• 10 Best Panini Makers in 2022 (Chef-Reviewed) 1
  • 10 Best Panini Makers in 2022 (Chef-Reviewed) 2
  • 10 Best Panini Makers in 2022 (Chef-Reviewed) 3
  • 10 Best Panini Makers in 2022 (Chef-Reviewed) 4
  • 10 Best Panini Makers in 2022 (Chef-Reviewed) 5

10 Best Panini Makers in 2022 (Chef-Reviewed)

Are you hoping to make delicious paninis and hot sandwiches at home? Are you looking for a quick, easy and effective way to make your own favorite fillings? A panini maker can take the hassle out of making paninis at home and ensure that you always have delicious sandwiches whenever you need them.


We looked at the best panini makers available and chose the Cuisinart Griddler Elite for its variety of functions and usability features. We've chosen our 10 best panini makers for you to consider and also created a handy buying guide reviewed by a chef to help you make your choice.

Featured in this article

Jim Quast
mybest US Editors
  • Last updated: 08-25-2022
Table of Contents

How to Choose a Panini Maker - Buying Guide

Before buying a panini maker, there are a few points you should take into consideration. To help you with this, we've put together this handy buying guide!

Get a Floating Hinge and Sturdy Lid for the Best Results

Get a Floating Hinge and Sturdy Lid for the Best Results

A floating hinge allows you to close the grill at different heights. This means you can grill sandwiches of different sizes and thicknesses with the same grill. Whether you’re putting together a high, multi-layer baguette full of fillings or a flat sandwich of cheese and two slices of bread, a floating hinge will do them both. 


A floating hinge also allows you to grill open-face paninis as you can set the upper plate to hover above the sandwich without touching it. Most panini presses have this feature, but smaller and more portable panini makers often don't have floating hinges.


Another option is a grill pan and press. These are non-electrical presses that can be used on the stovetop with electric or gas burners. The pan has the same raised ridges that plates on electrical presses have and comes with a heavy iron lid that acts as the top plate.

Pick a Size Based on Grill Area and Portability

Pick a Size Based on Grill Area and Portability

There are a few main considerations when it comes to which size of grill is the best for you. The first is the size of your kitchen. There is no point in buying a large panini press if you don’t have either the space to store it or the space to use it.


You need enough space to lay out the press to prepare your panini and the ingredients. You also need to ensure that you have enough space above to fully lift the lid as you will need to open and close the press.

Pick a Size Based on Grill Area and Portability

The second consideration is how much food you will make at once. If you’re going to be making paninis or toasted sandwiches for one, then a large grill is unnecessary. If you’re going to be cooking for a larger family, then you might want to grill several paninis at once to save time and ensure everyone gets their food at the same time. Look for grills that are larger than 10 inches by 10 inches.


You should also consider the shape of the grill. Many panini grills are rectangular to match the long style of the bread usually used, but it's also common to find grills that are more square. If you have narrow counter space, then a rectangular grill will potentially fit better than a square one. Larger square ones are good for cooking multiple paninis at once.

Look for Suitable Controls and Temperature Settings

Look for Suitable Controls and Temperature Settings

When it comes to making that perfect panini, an adjustable thermostat is a desirable feature. The best temperature for your panini will depend on the ingredients, the type of bread, and how much cooking it requires. If you're making thinner paninis, then lower temperatures of around 200 are best. For thicker paninis or paninis made with large cuts of meat, higher temperatures of around 375 degrees will get the paninis cooked quicker but might burn your bread if you're not careful. 


You can use lower temperatures to cook meat-filled paninis, but be prepared to wait for a longer period of time. Some paninis have an even bigger range of temperatures so that they can cook more than just paninis. A press that can sear meat might have a top temperature nearer 500 degrees, which is great for things like making burgers, but these kinds of temperatures aren't necessary if you're only looking to cook paninis.


Some high-end panini presses might have a digital display that will clearly show you the grill temperature. If the press has a timer, the display will also let you see how much longer the press has before your panini is finished. Other presses might show they've reached their temperature or finished cooking by using lights, instead.

Consider Removable Plates for Versatility and Easy Cleaning

Consider Removable Plates for Versatility and Easy Cleaning

Paninis and grilled sandwiches are notorious for losing some of their fillings while being cooked, especially if cheese is involved. Removable plates can make your life much easier when it comes to cleaning and might even be suitable for the dishwasher, making the clean-up even easier.


If the press doesn't have removable plates, then make sure they are non-stick. If cleaned while still warm you can often just wipe them clean. Make sure they're not still red-hot though, as you run the risk of burns.


Another bonus with removable plates is that it is possible to get different types of plates for different types of grilling. For example, you can find diagonal grill plates for toasted sandwiches,  smooth ones for burgers, or even plates to make waffles. Some panini presses will come with these different plates so they can be used for more than just paninis.

Think About Useful Extra Features Like Drip Trays

Think About Useful Extra Features Like Drip Trays

Try to get a press with a coated or heat-resistant handle so it won't burn your hand when you lift or lower the press. Many presses come with a drip tray that can be used to catch any excess oil or grease produced by the food.


It's also important to get a press that tells you when it is fully preheated and ready to go. Not all panini makers have on/off switches, and many will start heating as soon as they're plugged in. If this is the case, make sure the unit has a light so you will know whether it is on or not.


Some higher-end models might allow you to control the temperatures of the top and bottom plates independently to give you even more options when it comes to cooking. Some can also open fully flat so you can make open-faced sandwiches or use both surfaces as a large grill.

