Top 10 Best Panini Press 2018

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Model
Features
Breville VST041 Deep Fill



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  • Deep fill
  • Warning lights
  • Cut and seal
Salter EK2143 3-in-1


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  • Makes sandwiches, waffles and paninis
  • 900w
  • Strong lock
Tefal GC713D40 Optigrill


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  • Full grill
  • 6 settings
  • Temperature control
  • Versatile
Chef Buddy Grill and Panini Press

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  • Multi-grill
  • Panini press
  • Large
  • Grease channel
All-Clad 39902 Panini Pan


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  • Panini pan
  • Press lid
  • Tough metal

There are some kitchen appliances that, while you don’t necessarily need them, they are useful once you have one! The panini press – or as we shall see, also the sandwich maker – is one of these, and it really is something you should have in your kitchen. After all, we lead busy lives, so who knows when a quick, tasty snack will be the order of the day? The panini press can come in handy for adults or kids, is easy to use, and looking at the variety of those on our list, you might find it more useful than you could ever believe!

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The drive for healthy eating has also helped popularise such items, as they do encourage people to cook quick, healthy snacks using fresh produce at home, rather than having expensive, unhealthy and fattening take-aways. Another great thing about your panini press is that when not in use it will be easy to put away in a cupboard; many are designed to stand upright so they can be stored easily in a cupboard.

So, you want the best panini press – there are some very cheap and simple models and others that are more sophisticated – but before we go on to look at the best panini presses, let’s consider what they do, and why you need one.

Best Panini Press

1: Breville VST041 Deep Fill


As we said in our intro, there is a strict distinction between a sandwich maker and a panini press. For the sake of our review, however, we thought we’d include both, as each does serve a very similar purpose. This model – from giants in the field Breville – is a deep fill sandwich maker, and is claimed to be the deepest of the range. That means you get more in it, so you have a more wholesome snack! It’s finished in stainless steel and is a quality item, and is not at all expensive.

It has the usual dual heat plates and features the cleverly designed ‘cut and seal’ feature that is common to Breville sandwich makers; this means that the edges of the sandwich are sealed so you do not lose content. The cooking plates are easy to remove and dishwasher-safe, it can handle all thickness of bread, and it operates by a simple on and off function, with no temperature control but two lights to tell you when it’s ready. At the price, a cheap and clever little implement that will be widely used.

Key Features
  • Deep fill
  • Warning lights
  • Cut and seal

2: Salter EK2143 3-in-1


Salter is another brand with a wide variety of kitchen appliances, and this one is typical of their range in that it is a decent quality item at a sensible price. This is a 3-in-1 sandwich maker, so let’s see what it can do! It comes with three interchangeable top plates – easy to swap and also dishwasher safe – that is used for standard sandwiches, for waffles and – yes – for paninis! The benefit of this is that you get your desired snack produced as you want it, rather than in a generic fashion.

This model is a deep fill design too so you get more in your sandwich, has a locking clasp that means you get a tight seal, and features the usual red and green lights to advise when it is hot enough and when your snack should be cooked. It’s compact, easy to store and simple to use, and larger than some so you can produce bigger sandwiches. It also has 900W heating elements which are more than ample, and while not the cheapest on the list is hardly expensive.

Key Features
  • Does sandwiches, waffles and paninis
  • 900W
  • Strong lock

3: Tefal GC713D40 Optigrill


There are sandwich makers, panini presses, and then there are devices such as this! From Tefal – one of the biggest names in the world in kitchen appliances – comes this amazing grill, and it really is something you need to look at if you want to add versatility to your kitchen. Note, this is not a sandwich maker, nor a panini press, but it can be used for both. It is a very usable portable grill system that is made to a high standard – as befits the brand – and that offers a lot of options.

This one has six different cooking settings – for burgers, poultry, bacon, sausage, red meat and fish – and is fully adjustable with simple controls. It has a temperature control so you can cook your meat rare if you wish – there are four settings to make it easier – and all the cooking plates are easy to remove and dishwasher-safe. It can be set to cook from frozen and is big enough to cook for as many as four. This is not the most compact of items, it is a fully-fledged grill after all, and is far more expensive than the standard sandwich makers on here, but it is an impressive piece of kit for your kitchen.

