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Say Hello to Fancy Lunches With the Best Panini Makers
Having a panini press at home is a gift from the heavens. Who doesn’t like a scrumptious sandwich with juicy, grilled bacon slices and some fresh tomatoes and cheese? We sure do, so we understand how important a panini maker is for every kitchen. One of the best parts about owning a panini grill is that it isn’t exclusively made for sandwiches and paninis. You can grill meat, vegetables, and patties in it as well. So why wait? Let’s dig right into our top picks of the year for some quality panini makers of 2024 that will completely modernize your culinary experience.Show contentsHere Is the Great Panini Maker of 2024
- Elite Gourmet Panini Press - Best Overall
- i-WANO Stovetop Toasted Sandwich Panini Maker - Runner-Up
- Chefman Panini Press Grill - Contender
- Hamilton Beach Electric Panini Press - Honorable Mention
- Ovente Electric Indoor Panini Press - Also Consider
Buying Guide to Finding the Best Panini Makers for Your Kitchen
Buying Guide to Finding the Best Panini Makers for Your Kitchen
With so many panini presses and grills out there, it’s no surprise that choosing the right one for your kitchen can be confusing. You may be wondering whether an electrical grill will be better than a stovetop grill? Or will a bigger panini press be a better option? The answer to all your questions and some more is right here, in this complete buying guide on choosing the right panini press for yourself.
Should I Buy a Panini Press?
Most people believe that a panini maker is only good for making sandwiches, paninis, and burgers. That is not entirely true. While panini makers are primarily used for making sandwiches and paninis, they can also be used as a grill to heat and cook other food, including patties, vegetables, and bread. You can grill your favorite foods and toast your bread before a light snack.
Do I Need to Season My Panini Maker?
While most panini makers are non-stick and need very little seasoning, you should still know how to season your grill before you use it properly. Especially if you use an iron cast panini grill, you must season it before use. This is important because seasoning reduces the need for excessive oil during grilling, making it easier to clean your panini press afterward. Seasoning your grill also helps avoid stickiness and rust in the grill plates.
To season your grill, preheat the grill at 400 degrees Fahrenheit and wait for the preheat indicator. Once the grill is preheated, add a drop of oil to the center of the grill and spread it around with a soft oil brush. Cover the entire cooking plate with the oil and then heat the machine again. Your grill should be ready to be used.
How Do I Clean My Panini Press?
It is important to regularly clean your panini grill so that no carbon and food buildup may interfere with your cooking or grilling in the future. It is also unsafe to have food deposits sticking around on your panini grill plates and may lead to uneven cooking.
Each panini maker requires a different kind of handling. You should handle panini makers with non-stick cooking plates with care and according to the instructions provided by the manufacturer. If you’re not careful enough, you may damage the material, leading to your grill losing its non-stick feature.
You also need to check whether your panini maker is dishwasher-friendly or not. If yes, then you can easily clean it using your dishwasher. However, if it’s not, you should use mild soap and warm water to clean the cooking plates properly. You can wipe the exterior of the panini maker with a cloth and some cleaning agent for a sharp look.
How to Pick the Perfect Panini Maker
You need to consider several factors before you go ahead and make this big purchase for your kitchen. Here is everything you need to check before buying a panini press:
The first thing to consider is whether you want a panini maker just for making sandwiches and paninis, or would you like it to be multipurpose? If your preference aligns with the latter, you may want to get a two-in-one panini maker that serves as a panini press as well as a regular indoor grill. Similarly, you can get a specialized heavy-duty sandwich maker if your only use is making paninis and sandwiches.
Type of Cooking Plates
There are two main types of grill plates that come with panini makers. These are iron cast plates and non-stick plates. These plates are cheaper and perfect for day-to-day sandwich making. Non-stick plates are good for ease of cooking and cleaning; however, they can easily be damaged or scratched.
On the other hand, iron-cast cooking plates are sturdier, heavier, and scratch-resistant. However, they cost more than non-stick plates and require thorough cleaning. You should choose wisely which grill plate would be the best for your use.