10 Best Panini Makers

We've used our buying guide criteria to find the best panini makers available. We've picked a variety of makers with different sizes and features so there is bound to be a panini maker for you!


*Please note that these products were chosen after extensive research by mybest writers. The choices are not necessarily affiliated with or recommended by Jim Quast.

Image
Cuisinart Griddler Elite 1

Cuisinart

T-fal Opti-Grill 1

T-fal

Hamilton Beach Panini Press 1

Hamilton Beach

Ovente Countertop Panini Press  1

Ovente

Starfrit The Rock Panini Grill 1

Starfrit

George Foreman Multi-Plate Evolve Grill 1

George Foreman

De'Longhi Livenza All-Day Grill, Griddle and Waffle Maker 1

De'Longhi

Dash Mini Maker Portable Grill Machine 1

Dash

Norpro Mini Cast Iron Panini Pan 1

Norpro

NutriChef Electric Griddle - Crepe Maker 1

NutriChef

Name

Griddler Elite

Opti-Grill

Panini Press

Countertop Panini Press

The Rock Panini Grill

Multi-Plate Evolve Grill

Livenza All-Day Grill, Griddle and Waffle Maker

Mini Maker Portable Grill Machine

Mini Cast Iron Panini Pan

Electric Griddle - Crepe Maker

Features

Best Multi-Function Maker

Best for Effortless Cooking

Best for Easy Storage

Best Panini Maker With Safety Features

Best for Easy Cleaning

Best Panini and Waffle Maker Combo

Best for a Large Cooking Surface

Best Portable Option

Best Non-Electrical Option

Best for Making Paninis and Grilling Together

Price$199.00$139.99$59.90$36.79$88.82$109.99$299.95$12.99$48.50$59.99
Hinge styleFloatingFloatingFloatingFloatingFloatingFloatingFloatingFoldingSeparate lidFolding
Dimensions14.7 x 16 x 8 in.14 x 13 x 6 in.About 6 x 14 x 13 in.11.4 x 10.1 x 4.7 in.12.8 x 12.6 x 7.3 in.9 x 14 x 14 in.18 x 14 x 7.5 in.5 x 6.4 x 2.8 in.6 x 6 x 1 in.5.27 x 12.53 x 12.53 in.
ControlsTemperature, plate, timer, searTemperature, preset programsNone-TemperatureTemperature, timerTemperature for each plate--Temperature
Removable platesYesYesNoNoYesYesYesNo-No
Extra featuresSear function, reversible plates, LCD displayCook from frozen, reheat, drip tray, dishwasher-safeLid lock, power and preheat lightsIndicator lightsOpens flat, dishwasher-safe platesSearing option, ceramic plates, dishwasher-safe, waffle platesDishwasher-safe plates, hanging top plateVarious colorsHand wash onlyDrip tray, griddle plate
Link
Hinge styleFloating
Dimensions14.7 x 16 x 8 in.
ControlsTemperature, plate, timer, sear
Removable platesYes
Extra featuresSear function, reversible plates, LCD display
Hinge styleFloating
Dimensions14 x 13 x 6 in.
ControlsTemperature, preset programs
Removable platesYes
Extra featuresCook from frozen, reheat, drip tray, dishwasher-safe
Hinge styleFloating
DimensionsAbout 6 x 14 x 13 in.
ControlsNone
Removable platesNo
Extra featuresLid lock, power and preheat lights
Hinge styleFloating
Dimensions11.4 x 10.1 x 4.7 in.
Controls-
Removable platesNo
Extra featuresIndicator lights
Hinge styleFloating
Dimensions12.8 x 12.6 x 7.3 in.
ControlsTemperature
Removable platesYes
Extra featuresOpens flat, dishwasher-safe plates

George ForemanMulti-Plate Evolve Grill

GRP4842P

$109.99

Hinge styleFloating
Dimensions9 x 14 x 14 in.
ControlsTemperature, timer
Removable platesYes
Extra featuresSearing option, ceramic plates, dishwasher-safe, waffle plates

De'LonghiLivenza All-Day Grill, Griddle and Waffle Maker

CGH1030D

$299.95

Hinge styleFloating
Dimensions18 x 14 x 7.5 in.
ControlsTemperature for each plate
Removable platesYes
Extra featuresDishwasher-safe plates, hanging top plate
Hinge styleFolding
Dimensions5 x 6.4 x 2.8 in.
Controls-
Removable platesNo
Extra featuresVarious colors
Hinge styleSeparate lid
Dimensions6 x 6 x 1 in.
Controls-
Removable plates-
Extra featuresHand wash only

NutriChefElectric Griddle - Crepe Maker

PKGRIL43. 5

$59.99

Hinge styleFolding
Dimensions5.27 x 12.53 x 12.53 in.
ControlsTemperature
Removable platesNo
Extra featuresDrip tray, griddle plate

Love Sandwiches? We Do Too!

We've collated some more recommendation lists to help you make that perfect sandwich. Check out these other great products to get even closer to sandwich nirvana.

Amazon's Best Selling Sandwich Makers & Panini Presses

If you're still looking for some ideas, why not check out the best-selling panini makers on Amazon?

Buying Guide Reviewed by Executive R&D Chef Jim Quast

Jim Quast
Executive R&D Chef
Jim Quast

This expert reviewed the contents of the buying guide for accuracy and provided factual corrections when necessary. They did not participate in the product selection process, nor are they affiliated with any of our choices unless explicitly stated so.

Author: Kellie Lacey

Updated by: Kellie Lacey, 3/29/2022


  • Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more mybest recommendations! For questions or comments, leave us feedback via a Google Form on our Contact Us page.

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