Aren’t sandwiches just the absolute best? You can eat them whenever (did someone say breakfast sandwich?), you can whip one up quickly (PB&J, anyone?), pack them around (hard to toss last night’s lasagna in a bag, isn’t it), and enjoy one just about anywhere. And the best thing about sandwiches is you can make incredible ones at home. All it really takes to elevate your sandwich-making skills to deli quality is a little know-how.
We’ve neatly organized this article the way you should be layering your sandwich (we’ll get to that later):
- Best Sandwich Making Hacks
- Panini Presses
- Sandwich-Making Tools
These helpful hacks, appliances and tools below are going to turn your soggy sandwiches into an NY deli worthy experience.
The SPY team loves sandwiches so much, that we feel like we wouldn’t be doing or readers justice without providing you some helpful tips on how to make the best sandwiches. It doesn’t matter if you’re a fan of PB&Js, grilled cheeses, bologna sandwiches, wraps or BLTs, we don’t discriminate. Below you’ll find some of our favorite hacks for making mouth-watering sammies.
For Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Use Mayo Instead of Butter – Mayo is made up of oil, eggs, salt and other seasonings, and when it cooks into the bread and into the cheese, the results are the most fire-grilled cheese sandwiches around. We know it might not seem appetizing when you’re first spreading it on the bread, but trust us, it is going to set that grilled cheese off.
Put Those Tomatoes in Paper Towels – To keep your sandwiches from getting soggy, one of the best treatments is to wrap the sliced tomato up in a paper towel to absorb all the extra moisture. Afterward, put a little salt and pepper on it to make it sing. You’ll still get all that delicious, acidic flavor from the tomato, just without all the sogginess.
Alternate “Grippy” and “Slippery” Ingredients – Remember the order of operations back in grade school? The same applies to sandwiches. To make a sandwich stick together well, alternate layering “grippy” foods (like cheese or meats) with slippery food (tomato or lettuce). The friction will help keep sandwiches together and prevent them from falling apart when you bite down.
Breakfast in the Oven – This is an absolute game-changer. Instead of opting for microwavable breakfast sandwiches that have enough salt and preservatives in them to make the ocean jealous, you can make a whole bunch of them in muffin pans. Just construct the breakfast sandwiches the way you like in each muffin slot (we recommend pre-cooking any meat to be safe), toss them in the oven to cook, and freeze them afterward. Now when you microwave one up in the morning, it will be homemade, and much healthier.
Heat Up Your Tortilla – The best way to keep your tortilla from ripping when you’re trying to make a wrap is to heat it first. It doesn’t take much (you don’t want it crispy), only about 10 to 15 seconds or so on each side in a pan should do the trick. This makes your tortilla more pliable and prevents it from ripping, even when you packed that wrap just a bit too full.
Folding Round Meats Twice (Or Cutting Them in Half) – Putting round meat on square pieces of bread is fine — nobody is going to toss you in jail for it. But for cleaner-looking sandwiches, and a better eating experience, you can do two things to make round meat fit perfectly on that square bread body. First, you can fold them in half, and then half again, and put the corner of the meat to line up with the corner of the bread, so the quarter circle is in the middle. Do that with two slices of meat and your sandwich is covered.
Or you can take a pizza cutter (bonus hack: pizza cutters are great for cutting off bread crust), and cut your deli meat right down the middle, so you have a flat, square line. Put both pieces so the semi-circle is in the middle of the bread and line up the flat ends with the edge of the bread. Viola. Who knew that 3rd-grade geometry class would become so important!
A panini maker can set off a sandwich. The light grill marks on the outside provide that desirable crunch while maintaining the soft texture of the bread on the inside. Panini makers can be as simple as plugging them in, setting your sandwich in there and closing the slid. Our mouths are watering just thinking about it.
Cuisinart 5-1 Griddler
Versatile enough to lightly toast bread for sandwiches, and powerful enough to grill burgers, this is a great pick. Is a hamburger a sandwich? Who the hell cares when you can make whatever meat and veggie assortment between two pieces of bread you want. If you’re feeling extra frisky, you can also make pancakes and bacon, especially while the grease trap captures all the run-off. This is the Rolls Royce of sandwich makers.
Isiler Panini Maker
With its non-stick grill coating, you can create those desired grill marks and toast your sandy to perfection with the Isiler Panini Maker. You can control the temperature and even get it hot enough to cook burgers, steaks and veggies. This panini press has over 750 ratings on Amazon and 4.5 stars. It’s a pretty good bet this panini maker will raise your sandwich-making game to the next level.
Hamilton Beach Electric Panini Press
The panini press is pretty much the gold standard of at-home sandwich making. This model benefits from a handsome minimalist design and will prove to any visitors that you weren’t joking when you said you took your grilled cheese game “very” seriously. No buttons, no frills. Turn this baby on, press your sammy down and toast it to your preference.
George Foreman Grill
We would be remiss to not include the “heavyweight champion of indoor grills.” It is one of the more expensive sandwich makers not only for the name but also for the versatility. You can cook everything from burgers to muffins on this thing, and it makes a damn fine sandwich, too.
Hamilton Beach Dual Breakfast Sandwich Maker
Is there anything better than a well-made breakfast sandwich? Yes: two of them. All you need to do is layer your breakfast sandwich inside of the Hamilton Beach Sandwich maker and in about five minutes, you’ll have a delicious meal to start your morning. It doesn’t take much brainpower to make a delicious breakfast sandwich with this sandwich press.
When you have fussy eaters in the house, or you’re just striving to make the best-toasted sandwich on the planet, these helpful kitchen tools can assist you like your own personal sous chef. And the best part, all of these helpful little tools come in under $20.
Bites & Pieces Puzzling Crust Cutter
Got a little one in the house that hates bread crust. With the Bites & Pieces Puzzling Crust Cutter, you can make their sandwich without crust, and create a fun little Tetris-style puzzle for them in the process. This fun little sandwich cutter only runs about $6, so if they still won’t eat their sandwiches after, no harm, no foul.
Jean-Patrique Toasted Sandwich Maker
You don’t need an “appliance” to create a delicious grilled sandwich. Place that sammy right in the plate, close it and throw it on your stove. Open it up periodically to see how your sandwich is grilling. If you’re more of a hands-on chef, you’ll appreciate the manual control of this sandwich maker.
Reusable Toaster Bags
Turn your regular classic toaster into a de facto panini press with these reusable toaster bags. They’re made of heat resistant, BPA-free and PFOA-free materials, and come with their own non-stick coating.