Everyone loves a good toast so why not invest in a decent sandwich maker? When you see that golden brown bread oozing with melted cheese, you just can’t help but salivate. A good toaster ensures that you get that every morning.
But before you really decide to invest in one, make sure to consider a few things. How often will you be using this implement? How many will be using it? How do you like your toasties? Answering these questions will make it easier to decide.
You can find all sorts of shapes and sizes when you shop for sandwich maker. There are compact machines if you just want to make a quick snack for yourself and you can also find larger ones capable of making an entire family’s breakfast. Getting the right size means that you won’t be wasting time for preparation and space for storage.
A lot of us have different preferences when it comes to our toastie. Some want it thick, some want it thin and you can also find others who want a good middle ground between the two. Your personal preference will definitely play a role when deciding which toaster to pick.
Consider the kind of bread you’ll likely to use. If you like a Hovis loaf or if you are for a good sourdough or ciabatta, you should base your machine from that. If you have a machine that has thin plates, a perfectly toasted sourdough would be impossible to attain.
Lastly, although most will find this hard to talk about, you would eventually need to clean your toaster. Scraping burnt cheese and crumbs can be a pain to do and if that’s not your idea of spending your weekend, you can choose a machine with dishwasher safe plates.
Why You Need a Sandwich Maker
Of course, you want your food to be perfect and probably that is reason enough to buy a sandwich maker. But often times, the desire and the energy to do it just don’t match. With our hurried lifestyle, we seldom find the time to make a decent breakfast for ourselves and the entire family. You want to make food really fast and nice of course, and a good panini or sandwich maker can bridge the gap.
A good sandwich maker can’t only make breakfast, with a little creativity, it can accomplish an overwhelming lunch and dinner as well. All you need is a good quality flat sandwich press and some side dishes and you can make a staple that will graduate with honors at any culinary competition.
With a sandwich press as your go to food maker, you will find that there’s really not much to clean afterward. If you go for the regular food makers, you will find that the aftercare is just overwhelming, to say the least.
This might be good for weekends and special occasion, but if you do it everyday, it’s just too much. There’s just too many stuff to wash afterwards. But with a good sandwich maker with plate’s that are dishwasher safe, all you need to do is dunk it and let the dishwasher do the job for you.
While a sandwich press is not really a complicated machine, it has to toast the bread evenly and melt the cheese and warm the rest of the ingredients at the exact temperature. The reason behind this is that a good sandwich lover will find out if it’s otherwise. This to me is the main reason why you should invest in a decent sandwich maker.
How to Choose a Sandwich Maker
Before you actually take that sandwich maker to the counter and part with your money, I have a few suggestions that you consider. For the best experience and result, I suggest that you give these a good thought before actually buying. These tips will save you the frustration and prevent you from wasting your money and ensure that you will get a good appliance.
- Size of the product
- Type of surface
- Type of handle
- The Price
Buy the size that is appropriate for your needs. If you’re single and would likely just need the machine for a quick breakfast, then a small size sandwich press is what you need. If you have a family and it’s on you to cook breakfast, a larger machine might be more appropriate.
If you buy it too large, you could end up paying more dollars than necessary. That money could have been used for buying more ingredients.
The type of surface will make all the difference in the aftercare. If you opt for a cheap cast iron surface, this might save you a few dollars but try to consider the time you will spend cleaning it afterward.
Nonstick Teflon surface is easy to clean but it can also peel off in the long run. Some people also suspect the Teflon may release some carcinogenic substances when heated since it’s plastic
Steel handles, while sturdy can also be hot to handle. Plastic, on the other hand, may easily break. There are machines that have both materials combined to give you a sturdy and easy to handle the sandwich press. This is important because pressing contributes to the sandwich being perfectly cooked.
Sandwich presses are generally cheap to buy but you have to remember that the more features the machine has, the more expensive it will become. On the other hand, the features are what makes the machine easy to use also. I suggest you choose one that has a good middle ground between price and features.
Last update on 2017-11-21 PST - Details
My Best 7 Picks of Sandwich Maker
For most of us, it’s not about whether to invest in a good toaster or not, it’s about what to choose. This machine is just too important not to have in your kitchen. On the other hand, there’s just about too many out there and to pick one is daunting, to say the least. To make it easier for you, here are my best 7 picks.
