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Recommend me a Sandwich Grill Press


Indy @ S.E.
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Hello,

 

Looking to up my lunch game so considering getting a sandwich press, does anyone here have any recommendations based on usage?

 

Also, and humour me on this, can they be used to make regular toast? I'm looking to sell this on the grounds of replacing the toaster instead of being another appliance on the worktop.

 

Cheers,

Indy

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I have a breville that I use a fair bit especially during the colder parts of the year.  It's a sandwich/ panini press like they use in cafes but with flat rather than ridged plates.  I'd recommend flat as miles easier to clean and also faster/ even application of heat.

 

917yUqFuDxL._AC_SL1500_1024x1024@2x.jpg?

 

I assume that is what you are thinking of as opposed to one of the more old fashioned machines that makes sealed 'toasties' where you butter them on the outside so that they are all crispy.  Good old student food that, superheated molten cheese inside! 🤣

 

The current model looks to be this one: https://www.breville.co.uk/sandwich-makers/panini-presses/breville-4-slice-sandwich-maker-and-panini-maker/VST026-01.html#start=2.

Checking my emails I can see that mine is nearly 12 years old now and came from argos for £30.  Bargain!! 😀

I'd certainly recommend it based on how well my previous model has performed and lasted.

 

My kitchen is small so I keep it on top of the cupboards and grab it down when needed.  Have never tried using it as a toaster; I suspect it would work for regular sliced bread but would be a bit slow.  For soft stuff like muffins it might end up squashing them a bit.  I use the grill in the oven for making toast, a separate toaster would not get enough usage to justify another appliance and the space taken up.

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I've got a Lekue grill that goes in the microwave. 

https://www.lekue.com/eu/microwave-grill

 

Its in this video around the six minute mark. 

 

Its expensive, even buying it at a Black Friday discount like I did, and the little strap things are a touch fiddly but its held up well to regular use and doesn't take up much space compared to a standalone plug in press. I suppose the highest praise I can give it is that if it did get damaged I'd buy another. Possibly the XL version as that'd let me cook some rashers in the microwave with less chance of grease escaping. 

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Thanks for the suggestions, these are what I meant not the Breville jobbies which we already have one of.

 

Never considered the difference between griddle and flat, griddle will give the nice lines on top but then if it’s a dog to clean it’ll hardly ever get used.

 

That Lekue grill though is ticking all the gadget boxes though…

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We got given this for christmas:

 

Salter EK2143FOUR XL 4-in-1 Snack Maker, Interchangeable Non-Stick Cooking Plates, Electric Omelette Cooker, Waffle Iron, Toastie Sandwich Toaster, 900W, Power/Ready Indicator Lights, Stainless Steel https://amzn.eu/d/4zqGkDE

 

It’s got a ridged panini thing but it’s non stick and the ridges aren’t that deep, so it is not hard to clean at all.

 

Thanks to the easily changeable plates, does toasties, omelettes and waffles so its kind of nifty.

 

I don’t feel like it is a good choice for toast though. they all seem like they would be energy inefficient for that?

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10 hours ago, cowfields said:

We got given this for christmas:

 

Salter EK2143FOUR XL 4-in-1 Snack Maker, Interchangeable Non-Stick Cooking Plates, Electric Omelette Cooker, Waffle Iron, Toastie Sandwich Toaster, 900W, Power/Ready Indicator Lights, Stainless Steel https://amzn.eu/d/4zqGkDE

 

It’s got a ridged panini thing but it’s non stick and the ridges aren’t that deep, so it is not hard to clean at all.

 

Thanks to the easily changeable plates, does toasties, omelettes and waffles so its kind of nifty.

 

I don’t feel like it is a good choice for toast though. they all seem like they would be energy inefficient for that?

How deep are the toasties?  My parents had an old toastie maker from like the 70's or 80's and it was way better than any of the new ones now, even the deep fill ones I've tried...

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I’m suspecting the toaster will have to stay albeit to a smaller model rather than the absolute unit we’ve got at the moment (it’s that weird combo one that can also boil eggs and heat beans at the same time).

