Best Panini Presses 2017 – Buyer’s Guide

Before We Dive Deep And See Our Top Panini Press Reviews….

The panini is truly the perfect sandwich. Warm and toasty, one of these grilled masterpieces takes a simple, casual food and elevates it to a meal that you can truly savor.

Panini sandwiches have exploded in popularity in recent years, leading people to want to make their own at home. The manufacturers of kitchen appliances have answered the call by developing panini presses for home use that grill the bread, melt the cheese and heat the ingredients just like the ones in cafes.

If you’re looking to purchase one of these small kitchen appliances, you’ll be surprised at just how many different ones there are now. Nearly every top appliance brand offers a model, so it can be hard to know which are really the best panini presses.

This top 10 list is intended to help you shop. It was developed based on hundreds of panini press reviews from customers and from our own research. All of these models are well made and can produce delicious, perfectly toasty results.

To decide which one is right for you, you’ll need to consider a few things. First, how many sandwiches will you want to make at a time? Panini presses range in size from single and dual models to large appliances that can make four or more sandwiches at a time. The latter takes up more space for storage, so keep that in mind as you consider your size needs.

How frequently you intend to use your panini maker will also determine which model is the right one for your kitchen. If you will be grilling sandwiches frequently for yourself and for entertaining, you’ll want a more durable, well-made model than you might if you only plan to make panini occasionally.

Other features to consider include how easy the models are to clean, whether or not they have variable temperature settings and if they include drainage trays to reduce the amount of grease. These features may or may not matter to you depending on your individual preferences.

Here’s Todays 9 Best Panini Presses To Buy For Home-Kitchen Use (2017)

9. IMUSA GAU-80102 Electric Panini and Sandwich Maker

The IMUSA GAU-80102 is a cross between a panini maker and a sandwich maker. It has the handle that you find on traditional presses, but its cooking plates are smooth. As a result, you don’t get the traditional grill marks of a panini with the model, which is why it came in last on our list of the best panini presses.

Despite its slight odd design, the appliance will give you perfectly toasted, delicious sandwiches every time. It has indicator lights that let you know when the nonstick plates are hot enough to cook, and the smooth surface makes the cooking area easy to wipe clean.

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8. Chef Buddy 3 in 1 Sandwich Panini and Waffle Press

The Chef Buddy has a unique system of interchangeable plates that allow you to use it as a panini press, a waffle maker and a sandwich maker. Because the plates come out, they are easy to clean in the sink. The lowest priced model on the list, this panini press is not as well made as some other models.

In panini press reviews, there are reports of components breaking and some comments that it just feels light and not as solidly built as you’d expect a kitchen appliance to be. Still, for the price and the extra functionality of the exchangeable plates, the model is a good buy for someone who will only be using this type of appliance occasionally.

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7. Waring Commercial WPG150 Compact Italian-Style Panini Press

If you’re serious about making paninis at home and truly want a restaurant quality sandwich, the Waring Commercial WPG150 will give you just what you need. A smaller version of the professional panini press, the model features heavy duty ribbed cast iron plates that grill up sandwiches in the blink of an eye and are ultra durable.

The model has a classic handle with a rubber grip for comfortable use, and you can also use it as a double-sided grill for cooking everything from veggies to chicken to steaks. Safety certified, the appliance has variable temperatures for flexible cooking. The reason why it’s placed where it is on the list is because of its very high price, which would make it less than ideal for everyone save for serious foodies.

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6. Hamilton Beach 25460A Panini Press & Sandwich Maker 

The Hamilton Beach 25460A is the best-selling panini press on Amazon, but you can see as you examine its features that it’s brand recognition and a low price that have propelled it to the top. Small in size, the press has enough room for two small sandwiches or one large one and has nonstick grids.

It does an excellent job of grilling, but it lacks the extra features of other models. You cannot remove the grill plates for cleaning. There is no drip tray, and the model has only one fixed temperature. One plus it does have that others lack is the ability to store it standing upright to save space in the cupboard.

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5. Breville BSG520XL Duo Panini Press

After the Waring commercial panini press, the Breville BSG520XL is the most powerful of the models on the list. With its 1500-watt cooking element, it gets sandwiches grilled at lightning fast speeds. Its cooking surface is made out of Quantanium, which is not only nonstick but also scratch resistant for durability. It features nonslip feet and a very easy-to-grip handle.

Priced higher than most of the other models on the listing, the appliance has a feature that can be both a benefit and a drawback: it only makes grill marks on the top of the sandwich. The smooth bottom plate does allow sandwiches to cook more quickly, so it may be worth foregoing grill marks on both sides of your sandwich if you’re very concerned with cooking speed.

