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The Best Panini Presses

After testing 76 countertop appliances, we pick our favorites in nine categories, from blenders to espresso makers.

The Winner

Cuisinart Griddler ($130)
Not only turns out a perfect pressed sandwich, with enough heat to melt cheese and warm meat quickly, but also opens up for use as a grill or a griddle. Removable plates make this press the easiest to clean.

Runner-Up

VillaWare Uno ProPress Contact ($80)
Extra-hot plates and a heavy top make thin, crispy panini. The machine comes with a tool for cleaning in between the grooves. Chrome design has a stylish retro look (www.villaware.com).

Honorable Mentions

Krups FDE-3 ($80)
The flexible hinge is ideal for thick sandwiches: The top comes down flat, so fillings don’t get squeezed out. A lock secures the machine for upright storage. The shiny exterior chrome tends to show fingerprints.

GE Panini Grill 169078 ($32)
This machine feels lighter than the others tested. A side knob helps keep the lid open when necessary and closed for easy, upright storage (www.walmart.com).

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