Easy-to-clean, interchangeable plates make both waffles and sandwiches. Stores upright, saving space on the counter or in the cabinet.
Though the grill plates are deeper than some models, thicker items might not cook evenly.
Makes 2 sandwiches in minutes. Comes with a cool-touch locking handle for safe operation. Features a nonstick copper surface that makes cleanup a breeze. Indicator lights let you know when sandwiches are ready. Compact and portable.
Does not come with an on/off switch. Tends to toast unevenly.
Floating "café" lid design presses sandwiches firmly and evenly. Makes sandwiches of almost any size, which is impressive considering the low price.
Somewhat challenging to clean. Doesn't always heat or cook evenly.
Ample cook space with a nonstick surface that does a good job resisting stuck-on food. Simple to operate thanks to the on/off knob with a variable temperature range.
It is somewhat bulky and doesn't have replaceable inserts or a grease channel.
Creates pressed and edged sandwiches, omelets, or French toast. Can fit 2 whole sandwiches at once. Cuts and seals edges for ideal serving size. Dual indicator lights tell you when it's preheated and when food should be done.
Spills are difficult to clean with nonremovable heating plates.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Few can resist a sandwich toasted to golden perfection. Whether you crave a variety of gourmet fillings, or can't resist the simple satisfaction of melted cheese, with a good sandwich maker you can create your favorites anytime. What's more, warm sandwiches can be served as quick and easy breakfasts, lunches, dinners, or snacks on days when time is short and tummies are rumbling.
Whether you're replacing a well-loved traditional sandwich maker, or buying your first, you'll certainly have no shortage of options to choose from. So, where do you start, and what should you look for?
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To get a better idea of what goes into a great sandwich maker — other than sandwiches, of course — take a look at our detailed guide below. Once you've identified the qualities that matter most to you, check out our top five sandwich makers above to choose your favorite.
Although most sandwich makers work in more or less the same manner, by toasting bread between two heated plates, you'll have a few different styles to choose from. The most common types of sandwich makers are:
These are easily recognizable by their distinctive plates. Featuring triangular depressions, deep fill plates are designed to seal off the sides of your sandwiches, allowing you to cram in extra fillings with little to no leaking. If you like deep pockets of filling with extended crispy edges, these are a great choice.
Can't get enough of paninis with perfectly irresistible char lines? Then a panini press sandwich maker is a must. Not only do panini presses allow you to use thicker slices of bread, they also tend to be the most versatile. Many come with interchangeable plates or an upper griddle plate for those beautiful lines, and a flat lower grill plate for even heat distribution from below. Depending on the model and size, some panini presses can even be used to grill a variety of meats.
The original sandwich maker style, these machines produce even toasting between two flat plates, and are available in a variety of sizes.
If you love breakfast sandwiches or can happily wrap your mouth around an egg any time of the day, you may enjoy a breakfast sandwich maker. Featuring two round ring molds for the bread, and a cooking plate for raw eggs, these take care of every step of creating a breakfast sandwich. However, round ring molds aren't the most versatile, and may take a little practice to get the hang of. But if you truly love breakfast sandwiches, they're worth considering.
Not all sandwich makers are created equal, and some models have features that take convenience to the next level:
Removable heating plates will be easier to clean.
Double-sided or interchangeable plates will infinitely expand your sandwich maker’s versatility; allowing you to toast, grill, make waffles, and more.
Floating hinges won't place a limit on your sandwich height and provide even pressure and toasting from front to back.
Adjustable heat settings can be handy and will let you customize your level of crunch.
Once you've identified the basic style that best suits your needs, don't forget to keep the following points in mind:
No matter what your sandwich maker is capable of, if the size doesn't meet your household’s needs, convenience pretty much flies right out the window. If you have a large family, opt for a sizable sandwich maker, as one that's too small will have you spending considerably more time in the kitchen, and churning out sandwich after sandwich for a crowd can be a hassle. Short on counter space? Consider purchasing a standard double sandwich maker that can be stored in an upright position, avoiding the inconvenience of having to pack it away after every use.
Every good sandwich maker should have nonstick plates. Although many take it for granted that their sandwich maker will have a nonstick coating, this isn't always the case. To avoid having to pry your sandwiches away from the plates, potentially ruining them in the process (not to mention making cleanup a nightmare) make sure yours features quality, nonstick plates.
The difficulty of cleaning your sandwich maker is likely to have a direct impact on how often you use it. No one looks forward to cleaning up crusty, greasy cheese buildup, and if it happens to make its way into hard-to-reach crevices, cleanup takes on a whole new level of difficulty. A good, nonstick surface is non-negotiable for most, and removable plates will allow you to clean your sandwich maker thoroughly. In the absence of removable plates, height-adjustable floating hinges will not only cause less mess through even weight distribution, but will allow for better reach when cleaning as well.
If all you really need is a sandwich maker that can deliver warm, well-toasted golden sandwiches, a standard variety will get the job done. However, if you prefer a versatile option that can serve as more than just a sandwich maker, delve a little deeper to find out its full range of features. Does it only offer sandwich and waffle-making capabilities, or can it also grill a variety of meats and veggies?
If you plan to store your sandwich maker on your countertop, consider how it will fit in with your kitchen decor and existing appliances. Stainless steel varieties generally offer a sleek and modern look that easily blends with a number of styles.
Stainless steel sandwich makers not only look great, but tend to be the most durable as well. A scratch-resistant, nonstick coating will also help to extend the life of your heating plates. That said, plastic, or a combination of plastic and stainless steel, certainly does have the potential of offering reliable durability, provided the sandwich maker is produced by a reputable manufacturer, known to use quality materials.
Your desired sandwich maker’s size and feature set will directly impact its price. A basic double sandwich maker can cost as little as $15, whereas a high-end commercial grade model that does it all can easily set you back upwards of $350. For the average user in search of a blend of convenience and versatility, sandwich makers that fall anywhere within the $20 to $70 price bracket will more than suffice.
Don't get stuck in a sandwich-making rut. Try these tips if your sandwich combinations are feeling a little stale:
Butter isn't your only option for coating the outside of your bread before grilling. Try a little mayo. Not only will it produce a deliciously crisp golden crust, but it will add a whole new level of tangy flavor to your bread as well.
Sweeten things up. Why not try a peanut butter, banana, and syrup combo for an indulgent treat, sure to satisfy any sweet tooth?
Swapping out bread slices for English muffins, bagels, or quesadillas will put a fresh twist on old favorites.
Add a touch of sweetness to your salt. Caramelized onions, chutneys, and jams all work well with the natural saltiness of cheese.
A. While this can be alarming, it's perfectly normal and is nothing to worry about. All sandwich makers produce small amounts of smoke and may emit a strange smell when used for the first time. This will stop by itself after a few uses.
A. Unplug your sandwich maker and allow it to cool completely before attempting to clean it. Using a damp cloth, thoroughly wipe both the upper and lower plates. If necessary, use a clean kitchen towel to dry. To prevent hard-to-clean buildup, wipe your sandwich maker after every use.
A. Although not a strict requirement, we highly recommend applying a light coating of butter or vegetable oil to your nonstick plates to extend their life and yield optimal results. Cooking sprays should be avoided, as these can often cause a sticky buildup that's a hassle to clean.
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