Updated September 04, 2019 by Gabrielle Taylor

The 10 Best Panini Presses

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This wiki has been updated 24 times since it was first published in May of 2015. The only thing preventing a cold and unappetizing sandwich from becoming a toasty delicacy with melted cheese is a panini press. This simple device 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 selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best panini press on Amazon.

10. Oster Extra Large

9. Hamilton Beach Gourmet

8. Lodge Square

7. De'Longhi Contact

6. Aicok Grill

5. Calphalon Contemporary

4. George Foreman Evolve

3. Imusa Electric

2. Breville Duo

1. Cuisinart Gourmet 5-in-1

What Should I Look For In A Panini Press?

Non-stick surfaces may entice, but that surface can also erode.

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.

Count on keeping the larger one on your counter just like you would a giant mixer that won't fit anywhere else.

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.

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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Gabrielle Taylor
Last updated on September 04, 2019 by Gabrielle Taylor

Originally from a tiny town in Virginia, Gabrielle moved to Los Angeles for a marketing internship at a well-known Hollywood public relations firm and was shocked to find that she loves the West Coast. She spent two years as a writer and editor for a large DIY/tutorial startup, where she wrote extensively about technology, security, lifestyle, and home improvement. A self-professed skincare nerd, she’s well-versed in numerous ingredients and methods, including both Western and Asian products. She is an avid home cook who has whiled away thousands of hours cooking and obsessively researching all things related to food and food science. Her time in the kitchen has also had the curious side effect of making her an expert at fending off attempted food thievery by her lazy boxer dog.

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