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Any sandwich enthusiast knows that a pressed sandwich is pretty hard to beat—the bread is crispy and toasted, while the interior is warm, and the cheese is ultra melty. Sandwich presses not only warm the entire sandwich, but the gentle pressure that is applied makes for toasted bread and a firm interior. Ever had a Cubano sandwich? This classic sandwich with ham and cheese is probably the most well-known press sandwich, and for good reason.
Whether you’re constantly making sandwiches, or you want a countertop appliance that can also cook burgers, wraps, burritos, quesadillas, bacon, and steaks, a sandwich press is a fun gadget for your home kitchen. Temperature controls allow you to adjust the heat levels and removable plates allow you to use the press for way more than just sandwiches (plus it makes for easy clean up). Here are some of our favorite sandwich presses available now.
Ahead, get our picks for the best sandwich presses on the market.
Best Overall: Cuisinart GR-4N 5-in-1 Griddler
5 griddle surface options
Floating cover can adjust height
Drip tray makes for easy clean up
Who else recommends it? BuzzFeed and The Strategist both picked the Cuisinart 5-in-1 Griddler.
What do buyers say? 92% of 47,700+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.
This Cuisinart griddler is the appliance that every sandwich lover will enjoy. Not only will it take all of your sandwiches to the next level, but it can act as a contact grill, panini press, full grill, full griddle, and half grill/half griddle. The floating cover allows you to adjust the height of the press depending on what you’re cooking.
The griddler is designed with dishwasher-safe nonstick cooking plates that are both reversible and removable, allowing them to easily and efficiently drain grease into the drip tray. The appliance has temperature controls that allow you to tinker with the level of heat for the perfect sear or toast. Because of the numerous ways that you can use this griddler and how simple it is to clean up, we think it’s a great option for sandwich lovers and home cooks alike. Reviewers love that the plates are double-sided, so you can easily switch from grill to griddle.
Size: 13.5 x 11.5 x 7.12 inches
Best Budget: Hamilton Beach Electric Panini Press Grill with Locking Lid
Nonstick grates on both sides
Easy to store
No temperature controls
This deep-pocket sandwich press is different from presses with flat or ridged surfaces since it has wells that the sandwiches fit into. You can cook one or two sandwiches at a time. The raised edges around the perimeter seal the ingredients inside, while a diagonal ridge creates an indent across the sandwiches to divide them for easy slicing.
This press doesn’t have adjustable temperatures and has two indicator lights that show when power is on and when it’s ready to cook. While you can also use this for cooking French toast or omelets, you wouldn’t use this for grilling steaks or chicken. If you build a sandwich that’s too fat, it might not fit in this press, and you’re limited to using traditional sandwich bread from the grocery store. Homemade bread or other shapes might not fit in the wells.
Size: 4.5 x 12.3 x 12.6 inches
“My ideal material for a panini press is cast iron as it retains heat the best and has a very high temperature retention. One key component I always look for in a press is a drip tray. This is very helpful in making sure grease and oil do not get all over the place. When it comes to temperature, I look for markings on the unit to indicate temperature settings and make sure it does not take too long to heat up. I also look for a lid that hinges well for thicker sandwiches.” -Owen Han, TikTok creator
Best Splurge: Breville BSG600BSS Panini Press, Brushed Stainless Steel
Innovative crush control perfectly pressurizes the sandwich without crushing it
Comes to full heat very quickly
Option for open faced sandwiches
No temperature control
If making sandwiches is your most important love language, then maybe you want to go all out and buy the fanciest, nicest press on the market. This might be your go-to. The press is designed with an “Innovative Crush Control” hinge design which applies just enough pressure to toast the exterior of the bread without completely crushing the entire sandwich. There is also a height control that allows you to fluctuate between different levels depending on the size of your sandwich.
The grates are coated with nonstick to ensure everything will peel away from the press after cooking. The press can hold up to two sandwiches at once, however, its modest size also means that it’s quite easy to store and use on your countertop. One reviewer says, “I would recommend this to any sandwich connoisseur.” Even though it’s more expensive than a lot of other models, its unrivaled results make it a worthwhile splurge.
Size: 12.5 x 5 x 11.5 inches
Best Nonstick: Chefman Electric Panini Press Grill
Nonstick surface is easy to use and clean
No temperature control
Nobody wants to worry about leaving behind crusted on bits of food to their appliances which is exactly why this nonstick griddle is ideal for all of your sandwich needs. No need to worry about cleaning up because the nonstick coating is super low maintenance and easy to wash. The floating hinge is able to adjust to any sized sandwich. It’s super compact which means it’s easy to store, transport, and great for smaller living spaces, like RVs or college dorms.
This press is also designed with skid-resistant feet that tilt-up, allowing any excess grease to drip off safely and easily. You can even opt to oven the grill completely and use both sides for open-face cooking—ideal for BBQs and larger get-togethers.
Size: 13 x 10 x 4 inches (available in 2 or 4 slice)
Best for Easy Cleaning: De'Longhi CGH800 Retro Contact Grill
Grease/oil cup is ideal to collect any drippings without making a mess
Nonstick grates are easy to use and clean
Thermostat for temperature control
No floating hinge to adjust to height differences
No on/off switch
Cleaning your sandwich press doesn’t need to be a hassle, and this press is designed to make clean-up quick and painless. The grill comes with an oil cup that you can position at the bottom of the drain spout so that as grease builds up, it can drip away into the cup without making a huge mess. The slightly tilted grill lets gravity do the work with the excess grease. The adjustable thermostat allows you to have full control of the temperature of your grill. The reviewers are impressed with the longevity and consistency of this press, though some note that it is annoying that there is no on/off switch, so it’s on when it’s plugged in always.
