of most size, and I've been able to be pretty versatile with it.

Power

Plug in the power cord to turn on the appliance, wait until the light turns green and pop in a folded tortilla filled with cheese. Close the lid and wait a few minutes and BAM! Instant Mexican!
 

Hamilton Beach 25360

Like an Outdoor Grill

If you'd like to get as close to real charcoal grilling experience, you should definitely consider the Hamilton Beach 25360 searing grill. It's a relatively compact indoor unit that runs on electricity (not propane) but gives you very similar results to outdoor grilling. That's largely achieved owing to the fact that it's not a typical contact grill or sandwich press with a heated lid but a grate-type grill with hood. Only the bottom plate here heats up, while the hood serves as a simple dome, just like in a real BBQ grill. The heating element is embedded right in the bottom plate, so you won't need to worry about hot and cold spots.

The other perk is that the grill plate is not solid but "slatted", meaning the juices drain off naturally and fall between the grates into the generously-sized drip tray. That means the steaks don't sit in grease while cooking and come out with the genuine grill marks. The meat gets very juicy/tender in the middle with an outdoor grill-like appetizing flavor. Though, unlike real BBQs, this appliance produces no smoke in your kitchen.

With only one knob for temperature, the unit is very user friendly. It has actual temperature indicators on the dial rather than just low/medium/high settings. The unit offers 6 different settings from 200 to 450 degrees F, which makes it versatile enough for different foods. There is a handy indicator light that comes on once the cooking surface reaches the desired temperature.

Review of Hamilton Beach 25360 Electric Indoor Searing Grill and Panini Press

Thought-out Design

Although the grill gets very hot at the highest setting (sear), it's powered by a 1200-Watt heating element. With that, the cooking surface measures about 118 sq. inches and can accommodate two large steaks or up to four full-size burgers, which will be enough for 2 or 3 people.

Overall, this indoor grill looks sleek and attractive. It needs minimal assembly upon arrival with no extra screws or tools required. The hood, plate, and drip tray are all removable to go in the dishwasher. We would like to stress that the lid design is really well thought out. It's meant to not touch your food no matter how thick it is. That's why you'll be able to fit thicker items easily.

In all, if you're going to grill large chicken breasts or thick steaks and ribs, the Hamilton Beach 25360 will handle them easily. It's a fantastic indoor appliance that replicates the grilling experience of a real BBQ grill. The meat will taste almost the same as that grilled outside.

Hamilton Beach 25360 Electric Indoor Searing Grill and Panini Press in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer

Last updated price $64.99
Stock In stock
ASIN B00F0RBF3E

 

Oster CKSTPM6001

Extra Large

With a rich heritage and more than 50 years of experience, the Oster company produces high-quality kitchen appliances for very reasonable costs, and this panini press is a bright example. Available at less than $60, it features unique technologies and offers an extra-large cooking surface, much like a professional panini maker.

At 8 1/2" x 13 1/4", it can easily fit six standard sandwiches or hot dogs to feed a crowd. With that, it heats up quite fast and toasts buns evenly on both sides, leaving nice grill marks. Besides bread, it can also grill boneless steaks, small fish, potato slices, onion slices, zucchini, mushrooms, and other veggies. It does have a built-in drip tray to catch the grease from all that food. Yet, it doesn't have an on/off switch and all you need to do to start or stop the unit is turn the dial (to the right or left). The said dial is a linear scale heat selector, allowing you to set low, warm, medium, or high heat. When the unit is ready to cook, the indicator light notifies you about that. It's that simple.

Review of Oster CKSTPM6001 Extra Large Panini Maker and Indoor Grill

Advanced Coating

Unlike many other models that use a non-stick surface like Teflon, the Oster panini grill boasts the innovative DuraCeramic nonstick ceramic coating that is much more durable and won't peel or flake after a few years of use. To specify, it's claimed to be 4x more durable than standard non-stick coatings. It's also completely free from PTFE and PFOA, meaning you can have peace of mind knowing that this appliance emits no chemicals and is completely safe to use. In addition to that, the DuraCeramic promises to give you 20% faster cooking results.

