7 Best Panini Presses – Top Picks and Reviews for 2017

Last updated: 9th November 2017

Looking for the best Panini Press? Read our in-depth panini press reviews, comparison charts and top picks for 2017 to help you make the right buying decision.

Are you shopping for a panini press to join your growing collection of kitchen gadgets and gizmos? We’ve hunted through the wide variety of units available on the market that are only griddled but there is a difference between panini press and electric griddles and found a press that will toast your sandwich to perfection, is easy to clean, offers additional cooking perks, and will meet your budget.

Best Panini Press for Professional Kitchens

DeLonghi America CGH1030D Livenza:  If you’re looking for a game-changing countertop appliance for your restaurant the Livenza is just the ideal pick. The large cooking surface teamed up with the temperature control, timer and multiple modes make cooking faster (so you can roll out the sandwiches, waffles etc. in quick time).

Breville BSG520XL Panini Duo: For the sandwich shop looking for a budget-friendly unit with professional quality durability, the Breville BSG520XL Panini Duo will sear as many panini sandwiches as you can make without its heating element giving up the ghost.

Best Panini Press for Home Use

Breville BGR820XL Smart Grill: The panini press that offers the most bang for the bucks for any home cook is the Breville BGR820XL Smart Grill. It comes with multiple cooking modes and a simple operation (perfect for the beginner home chefs).

Cuisinart GR-4N 5-in-1 Griddler: If you are shopping on a budget, check out the Cuisinart GR-4N Griddler that can save you a hundred dollars while still delivering a quality press with 5 cooking modes and an easy clean job post any cook.

5 Best Panini Press Reviews for 2017

 

  
 
Cooking Modes
Best Feature
Budget
Rating
Cooking Modes : 7 Cooking Modes
Best Feature : Embedded Heating Elements
Budget : Premium
Rating: 4.9/5
Cooking Modes : BBQ & Panini Mode
Best Feature : Element IQ cooks faster
Budget : Premium
Rating: 4.7/5
Cooking Modes : 5-in-1 Panini Press
Best Feature : Removable/Reversible Plates
Budget : Budget
Rating: 4.5/5
Cooking Modes : 6 Cooking Modes
Best Feature : Dual Zone Temperature
Budget : Premium
Rating: 4.5/5
Cooking Modes : 3-in-1 Panini Press
Best Feature : 500 Searing Burst
Budget : Mid-Range
Rating: 4.2/5

In-Depth Panini Press Reviews

For a complete rundown of the top seven recommended panini presses, check out our detailed reviews in the section below and happy toasting!

#1 Pick: DeLonghi America CGH1030D Livenza, Grill, Griddle and Waffle Maker

If you’re looking for a panini press with the top of the line features without any budget constraints, the DeLonghi America CGH1030D is just the ideal pick. In short, it’s the one-stop solution for all your grill cravings. Why so? Here’s why we love this panini press (and you’ll too).

DeLonghi America CGH1030D Livenza

Not your ordinary panini press

The Livenza comes packed with functions and can be used as a contact grill & panini press, open full grill, electric griddle, half grill half griddle, waffle maker and also features an oven broiler mode.

So whether you want to begin your Sunday mornings with the perfectly fluffed up pancakes or waffles, or want a grilled steak for lunch or simply crave a grilled cheese sandwich, this panini press handles it all like a pro.

Secondly, with the floating hinge, you can load up your sandwiches and burgers with all the fillings and extra veggies you so love without the risk of spills.

It’s quick yet efficient

The embedded heating elements teamed with the cast iron cooking plate provide even heat throughout the surface ensuring a fast cook that’s full of flavor and perfectly seared or grilled.

The dual cooking surfaces allow you to cook multiple dishes at one time while heat for the plates can be adjusted using the dual knobs.

The panini press also boasts of a 14.5 x 9 inches of cooking space (doubles to 18in when opened) making it the perfect countertop appliance for any restaurant or café (quick and well-cooked food, that’s what every customer loves).

Other features

The large LCD display is bright and clear making tracking temperature, cooking time etc. easy.

The drip tray collects excess oil making your cooks healthy and cleaning the press a breeze.

Further, the removable plates are dishwasher safe (so no more scrubbing and rinsing for hours after a long cook).

Pros

  • Unmatched versatility as it comes with 7 cooking modes
  • Floating hinge to fit in all kinds of foods
  • Removable plates are dishwasher safe
  • Large cooking surface.

Cons

  • It’s expensive

#2 Pick: Breville BGR820XL Smart Grill

When Breville designed the BGR820 XL it seems to focus mainly on 2 important factors any user seeks in a panini press i.e. quick cooking and simple operation. Here’s more in detail about the features that help achieve this.

