Last updated: August 9, 2021

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With a panini grill, you can prepare the classic Italian paninis. But not only sandwiches can be grilled with it. Depending on the scope and functions of the respective appliance, you can prepare different dishes. No wonder that these all-rounders are now available in almost every household. They are also called contact grills because the food is grilled from two sides during preparation. This enables precise temperature addition and promises an optimal result. Panini grills are available in a wide variety of versions and designs, so we have summarised all the important information for you.




Summary

  • A panini grill is suitable for grilling paninis and other foods. This allows you to achieve the typical Italian panini strips on bread.
  • The panini is placed between the two plates and then pressed together. These are made of a robust material that makes heating to high temperatures possible.
  • This gives you the opportunity to roast meat or vegetables in your own kitchen, in contrast to conventional grilling. Because it is so easy to use, you can set it up in the kitchen or on the table.

The Best Panini Grill: Our Picks

Not every panini grill is suitable for every occasion. That's why we've put together our recommendations for contact grills and show you below what makes each model so special.

Panini grills: buying and evaluation criteria

To be able to prepare delicious sandwiches and other delicacies, you need a good panini grill. A good contact grill is already available for little money and with numerous accessories.

Before buying a Panini grill, there are a few things to consider so that you can find a suitable model for you. In the following, we have listed and described the most important criteria for you so that you are well prepared for your purchase.

Material

A panini grill is usually made of robust stainless steel. This should conduct the heat well so that you can achieve a perfect result. You should also make sure that the grill is made of non-stick material instead of plastic. This allows it to withstand higher temperatures.

Choose a heat-resistant material, as the grill will be heated to high temperatures.

The plates should be removable so that you can clean them easily. They are usually made of ceramic, cast iron or a coated material. There is also a drip tray that catches the excess fat. This is also made of easy-to-clean stainless steel.

Accessories

A panini grill consists of two grill plates between which the panini is placed. They are then pressed together and heated. To catch the excess fat, there is a drip tray underneath the grill. In addition to the grill, you should also buy a small cleaning brush. You can use it to clean the grooves optimally, because food residues often collect there. You should remove these so that they do not burn in and you can use the grill for a long time.

Size

An average contact grill for regular everyday use should not be too large. These models are about 30 x 20 centimetres and are easy to use. You can easily set them up and use them in the kitchen. Smaller models are available in the Mini Panini Grill version. These are much smaller and not suitable for preparing several sandwiches at the same time. However, you can place them on the table and use them for in-between occasions. Professional panini grills are not usually suitable for use in the home. They are mostly used in the catering industry. Accordingly, these models are much larger and have more functions.

Cleaning

It is important to turn off the appliance and let it cool down before cleaning. Then wipe the surfaces with a microfibre cloth, some water and washing-up liquid. For heavier soiling, you can use a small cleaning brush. This is the best way to remove burnt-on food residues from the small grooves. A trick to avoid long and tedious cleaning is to use baking paper. Place two sides of baking paper between the grill and the panini. This prevents the grill from coming into contact with the bread and possibly burning.

Functions

A Panini grill is not only suitable for frying the classic Italian Paninis. It can also be used to prepare other foods. Of course, you can also use it as a substitute for a sandwich iron. Another way to use it is to fry meat, burgers or vegetables. Since smaller models can be placed well on a table, it can be used well during the meal.

Panini grills: frequently asked questions and answers

We have collected the most important questions about Panini grills and answered them for you. So you should be well prepared for choosing and buying your own model.

What is a Panini Grill?

A panini grill is also called a contact grill and is suitable for preparing paninis and sandwiches. However, you can also grill many other foods with it. A Panini Grill consists of two grill plates that enclose the Panini. The sandwich is grilled from both sides. This enables optimal distribution of the heat and promises even grilling.

