Let’s all just be honest for one second- sandwiches are delicious. If you ask us, there are just a few easy, simple meal options that are quite as satisfying as a perfectly stacked, well-dressed sandwich. In fact, the only thing we’d argue that is even better than our favourite standard sandwich… is a grilled sandwich. That’s why we’ve been thinking about investing in our own sandwich press grill for home.
Many people are used to ordering their sandwiches hot, pressed, or grilled when they’re out for lunch, but it’s not as often as you’d think that people own their own sandwich grills at home. This is a shame since sandwich grills are a lot more affordable, countertop-friendly, and simple to use than you might imagine. We’ve been gathering the links to the highest quality home sandwich presses we could find lately in an attempt to make comparing contrasting features and finding the option that’s right for you a little bit easier.
What is a sandwich press grill?
A sandwich press is a countertop-sized grill that features two raised, heated sides. The grill opens, the sandwich is set on the bottom side, and the top side comes down on top of it. This setup aims to press the sandwich halves together to make it easier to eat and toast the bun and heat the toppings. This amplifies flavours, gives you crunchier or softer textures, and generally helps you put a yummy twist on an old favourite, just to keep things interesting.
Who should invest in a sandwich press grill?
Believe it or not, absolutely anyone can benefit from owning a sandwich press grill. They’re easy to work, helpful side pieces for experienced cooks who might need another tool to help them complete a good meal, and most designs are quite safe. Even so, they should obviously only be operated by an adult or a careful and learning older child under adult supervision.
Best Press Grills
If you still feel like you could use a little bit of guidance when it comes to choosing the best sandwich press grill for you, check out this pros and cons outline of the best options we came across in our search.
If you’re the kind of shopper who always likes to trust the most notable brand in a particular kind of appliance most, then we think you might enjoy this basic, classic model from George Foreman. Besides being extremely easy to use, this particular grill is also extremely affordable without greatly sacrificing quality. It has easy-cleaning removable plates that are actually dishwasher safe and an equally safe and convenient grease tray. It operates on one automatic heat setting that works universally for different foods placed on for suitable times, and its plates heat up 35% faster than previous models by the same or other brands.
Although most previous buyers greatly appreciated the removable plates feature when it came to washing the grill, some have reported problems in the past for getting them back one. Once the plates have been taken off, the way that they slide back into place can occasionally make them a little trick to click in solidly and properly once more. Once they’re there, however, they stay in place well; the trouble is in settling them back in.
- 35% faster heating time than most comparable models
- Easy to clean plates that are removable and dishwasher safe
- Convenient grease catching tray (that’s also dishwasher safe)
- Removable heating plates are easy to disconnect but can be hard to solidly click back into place once they’re washed
Have you actually owned a sandwich grill before and discovered that you actually use it quite a lot, but you’d like to be able to press more sandwiches than one at a time? Then you might prefer this double-wide model offered by Hamilton Beach. This press can actually open all the way back 180 degrees, so both sides lay flat, side by side, making the grill double wide the opposite way as well. When you do fold the press closed, the back is a free hinged design, which lets it lift up and press down on the top of the sandwich, rather than pressing it forward like some designs. If you’re cooking something for longer, the lid also locks down.
Many people who have used this design don’t mind that the temperature is not adjustable, but some found that it heats up much too fast for basic things like sandwiches. Previous buyers have spoken about the drastic heating speed increasing the chances that their food will burn.
- Double wide plates
- 180-degree opening capability for two open-face heating surfaces
- Free hinge style top lets top lift and press down rather than pushing the top of the sandwich forward
- Extremely quick and high heating speed without adjustability might cause burning in foods that toast or cook quickly
Just in case you love the idea of a free hinged machine, but you don’t need a design that’s quite so wide when it’s folded, here’s a good design from Cuisinart. Like the one above, this machine can open all the way out 180 degrees to give you two heated surfaces instead. This unit, however, has six cooking options in total using dual-zone temperature control to get the perfect level of heat depending on what you’re cooking. The unit comes with easy-to-clean removable plates, a scraper and built-in oil catch, and even a recipe book.