Breville BGR820XL Smart Grill

It’s smart, really smart

The standout feature of the BGR820 XL is the Element IQ technology. Confused?

Unlike with other presses, with the BGR820 placing cold food on the plate doesn’t result in temperature drop.

The Element IQ senses any temperature drop which with the help of the 1800 watts embedded heating elements raises the temperature back up within a minute.

Thus reducing cooking time without compromising on flavor or finish (after all, foods got to be pretty looking as well, right?)

A mode for everything

To further ease and fasten the cooking process the press comes with 2 cooking modes, the Panini Mode and the Barbecue Mode.

The Panini mode helps get the perfect ribbed look and crunch you’d expect in panini which is achieved with the help of the ridged top and 6 adjustable height settings (so sandwich size is never an issue).

With the Barbecue Mode, you can get the perfect charring on the meat and veggies without losing any of the tenderness or flavors as the grill opens flat.

Secondly, this way you get dual cooking surfaces allowing you to cook multiple dishes in one go without having the flavors mixed up.

Simple Operation and cleaning

The removable plates are dishwasher safe and drip tray ensures healthy eating by getting rid of the excess oil in turn also making cleaning easy so the dreaded after cook cleaning process is well taken care of.

Secondly, the timer and temperature dial eliminate guesswork. Temperature can vary from 320F to 450F and can also be viewed in Celsius if needed using the conversion button.

Lastly, with the LCD display screen provides all the required info such temperature, timer settings etc. so you never lose track of the cook.

Pros

  • Element IQ technology allows faster cooks
  • 6 adjustable height settings
  • Removable plates are dishwasher safe
  • Comes with 6 different cooking modes

Cons

  • Small LCD display
  • Package includes only one grill and one griddle plate

#3 Pick: Cuisinart GR-4N 5-in-1 Griddler (Best Value For Money)

Need a panini press on a tight budget? For a panini press costing less than $100. The Cuisinart is bound to leave you in awe of its amazing features and build quality, unlike other cheap presses.

Cuisinart GR-4N 5-in-1 Griddler

The 5-in-1 press

Like the name suggests the GR-4N is a 5-in-1 panini press and can be used as a contact grill, panini press, full grill/griddle, and half grill/griddle.

This means you can cook anything varying from French toast to eggs for an on the go yet healthy breakfast to even grilled chicken or steaks for lunch/dinner to simple sandwiches for the snack time.

Also, with the adjustable hinge top, you can also prep burgers and filled sandwiches of any sizes without it getting all mushy or spilling out.

Easy Clean-up

Yes, there’s no scrubbing using one of those awkward brush tools. Just pop out the grill plates and toss them in the dishwasher.

Secondly, with the drip tray, it is easier to get rid of the excess oil which makes your food healthy and the cleaning process simpler.

Cons but not deal breakers

Remember, this is not the premium unit, even if it looks like it. The GR-4N will not stand up to the same abuse you are able to churn out on the more expensive model.

Also, the cooking space is comparatively smaller thus limiting its use only to nuclear families

Lastly, it lacks a timer and thus requires you to keep a close eye on the cook at all times to ensure you don’t overcook your meat or veggies.

Pros

  • Low Cost makes it the ideal budget buy
  • Plates are dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning
  • 5 cooking functions make it a versatile unit
  • The adjustable hinge allows cooking of burgers, filled sandwiches etc.

Cons

  • Lacks durability thus lasts for only 2-3 years
  • Small cooking space
  • Does not have a timer so keep a close eye when cooking

#4 Pick: Cuisinart GR-300WS Griddler Elite Grill

The number 4 item on our panini press parade is the Cuisinart GR-300WS for all the extras that it provides above and beyond a one-step press that will just clutter up your counter.

While you are paying more than double the price compared to some budget models, the quality of the construction and versatility handsomely pay off on the investment.

Cuisinart GR-300WS Griddler Elite Grill

More Than a Panini Press

The Griddler comes with removable heating plates that are flat on one side and ribbed on the other. Use it to make pancakes, quesadillas, french toast or even grill a steak.

Of course, its floating hinged lid will toast and flatten your panini to perfection, but you’ll be reaching for it to do so much more.

Is Able to Open Flat

The hinge can be unlocked and the unit opens up flat, doubling your cooking surface when grilling burgers.

Grease drains off and collected in a dishwasher-safe cup that stores underneath.

Pop out the plates, run them through the dishwasher, and you’re ready to try something else.

The handy recipe booklet offers up a bunch of tasty treats for you to try.

Set Your Temperature

Many sandwich makers and presses simply have an on/off button. Set each side of the Griddler to your preferred temperature.