Key Features
  • Full grill
  • Six settings
  • Temperature control
  • Versatile

4: Chef Buddy Grill and Panini Press


Multi-purpose devices tend to be popular in this category of kitchen implements – even though you will pay a little more for something that is simply a sandwich maker – and this model comes sensibly priced for what it can do. It’s a larger type of grill crossed with a panini press and sandwich maker, and it also majors on producing healthy food. This one has a neat design in which the grease from meat and other food is channelled away, so your result is less fattening.

The inside heating plates are non-stick and are designed to wipe down and cleaned when in place, and the item works simply and efficiently. There is no complex heating control on this one, you simply add your desired food and let it cook, and you do get the indicator lights so you know what is going on. It has dual heating zones too, for added effectiveness, so if you want your steak rare, that’s no problem. As multi-purpose grills go this one is not the cheapest, but it’s a decent item in this company.

Key Features
  • Multi-grill
  • Panini press
  • Large
  • Grease channel

5: All-Clad 39902 Panini Pan



So far we have given you details of electric sandwich makers and grills that double as panini presses. For the real cooking enthusiasts among you, we reckon this item will be high on your Christmas and birthday lists! It’s not a panini press, but a panini pan, and as such is something with which you can impress your friends! The great thing about this is that it comes with a lid that is used to activate the press part – it’s superbly made too – so you can cook paninis on the hob.

This is very much a top quality item; made from anodized metal and with the finest handle and fittings, you will find the ribbed base of the pan is perfect for paninis. It sits on the hob and you heat it to your desired temperature, turning out perfect paninis every time. It’s more than 10 inches across so capable of cooking a decent amount of food at one time, and we love it for what it is. Yes, it does only the one thing, and yes, it is nearly twice as costly as one of the decent grills here, but it’s a great item for the foodie!

Key Features
  • Panini pan
  • Press lid
  • Tough metal

6. Star Wars Darth Vader and Stormtrooper Panini Press Standard


Items such as this, branded with a Star Wars character, tend to be popular with younger buyers and people who like something a little different, but we’re not sure that this is the one you will buy off the list – even if you are a Star Wars buff! It’s a decent sandwich maker and panini press in that it does the job; you get the usual removable and washable inner trays that are dishwasher-safe and heat to the right temperatures, and it can be used to make a variety of snacks.

The logo design on the lid – it’s made from durable stainless steel and is a quality model – is fun, and you also get the dual lights that tell you when your panini or sandwich is ready, plus it has a decent locking clasp and produces great food. Yet, this is just a dressed up standard sandwich maker that – presumably because of the branding – comes in at around twice the price of a similar model without the image printed on it.

Key Features
  • Star Wars branding
  • Simple sandwich maker
  • Stainless steel

7: KuKoo Grooved Panini Press


This is a very neat and able grilling device that is designed with paninis in mind but can equally be used for sandwiches and also for grilling meat, fish and vegetables. It comes with both grooved and flat bases for a choice of styles, and make no mistake that this is the type of professional-standard panini press you will see in cafes and shops everywhere. As such, it would look great in your kitchen and will impress visitors – and make excellent paninis that will be the envy of all!

It’s made from quality stainless steel, all the trays are designed to make sure fat runs off and are removable for cleaning, it’s easy to use and it has variable temperature and cooking controls. This is a larger item so will easily cook for a few people, and it has very powerful 2.2kw cooking elements for fast heating times and quick, even cooking. It comes with drip trays to catch any run-off oil, and is finished in a very stylish stainless steel look so will fit in with your kitchen. It’s not a cheap and cheerful sandwich maker that will cost you a few quid but is not an expensive kitchen appliance given its purpose and quality.

Key Features
  • Flat and rubbed heating plates
  • All removable

8: Quest 1200W


With powerful 1200watt heating elements and a neat design that makes this a grill as much as it is a panini press or sandwich maker, we reckon this one could be among the bargains on the list. We’ll begin by saying that there is nothing special about it, but that is a good thing in appliances such as this when you want one that does the job at little cost. It’s larger than most and will cook for several people, and is easy to use and effective.

Not only can you do your toasted sandwiches and paninis on this – all the cooking plates are removable for washing – but you can also use it as a grill for meat, fish, vegetables and basically anything you want to grill. The sheer simplicity of operation is great, it is nicely made, and it cooks evenly top and bottom every time. It’s great, in short, and at the price, it may amaze you as to what you can afford!

