Budget Buying Tips for Panini Presses
In case you thought a home panini press was only a luxury for the rich and famous, you’re in luck because they are actually much more affordable than you think. Read below to learn some of the best tips to finding an amazing panini press while sticking to any kind of budget.
Aim for Lower Temperatures
This is an easy way to keep the final price more reasonable, because most high-end panini presses support some very high temperatures. Since most sandwiches don’t require an excessive amount of heat, you can skip anything that offers you toasting ranges over 400 degrees. In fact, many of the more affordable presses ditch temperature ratings completely and instead give you easy-to-read quick settings. Check for a temperature preset slider on the side of the press, or a quick set dial on the front to find out its temperature settings and ranges.
Keep It Simple
When you really start looking into all of the different panini presses on the market, you’re going to discover that most of them do more than just make paninis. While it can be nice to have a panini press that also converts into a grill or griddle, it’s going to carry a hefty price increase as a result. So, if you want to stick to your budget, look for presses that are just presses and nothing more. Note that some models may also be called grills because a panini press is technically a contact grill. You should avoid the models that fold out flat to become a grill.
Stick with Non-Stick Coatings
The two most common types of materials you’re going to see on panini press plates are cast iron (which can get pricey) and non-stick coatings (which are much more affordable). While cast iron definitely has its benefits, you can absolutely accomplish all of your sandwich pressing needs with the non-stick coating. Just remember that non-stick is more prone to scratches than other materials.
Avoid Stainless Steel
This is true with pretty much all appliances, as stainless steel exteriors almost always mean a more expensive product. There are a lot of budget-friendly panini presses out there that have plastic exteriors, which still include the same basic functionality of their stainless steel counterparts. The great news is that many of the plastic exterior models are able to achieve a classy, sophisticated look due to advancements in plastic molding technology, so it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to be stuck with a less attractive appliance as a result.
The Final Call
In the end, making the final decision about the right panini press for you comes down to your own personal needs and preferences. Sometimes features like reversible griddle plates or a stainless steel exterior might just be more important to you than finding the absolutely cheapest model, and that’s absolutely okay. After all, you’re going to be the one using the press, so you should definitely feel comfortable with it in your home.