The 10 Best Panini Presses

Updated October 27, 2017

10 Best Panini Presses
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 41 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top picks for this wiki. The only thing separating a cold and unappetizing sandwich from a toasty delicacy with melted cheese is a panini press. One of those simple devices can skyrocket the deliciousness of your food with little effort. It is our firm belief that every household needs at least one of these, so we've put together a selection that will surely satisfy your hunger in no time. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best panini press on Amazon.

10. Lodge LPP3

For the low-tech enthusiasts, the cast-iron Lodge LPP3 is sure to last for decades if properly taken care of. Take it along with you on a camping trip and use it with a skillet to whip up some tasty treats for family and friends.
  • nonstick surface improves with use
  • seasoned with oil for natural finish
  • another pan required to press onto
Brand Lodge
Model LPP3
Weight 4 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

9. Chef Buddy 82-SW100

The compact Chef Buddy 82-SW100 is made for the foodie on a budget. It does exactly what it needs to without any extra frills. It can be stored horizontally or vertically, making it a nice option for any kitchen that has limited counter and cabinet space.
  • uses energy efficiently
  • lightweight construction
  • can only make one at a time
Brand Chef Buddy
Model 82-SW100
Weight 3.1 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

8. Proctor Silex 25453A

The exceptionally versatile Proctor Silex 25453A is designed to accommodate everything from single-slice BLTs to piled-high grinders. The extra-large grids means it can heat up to four sandwiches at the same time so no one in the family has to wait.
  • upright or horizontal storage
  • cafe-style floating lid
  • ridged nonstick plates
Brand Proctor Silex
Model 25453A
Weight 7.3 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

7. Hamilton Beach 25462Z

The Hamilton Beach 25462Z boasts a stylish and colorful exterior with an affordable price tag. It only weighs five pounds and folds up effortlessly, so you can comfortably take it to potlucks to make sandwiches for your friends.
  • simple to use design
  • readiness indicator light
  • grill plates are not removable
Brand Hamilton Beach
Model 25462z
Weight 5 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

6. De'Longhi CGH800

The De'Longhi CGH800 stands at a slightly slanted angle, which allows for grease and oil to drain away from your food, making for a healthier meal. Additionally, a simple retro style temperature range window allows for precise grilling and toasting.
  • cool touch handle never gets hot
  • built-in safety lock system
  • adjustable thermostat
Brand DeLonghi
Model CGH800
Weight 11 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

5. IMUSA GAU-80102

While most presses have ridges for those distinctive grill marks, the IMUSA GAU-80102 features flat cooking plates. That means that while this unit can easily toast and cook sandwiches, it can also be used like a griddle for bacon and eggs.
  • reliable even with heavy use
  • large cooking surface
  • heats up in less than four minutes
Brand Imusa
Model GAU-80102
Weight 9.6 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

4. Oster CKSTPM20W-ECO

The Oster CKSTPM20W-ECO is designed with an innovative dura-ceramic coating that lasts four times longer than that of standard nonstick cookware. The material also makes this choice immune to the flaking, scratching and peeling that other surfaces suffer from.
  • ptfe- and pfoa-free
  • adjustable feet for stability
  • two drip cups to catch excess liquid
Brand Oster
Weight 5 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

3. George Foreman GRP4842P

This futuristic George Foreman GRP4842P uses durable ceramic plates and rocks a digital control panel that shows the cooking time and grill temperature. The removable plates let you switch between a variety of cooking options, such as a waffle one for the mornings.
  • plates are dishwasher-safe
  • adjustable angle
  • high-heat searing option
Brand George Foreman
Model GRP4842P
Weight 17 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Breville BSG520XL

The 1500-watt heating element of the Breville BSG520XL means that it heats up in no time. The ridged top plate creates the grill marks, while the flat bottom plate makes sure the food is thoroughly and evenly seared for an impeccable meal.
  • stainless steel construction
  • surfaces made of quantanium
  • nonstick and scratch-proof
Brand Breville
Model BSG520XL
Weight 9.3 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. Cuisinart Gourmet GR-4N

The Cuisinart Gourmet GR-4N is the Swiss Army knife of kitchen appliances. Other than toasting your bread to perfection, it also functions as a grill and griddle with removable and reversible plates. The only problem will be finding someone to clean up all the dishes.
  • gourmet recipes included
  • comes with scraping tool
  • convenient plate release buttons
Brand Cuisinart
Model GR-4N
Weight 10.7 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

What Should I Look For In A Panini Press?

Unless you want to stand over your sandwich in a pan pressing it to death or rest a nasty brick on top, you will want a panini press.

Seriously, that's how it was done without one, and who has bricks just laying around? Well, Martha Stewart does.

You will have to choose between grill ridges or flat. Both have their pros and cons, but many people want to see grill marks on their panini. This holds true if you end up using the press to grill meats.

Removable plates also work wonders for cleanup. Some might be dishwasher safe. Health conscious folks might want to go ceramic because it lacks toxins, but beware, it can crack easily. Non-stick surfaces may entice, but that surface can also erode. In either case, brushing the bread with oil will suffice.

A press should not be flimsy. Remember, you're applying pressure to it. This means the handle and any temperature knobs should be firm as well. Without pressure, you will not have a panini, just a hot sandwich you could have cooked on the stove. That's no fun and a waste of money.

Press Your Panini Luck

You know you want one of these. They're safe, easy to use, and create a masterpiece of a sandwich that will make you feel like a pro.

It may be a little time consuming to stand and wait for it to grill, meaning choosing one with a larger surface is optimal especially if you can fit two or three sandwiches on at the same time. Its also important for the press to have both plates heated for even grilling and a quicker cooking time.

Count on keeping the larger one on your counter just like you would a giant mixer that won't fit anywhere else. Smaller ones can stow away in a cabinet. You have to find what is more convenient for you.

Given that you need to spread the bread with oil or butter anyway, picking a non-stick surface may not be too important.

A press with ridges will churn out restaurant-quality paninis while saving money and giving yourself a chance to get creative from the comfort of your own home.

A Brief, Pressing History of the Panini

Only recently in America have the terms "panini" and "panini press" been used. There's no difference between them and a grilled sandwich.

The name is just derived from the Italian word for bread, which is "pan". So there: everything Italian does sound better.

A light bulb will go off in your head when you hear who invented the first press. No, not some old Italian man with calloused and burned hands from pressing a brick onto his sandwich.

It was none other than some unknown inventor you've never heard of, Thomas Edison.

It was named a very non-Italian "sandwich grill", but the make-up is nearly identical today. Two plates heat up and grill the sandwich on both sides at the same time. For some reason it did not become popular and disappeared by the 1930's like Amelia Earhart.

The first modern rendition hit the market in 1974 when Breville released a "sandwich maker". It was popular all over the place, especially in Australia; so much so that grilled sandwiches are called "Brevilles" today. What an exciting life those Australians have.

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Last updated on October 27, 2017 by multiple members of the ezvid wiki editorial staff

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