Choosing an Amazing Multi-Functional Panini Press
There are many panini presses out there that do so much more than simply help you create delicious hot sandwiches, but with the addition of grills, griddles, and more it can be hard to choose the best appliance. This guide explains the basics of these multi-functional panini press grills so that you can shop with confidence.
When a Press Is More than Just a Press
Believe it or not, pretty much all panini presses can also function as a contact grill, because the ribbed plates are literally grilling each side of the foods you place into it. This is why you may see products listed as panini grills or some other combination of the two, but do not actually offer any additional functionality. True multi-function press grills fold out of the clamshell shape and into a completely flat surface, resembling a traditional electric grill or griddle.
The most common multi-function panini press is going to include a grilling set up, with listings sometimes calling it a “3 in 1” grill or touting three separate cooking modes. Here, the press simply opens up so that the lid of the press becomes a second flat cooking surface. Some models may also include a built-in drip tray to catch any grease, oil, or other liquids that build up during cooking, though this is not standard. In this mode, you will still need to flip your foods so that they receive proper cooking on each side.
More high-end appliances will offer one additional cooking method in the form of a griddle, which is basically a large electric frying pan where the food is cooked on a flat surface. Some models will allow you to remove the grill plates and insert separate smooth griddle plates, while others only require you to flip the grill plates over to access the griddles. In this mode, you can cook foods like eggs, bacon, pancakes, or chopped vegetables for use in your sandwiches or other dishes. However, this type of functionality typically increases the final price of the panini press.
On top of the different modes there are models that continue to include various other features that help to improve the overall cooking experience, such as the reversible plates. Some models that feature both a grill and griddle function allow you to use one of each plate, so that you can actually grill and cook something on the griddle at the same time. Certain high-end models will also allow you to control each section independently, which can become incredibly useful when you are cooking two different types of dishes on the grill and griddle.
Making the Choice
In order to decide what multi-function panini press is best for you, if one is at all, you need to think about the types of foods you want to cook and the frequency with which you will cook them. Buying a panini press with grill and griddle functions can save you from purchasing each of these appliances separately, especially if you are limited on space.