Best panini press 2022: for the perfect grilled cheese

Choose the best panini press to make delicious, cheesy sandwiches from your own kitchen. Our top five features Cuisinart, Breville, George Foreman and more

Best panini press
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(Image credit: Sage)

Your sandwich game is about to be transformed, and all it takes is the best panini press. From simple grilled cheese to a multi-layered sub, a panini press will melt your cheese and give you crispy bread without squashing tomato slices or wilting lettuce. 

Some of the best panini press options in our guide come with open grill-style designs that can be used for more than just toasting. These griddle-style models are often more expensive, but can feature adjustable temperatures and removable plates to rival even the best waffle maker

We've chosen our top five panini presses from Breville, Cuisinart, and more top brands to make your choice that little bit easier. You can pick up the best non-stick frying pan if you would prefer to toast your sandwich the old-fashioned way.  

Best panini press

Cuisinart GR-5B Series Griddler Five

(Image credit: Cuisinart)

1. Cuisinart GR-5B Series Griddler Five

Best panini press overall

Specifications

Features: LCD display, adjustable heat dial
Temperature: 175-450 degrees

Reasons to buy

+
Simple controls
+
Sleek grill design
+
Scraping tool included
+
Timer

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the largest grilling area

The Cuisinart Electric Griddler has a lot going for it. At under $100, it packs in a lot of value for money. For a start, the grilling plates are removable, dishwasher safe, and even reversible. 

Multi-functional

You can use this panini press as a grill, too. That's great for searing, and because you can adjust the temperature using the dial, it will make sure that your sandwich is cooked just the way you like it. 

Easy cleaning

There is also a timer that means you can leave your panini to press unattended. For bits of gunk and spilled cheese, you can use the scraper tool to get stuck in with cleaning. 

Hamilton Beach

(Image credit: Hamilton Beach)

2. Hamilton Beach Electric Indoor Searing Grill

Best panini press for value

Specifications

Features: Easy clean, drip tray
Temperature: Up to 500°F

Reasons to buy

+
Drip tray
+
Use it for more than paninis
+
Sear button for temperature surge

Reasons to avoid

-
Grill plates aren't removable

The Hamilton Beach Electric Indoor Searing Grill is an incredible value panini press, with heat of up to 500°F and a quick ear button that boosts the temperature to add that crisp to your bread. 

Steak and more

This grill can also be used for steak and burgers, so it's a true all-rounder that's guaranteed to get regular use in your kitchen. The dishwasher-safe drip container also means it will pick up any overflow of cheese or meat juices for quick cleanup. 

Generous size

It has a total grilling surface of 100 square inches, so there's more than enough space for your whole family to toast their sandwiches at once. It's also great for seriously large sandwiches! 

Breville

(Image credit: Breville)

3. Breville BSG600BSS Panini Press

Best panini press for adjustability

Specifications

Features: Crush control, adjustable size, easy storage
Temperature: Up to 500°F

Reasons to buy

+
Crush control
+
Easy to store
+
Use it open or closed

Reasons to avoid

-
Grill plates aren't removable

Say goodbye to squashed sandwiches with the Breville BSG600BSS Panini Press. It's got a hinge that's designed to deliver just the right amount of weight to toast the exterior perfectly, without causing any spills. 

So many modes

We like the idea of doing more than just paninis in the Breville BSG600BSS Panini Press. It can handle quesadillas, croissants, and even open sandwiches, thanks to the hinge that can lay entirely flat. 

Easy to store

You can store the Breville BSG600BSS Panini Press vertically, so it's guaranteed to slot easily into any kitchen. It even stands alone, and can lock closed to prevent any mishaps. 

Black+Decker

(Image credit: BLACK+DECKER)

4. Black+Decker 3-in-1 Waffle Grill & Sandwich Maker

Best panini press for brunching

Specifications

Features: Waffle, grill, and sandwich inserts

Reasons to buy

+
Makes more than just sandwiches
+
Very compact
+
Feasonably priced

Reasons to avoid

-
Not for stuffed sandwiches

Make more than just paninis with the Black+Decker 3-in-1 Waffle Grill & Sandwich Maker. It's got three inserts for making toasted sandwiches with a sealed crust, paninis with classic grill lines, and even waffles.

So convenient

The design is very lightweight and can be stored upright for convenience. Even the handle makes it very portable, and the cool-touch handles will make it easy to check on your panini. 

Can't go wrong

The design of this panini press is not only budget-friendly, but comes with a latch that can seal your bread crusts to keep your fillings inside. 

George Foreman

(Image credit: George Foreman)

5. George Foreman 4-Serving Removable Plate Grill and Panini Press

Best panini press for value

Specifications

Features: Sloped draining design, non-stick coating

Reasons to buy

+
Enough space for four servings
+
Very good value
+
Adjustable hinge
+
Drip fat tray 

Reasons to avoid

-
Only one temperature

George Foreman is known for making awesome indoor grills, and the George Foreman 4-Serving Removable Plate Grill and Panini Press does this and more. 

Low-fat options

This panini press has a draining pot and a slant to remove juices, which is great for cooking more than just a panini. It will drain juices or fat away from your meats or cheesy sandwiches, meaning your finished meal is incredibly tasty but without all the extra grease. 

Cleaning easy

The plates are dishwasher-safe and easily removed. That sets it apart from many of the panini press picks in this guide. This panini press also has enough space to cater to four people. 

What is the best panini press? 

The Cuisinart GR-5B Series Griddler Five is our top pick of the best panini press for serious sandwich-lovers. If you want something more budget-friendly, take a look at the Black+Decker 3-in-1 Waffle Grill & Sandwich Maker

Millie Fender
Millie Fender

Millie joined the Real Homes team in 2021 after working at TopTenReviews as a Staff Writer. She is now the head of all things cooking, working as the Small Appliances and Cooking Editor on the Homes Ecommerce team. Millie is constantly on the hunt for the latest (and best) kitchen appliances, and reviewing these products hands-on. As a baking enthusiast, Millie’s job at Real Homes is the perfect excuse to cook up an endless supply of snacks. When she’s not in the kitchen though, she loves knitting and exploring London's top food markets. 

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