Another great feature that is common in panini makers is a floating hinge. This makes it easy to rotate the grill plates and turn them into an indoor grill. Floating lids also make it easier to make sandwiches and paninis of all sizes, as you can adjust the lid without spilling over the contents. This is an excellent feature and you can look for it when buying a panini maker.
The most important thing to consider when buying a panini press is its capacity. If you live with your family and often cook for them, you may want a panini grill with a capacity for at least 2 to 4 sandwiches at a time. This can come in handy when you’re preparing snacks for a group of people.
Here Is the Great Panini Maker of 20241– Best Overall
This panini press grill is a two-in-one appliance, bringing you the crispiness of an indoor grill and the warmth of a panini press. You just need to adjust the hinge of the press to convert it into a grill or panini press. You can flatten the top of the press at an angle of 180 degrees to create the perfect non-stick grill. The compact size of the panini maker makes it easy to store and place on a counter.
The 1000-watt heat zones in the panini maker also allow you to quickly cook your food, saving you both time and energy. The grill has a 9″x10.5″ cooking surface, which is large enough to cook whatever you want. The cooking plates are tilted upwards so that the grease from your food can drain down to a corner, where it can be collected in a grease tray, which can easily be removed, emptied, and cleaned.2– Runner-Up
This is another one of our two-in-one kitchen appliances, which works great as a stovetop panini and sandwich maker and two-separate frying pans. Yes, you heard that right! This panini maker is not electrical and can be converted into two separate pans. One of the pans has a flat cooking surface, while the other has an i-WANO logo. The cooking surfaces are coated with fluorine, so they are non-stick. The shape and edges of the sandwich maker make it hard for the ingredients to spill out, keeping your sandwiches intact!3– Contender
Are you looking for a panini press that will help you dish out sandwiches quickly for guests or for a small brunch with friends? Then this Chefman Panini Press Grill is the perfect panini maker for you. It is a 3-in-1 appliance with a panini press, lay-flat grill, and contact grill. It also has a large cooking plate that easily accommodates two large paninis or four sandwiches. This means quicker cooking for you, no matter how many sandwiches you’ve got to make.
The panini maker has floating hinges that lift the contact grill to accommodate all sandwiches, whether thick or thin, without spilling the ingredients out. The skid-free feet of the grill allows support while you cook, and non-stick cooking surfaces allow for easy cleaning. The elevated design of the grill helps accumulate all grease in the grease tray, which is also non-stick and easy to clean. You don’t have to worry about any dripping cheese or butter!4– Honorable Mention
This is another great electric panini maker with a two-in-one grill feature. This panini maker not only opens flat to convert into a grill for open sandwiches and pizza slices, but it also has a lid lock that keeps your sandwiches and paninis secure in place without you holding down the handle. The floating lid allows you to grill sandwiches and paninis of all sizes without disturbing the ingredients inside. The cooking plate is big enough to accommodate two to three sandwiches at a time, which means faster cooking for you.
The top and bottom cooking plates are both non-stick; therefore, you don’t need to flip your burgers or sandwiches – they will still be evenly grilled and browned in this grill. It is advised to preheat the panini grill for 6 minutes before use. Once the appliance is ready to be used, a green light will turn on as a signal.5– Also Consider
Another one of our great picks for your kitchen is this Ovente Electric Panini Press with a red stainless steel cover that is a delightful sight. The panini maker has two cooking plates that envelope your food to evenly cook it and create crispy grilled marks. The thermostat in the panini press turns on and off periodically to properly cook your food without overheating.
There are two indicator lights. When the panini press is heating up, a red light turns on, and when it is ready for use, the green one lights up. This press also has a floating adjustable lid which helps you make sandwiches of any size and height without spilling over the contents! It’s the last panini maker on our list but not the least – we just love it a tad bit less.
People Also AskedQ: What extra features should I look for in a panini press?
A: Panini makers have all these new, cool kinds of features. However, you may look for a floating lid, temperature control, preheating indicator, and grease tray as additional features that will make your panini maker even more useful!Q: Can I use a panini maker to make burgers?
A: Some panini makers allow you to grill vegetables, patties, and buns. Others are only good for sandwiches. Heck, if your panini maker is versatile enough, you’ll be able to make burgers in it too. But you should always check the manual to see whether your panini grill will be able to handle it or not.