Hamilton Beach 25460A Panini Press Gourmet Sandwich Maker
For delectable and mouth watering sandwiches and paninis, the Hamilton Beach 25460A is the best contender. The bistro style coasting top ensures uniform pressing of sandwiches regardless of thickness and size. Its 10 inches by 8 inches lattice is large enough for two pairs of sandwiches ideal for new couples.
With your own ingredients, you can make you can make your own panini or basic grilled cheese on the fly. You don't have to go to a restaurant to enjoy your favorite gourmet sandwich, you can just make your own.
This sandwich maker is designed for those in a hurry like professionals who want a decent meal without so much fuss. It makes panini sandwich really fast and this thing just works. It's so easy to clean with its nonstick plates. Since the plates are not removable, all you need to do is wipe it to keep it clean. Storage takes up minimal space because it can stand upright.
- Toast sandwiches of any thickness
- Evenly presses any size sandwich
- 10" x 8" nonstick grids ideal for simultaneous toasting
- Power and preheat lights prevents confusion
- Upright storage saves space
- Only one heat temperature
T-fal SW6100 EZ Clean Easy to Clean Nonstick Sandwich and Waffle Maker
For those who want to fill their sandwich to the limit, the T-fal SW6100 is what you're looking for. Its profound pockets allow you to extend the capacity of your bread and fill it with all your favorite fixings. From tomatoes to lettuce, you name it.
Its dimension of 12.7 x 11.9 x 6.8 inches ensures that you can toast whatever size of sandwich you want. It weighs 4.5 pounds you don't have to be labor it when you want to store the thing.In case you decide to make a couple of waffles, you can always switch the plates with its extra waffle plates. This is awesome flexibility which allows you to cook not only sandwiches but waffles as well.
You don't need to guess whether the plates are ready for cooking, that is solved by its indicator light. The removable plates are dishwasher safe making it so easy to clean.
- Two sets of plates are interchangeable.
- Plates are non-stick and dishwasher-safe making it so easy to clean.
- Indicator lights will tell you if power is on and the plates are ready for the job
- 1-year warranty.
- The latch tend to be flimsy
Cuisinart Dual-Sandwich Nonstick Electric Grill
Another machine that will allow you to fill your sandwich to the brink is the Cuisinart Dual-Sandwich Nonstick Electric Grill. It has dip-pocket plates that accommodate whatever you desire your sandwich to have. It even has a middle division which allows you to divide your sandwich in half if the entire thing is too big for you.
Food release and cleanup is a breeze with its nonstick coated plates which are also dishwasher safe. You know that the machine is well made because the company that made it is confident to give it a 3-year warranty.
Just so that you're aware of its versatility, this machine also makes omelet and French toast. It's just good to have options when you're just fed of your usual sandwich. Designed to grill two sandwiches simultaneously, you can use it for breakfast, lunch or even dinner if eating out is not really an option. Light indicator tells you when the plate is hot enough to cook and when cooking is over.
One caveat for this machine is that the plates are non-removable. This makes it difficult to remove excess oil but this is also typical of the Cuisinart design.
- Dip pocket allows filling to the brink
- Easy to clean and release food
- Dishwasher safe
- 3-year limited warranty
- The plates are too small for large bread
Hamilton Beach 25490A Dual Breakfast Sandwich Maker
The Hamilton Beach 25490A Dual Breakfast Sandwich Maker has an interesting form factor and it allows cooking two sandwiches at the same time and you can have it in as short as five minutes. This is so ideal for you hectic schedule. No need to skip breakfast because its to quick and easy to produce.
You can put in all the ingredients that you want like eggs, cheese and vegetable and make your own gourmet sandwich in the comfort of your own home. No need to worry about over cooking because the indicator timer has an audible sound telling your that cooking time is up.
- Quick and easy to clean and use
- Makes 2 sandwiches at the same time
- Ready in 5 minutes, ideal for hurried schedules
- Countdown timer with audible sound
- Recipes included
- Removable parts are dishwasher safe
- Both sides heat up even if only one is used
Cuisinart GR-1 Griddler Panini and Sandwich Press
Another quality product from Cuisinart is the Cuisinart GR-1 Griddler Panini and Sandwich Press. Nothing beats this product when it comes to elegance with its brush stainless steel housing. Its floating hinge automatically adjusts to the size of bread that you put in it allowing you a wide range of choices. Use it to press on bread as it cooks, the result is a crispy, evenly cooked sandwich at restaurant quality.
With its preset temperature, you can be sure that you sandwich is crisp, golden brown and plain yummy. This machine is also sturdy and you can expect it to serve you for the long haul.