Panini-Grill

Depending on the function of the panini grill, different foods can be prepared. (Image source: unsplash.com / Macau Photo Agency)

A special feature is the easy cleaning and handling of panini grills. They are made of particularly high-quality material so that high temperatures can be reached. This makes it possible to achieve good grilling results.

What types of Panini grills are there?

There are different types and models of Panini grills. They differ only minimally in function, but in the reason for use. We have listed the following variants for you:
Type Advantages Disadvantages
Mini grill For simple preparation. Few functions.
Universal grill Suitable for regular use Usually not very handy.
Professional grill Large quantities of food can be grilled at the same time Price in the upper segments.

Depending on when and how often you want to use your future panini grill, you should choose the appropriate model. A professional grill is usually only useful for commercial use. A good universal grill is usually sufficient for household use.

How much does a Panini Grill cost?

Panini grills vary widely in price. Depending on the occasion, frequency of use or quality, there are different price levels. We have summarised the different categories for you.
Price range Description
30 to 70 euros Simple functions, simple quality, for occasional use.
70 to 100 euros Good quality, for regular use.
100 to 300 euros Very good quality, many functions, for professional use.

If you want a grill for occasional use, a simple model will do. If you plan to use the panini grill frequently and regularly, it is worth spending more money on it. As a rule of thumb, you will find good panini grills for universal use in the medium price category.

What are the alternatives to a Panini Grill?

If you don't need a panini grill right away or want to prepare your meat or vegetables in a different way, there are other options. Here are some alternatives:
Alternative Description
Sandwich maker To grill a sandwich or panini, you can also use a sandwich grill. However, this does not create the typical grilled strips.
Pan Paninis or meat can also be grilled in a pan. However, the food is not grilled on both sides at the same time.

So to achieve the perfect grilling of paninis, a panini grill is the best option. Despite the alternatives, this is still the most sensible option.

What can I prepare with a Panini Grill?

The original function of a Panini Grill is to prepare Paninis in the original Italian style. The wavy structure creates the typical imprints on the finished panini. But it is also ideal for preparing sandwiches.
The contact with the meat on both sides ensures that it is optimally grilled.

Another way to use a contact grill is to grill meat or burger patties. It is also possible to roast vegetables or other foods. A contact grill is a good alternative to a conventional grill, which can also be used in your own kitchen. The easy cleaning is another advantage that makes grilling food with a Panini Grill a highlight.

How do I clean a Panini Grill?

A Panini Grill is characterised by its easy cleaning. The two grill plates are usually made of heat-resistant cast iron. This has the advantage that the grill can be heated to high temperatures. After use, these plates can be wiped down with a little water and washing-up liquid.

Panini-Grill

A panini can be prepared in different ways. Depending on the accessories, a grill has different functions. (Image source: pixabay.com / Aline Ponce)

Harder dirt can be scraped off gently with a suitable brush. To prevent this, you can use two pieces of baking paper before grilling. This will prevent tedious cleaning after use.

Which bread is suitable for a Panini grill?

Basically, you can use the usual Panini bread to grill the perfect Panini. Ciabatta bread is the best choice, which is typically Italian. You can buy it in any large supermarket.

Panini-Grill

You can either buy the bread for your paninis in the supermarket or make it yourself. (Image source: pixabay.com / Sharon Ang)

However, you can also make your own panini bread. We have a delicious recipe for you that is easy to make. You will need the following ingredients:

  • 200 ml water
  • 360 g flour
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 30 grams yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt

To prepare the dough, mix the water with sugar and yeast and let it stand for a short time. Then gradually add flour and olive oil and knead the dough thoroughly. Then let it rise for an hour. Finally, you can form small rolls and bake them in the oven at 200 degrees for 20 minutes.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a suitable panini grill, you should first think about the intended function. You should also consider whether you need a grill for occasional or regular use. Accordingly, you can choose the appropriate price category and quality. A contact grill is a good device for grilling food quickly and easily. The device is a good everyday helper and can be used wonderfully in the household. Picture: 123rf.com/ 114927661

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