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Jan 22, 2013 06:52 AM

How to Use a Cast Iron Panini Press

I have a cast iron grill pan and am thinking about getting cast iron panini press to go with it. I haven't been able to find information on how the presses work. Is it as simple as heating the press on a separate burner and then putting it on top of the food to be cooked?

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  1. The press is heated on a separate burner and then put on top, just as you thought - or that is what I've been told.

    The trickiest part is getting the heat right so that it doesn't burn the panini but hot enough the it toasts it. Also, make sure it is clean while heating it so that any oil or remnants don't burn on it (or flame up).

    If you get one let me know, I've been considering one as well but have never bit the bullet on it.

    1. Yep, that is exactly how I do it. Heat the press on a separate burner and then put on top. I generally flip mine once,because I've found the bottom touching the grill pan cooks better than the press does, since it has constant heat.

      1 Reply
      1. re: rasputina

        I use another cast iron pan to get the same effect.

      2. I use a cast iron skillet as a panini press. Preheat on high for a few minutes, butter the top of the sandwich and press with some pressure. If anyone has found a use for the grill press besides sandwiches and bacon, please share.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Pietime

          I've never heated mine but just use it to press the sandwich down, flip it and to the same. I also use the press to help any meat brown more thoroughly, it's especially good for chicken breasts. Also set it on top of sliced onions or mushrooms in a saute pan to make the process go quicker and it gets the onions browning more evenrly. It is also useful as a weight for pressing the liquid out of things like sauteed spinach.