Key Features
  • Grill
  • Panini press and sandwich maker
  • 1200w
  • All washable

9: VonShef 2 in 1



Another brand known for decent quality, sensibly priced kitchen items, VonShef has a great range to offer. With powerful 2000watt heating elements and a neat design that makes this a grill as much as it is a panini press or sandwich maker, we reckon this one could be among the bargains on the list. We’ll begin by saying that there is nothing special about it, but that is a good thing in appliances such as this when you want one that does the job at little cost. It’s larger than most and will cook for several people, and is easy to use and effective.

Not only can you do your toasted sandwiches and paninis on this – all the cooking plates are removable for washing – but you can also use it as a grill for meat, fish, vegetables and basically anything you want to grill. This is a very decent model that comes at a good price and does more than some of its competitors, so worth a look.

Key Features
  • Does grill, panini and sandwiches
  • 2000w
  • HDMI cable and spirit level
  • All cleanable

10: Tefal Optigrill


This excellent device is another from the Tefal range and offers a variety of uses that make it a very good choice of appliance for any kitchen. It also looks the part, which is no bad thing! Note, this is not a sandwich maker, nor a panini press, but it can be used for both. It is a very usable portable grill system that is made to a high standard – as befits the brand – and that offers a great deal of options.

This one has six different cooking settings – for burgers, poultry, bacon, sausage, red meat and fish – and is fully adjustable with simple controls. It has a temperature control so you can cook your meat rare if you wish – there are four settings to make it easier – and all the cooking plates are easy to remove and dishwasher-safe. It can be set to cook from frozen and is big enough to cook for as many as four. This is not the most compact of items, it is a fully-fledged grill after all, and is far more expensive than the standard sandwich makers on here, but it is an impressive piece of kit for your kitchen.

Key Features
  • Full grill
  • Six settings
  • Temperature control
  • Versatile

That’s our list complete, so which is for you? Before we go on to give you a verdict, a few things you should look for when choosing one of these.

Important Features

What do you look for in the best panini press? Let’s see!

Uses – most of the above are multi-use and can make sandwiches as well as paninis, while some are also grills and have other purposes. Choose the one that does what you want, within your budget.

Controls – some of these are simple devices that heat to a certain temperature and then cook or toast, while others have a variety of temperature and cooking settings. Whichever you want is up to you, so make sure you know what you are looking at.

Cheap or Sophisticated – the price range of these items is quite broad, so if you want something that will cost you very little, expect it to be simple and serve a simple purpose. If you want something that does more, expect to pay more!

How It Works

How does a panini press work? It’s a very simple idea that means it can double as a standard sandwich toaster, so you get two items in one! The general idea is a small machine – they come in various sizes – featuring two opposing heated plates that may be sculpted for added benefit. These come together and are tightly clamped, and cook the panini and its contents evenly and at the same time on both sides.

Many of the models featured come with temperature controls, so you can choose how you want your panini cooked. The simplest models have a light system whereby a certain light shows when the device is hot enough to start cooking, and also when the panini is ready. There are some with timers, but with most, it is a case of simply leaving your panini to cook. There is a safety aspect to this in that, unlike a toaster, many such panini presses will not automatically switch off, so kids must be schooled in the art of keeping an eye on their panini as it cooks.

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They are usually mains-powered, some come with removable heating plates for washing, and others come with accessories, so you should shop around for the best one at the right price – and that’s why we’re here! So, without any further ado, here is our list of the top 10 panini presses on the market right now, with something to cover every possible need and budget included.

Let’s Wrap It Up!

To begin our conclusion, if you want a dedicated panini cooking device, one that will impress your mates and be in keeping with your status as a cooking guru and top foodie, you have to buy the panini pan, number 5. Granted, at the price you’ll be the only person who has one, but it will be worth it!

If you want a simple panini press and sandwich maker – that can also double as a grill – we can’t get past the fact that the Quest model, number 8 on the list, is a bargain. It is priced around the same as some of the cheaper, simple sandwich makers yet offers you full grilling ability, and it does a decent job at what is very little cost.

If, however, you want to go full on with your press, sandwich maker and grill combo, you have to check out either of the Tefal models. They are top quality, superbly made and great to look at, come with a wide variety of settings, and while they are not cheap they are not expensive when you consider their merits.

That’s our choices then, so which will it be? Have another look and choose yourself the best panini press – you know you want one!