There are many different types of Panini presses out there on the market and it can make it difficult to find the best panini press for your needs. There are dozens of panini press reviews out there, which can help you pick out the best panini press. This is a small guide intended to help you figure out what factors to look for when choosing a panini maker. Here is our quick comparison chart of top picks.
Buying Guide for Best Panini Press 2016
Here are some of the important factors which you must take care off while buying a panini press for yourself.
Versatility is an important component when looking for a panini press. Many panini presses also act as a grill and a griddle. For example the Cuisinart Panini press is touted as being a 5-in-1 panini press. Changing from one method to the other is usually very easy, on the Cuisinart press, all you need to do to turn it into a grill is flip the lid completely open, and bam you have a fully functioning indoor grill.
Top Plate Control
This is a rather specific thing to look for. The top plate is the essentially the lid of your panini press. The best panini press will let you control the positioning of your top lid. Why is that important? Well in order to properly grill something using a panini press you need to be able to apply constant pressure to something. So for a sandwich you want to keep the lid pressed down on top of it, giving you nice grill marks and compressing the sandwich. But say you are grilling something you don’t want crushed, like a burger, well if you can adjust your top plate you can still get grill marks without crushing the burger.
Depending on what you cook, this may not be hugely important, but if you like cooking a diverse range of foods you should definitely pay close attention to panini press reviews to make sure the panini press has this feature.
When looking for the best panini press you shouldn’t overlook small add-ons, they can make your cooking experience significantly easier. Look for things like lids that lock, or heat-resistant handles that won’t get scalding hot when the press is on. Another important feature that shouldn’t be overlooked is temperature control. A lot of panini presses have very imprecise temperature controls that don’t give temperature readings but simply options like “sear” or “grill.” Now this doesn’t bother everyone, but for me I much prefer being able to set the exact temperature when using a panini press.
Best Panini Press Reviews 2016
Those three factors are in my opinion the most important to keep in mind when looking for the best panini press for you. Hopefully you found the short guide helpful. I have written plenty of panini press reviews to help you make a more precise definition below.
Breville Panini Press Review
The Breville BSG520XL Panini Press is a high quality Panini press from the manufacturer Breville, known for high quality kitchen products. The Breville panini press has a 1500 Watt heating element, a non-stick interior, its product dimensions are 5.25 inches x 13 inches x 11.75 inches, the press has 4 temperature settings, and it comes with a detailed instructions manual that also contains recipes.
The Breville panini press works amazingly, I have found you can make a huge amount of different types of food with it. The included recipe book is really helpful in this regard. I have no issues making everything from grill sandwiches to French toast. I found that the racks on the press really easy to clean, so you don’t have to worry if the food is a little messy because you can easily clean up any mess.
The press has a nice floating hinge system, which basically prevents your press from crushing your food while still allowing you to evenly cook both sides of the food. Likewise the height adjustment system allows you to easily make both melts and open faced sandwiches.
The non-stick surface works really well and I found that I didn’t need to use oil or grease on the Breville panini press.
The Breville panini press is great, but it does have a few very minor flaws.
First off is the lack of a power button, which means you have to plug and then unplug the press if you want to use it.
It could afford to have a more precise temperature control system, as it stands it only has 4 options and a few more would be nice.
The Breville BSG520XL Panini Press is an absolutely great panini press and I would whole heartily recommend it to anyone looking for a panini press. Click Here For Pricing And Testimonials
Waring WPG150 Compact Italian-Style Panini Grill Review
The Waring Italian-Style Panini Grill is a quality panini press from the manufacturer Waring, known for a long line of various kitchen appliances. The Waring panini press has dimensions of 9.25 inches x 15.5 inches x 11.5 inches, the press has heat resistant handles, on/off switch and indicator lights, precise temperature control, and cast-iron ribbed grilling plates.
The Waring panini press has a number of positives, first off is the very precise temperature controls, many panini presses just have 3 of 4 settings that usually just range from “grill” to “melt”. The Waring panini press has 7 different temperature modes going from 140 degrees Fahrenheit to 570 degrees. This is much more precise and can make cooking easier.
The indicator light lets you know when the panini press is at the right temperature to begin grilling; it seems like a small addition, but when you actually use the machine its very helpful. Likewise the heat resistant handles are very helpful.
The cast iron grill plates work well, because unlike non-stick plates which are used by most other presses, cast iron plates don’t lost their coating like non-stick Teflon plates do. Meaning the cast iron plates don’t lost their effectiveness after a year or so.
This is not a light panini press, it weighs close to 45 pounds. This is definitely not a model you want to purchase if you are looking for a very light, compact panini press.