However, we have one niggle about the griddle trays - they don't come off for cleaning. You'll need to heat the plates up (put the dial in "MIN" position) and then wipe them with a damp cloth, sponge or paper towels. Since the plates are made from super ceramic, avoid using anything abrasive or hard, sharp utensils. To clean the housing, you can use a damp cloth and some mild soapy water.

To recap, the Oster panini press is a good solution for large families. With its generously-sized cooking surface and exclusive DuraCeramic coating, the appliance will make large batches of crispy snacks to perfection.

Oster CKSTPM6001 Extra Large Panini Maker and Indoor Grill in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer

Last updated price $0.00
Stock May be out of stock
ASIN B00ITPJ0JU

 

What Is a Panini Press?

Sliced buttered bread, baguette or ciabatta stuffed with ham, cheese, salami or any other filling of your choice are the type of food we could eat every day, so nice and tasty it is. However, it can be even better if prepared using the right device - a panini press.

Despite being named after sandwiches, a panini press is quite a versatile kitchen appliance with the help of which you can cook not only delicious paninis but also many other fantastic meals including meat, sausages, eggs, and so on. Just like electric griddles, panini press makers are featured with ribbed plates to give your sandwiches appetizing grill marks. Also, most of them have adjustable temperature control to let you vary the heat for achieving the best results. So, if you’re used to starting your mornings with a mug of tea and a sandwich, a panini press is just what you need. For this review, we have selected only the best models for any budget and need.

However, if you're looking for a more compact and straightforward device for making sandwiches, check out this sandwich makers review.

What Features to Compare

Panel Design

Choosing a panini press is easier than you may think, although some key features should be taken into account. The first thing you should consider when selecting a panini maker is the plate design. There are panini grills with a grooved surface, which creates appetizing, toasty grill marks on both sides of sandwiches, chicken fillet or any other food. Indeed, panini presses are ideal for cooking panini itself, meat, fish and most vegetables. The griddle plates have a smooth, flat surface that allows conducting heat directly from the griddle surface to the food item. It’s perfect for preparing grilled cheese sandwiches, pancakes, or scrambled eggs.

Cooking Surface Dimensions

It should be noted that the larger the cooking surface is, the more sandwiches or other meals it can accommodate at a time. Actually, an extra-large cooking surface can be of great value for a large family. If you are looking for a versatile device, it’s worth paying attention to the heating options, namely the ability to adjust the temperature and heat levels. Though, if you need a simple device for preparing panini, an adjustable thermostat is not so important. Besides, a height-adjustable hinge or a floating hinge is also essential since it allows you to grill even the thickest sandwiches evenly. There are models, which can be used as an open toaster for making open-faced sandwiches. There are also panini grills that can open flat backwards up to 180°, that gives a double cooking surface and increases the cooking capacity.

Usability

Finally, you should take a close look at the usability that also depends on the materials used and the dimensions of the device. The indicator lights allow for better control and simplify the cooking process. A tilted grill surface or drain channels allow draining off excess grease and liquid from fried foods for a healthier meal. The drip trays or other grill drip containers are designed to catch extra grease. Those models that come equipped with dishwasher safe removable plates, greatly facilitate clean-up. Furthermore, some manufacturers provide panini presses with special grill cleaning tools. If your kitchen is small you should pay particular attention to grill dimensions as well as the presence of a locking storage clip for upright storage and a cord wrap. A durable housing material provides long-lasting durability of the device. And, nonstick plates will make cleanup much easier and help cook healthier meals.

Sources:

1. Lisa Maloney How to Buy an Electric Grill, ConsumerSearch. September 21, 2015.

2. Panini Grill Buying Guide, WebstaurantStore.

3. Panini Grill, RecipeTips.

4. Emily Han More Than Sandwiches: 10 Ways to Use Your Panini Press Every Day, Kitchn. January 25, 2013.

5. Ariel Knutson 18 Surprising Things You Can Make In A Panini Press, BuzzFeed. May 8, 2013.

6. Mariette Mifflin What's the Difference Between a Griddle and Grill?, About. March 21, 2016.

7. Panini (sandwich), Wikipedia. September 4, 2016.

8. How to Make a Panini, wikiHow.

9. How to Use a Panini Press With Great Results, eHow.

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