On some units (though not all), previous buyers found that the cord on this grill tends to heat up when the machine is used heavily or for a prolonged period of time at its highest temperatures. This leads to worries of cord damage or extra things around the kitchen that are hot to the touch.
- Free hinge top for good downward pressing action
- Full range of washable accessories, including a scraper, oil tray, and cookbook
- 180 opening dual cook surfaces
- Six cooking modes with manual temperature control
- Grill cord has a tendency to heat up and become hot to the touch when the grill is used at length at its hottest temperatures
If you tend to grill a lot of your food at home and you need something that will withstand a lot more use, then you might get along a little better with something like this more industrial design from Mophorn. Although it’s open at the back and sides to allow for a free hinge action and open out fully for double grilling, this grill also features high sides that help reduce mess and splatter when meat is cooked. The grill plates on this model are removable, dishwasher safe, and extremely durable, the temperature is adjustable with a simple dial, and the grill has non-slip feet on the bottom of the machine for safety.
Although this grill is larger than some basic countertop models, we’d suggest taking a look at the dimensions before you purchase. Some previous buyers reported that the machine they received was smaller than their expectations based on the boxy look it has in photos.
- Free hinge action and double grill capability
- Convenient dial with full temperature control
- Durable, dishwasher safe, removable heating plates
- Non-slip feet on the bottom of the grill for safety
- Actual machine dimensions are smaller than they appear in photos, disappointing some people’s size expectations on arrival
Just in case you very much enjoyed the features of the design above but you’re still in search of a larger, wider design with the same capabilities, here’s a model from Minco that might be a better fit for you. This model is actually commercial made, intended for quick cooking in restaurants. This accounts for its high and quick-grilling heat options up to 600F. The sides of this grill stop splashing a splatter, while the rim catches oil and crumbs; all of these features are removable, durable, and simple to clean. The machine is also built with indicator lights that help you remember when the machine is on and to turn it off.
This machine is designed with safety in mind, but it’s still worth noting that the entire casing of the machine is made from stainless steel, as well as that the raised sides on the plates are exposed. This means that these surfaces can heat up and become hot to the touch during prolonged use, risking burns.
- Double wide width and industrial design
- Higher temperature capabilities than average (up to 600F)
- Durable and removable grill plates, with anti-splatter sides and catchers for crumbs and oil
- Lights indicating power for safety
- Metal exterior and exposed plate sides become hot to the touch and are therefore a burn risk during use
If you’ve been holding out in hopes of coming across something a little more digital and slightly modernized version of the industrial style grills we’ve shown you so far, then you might get along well with this model from Costway. This grill comes with highly visible LCD touch display and an easily adjusted, smooth turning temperature dial that gives you full settings control. The machine is easy to clean thanks to removable, dishwasher-safe grilling plates, and the machine promotes safety thanks to alarms to signal cooking time finish and automatic mechanisms that swap to a lesser warming mode after that point.
Although most previous buyers were very satisfied with the actual machine and the way it works once they’d tried it, many people also reported disappointment in the user manual provided. Users said that the instructions were very unclear and actually made things more confusing than just figuring the controls out intuitively might have been.
- Easy to see LCD display with touch capabilities
- Manually controlled temperature dial
- Removable, dishwasher safe grilling plates
- Alarms, signals, and automatic temperature reduction features for safety
- Unclear instructional manual makes the machine unnecessarily difficult to learn controls over for some people
Have you actually been scrolling through the list looking for something even easier to use than anything you’ve seen so far, but also more diverse in what it can make? Then we think you’ll enjoy this very simple grill from Best Choice that comes with a range of replaceable plates. Each plate is removable and dishwasher safe, but also shaped differently for a different cooking effect. You’ll get plates for making meat and sandwiches, filled and closed style sandwiches (like gourmet grilled cheese), and waffles. This grill is built with ease of cleaning but also safety in mind, accounting for its heat-resistant exterior.
Because it does not have a free hinge system at the back, some people found that this machine shifts the shape of foods like sandwiches, making the heating and toasting process uneven. The lid also has very little resistance against its weight when it closes, making it heavy, and some buyers disliked how thing it made things like waffles.
