Grill Your Heart Out With These Game-Changing Panini Presses

sandwich going into panini press
Shutterstock/Hanna Kipel
When you buy something through our retail links, we may earn commission and the retailer may receive certain auditable data for accounting purposes.

The panini is culinary sandwich magic. It’s somehow both elevated and comfort food simultaneously, with that golden crust contrasting perfectly against gooey insides. You can customize the filling to your heart’s desire and come up with something delicious every time, regardless of dietary restrictions.

No matter how good they taste, paninis can be expensive when you’re buying them instead of coming up with your own creative sandwiches at home. To save some funds but still munch on your favorite lunch indulgence, you might consider investing in a panini press, which allows you to experiment with endless recipes.

However, not all presses are created equal. At the end of the day, you should be able to get multiple uses out of your sandwich-maker besides achieving that ultimate crisp. Here are the best panini presses to meet your various needs.

  

1. Cuisinart GR-4N 5-in-1 Griddler

BEST OVERALL

Cuisinart remains a top contender for foodies, and after looking at this grill, we understand why. A consistent bestseller on Amazon with thousands of fans, this five-in-one tool makes cooking more accessible than ever. There’s a drip pan and dishwasher-safe removable plates for a less messy clean-up, while adjustable temperature controls let you cook with precision. This model can get it done with ease, whether you want a burger with perfect grill marks or fancy grilled cheese. It even comes with a book of gourmet recipes.

cuisinart 5 in 1 griller with burgers Image courtesy of Amazon

  

2. New House Kitchen Panini Press Grill

BEST RUNNER UP

This no-frills model by New House Kitchen isn’t as large as some of its contenders but offers fantastic value with its streamlined steel aesthetic, and a floating hinge that allows you to make sandwiches of all sizes. This press also features elevated feet with non-skidding technology to keep your counter easily yet still keep your grill in one place. A grease trap captures all the mess, while a non-stick surface allows you to prep food without adding cooking spray.

new house kitchen stainless steel panini grill Image courtesy of Amazon
  

3. Dash Mini Maker Portable Grill Machine

BEST TRAVEL PICK

Sometimes, lugging around a heavy grill makes you want to downsize. If you’re short on counter space or are frequently on-the-go and don’t want to waste money on takeout options, this mini sandwich maker is a massive upgrade from a bland microwaveable meal. This pint-sized panini press helps you make single-serve dishes in just a few minutes, combining speed and efficiency to brown your food the way you like it. Although easy to clean, it can’t be immersed in water — just wipe down with a wet paper towel.

mini maker portable grill machine and panini press Image courtesy of Amazon
  

4. Hamilton Beach Electric Panini Press Grill

BEST NON-STICK PICK

Complete with a locking lid and a chrome finish, the Hamilton Beach Electric Panini Press makes a sandwich of any height, and can also create personal pizzas, quesadillas or open-faced sandwiches. We love how space efficient this model is with its upright storage. The top and bottom both have potent grilling power, so you don’t need to attempt a disastrous flip. One reviewer says the surface is big enough for preparing two large sandwiches.

hamilton beach electric panini press grill Image courtesy of Amazon
  

5. Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker

BEST FOR BREAKFAST SANDWICHES

Grill marks are always the answer, but sometimes you just need the comfort of a flawlessly constructed breakfast sandwich. The problem is, that tasty pay-off usually comes with eggshell messes, crumbs and remnants of ingredients. Thankfully, some genius created this electric breakfast sandwich maker, which is the best panini press for breakfast lovers. It simultaneously toasts your bread, warms your meat and cheese, and cooks your egg at the same time. Voila! Your own McMuffin at home, but healthier. All cooking plates can be removed and cleaned in the dishwasher.

hand cooking egg in hamilton beach breakfast sandwich maker Image courtesy of Amazon
  

6. Cuisinart Cast Iron Grill Press

BEST MANUAL PICK

There’s more than one way to make a mouthwatering pressed sandwich, and this iron grill press is proof. If you’ve ever had a Cuban sandwich or Cubano, you know that the key to making it the right way is using a cast iron grill press, rather than an electric alternative. Cast iron ensures long-lasting quality, and the wood handle on this model is both attractive and ergonomic. A ridged surface on the three-pound model provides beautiful char marks while exerting pressure evenly across your burger or sandwich. This manual option takes up a fraction of the counter space that a plug-in press would, and can be used on stovetop or BBQ.

burgers being grilled with cuisinart cast iron grill press Image courtesy of Amazon
  

7. George Foreman Electric Panini Press

BEST BUDGET PICK

If you want something basic that gets the job done for under $20, the George Forman Classic Panini Press will be right up your alley. It has that classic slope silhouette, which naturally removes up to nearly half of your food’s fat for a leaner meal. Over a dozen reviews specifically mention that they use this grill every single day. This classic model does feature a non-stick surface rather than cast iron, but buyers say that they’ve lasted up to five years or more — and that’s with daily use.

george foreman grill Image courtesy of Amazon
  

8. Ninja Foodi 5-in-1 Indoor Grill with Air Fryer

BEST SPLURGE PICK

This five-in-one option by Ninja Foodi is the holy grail of panini presses. It also happens to be an air fryer, which is similar to a deep fryer, but 75% healthier. There’s nothing you can’t do with the Ninja Foodie. It may be slightly out of budget for some, but you won’t even want to go out to restaurants anymore with this monster that can bake, crisp, grill, dehydrate, roast and more at up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, the device is smoke-free and comes with a splatter guard, making indoor usage a breeze.

Ninja Foodi 5-in-1 Indoor Grill With Air Fryer Image courtesy of Bedbathandbeyond.com
  

9. T-fal Non-Stick Sandwich and Waffle Maker

MOST VERSATILE PICK PICK

Get your dessert and eat it too with the T-fal sandwich and waffle maker. This unique option features a waffle plate and a grill plate. This offers valuable bang for your buck since waffle makers are often overpriced and really only serve one purpose. This gadget makes everything from red velvet waffles to grilled Monte Cristos. More than one reviewer uses it to make bread, and another reveals a useful snack hack — wrap ingredients and cheese in pizza dough, and you’ll quickly have yourself an irresistible pizza pocket.

t-fal sandwich and waffle maker Image courtesy of Amazon

  

What Is a Tagine? Your New Favorite Obscure Cooking Tool, Explained<br />