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would you buy a panini press

I had the world's most incredible grilled cheese and veggie sandwich the other day. Obviously made in a panini press.

Is this a worthwhile purchase or is it one of those single use items that will just take up space in a condo kitchen?

Now if you do love your panini press, could you recommend a brand or model to me?

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  1. I was looking at these a few months ago, and, although I can't remember any brands, there were some that were "multi-taskers" - they could flip open and be used as pancake/egg griddles, and some even add waffle type surfaces. I didn't end up buying anything, but there are options if you're willing to investigate.

    1. I have a Delonghi panini grill and we use it constantly. In addition to sandwiches, we will also brush garlic infused olive oil on bread and grill that by itself. It makes great bread sticks and croutons. I would give up many things before I'd give up that grill. AND mine was probabl no more than $40. No need for the $100 ones.

      1. I've definitely given a panini machine as a gift that's still(years later) raved about.
        In my home I use my grill pan w/ my tea kettle sitting on top. Works great.

        1. I have a large (covers two burners) cast iron grill (grill on one side, griddle on the other), and I use it and a heavy cast iron bacon press to make panini sandwiches. I can't afford the space that a stand-alone panini press requires. Besides, I've had some very happy accidents result from my method. An avocado slice fell out of a sandwich I was turning one day, and who knew grilled avocados taste great? Charred grill marks and all. That would never have happened with a panini press!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Caroline1

            I do the same, use the cover from my cast-iron Dutch oven. But I've been wanting one of the multi-use ones for a while (I just love small appliances). Maybe if they go on sale for the holidays.....

          2. I got a Villaware panini press as a gift a couple of years ago and I really love it. I don't use it all that much, but it's a welcome addition to my menagerie of appliances. In addition to sandwiches, I've grilled chicken breasts and pork cutlets.

            BTW, you might want to try the Cookware board as well.

            1 Reply
            1. re: nofunlatte

              I was given a Le Creuset grill pan a few years ago, plus a heavy lid piece that also has the grill marks. Believe it or not, I haven't yet used it, but am thinking about hauling it out this week to try my hand at panini. The good this about the pan and lid version is that without the lid, it's just a standard heavy grill pan. If you're concerned that you won't use a panini maker enough to justify its purchase, at least the grill pan will vastly increase the odds that it will get use, even if not for panini. The fact that I haven't used mine has more to do with the fact that it got buried in a low cupboard with pull-out drawers, than any other reason. A lot of my gadgets easily become out of sight, out of mind ... but that's just me.