Size: 14.8 x 14.1 x 6 inches
Best Cast Iron Press: Bellemain Cast Iron Grill Press
Small and easy to transport/store
No power source
If you’re looking for a cast iron sandwich press, your best bet is this heavy-duty press. Most sandwich presses are equipped with nonstick grates, however, if you prefer the high heat capabilities and durability of well-seasoned cast iron, then this press will be a welcome addition to your kitchen. It does not have a power source, so you’ll need to heat it over the grill in order for it to carry some heat.
It weighs three pounds (with equalized weight distribution) which means that it can apply a good deal of pressure to whatever it is that you’re cooking on the grill or on the stovetop. The all-cool wooden handle is not only stylish, but it stays cool to the touch during cooking. You can use this press for everything from sandwiches to burgers to bacon.
Size: 8.5 x 8.5 x 3.25 inches
Best Accessory Kit: Yedi Total Package 6-in-1 Digital Grill Total Package 6-in-1 Digital Grill
Includes egg rings, tongs, and spatula
Can be used as a griddle, grill, waffle maker, or panini press
Includes temperature control
For a sandwich press that boasts all the fun accessories, this one comes with it all. The grill functions as a contact grill, waffle maker, panini press, full grill, full griddle, half grill/half griddle with a temperature gauge that ranges from 175-450 degrees Fahrenheit. You can even opt to control the top and bottom temperatures separately. The built-in dish tray is easy to remove, and it’s dishwasher safe, making clean-up so easy. Your purchase also includes two egg rings (for fried eggs, hash browns, or pancakes), tongs, and a spatula to ensure that you’ll have plenty of fun cooking tasks with this press. Comparatively speaking, this grill is on the larger side, so make sure that you have enough counter and storage space. Because of its larger size, it has more surface area so it's great for larger parties.
Size: 16.9 x 9 x 16.7 inches
Best Breakfast Sandwich Press: Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker
Available in multiple colors
Small and compact
Nonstick and dishwasher safe
Slight egg leakage issues reported
Every breakfast lover needs this specific sandwich press in their life. Designed for the ultimate breakfast sandwich-making experience, you can use this one single appliance to prepare your preferred bread, meat, and cheese for your ideal breakfast sandwich. All of the parts are removable, nonstick, and dishwasher safe, so cleaning up is just as easy as preparing the sandwich.
Users absolutely adore this appliance because they can have breakfast on the table super quickly and it’s always cooked to perfection. It’s great for someone who is too busy to cook or doesn’t like cooking because it’s so incredibly easy to use when you’re hungry for breakfast in the morning. Some users note that sometimes the egg can leak a bit, but it’s just a matter of getting acquainted with using the appliance.
Size: 7.3 x 6.3 x 5.6 inches
What to Look For in Sandwich Presses
Size and capacity
One of the most important things to consider is the size of the press. The larger the appliance, the more room you’ll have to make sandwiches and wraps, though it will come at the price of counter space and storage space. If you find yourself cooking for large groups of people, it may be in your best interest to go for something with more surface area. Keep in mind that it’s easier to squeeze more into a rectangular-shaped press as opposed to a circular press.
While most sandwich presses require access to an outlet, some presses do not come with a source of power. Instead, you’ll need to heat it up in a microwave, oven, or even a campfire and then use the warmed appliance to press your sandwich. These powerless models are better for smaller spaces like a college dorm or RVs.
Additional parts and surfaces
Some sandwich presses come with multiple removable surfaces so that they’re easy to clean. They also allow you to switch between grilling, griddling, and other cooking surfaces. This way, you not only can make pressed sandwiches, but you can also fry eggs and bacon and toast bagels and muffins. Says Owen Han, “this isn’t a must-have, but if the grills can be removed it’s a plus since they can go in the dishwasher.” Keep in mind that some presses allow you to slightly tilt your cooking surface, which is ideal if you're cooking steaks or bacon so that the grease can safely drip away from the food.
Some presses don’t have any sort of panel whereas others boast an LCD display so that you can toggle with temperature, timers, tilt/height levels, and specific cooking modes. Of course, if you just want a basic sandwich press solely for pressing sandwiches, all of these added features may be excessive, but if you really plan to use this appliance for sandwiches and beyond, these added control functions could be extremely useful. Of course, these added bells and whistles will make for a more costly appliance.
How do you clean a sandwich press?
Before cleaning a sandwich press, make sure that it’s unplugged and that it has fully cooled down from cooking. Taking a clean rag or sponge and wet with warm, soapy water. Gently wipe the surface and the body of the press. If there are any grooves in the board, make sure to get into those nooks and crannies to remove any residual grease.
What is a pressed sandwich?
A pressed sandwich is any sandwich that is warmed, and a sandwich press is used to apply pressure and gently press the contents of the sandwich close together. This toasts the bread and warms the components of the sandwich for a hot, cheesy meal. While you can get creative and use household items like heavy pans or bricks to make a pressed sandwich, it’s much easier and convenient to use a sandwich press.
What else can you use a sandwich press for?
Sandwich presses typically are two grooved, nonstick surfaces, so you can also use them to cook things like bacon, burgers, chicken, veggies, or anything else that you might put on a grill grate. You can press hash browns, burritos, wraps, quesadillas, or even make homemade waffle cones.
How hot does a sandwich press get?
Sandwich presses typically hover around 350 F to 500 F, anything cooler will not achieve a good enough sear, and anything hotter could cause smoking.
10 Best Panini Presses To Upgrade Your Sandwich Game. BuzzFeed. https://www.buzzfeed.com/brittany_gibson/panini-press
6 Best Panini Presses 2022. The Strategist. https://nymag.com/strategist/article/best-panini-press.html