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Panini press -stove top or electric?

Judith Gorman Nov 7, 2011 06:16 AM

I want to purchase a panini press. What do you think of the Le Creuset grill pan and press that is placed over a burner vs an electric press? If the latter - which brand?

Judith G

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  1. Delucacheesemonger RE: Judith Gorman Nov 7, 2011 06:26 AM

    Both my pizzelle maker and panini press are non-electric, both Italian, both work great.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Delucacheesemonger
      dondianno1 RE: Delucacheesemonger Dec 22, 2012 08:19 AM

      my mother had one.
      her's was round. she'd put apples between two slices of bread, put the maker on the stove, and we'd have an apple treat in two minutes. she'd make grilled cheese with it also.
      please tell me where i can buy one. thanking you in advance.
      marilyn genuardi poetmom12@aol.com

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      rasputina RE: Judith Gorman Nov 7, 2011 05:13 PM

      Isn't the Le Creuset one enameled? I love my Le Creuset, but I chose to go with Lodge bare cast iron grill pan and press instead. I really like them. The problem with the electric ones is all the ones I looked at were nonstick and nonstick is not my preferred surface for griddles or grills.

      2 Replies
      1. re: rasputina
        Pietime RE: rasputina Nov 8, 2011 04:30 AM

        I second this! The electric ones are bulky, nonstick, and will eventually wear out. A cast iron grill pan & press will outlast the electric. Season as with any cast iron & clean up is easier. Let us know what you decide on.

        1. re: Pietime
          Monica RE: Pietime Nov 8, 2011 01:14 PM

          I made my panini with Lodge cast iron grill and the press last night..it was excellent.

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        Ninevah RE: Judith Gorman Nov 7, 2011 09:54 PM

        I have one similar to the Cuisinart CR4, same bells and whistles, removable grill plates for flat griddle, can lay flat for a large flat griddle. I also have the Le Creuset grill pan and panini press. I use the electric a whole lot more, it's easier and not a pain to clean up. I can get four sandwiches in at a time as well. I can use it to fry eggs or hash browns as well. Only problem is the huge ammt of space it takes up.

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          escondido123 RE: Judith Gorman Nov 8, 2011 01:04 PM

          I bought a bacon press years ago and have found it to be great for sandwiches and so many other things. It means better browning with chicken breasts, faster browning with mushrooms and onions, of course flat, crispy bacon and I can use it in whatever pan is handy. Also, a lot cheaper than a whole panini maker of either kind.

          5 Replies
          1. re: escondido123
            wyogal RE: escondido123 Nov 8, 2011 01:06 PM

            exactly. That's what I use. CI press on a CI griddle.

            1. re: escondido123
              Robin Joy RE: escondido123 Nov 8, 2011 01:12 PM

              A brick wrapped in tinfoil works for me.

              1. re: escondido123
                rasputina RE: escondido123 Jan 15, 2012 01:59 PM

                I have the grill press with the ridges, but I've considered getting a smooth press for the other uses you mentioned. I'm wondering if you preheat it like you do the one for panini.

                1. re: rasputina
                  escondido123 RE: rasputina Jan 15, 2012 03:47 PM

                  I never even knew about preheating. For me, the press pushes the food down so it makes better contact with the pan for good, even browning. Mine does have slight ridges, but that's mainly to allow the steam to escape so nothing gets wet.

                  1. re: escondido123
                    rasputina RE: escondido123 Jan 15, 2012 05:23 PM

                    Well for the panini press I preheat it so that it basically will toast the top and bottom at the same time.

              2. tim irvine RE: Judith Gorman Jan 16, 2012 06:48 AM

                I use a CI griddle and bacon press. I don't bother to preheat the press. I just flip the panini so that both sides, sprayed with Pam, get nicely crisped lines.

                2 Replies
                1. re: tim irvine
                  wyogal RE: tim irvine Jan 16, 2012 06:52 AM

                  I use the same... I put the bacon press on the griddle when I heat it up. I also flip it. I just use vegetable oil to season the CI, don't like the spray stuff, seems to leave a residue.

                  1. re: wyogal
                    tim irvine RE: wyogal Jan 16, 2012 11:26 AM

                    I spray it on the bread. That way I ont get a lot of oil down in the depressions between ridges.

                2. davidahn RE: Judith Gorman Jan 24, 2012 02:00 AM

                  Judith, thanks for posing this question... I wasn't even aware of the option of a stove-top option. It really appeals to me, the ability to avoid nonstick and also to avoid another electric countertop appliance. (We already have two electric ones, but would love to retire them. :)

                  Question for others: anyone press the bread directly on their built in gas grill in their range/rangetop/cooktop? We're getting a Capital Culinarian 60" with 6 burners and a 24x24" gas grill top. I know just about everyone offers the option of grill/griddle tops on 48" and 60" sizes.

                  1. j
                    jkling17 RE: Judith Gorman Jan 24, 2012 03:23 AM

                    Hi Judith,

                    Cast iron ... all the way. They are "pre-seasoned" but if you give it 4+ more seasoning sessions, 2 in oven and others can just be on the stovetop - then it'll be bulletproof and very carefree.


                    2 Replies
                    1. re: jkling17
                      rebeccajjjj RE: jkling17 May 22, 2012 03:28 PM

                      Cooksillustrated recently did a test kitchen trial and found that using Flax seed oil put on a stronger and faster seasoning than any other oil. I did just two seasonings with Flax oil on my new steel carbon wok and my patina is as dark as if I had had it for years!

                      1. re: rebeccajjjj
                        rasputina RE: rebeccajjjj May 22, 2012 08:11 PM

                        We have a huge thread here from when their claims were originally published. A lot of people participated and in the end it got mixed reviews.

                    2. Stephanie Wong RE: Judith Gorman Jan 25, 2012 07:44 AM

                      I use my good ole black cast iron skillets and just put a smaller cast iron lid directly on the sandwiches, which weights them down for that full contact grilled crusty goodness -- No need for a specialty piece of cookware.

                      By the way, I was given a LC ridged non-stick grill pan years ago; unfortunately, it's one of least used pieces of all my cookware cast iron cookware.

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