The 10 Best Panini Presses to Buy in 2021, According to Customer Reviews
Who doesn't love a great panini? These warm, crispy bits of sandwich heaven are the perfect option for just about any meal, and they can be made with an endless combination of ingredients, from the classic turkey and swiss to more adventurous creations like bacon, strawberries, and brie.
What's even better, you don't have to make your way to a gourmet sandwich shop to score a quality panini. They're actually quite easy to make at home—especially with a high-quality panini press. We know what you might be thinking: Can't I just make a panini in my toaster oven? Technically, yes. But a panini press is a fantastic kitchen tool if you're looking to elevate your ordinary sandwiches with beautiful grill marks, perfectly melted cheese, and a crispier crust. In short, buying a panini press offers you a way to instantly upgrade anything in between two slices of bread. Plus, panini presses aren't limited to just sandwiches. You can use a panini press as a quick way to grill bacon, make crispy hashbrowns, or even whip up a breakfast omelet.
These are the 10 best panini presses you can buy right now:
- Best Overall: Cuisinart Electric Griddler
- Best for Hearty Sandwiches: Breville Panini Duo
- Best Space-Saving: Brentwood Compact Dual Sandwich Maker
- Best for the Home: Hamilton Beach Electric Panini Press
- Best for Restaurants: Waring Commercial Compact Italian-Style Panini Grill
- Best with Ceramic Plates: George Foreman GRP4842P Multi-Plate Evolve Grill
- Best Cast Iron Press: Staub Enameled Cast Iron Grill Pan & Press
- Best Value: Maxi-Matic Elite Platinum EPN-2976 Electric Panini Press
- Best with Removable Plates: Hamilton Beach 4-in-1 Indoor Grill & Electric Griddle
- Best with Temperature Control: Ovente 4 Slice Electric Indoor Panini Press Grill
If you're ready to step up your sandwich game, we found the best panini presses to help in just about any situation. From a space-saving solution to a five-in-one cooking companion, all our picks are effective, easy to use, and inundated with impressive customer reviews.
Best Overall: Cuisinart Electric Griddler
With its sleek stainless steel exterior, the Cuisinart Electric Griddler ranks high in just about every "best of" list on the internet—and with good reason. Not only will its contemporary design fit into any style kitchen, but this gorgeous gadget, which has thousands of five-star ratings, is actually five appliances in one: a panini press, contact grill, full grill, full griddle, and half grill/half griddle. The panini press option features an adjustable height to accommodate various thicknesses of bread, while the grill and griddle can be used to cook burgers, chicken, vegetables, and quesadillas with a simple flip of the reversible cooking plates. Plus the easy-to-read LED screen displays the setting, temperature, and timer, so there's never any second-guessing. According to an Amazon shopper, it "cooks perfectly and leaves awesome grill marks," plus it has an "excellent design, down to the drip tray" and is "super easy to clean."
To buy: $100; amazon.com
Best for Hearty Sandwiches: Breville Panini Duo
For those of the "bigger is better" school of thought, consider the Breville Panini Duo, which allows you to make two sandwiches—or one generously packed panini—with the press of a lever. Customers love the adjustable thickness level, which can accommodate even the heartiest slice of artisan bread, as well as the options of both flat and ridged grill plates for those days where grill marks are a must. Plus, the quick-heating nonstick surface prevents sandwiches from sticking to your panini press and falling apart. No wonder why it has a 4.7-star rating. One happy customer said, "I have wanted a panini press for a couple of years. I'm so glad I bought this one. It is so easy to use! Cleans up fast." They also mentioned how easy it is to store: "I love how it will stand upright when not in use."
To buy: $70 (originally $110); wayfair.com
Best Space-Saving: Brentwood Compact Dual Sandwich Maker
If you're a city dweller or college student living the dorm room life, kitchen space isn't probably something you have much of. But that doesn't mean you have to give up on your panini-making dreams. The solution: the Brentwood Compact Dual Sandwich Maker. This convenient little appliance—priced at under $20—makes delicious paninis in minutes without sacrificing precious kitchen counter real estate. Measuring a modest 9.7 inches wide and 4.3 inches deep, this little guy easily slips into a drawer when not in use and makes the perfect grilled cheeses "in five minutes or less," according to reviewers. One Amazon shopper wrote: "It is efficient and roasts the bread not too light, not too brown or black. That resulted in a great taste for sandwiches."
To buy: $16 (originally $21); amazon.com
Best for the Home: Hamilton Beach Electric Panini Press
Whip up savory sandwiches, quesadillas, sweet fruit turnovers, and more in the easy-to-use Hamilton Beach Electric Panini Press. Featuring nonstick top and bottom plates and a floating lid for even heat distribution, you'll get perfectly toasted sandwiches every time. The top lid also extends open 180 degrees for easy grilled pizzas and open-faced sandwiches. One Amazon buyer called this an "excellent little grill," writing, "This one is nice because there aren't a lot of settings to worry about. Just turn it on, watch for the light, and you're ready to throw your sandwich on there."