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4. BELLA Electric Panini Maker Press and Sandwich Grill

The BELLA is a handy little panini press that can make two medium-sized sandwiches at once and can be used for grilling other foods. Although it’s one of the least expensive models on the list, it offers variable temperatures, has a nonstick surface and a removable drip dray for capturing grease. Its grill plates do not come out and can be a little challenging to clean.

Based on information in reviews, there are also some concerns about durability. If only used occasionally, the panini press should last for years to come, but there are reports of problems with the hinge arising with heavy use.

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3. Oster CKSTPM6001-ECO Panini Maker and Indoor Grill

The Oster CKSTPM6001-ECO is a six-slice combination dual contact grill and panini press. Its materials make it one of the best models from a quality standpoint. The cooking surface is DuraCeramic, which heats up evenly for even grill marks. It’s reportedly four times more durable than ordinary nonstick surfaces, and it’s free of toxins.

A variable temperature system makes this unit a great deal. While the grill is made from excellent materials, there are reports in panini press reviews that it is does not effectively drain foods. If you’re health conscious, this likely would not be the best option for you. Its size is nice for large families, but for the average person, it may be unnecessarily large.

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2. De’Longhi CGH800 Grill and Panini Press

The De’Longhi CGH800 comes out on top among the best panini presses with variable temperature settings. Its thermostat can be adjusted with the easy turn of a dial, and the gauge allows you to see clearly what setting you’re on. Also suitable for use as a double-sided grill, the model has integrated grease channels for drainage, and it’s available for a lower price than many of the panini presses on the market. The appliance might have earned the top spot if it wasn’t a little challenging to clean.

While you can take out its drip tray for easy emptying, the plates are not removable. Panini press reviews say that they can be hard to wipe clean despite their nonstick coating. The grease tray is also not dishwasher safe, so you’ll be washing everything by hand.

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1. Cuisinart GR-11 Griddler Sandwich Grill and Panini Press

The Cuisinart GR-11 made it to the top of the list of the best panini press for the money. Very easy to use, the model has a traditional handle for getting perfect grill marks, and the dishwasher-safe plates slide out easily for cleaning. What’s really nice about this panini press is that it does an amazing job of grilling sandwiches, but it can also be used flat as a counter top grill or as a classic dual-sided grill for cooking steaks, burgers and other fare.

You get three appliances in one as the name says. The only real drawback to this model is that it only has a single temperature setting. Still, when you consider its low cost, added value and cooking performance, it’s a great choice for occasional, moderate and even frequent use.

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Commonly Asked Questions and Other Requests

So what is the best panini press?

We put together a list of the top 9 we could find, based on user feedback, tech, cost, durability, and a few other minor but important things. Any of the top 10 can be the best, but you’ll need to consider the things that matter to you most. Price, durability, brand history, size, and more.

Top rated panini presses under specific price categories.

Best under 200 dollars?

We picked the Cuisinart GR-300WS Griddler Elite/Panini Press as one to get for under 200 dollars. Build quality is fantastic, along with an easy to use, detailed interface which lets you control things like: temperatures for both plates (two included), and timer.

Not only that, this machine can sear at 500 degree fahrenheit for up to two minutes at a time. Be sure to take a look at this machine if you’re shopping around at this price point.

Best under 100 dollars?

For a more basic machine, we picked the revile BSG520XL Panini Due. This is a non-stick, scratch resistant panini press, heating up using 1500-watts of power. It includes a flat bottom plate and a ribbed top plate for making grill marks. You’ll be able to get those classic black stripe marks in your meats, vegetables, and breads.

There’s nothing technical about it that you won’t under understand. Literally just a red and green light to let you know when its ready and when the power is on. You control the pressure and timing.

Best under 50 dollars?

As for what is the best panini press under 50 dollars, we’re going with Hamilton Beaches 25460A. It costs next to nothing, yet does most of what most other more expensive models do. You get nonstick grids measuring out to 10”x8”.

You can use it in just seconds (once plates reach ideal temperature) and when finished, store it in most compact spaces. Its less than 30 dollar, and will an excellent job at giving you nicely grilled meals.

How to clean a panini press?

If your unit has an anti-stick coating, be sure NOT to scratch the surface.  Make sure the unit is unplugged and cooled down. Start with a damp towel and wipe off any crumbs and oil reside.

Use a sponge with a soft scrubbing surface to scrub away any stubborn food that may be stuck to the grill. Use soapy water to clean off any remaining grease.

***Make sure you work into the groves where grease and food may still linger.

How does a panini press work?

A panini press or griddle, works by compressing food in between two ribbed metal plates, and using heat to thoroughly cook the food. How long the food needs to cook and at what temperature, will usually be selectable.

What are good qualities of a panini press?

Good qualities in a panini press are:

  • Solid build quality and durability of scratch resistant plate coating
  • Multiple grilling options and settings
  • Reasonable price for what you’re getting
  • Dimensions that fit your criteria

A Quick Video On How To Use Our #1 Pick Panini Press