Sandwich grills, or panini grills (as they are commonly called) are becoming one of the most favorite and versatile kitchen appliances. As the name implies they are used for grilling or toasting sandwiches. Because they have dual heating elements, they grill your sandwich or panini evenly on both sides. Most models will accommodate grilling two sandwiches at the same time.
Panini sandwiches are known for their toasty texture, melted cheeses and fresh ingredients that are heated all the way through – the ultimate in healthy comfort food. While you can prepare grilled sandwiches on virtually any breads, traditional Italian panini sandwiches are prepared using a hearty Ciabatta or herbed Foccacia bread.
Common ingredients in the panini sandwich are meats including anything from salami and pepperoni to more traditional meats like turkey or chicken. Also common are grilled vegetables such as eggplant, roasted peppers and grilled asparagus. And of course no grilled sandwich would be complete without gooey melted cheese to top it off. Traditional Italian cheeses such as mozzarella or provolone are popular as are more conventional cheeses like American or cheddar. Garnish the sandwich with some leafy greens like romaine lettuce and you’ll have the perfect toasted sandwich. The key to an amazing panini is to have the right combination of the freshest ingredients.
Using a panini press is simple. Just plug it in let it heat up while you are constructing your sandwich. Once the appliance is up to temperature, simply place the sandwich on the non-stick cooking surface, close the lid and within a few minutes your panini will be ready to enjoy. As far as cookware goes it doesn’t get any simpler than this kitchen appliance. Most units will store easily below your counter or in your kitchen pantry when not in use.
Buying Tips – What to Look For
Sandwich grills come in many different styles and price ranges. When shopping for your panini press, there are a few features that are must haves. The first is the non-stick grilling surface. This is very important so that your sandwich does not stick to the cooking surface and for ease of clean up. Next you’ll want to make sure that the unit has temperature controls so you’ll be able to control the surface for more delicate grilling of fish or a lighter white breaded sandwich. Of course, as with any kitchen appliance you’ll want to read customer reviews and make sure that the sandwich grill has a good manufacturer’s warranty.
Popular Sandwich Grill Manufacturers
Among the most popular manufacturers and models are the Cuisinart Griddler, George Forman, Breville Indoor Grill, DeLonghi, Retro Panini Grill, Hamilton Beach Gourmet Panini Press, Krups Panini Maker, Hamilton Beach and Wolfgang Puck Tri-Grill Panini Maker.