To buy: $31 (originally $40); amazon.com
Best for Restaurants: Waring Commercial Compact Italian-Style Panini Grill
Whether you're a pro chef or simply like to invest in commercial-quality kitchen gear, the Italian-style Waring Commercial Panini Grill is sure to impress. With 208 volts of power and brushed stainless steel construction, this powerful appliance makes everything from paninis and other hearty sandwiches to grilled meats and vegetables with the help of strong cast iron plates that provide even heat distribution and fast cooking times. There's also a removable drip tray to catch any messes. One satisfied customer said, "This beast doesn't mess around. Super heavy and industrial. Looks like it'll last a lifetime."
To buy: $477; amazon.com
Best with Ceramic Plates: George Foreman GRP4842P Multi-Plate Evolve Grill
There's a lot to love about cooking on ceramic. For one, ceramic cookware goes the extra mile when it comes to being nonstick, so there's never a need to cook with extra fat or oil. Ceramic is also non-reactive, which means you never have to worry about funky chemical additives sneaking into your food. Besides offering a ceramic plate, the George Forman GRP4842P Multi-Plate Evolve Grill ranks high among customers for its floating hinge system (great for thicker sandwiches), digital control panel, removable dishwasher-safe plates, and sear feature for a restaurant-quality panini. Plus, it's earned a 4.5-star rating on Amazon. One shopper praised the adjustable tilt for drainage, while another five-star reviewer raved about how easy it makes cooking. They shared: "The ceramic coated grill plates are easy to cook with and clean up… The timer and temperature control allows you to really cook the food your way."
To buy: $96 (originally $120); amazon.com
Best Cast Iron Press: Staub Enameled Cast Iron Grill Pan & Press
If you fancy paninis with beautifully deep grill marks, you'll want to consider this option by Lodge. Made of classic cast iron, it features heavy ridges to achieve those perfect grill marks on sandwiches, burgers, and steaks. Plus, cast iron offers the added benefit of even heat retention and distribution, so everything you make will be deliciously uniform. This rust-proof and chip-resistant option is pre-seasoned and has a convenient side spout for easy drainage. And it comes in five smart colors that will match any kitchen aesthetic. One reviewer said, "So many foods to grill in this pan and use the press set for some and not for others. Love using it for salmon and turkey burgers, seared fish of all kinds, scallops, and grilled sandwiches. It's nice to have the grill lines on foods, even though they are cooked inside. It gives the feeling of outdoor grilling and warm sunny days."
If you're not in the market for a new skillet, you can purchase this top-rated press from Lodge to get your paninis and grilled cheeses perfectly pressed at a fraction of the cost. It's got more than 4,000 five-star ratings on Amazon, comes pre-seasoned, and has a spiraled cool-grip for added safety.
To buy: $393; williams-sonoma.com
Best Value: Maxi-Matic Elite Platinum EPN-2976 Electric Panini Press
The possibilities are truly endless with the Maxi-Matic Elite Platinum EPN-2976 Electric Panini Press. Not only does this multipurpose appliance come with an affordable $30 price tag, but the highly-rated model also doubles as a portable countertop grill thanks to its 180-degree opening design. It has a floating hinge, so it's big sandwich-friendly and has a discreet grease tray for easy cleanup. According to its five-star reviewers, the non-stick plates heat up fast and can handle the messiest of creations, and the model's adjustable feet make removing excess oil easy. One Amazon shopper shared: "It's the best compact grill ever super cute and fits well almost anywhere."
To buy: $30 (originally $33); amazon.com
Best with Removable Plates: Hamilton Beach 4-in-1 Indoor Grill & Electric Griddle
The Hamilton Beach 4-in-1 Indoor Grill & Electric Griddle is an Amazon-choice electric panini press, and for good reason. The four-in-one appliance has three interchangeable non-stick plates that allow you to effortlessly switch it from grill to griddle depending on what's on the menu—paninis, burgers, pancakes, you name it! Plus, you can control the temperature, and the griddle can be opened flat for a full grilling experience or used to cook bacon with a special splatter-proof plate. Reviewers love the flexibility that it brings to their favorite recipes and shared that it's easy to clean thanks to its tilting design and dishwasher-safe plates. One Amazon shopper highlighted: "It's very versatile [and there's] no smoke [or] splatter for things you would cook in a frying pan. Cleaning is so easy, just pop it out and pop it back in."
To buy: $62 (originally $65); amazon.com
Best with Temperature Control: Ovente 4 Slice Electric Indoor Panini Press Grill
If customization is a key factor for you, you'll want a high-tech panini press like the Ovente 4 Slice Electric Indoor Panini Press Grill in your kitchen. It's equipped with a digital control panel that gives you full power over the temperature setting to ensure that your panini is heated to your liking. It's also got a built-in timer setting for added convenience. Reviewers love its cafe-styled floating lid and spacious, dual-plate design, which can fit four sandwiches at once—no matter how thick they are—and creates the perfect grill marks. One Amazon shopper shared that it "heats up quickly, is easy to clean, and works really well on various breads." Another reviewer commented: "I like the fact that the pressure is evenly distributed throughout the entire surface of the panini."
To buy: $49; amazon.com