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Grill? press?

OK, here is what I want: adjustable back so a sandwich doesn't get squished, tray for fat, easy clean, not huge.
Opinions? Breville? Cuisinart? Other?

Thanks for any opinions and advice.

sweetfern

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  1. We have the Cuisinart Griddler and are quite happy with it. The plates come off for cleaning, and if cooking something fatty there is a grease collector. We also have the waffle plates, which are quite good.

    1. I used to have a Flama grill that I loved. The plates were removable - flat on one side, ribbed on the other. The top was on a hinge so it would float over whatever you were cooking. I kept it at work and would make sandwiches, chicken breasts, whatever - for lunch. You could set the temperature to low/medium/high and an indicator light telling you when it was ready to use. I think it had a timer so I could walk away from it if I needed to. It had 1650 watts of power so it browned everything nicely.

      Over the years of abuse by me and the 8-10 employees who also used it, it got pretty beat up so I ended up "donating" it when I left. I bought a Breville Panini Duo for home use which I'm not as happy about. It doesn't have removable plates, bottom is flat, top plate is ribbed. There is no switch, it turns on when you plug it in. An indicator light tells you when it is ready, but you have no control over the temperature. It only has 1500 watts of power.

      Edited to add: I am looking into the Breville Smart Grill. It has more of the features I am looking for other than just their panini grill.

      1. I have a Cuisinart and bought it on sale as an impulse buy. It has turned out to be very useful. The top floats so everything you put in is flat. I have done chicken breasts, hamburgers veg and lots of paninis. It lays flat as a griddle and works ok. Good temperature controIs. I mostly use it for sandwiches, ribbed or flat. The removeable plates just go in the dishwasher. I don't do a lot of waffles but if the plates go on sale........

        1. I've often considered such an appliance, but I've been happy with the results from my cast iron grill pan and a weighted press (from Lodge)...The only downside is it's tricky to clean the pan. I read on another post about using bamboo chopsticks...That sounds like a good idea. I also use the press on the griddle when making quesadillas that are over stuffed.

          Dan
          http://foodobs.wordpress.com

           
          2 Replies
          1. re: Dce88

            I have the Lodge set too, best part is it isn't non stick and cast iron lasts practically forever.

            1. re: Dce88

              I let my cast iron soak for just a few minutes with the hottest tap water and some soap, then a scrubby, a rinse and then a final dry over the stove burner. Bit of oil rubbed on the hot, dry grill with a paper towel and it's ready to put away for its next use.

            2. For sandwiches, I don't understand the benefit of a grill pan since I want as much of the sandwich surface to get browned as possible. I use a cast iron pan and a bacon press for perfect sandwiches plus a lot of other uses for both halves.

              2 Replies
              1. re: escondido123

                IMO, the ridges plates on my Cuisinart Griddler actually create more crispy bits and texture. All sides of the ridges get toasted, so you have the extra browning on the sides of the ridges. Yum :)

                1. re: CanadaGirl

                  I remember now that I used to use a waffle iron to make grilled cheese sandwiches--those were crunchy good.