- Diverse effects and functions
- Easily removed and cleaned plates, including dishwasher safety
- Touch-safe exterior and handle that won’t heat up and become unsafe to touch during use
- Heavy lid makes some layers in waffles and toasted sandwiches too thin
- Regular hinge can push some dishes forward instead of pushing straight downward, causing layer shifting and uneven heating
If you’re looking for a grill that does work on sandwiches but is actually designed more specifically for indoor grilling meat, then this model from Nuwave is absolutely the one for you. This is one of the only designs we found at a somewhat affordable price that actually lets you control the temperature of the top and bottom plates independently from one another, thanks to simple dials and backlit digital screens. This machine is also equipped with sensors to measure the temperature of your food and turn the grill off when the proper internal temperature is reached. It heats quickly and easily and is dishwasher safe and safe-touch on the outside.
Much like the previous design was misleading in its size and turned out to be smaller than the photos provided, this one is reported by previous buyers for the opposite issue. We’d once again suggest paying attention to the dimensions, as the photos make the grill look quite space efficient but many users found it to be “huge” compared to how it looks, taking up quite a significant amount of counter space.
- Inner temperature sensors for safe and accurate cooking times for meat
- Controls for adjusting top and bottom plate temperatures separately and independently from each other
- Automatic stopping features when proper temperature is reached, for safety from burning
- Removable, dishwasher safe plates
- Misleading size in photos; grill is actually much larger than it appears and takes up significant counter space
If you’re looking for something a little less fancy but a lot more heavy-duty, then Star has just the kind of design you’ve been waiting for. The durable cast iron plates and hardy hinges on this machine are specifically built to last with frequent heavy use in mind. The top plate is self-balancing, built to level out and apply even downward pressure when it’s closed on top of your food. It features an adjustable temperature dial, removable and easy to clean plates and oil trap, and an exterior that’s easy to wipe down.
Although the exterior has plenty of benefits, including ease of cleaning and durability, it is not protected against heating up. This means that, particularly in times of heavy use, it’s not touch-safe and may hurt to touch. The handle stays cooler than the rest of the exterior, but you might still find that it warms a little as well.
- Built for durability even with frequent heavy use, from the plates to the hinges
- Self-balancing top applies even downward pressure for better and more thorough cooking
- Adjustable temperature dial gives you full control
- Easy to clean plates, oil trap, and exterior
- Stainless steel exterior is not touch-safe and does heat up with prolonged use, as does handle (but to a much lesser extent)
Have you actually been hoping to find something a little more novelty and unconventional to use than the standard grills you’ve seen so far? Then we think you might get a kick out of this stovetop sandwich maker from Home-X! Though this particular “grill” does work over the burners on your stove at home, it’s also a fantastic tool to use on campfires. This closing grill is intended to make closed sandwiches with delicious fillings, sealing the edges all the way around, toasting the outside, and heating a gooey centre. The touch-safe handles keep your hands from getting hot or near burners and flames while the iron heats up quickly and evenly for toasting.
Be aware that previous buyers have reported this item as being much smaller in actuality than it appears to be in photos. Although they were rather satisfied with the function of the piece, they were disappointed to have the size of their snack limited quite a bit more than expected.
- Touch-safe handles that won’t heat up and keep your hands a good distance away from burners and flames
- Quickly heating metal makes toasting fast
- Even heat distribution warms the snack thoroughly and all the way through
- Size of the actual piece is much smaller than many people found it to look in pictures, limiting serving sizes unexpectedly
What else can you make in a sandwich press grill?
Believe it or not, sandwiches are just one of the many different things you can actually make in a sandwich press grill! They’re actually much more diverse tools than most people think. You can also use a sandwich press grill to make:
- Grilled fruit
- Grilled pork
- Grilled tomatoes or zucchini
- Lamb, pork, and other skewers
- Burger patties
- Fish filets
- Small steaks
Do you know another foodie who has been thinking about investing in their own sandwich maker or panini press but who could use some help choosing the best model? Share this post with them so they have all kinds of options to choose from.