The press also doesn’t have an amazing capacity, it can hold about 3 medium sized sandwiches, or wraps, which is fairly small for such a big unit.
The Waring Italian-Style Panini Grill is a great panini press and I definitely recommend it; especially if you are in a situation where the press won’t be being moved often. Click Here For Pricing And Testimonials
Lodge Cast Iron Panini Press Review
The Lodge Cast Iron Panini Press has an enamel coating preventing scratching and damage to it. Considering it’s manually operated, meaning you have to physically push it into a cast iron skillet or onto a burner, the coating is especially helpful. The porcelain is also really easy to clean, a nice bonus.
The biggest positive for the Lodge panini press is its low price. It can be found for around $35 on Amazon, which is much cheaper than any other panini press out there.
It has a high heat resistance, and can handle temperatures of up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
There isn’t much that can really be said for the Lodge Cast Iron Panini Press. It does its job, cheaply. If you are looking for a barbebones, inexpensive panini press, then the Lodge will work well for you, but if are looking for something more, skip this one and buy a more advanced model. Click Here For Pricing And Testimonials
Hamilton Beach 25450 Gourmet Panini Press Review
The Hamilton Beach panini press features a floating lid system, basically it means you can manipulate the positioning of the lid. This is a great feature if you cook thin sandwiches, which otherwise wouldn’t make contact with the lid.
It only takes a couple minutes for the machine to heat up, in my experience that’s a fairly quick time as far as panini presses go.
The locking feature is very helpful I found. It lets you keep constant pressure on the food or just keep the lid in the correct place without having to monitor it.
The Hamilton Beach panini press is actually fairly spacious when compared to other panini presses, it can easily accommodate 4 medium sized sandwiches; which is good for bigger families.
The press doesn’t come with an included recipe book, not a huge deal, but it’s a nice extra usually included with other presses.
More serious issues are the lack of temperature controls; it’s not a huge flaw, but it definitely would be an improvement.
Also, the outside of the machine can get extremely hot, so keep a pair of oven mitts nearby and make sure small children are kept away from the machine.
The Hamilton Beach 25450 Gourmet Panini Press is a good panini press, and while it has some flaws worth considering, I would still say that you won’t go wrong with a Hamilton Beach panini press. Click Here For Pricing And Testimonials
Cuisinart GR-4N 5-in-1 Griddler Review
The biggest positive of the Cuisinart panini press is its versatility, its 5-in-1 and can be used as a panini press, contact grill, full grill, full griddle, and half griddle. This allows you to cook a wide array of various dishes with your panini press.
It’s not difficult to use the press either. Easy to use dials let you precisely control the temperature for each of the various settings. It cooks relatively fast too. I noticed it took about 5-6 minutes to warm up, and it took minutes to properly grill food. Really impressive for a small press.
Cleanup of the Cuisinart panini press is really simple, the racks can be detached and easily washed in a sink or a dishwasher. There is also an integrated drip tray that ensures grease won’t get everywhere. The press also has a non-stick surface that makes it easy to get food off without making a mess.
The biggest problem with the Cuisinart panini press is that it sometimes seems to heat food unevenly, its fine for moss food items; but it seems like certain items like fatty meats or thick chicken breasts don’t cook properly. This is the only major flaw I encountered however.
The Cuisinart GR-4N 5-in-1 Griddler is a great panini press, I completely recommend it; especially if you only have one or two people in your household, because the press is best suited for smaller, individual meals. Click Here For Pricing And Testimonials
Calphalon 5-in-1 Grill Review
The temperature control is very precise with 7 different options; going from 325 degrees to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. It also includes two extra settings “warm” and “sear.”
The Calphalon panini press has a high capacity, especially when compared to other presses or grills. It can hold about 8 burgers in total. Or 4 if you want to close the lid.
The press has an easily removable drip tray which makes clean up easier.
The Calpalon works really well for cooking heavy duty meat like burgers, and so if you are looking for something that also works as an indoor grill in addition to a panini press, the Calphalon panini press is a good option.
The unit gets very hot due to its metal exterior, and so you should exercise caution when it’s on and make sure you keep oven mitts close by.
The biggest drawback is by far the cost, at around $170 the press is far more expensive than other panini presses on the market. While it does have a lot of features and cooks food well, it isn’t significantly better than any other high quality panini press on the market.
The Calphalon 5-in-1 Grill is a great 5-in-1 panini press, and if money is no concern I recommend you purchase the Calphalon panini press. Click Here For Pricing And Testimonials
Closing thoughts on Best Panini Press Reviews 2016
We have tried our best to provide the latest and correct information about best panini press. The above panini press reviews are in detail and are aimed at giving you additional information so that you can make your best purchase decision.