Instructions for Stove-Top Panini Press
I recently purchased one of those Bialetti 2-piece multi-purpose grill + panini presses and, of course, there were no instructions enclosed. No matter, I would have canvassed my fellow Chowhounders anyway, since people's direct experiences count for a lot, in my book.
I intend to make panini, naturally, but may also try my hand a stove-top grilling, i.e. steaks, chops, etc.
Anybody out there use one of these things successfully? What were your method(s)? I'm looking for good tips on temperature, timing, best breads, etc. etc.
I've got a regular electric stove, by the way.
Thank you in advance. YY.
Probably whatever your instinct is telling you is correct. For panini I usually use a medium or low-medium heat so that the bread does not toast too quickly leaving the inside cool. I usually cover the press with foil to make it easier to clean up. I haven't used a press for grilling...doesn't seem like a good idea, although there's probably some variations on the spatchcock/brick chicken that might work.
As for breads...heartier breads work better. I've had white breads and soft rye pretty much disintegrate on me. Thicker slices help out as well.
I always forget to do this, but I suspect that pre-heating the lid with the pan might be a good thing to do.
I use the ridged side of my griddle and a bacon press, which is probably not that different. I like using sourdough, I spray the sandwich very lightly with a nonstick spray and put it on the grill on a lowish heat. When it is brown I flip it, making sure it is nice and hot all the way through. I just brush it off when I am done. Steaks and chops require more clean up but are delicious. For them I use a much higher heat and no spray (and no press unless it is something really thick).