While the plates are non-removable, all you need to do is wipe it to make it clean. Although I would have preferred if it's removable so I can just dunkt it into the dishwasher. But then it's not and I consider this a design flaw because I ended up tilting the entire thing just to remove excess oil. It can also be hard to clean the burnt cheese buildup.
It also comes with cleaning tool to facilitate in the after care. Its measurement of 14-1/2 by 6-1/2 by 12 inches is spacious enough to accommodate two sandwiches at the same time. No time waster here, its just an efficient sandwich maker.
- Preset temperature ideal for grilling sandwiches
- Cook indicator lights m
- Comes with recipe book
- Comes with cleaning tool
- You still need to tilt the unit to remove oil buildup
Hamilton Beach 25475A Breakfast Sandwich Maker
If you find the Hamilton Beach 25490A Dual Breakfast Sandwich Maker too much for you, the Hamilton Beach 25475A Breakfast Sandwich Maker might be what you're looking for. The typical complaint against the former is that the second side also heats up even if only one is being used. Well, this is the answer to that: a single sided sandwich maker that comes from the same innovative company.
With breakfast being the most important meal of the day, this machine is perfect for those singles who are on a hectic schedule. With this sandwich maker, you can prepare yourself a gourmet breakfast on the fly. For as quick as five minutes, you'll have the best sandwich on the par with the nearest gourmet restaurant.
You don't need to worry that your food gets burned because it has a countdown timer with audible sound to tell you that cooking is done. With all removable parts being dishwasher safe, you can be sure you won't spend Saturday night cleaning this machine.
- Food is ready in 5 minutes or less
- Cooks every layer of sandwich evenly
- All removable parts are dishwasher safe
- Plates are covered with durable and nonstick coating
- Not suitable for couples or families
Proctor Silex 25408 Sandwich Toaster
If you just looking for a sandwich make that's simple and easy to use but works, the Proctor Silex 25408 Sandwich Toaster is for you. Perhaps the least featured among the machines in this review, this sandwich maker is meant to be portable and minimalistic in design. Perfect for those with limited spaces this machine makes two sandwiches at once, with diagonal division to make 4 half sandwiches.
But don't belittle this simple machine because it's so versatile it can cook French toast, sandwiches, omelets, and other desserts.
Its indicator light will tell you when the thing is ready to cook, or when the power is on. To clean the grids, all you need to do is wipe it. It's so easy to clean you don't have to sweat it.
When it comes to storage, all you need to do is lock the handle and store this machine vertically.
- Quick, easy and simple to operate
- Nonstick grids are easy to clean
- Power on and preheat lights indicate when the machine is ready to use
- Compact form factor and upright storage is perfect for restricted spaces
- Larger sandwiches tend to ooze resulting in a mess
All these sandwich makers are good and you can’t go wrong if you pick any of these. You can definitely create a gourmet sandwich with any of these machines and perhaps avoid visiting your favorite restaurant unless you want another food other than a sandwich. While the price ranges do vary, these machines will give you the value for your money.
That being said, the Hamilton Beach 25460A Panini Press Gourmet Sandwich Maker is my winner because of the fact that it just works perfectly for my situation.
I can cook enough sandwiches for the entire family because it's huge enough to house two sandwiches at once. All I need is repeat the process ones and I have a complete breakfast for the entire family. Regardless of the size of sandwich, the bistro style coasting ensures that it can be accommodated. The only thing I don't like about this is that its plates are non-removable and there is only one heat temperature.
If you're single and this machine is too big for your needs, you can opt for the Hamilton Beach 25475A Breakfast Sandwich Maker which is its single version. You get to enjoy all the power of the former except for the fact that you can't cook double sandwich at ones.
If you have limited space and you just want something you can use, the Proctor Silex 25408 Sandwich Toaster is my recommendation. This thing just works even without the added features of the other sandwich makers. On top of that, its compact design makes it perfect for limited spaces. The only reason why I gave it the lowest rating is its lack of feature compared to other machines in this review.
The ones from Cuisinart are also good but the fact that the plates are non-removable is a deal breaker for me. It would be difficult to clean especially when there are burnt cheese and oil in it. The buildup is just to tough to just wipe out. Tilting the entire machine just to remove some of the oil that's deposited on it is just not good enough for me. But if you're fine with that, these sandwich makers are all good too.
Do you have any of these sandwich makers? Do you use any of these in preparing your favorite sandwich? Why not share your thoughts in the comment section below?