Read our review of the top 5 panini sandwich maker appliances. My Grandmother, who was a professional cook, knew in the 1940s that you didn’t need expensive kitchen tools to make great food. The secret to a grilled sandwich is good ingredients and a heavy grill press that can evenly toast the bread and melt the cheese.
The Best Panini Sandwich Maker of 2018
The 2018 list Top 5 Panini Sandwich Makers and Grills.
- Cuisinart GR-1 Griddler Panini and Sandwich Press
- Cuisinart GR-4N 5-in-1 Griddler
- Breville BSG520XL Panini Duo 1500-Watt Nonstick Panini Press
- Oster CKSTPM21WC-ECO DuraCeramic 2-in-1 Panini Maker
- Hamilton Beach 25460A Panini Press Gourmet Sandwich Maker
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The least expensive Panini Maker in our list, the Hamilton Beach Gourmet Sandwich maker still gets high marks among reviewers. The Hamilton Beach 25460A features a cafe-style floating lid that presses sandwiches of all sizes evenly. This sandwich maker is easy to use! Power and preheat lights let you know when it is ready and the large 10×8 cooking surface is plenty of space for cooking two or three sandwiches simultaneously. The Hamilton Beach 25460A stows away in the upright position making it a friendly choice for small kitchens.
The Oster CKSTPM21WC Panini Makes features a new DuraCeramic non-stick cooking surface that is 4x stronger than traditional non-stick and will not flake or peel after years of use. The safe and natural coating is PFOA and PTFE free, so you can grill at high temperatures without worry. The DuraCeramic finish is uniquely white and cooks up to 20% faster than traditional grill plates. Like some of our other favorites, the Oster Grill opens flat on the counter to function as a standard grill for meats and vegetables but also has an adjustable hinged top to accommodate thicker sandwiches. The Oster CKSTPM21WC has adjustable feet at the front so the grill can be angled down like a competitor to drain off excess fat. The grill plates are not removable, but they can be easily wiped clean.
The Breville BSG520XL has a unique design with a flat bottom plate that helps with clean-up, and a ridged top plate to create perfect grill marks on sandwiches. Breville is an Australian manufacturer founded in 1932 that is now making in-roads in the US market. This model doesn’t have fancy temperature settings and it is a basic sandwich maker, but it does this service well. A floating hinge on the lid will easily accommodate different sandwich thicknesses and the on/ready indicator lights on the lid make operation virtually mistake-proof. The Breville BSG520XL can easily be used for grilling chicken, hamburgers, pork chops and other meats. The grill top also makes it a good choice for grilling vegetables.
Cuisinart GR-4N might be the most versatile of all the panini sandwich makers featured on our list. Designed for the cook who wants an indoor grill and sandwich maker, the Cuisinart GR-4N opens flat so that the top and bottom can be used as a griddle or countertop grill. The Cuisinart GR-4N has reversible grill plates — a flat side that is best for eggs and pancakes and a ridged side for grilling meats and/or sandwiches. Unlike some less expensive models, the Cuisinart GR-4N has a temperature dial so cooks can select grill and griddle functions and desired temperatures. There is an indicator light to alert cooks when the unit has reached the correct temperature. The GR-4N grill plates are removable for easy cleaning and they are dishwasher safe.
The best panini press and sandwich grill today. Although this is an older model, it is the best from a quality, operations and cost perspective. The Cuisinart GR-1 does a great job making a pressed sandwich and produces restaurant-quality grilled panini sandwiches that will surprise users. The Cuisinart GR-1 is versatile to be used to grill vegetables, burgers, pork chops. Available in a shiny stainless steel finish, the Cuisinart GR-1 resembles professional panini makers in appearance. This counter-top grill accommodates sandwiches and meats of different thicknesses and features a floating hinge that automatically adjusts to sandwich bread or crusty sandwich buns. The Cuisinart GR-1 Panini and Sandwich Press is easy to use. The grill has an indicator light to alert the cook when the appliance is hot enough for food to be placed on it and an indicator light to show when foods are fully cooked.