Sear on one side while lightly toast on the other. Indicator lights let you know when the griddle is hot enough to turn out pancakes golden brown and fluffy.

Pros

  • Six cooking configurations for versatile use
  • Griddle plates are removable, reversible, and dishwasher safe
  • Sears up to 500F
  • Two temperature controls

Cons

  • Does not have waffle plates and other Cuisinart waffle plates don’t fit
  • Browns unevenly due to single loop heating element

#5 Pick: George Foreman GRP4842P Multi-Plate Evolve Grill

George Foreman is one of the leading brands when it comes to grills and griddles and leaving it out just won’t be right.

But this isn’t just about a brand, the GRP4842 is worth a mention because of its amazing features and affordable prices making it one of the best George Foreman grills in the market. Read in detail about it below.

George Foreman GRP4842P

Great Functionality

Do your kids love waffles with chocolate oozing over it? Does your husband love to have grilled chicken for dinner?

Well, With the 3-in-1 functionality the grill acts as a panini press, waffle maker and also a griller thus being the perfect all one solution to your cooking needs.

Secondly, with the 500 sear burst feature, you’ll always get 5-star quality grilled food right at your dinner table.

Convenient to use

The removable plates are dishwasher safe thus saving you time otherwise spent scrubbing.

Also, the advanced non-stick ceramic coating means you’ll need less oil or butter making food healthier and clean up easy.

Lastly, the digital control panel helps you keep track of the temperature and cooking time. Temperature can be adjusted between 325-400 in seconds using the buttons provided.

Pros

  • 3 cooking options make the press a versatile choice
  • 500 Sear burst
  • Removable dishwasher-safe plates
  • Non-Ceramic coating means easy cleanup and healthy cooking

Cons

  • Small cooking area
  • Needs additional time to cool down post a cook
  • Small display screen

#6 Pick: Breville BSG520XL Panini Duo, 1500-Watt Nonstick Panini Press

When you’re looking for a superior dedicated panini press, Breville Panini Duo delivers in style. Professional quality is packed into the moderately priced unit for perfectly toasted treats time after time.

Breville BSG520XL Panini Duo

Powerful Heating Element

Its 1500 watt heating element reaches toasting temperature in short order and can withstand hours of use.

When you are the toasting master for large house parties, this is a professional grade model that won’t give up after a couple servings.

Cheese and bread will melt and toast is just a minute or two for fast and fat-free cooking. The stainless steel finish matches the high-end finish of your kitchen.

Grill and Griddle Plates Heat Evenly

The top plate is ribbed to create the classic grill marks on your sandwich while the bottom plate is a flat griddle.

The flat plate delivers higher temperature and even heat to your panini, for melty, toasty goodness in a fast and convenient appliance.

Your budding chef will always get the crispy finish to their warm sandwich creation they want.

Adjustable Durable Lid

The floating hinge on many presses is often the part that fails first.

The Breville opted for four adjustable heights on the lid, to allow for extra-thick panini while increasing the durability of their product. Switching between thin and thick just takes a twist of a knob.

Pros

  • One flat and one ribbed plate provides superior even heating while still giving you grill marks
  • 1500w element delivers a sear worthy heat
  • Professional quality construction will stand up to years of abuse

Cons

  • Plates are not removable
  • Higher price
  • Four settings for hinge height instead of floating lid
  • Lacks temperature control and timer

#7 Pick: Cuisinart GR-1 Griddler Panini and Sandwich Press

When Cuisinart crafted the GR-1 Griddler, they wanted those looking for their 3-in-1 grills but trying to avoid a high price tag to grab up this moderately priced unit.

Unfortunately, while it bears the Cuisinart and Griddler names, it is truly only a panini press. Which if you want perfectly toasted sandwiches, you’ve come to the right place.

Cuisinart GR-1 Griddler

Quality Construction

Cuisinart certainly didn’t skimp on the details as the GR-1 has the heavy-duty look and feel of the more expensive units.

You’ll be able to rely on this press for years to come while cooking up to four sandwiches at a time on its large grilling plates.

Only a Panini Press

That being said, the plates are not removable. This one doesn’t have an unlocking hinge for double the room to turn it into a griddle.

The temperature is pre-set, so it’s really only on or off–you won’t be searing your steaks on this unit. And you pay as much or more for this unit as the GR-11 Griddler Grill.

Pros

  • Cooks panini to perfection
  • Floating hinge adjusts for any thickness sandwich
  • Indicator lights and recipe book help you make the most of the unit

Cons

  • Grill plates are not removable
  • No temperature setting
  • Higher price considering features offered

 

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