We all love panini and if you want to make one at home you need to buy a panini press. However, you can only buy the best panini press if you know what to look for. How do panini presses work? Which are the parts that determine how well Panini press grills? In this guide, we answer those and other questions that will help you choose the best panini press.

How Do Panini Presses Work?

A panini press is basically a grill that is used to heat meat products, sandwiches, vegetables, or other snacks. It gets its name from the fact that the food being cooked is pressed by the grills from the top and bottom. That is in contrast with other grills where the grilling surface is in contact with the food being cooked from one side only.  You can a lot more info at http://sandwich101.com  

The double contact of the panini press enables the food to cook evenly without having to flip it. The panini grill uses electricity to power its heating coils. The coils then transfer the heat to the grill plates. Generally the bottom grill plate is fixed while the top grill plate is attached to the lid. Food is laced on the bottom grill plate. When the panini press lid is closed, the top grill plate covers the panini from above.

In that way, the panini starts grilling the food using heat that is generated by the electric coils. The coils themselves are not in contact with the food. The heat they produce has to pass to the grill plates before passing onto the panini being cooked. The panini press is designed to cook the food in hygiene manner and give it a nice crispy finish with grill marks.

Features That Influence How a Panini Press Works

Grill Surface Area

The grill surface area determines the quantity of panini you will make. The more surface area your panini press has, the more you can cook. If you will be cooking for many people most of the time, you will need to buy one that has enough surface area to meet your grilling needs. A small surface area means that your panini will occupier a small space. If space is an issue, then you will obviously go for panini press with a smaller surface area. The amount of money you pay will by a great extent be determined by the surface are of your panini grill.

Floating Hinge

The floating hinge simply means that the lid is allowed to close at different heights. That allows you to properly grill different foods evenly. A fixed hinge will not allow the upper grilling plate to rest properly on a large baguette. The edge closer to the hinge will experience a greater pressure than the edge on the opposite end. A floating hinge allows the upper grilling plates to rest squarely on a baguette just as well as on a shorter thinner cheese sandwich. Most models with this feature are affordable and can be considered to be budget panini presses.

Adjustable Thermostat

There times that you may want to grill not just a panini but other foods as well. That means you will need to adjust the temperature of the panini press to a different setting suitable for that food. For example, if you want to grill burgers, you may need higher temperature compared to grilling a sandwich. That means you will not do without a means to control and regulate the temperature. You will only skip buying a panini press with an adjustable thermostat if you just want to be making panini only.

Removable plates

These do not feature so much into how the panini press works but how you will be cleaning it. You will notice that your panini fillings will drop into the lower grilling surface and get stuck there. If you leave them there, they will eventually burn and release some smoke. That may change the flavor of your panini. It is much easier to clean the grilling plates if they are removable. You just take them out and use your dish washer to do the cleaning job.

We started by answering the question How Do Panini Presses Work? We have also reviewed some of the most important features of a panini press. We hope this guide has been informative and you will enjoy making your panini.


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Hi, I'm Ken. I moved to Hawaii with my family in January of 2014. We love it here and want to share all the awesome things we do. We hope that one day you'll be able to move to Hawaii and live the dream with us. Island Life: Living the dream. Loving Life. Happy to be here!