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On 26/09/2022 at 16:30, StumpyJohn said:

I have a breville that I use a fair bit especially during the colder parts of the year.  It's a sandwich/ panini press like they use in cafes but with flat rather than ridged plates.  I'd recommend flat as miles easier to clean and also faster/ even application of heat.

 

917yUqFuDxL._AC_SL1500_1024x1024@2x.jpg?

 

 

That's a great looking panini press but how did those flat plates put those lovely brown lines on that bread?

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My problem with these things is that once the non stick coating gets scratched up or starts to wear down everything starts to stick to it. Also if you just use cast iron you get a much better crisp on things and you can fit larger sandwiches. 

 

An example of a toastie I made using cast iron. This kind of result is impossible in a consumer sandwich press:

 

 

Screenshot_20221003-033957.png

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1 hour ago, Indy @ S.E. said:

@stephen129 do you have a proper sandwich press or is it a singular plate that you push on top of the sandwich?

 

That was just made in a lodge cast iron griddle pan with another flat cast iron pan on top which I weighed down with cans. Flip over to get grill lines on both sides. Obviously you can do it with a normal cast iron, you just won't get the lines. You also don't need two cast iron pans, I just happen to own two.

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Ahh gotcha, that’s a pretty smart way of dealing with it.

 

I think I’ll just wait for Black Friday to roll around and get one and a smaller toaster then, worst case it’ll be an extra thing out on the worktop for a bit.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is the technique in case you were wondering. From bottom to top. Cast iron griddle > Toasted sandwich > Cast iron pan > Something heavy to weigh it down with (in this case four cans of Branston beans). Cook nice and slowly so the cheese melts properly and flip once so both sides get grill marks. 

 

PXL_20221017_135135169~2.jpg

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On 17/10/2022 at 21:47, Indy @ S.E. said:

That’s pretty good, plus there’s two cast iron pans to use as well.

 

How well does your method work with regular bread? I’ve always assumed that you have to use ciabatta in the presses.

 

Don't use as much weight up top if you have soft white bread or it'll become too flat. Ciabatta is pretty firm so that's why I like to really weigh it down. The top cast iron isn't important, I just use it because I have it. You could put any pan/brick/heavy thing on top. Here's one I made with soft seeded bread. The best thing is you get the deep ridges that consumer toastie makers can't replicate. However you don't have to buy a ridged cast iron, a flat one is more useful generally, I just really wanted the lines. A toastie made with cast iron tastes like it's made in a professional panini press you'd get in a cafe. The consumer ones don't. I own a standard Breville triangular one and had a flat panini type one, basically the same model as the one StumpyJohn posted above, perfectly fine, but not on the level of a decent one from a cafe. They just don't get anywhere near as hot as a cast iron. 

 

2022-10-19 14_17_48-Facebook.jpg

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  • 1 month later...
On 19/10/2022 at 14:44, stephen129 said:

You can see the difference in final product if you watch this video (skip ahead, she waffles on a lot).

 

 

I've got that. Yeah it's pretty low brow but it makes lovely toasties, not as nice as those you posted but it does a good job. It's become one of my most used appliances, I love a nice ham and cheese etc toasty and they are done in a flash, great for the morning after when you're in need of some carbs but don't fancy hassle. Can even use it for a quick bit of bacon or fried egg if your hob is busy, not very often used it that way mind but it's good in an emergency.

 

Piece of piss for cleaning too. Unlike my unused other Breville, one of those old style toasty makers we all had in the 80s. Fucking bean and cheese explosion all over, no matter the quantity used, terrible design that thing.

 

Man, I'm gonna have to have a toasty now, got some nice chipotle flatbread, think I'm going do something with that and some edam for supper.

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20 hours ago, amc said:

Piece of piss for cleaning too. Unlike my unused other Breville, one of those old style toasty makers we all had in the 80s. Fucking bean and cheese explosion all over, no matter the quantity used, terrible design that thing.

 

I have an old school triangular Breville style one which I use regularly. If you leave a half centimetre gap around the edge of the bread and are sparing with the filling it works very well. No major spilling. I get rid of any bits of crusty cheese that have come out, but leave any fat on the machine for the next time.

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