Sandwich maker. Panini maker. Whatever you call it, once you make the switch, you'll never want to make a sandwich without one again. Versatile, convenient, and easy to use, they can grill a sandwich in the kitchen a breeze using your own fresh ingredients. Both appliances can grill sandwiches, burgers, quesadillas, and other food items to a perfect, golden-brown crisp. With two hinged plates coated with a non-stick finish that prevents food from sticking, it makes clean-up afterward easy.
Before purchasing a breakfast maker or a panini press, note that not all of them are healthy for you. To help you shop, we have rounded six best sandwich makers and panini presses that are healthy and safe for you to use and also make a great addition to any kitchen. All the sandwich makers below are made with non-toxic, PFOA-free non-stick coatings, so you won't have to compromise your health in pursuit of the perfect breakfast sandwich.
The 6 Best Sandwich Makers and Panini Presses
Breville the Toast & Melt™
The Breville Toast & Melt™ is a versatile appliance that, as the name suggests, efficiently toasts bread, melts cheese, and makes unbelievable breakfast sandwiches. Its compact design fits easily on any countertop, where its durable stainless steel construction lends a sleek look. At just $79.95, it's our go-to pick for any home cook.
The appliance features a non-stick grilling surface that ensures your food doesn't stick or burn, and it also comes with a floating hinge that allows you to adjust the height of the upper grilling plate depending on the thickness of your food. Thanks to a timer and adjustable temperature controls, you can customize your toast to your desired level of crunchiness. Whether you're making a classic grilled cheese sandwich or topping your toast with avocado and eggs, the Breville Toast & Melt™ is a convenient and efficient way to enjoy all your favorite toasted and melted treats.
GreenPan Greenlife Sandwich Maker
Best on a Budget
The GreenPan Greenlife Sandwich Maker is an excellent affordable option for anyone looking to make a quick meal at home. With its non-stick ceramic surface, you can grill a hearty breakfast sandwich, low-fat chicken breast, or ooey-gooey grilled cheese sandwich without worrying about the bread sticking or the filling spilling out. A compact design (offered in a rainbow of color options) allows for easy storage in kitchens of any size.
In addition to being practical and convenient, the GreenPan Greenlife Sandwich Maker is also environmentally friendly. The non-stick coating is free from harmful chemicals, such as PFOA, PFAS, and lead, making it a safer option for both you and the environment. It's made using recycled materials and requires less energy consumption than most traditional sandwich makers, making it a smart, sustainable choice for budget-conscious shoppers.
George Foreman Grill & Broil 6-in-1 Electric Indoor Grill
Best Multi-Purpose Grill
Few countertop appliances are more versatile than this George Foreman Grill & Broil 6-in-1 Electric Indoor Grill. Thanks to interchangeable grill, griddle, and waffle maker plates, it can make far more than just sandwiches. Its ability to grill, broil, bake, roast, and toast makes it a great addition to any home kitchen, particularly those that are short on cabinet space.
One of the standout features of George Foreman's multi-purpose indoor grill is its ability to cook a wide range of foods quickly and evenly. The powerful heating element heats up in just a few minutes, ideal for squeezing in a quick breakfast or lunch when you're short on time. A temperature control dial allows you to adjust the heat to your desired level, ensuring contents are cooked to perfection. Clean-up is easy thanks to a built-in drip tray that catches excess grease before it hits the counter.
GreenPan Premiere Multi Grill, Griddle, and Waffle Maker
Worth the Splurge
If you're willing to splurge, do so on a multi-purpose grill like this Greenpan Premiere Multi Grill, Griddle, and Waffle Maker. Equipped with an interchangeable waffle plate, it'll become a go-to appliance for all your cooking needs.
The multi-grill has a large cooking surface, allowing you to cook up to four servings at a time, and an adjustable temperature control, so you can cook your food to your desired level of doneness. On the weekends, use the griddle plates to make breakfast favorites like eggs, bacon, and pancakes, and the waffle plates for crispy, fluffy waffles in just minutes.
Green Pan Ceramic Nonstick 3 in 1 Grill, Griddle And Waffle Maker
This versatile Ceramic Nonstick 3-in-1 Grill, Griddle, And Waffle Maker from Greenpan is an excellent addition kitchen. Its reversible plates and easy-to-use design make it ideal for a busy individual or a couple, and its versatility allows for endless possibilities when it comes to sandwich-making and more.
The non-stick sandwich maker features two fast-heating cooking surfaces with a PFOA, PFOA, lead, and cadmium-free, non-stick finish. With a lay-flat design, you can use it as an open grill. To make cleaning a breeze, pop off the griddle plates and place them in the dishwasher.
Lodge Cast Iron Square Panini Press
Best Cast iron panini press
Don't have space in your pantry for yet another techy countertop gadget? Make your grilled sandwiches the old-fashioned way with this Lodge Cast Iron Square Panini Press. Crafted from high-quality cast iron, it can withstand the high heat conditions of a stovetop, oven, or outdoor grill. The reliable material has excellent heat retention and distribution, ensuring every centimeter of your sandwich is nice and crispy. Its ribbed surface creates classic grill marks on your food, bringing an authentic grilled flavor to meat, chicken, and veggies.
Cleaning and using the Lodge Cast Iron Square Panini Press is a breeze, as it's pre-seasoned and ready to use right out of the box. Instead of hand-washing it alongside your other pans, simply wipe down the cooking plates with a damp cloth after each use. Its handle is made from thick, heat-resistant silicone for a safe, comfortable grip.
What is a sandwich press used for?
Whether you're a seasoned cook or just starting out in the kitchen, a sandwich maker is a must-have appliance that will help you create delicious meals in no time. Here are a few things you can make using your panini press:
Paninis and grilled sandwiches
If you are a sandwich enthusiast, you know a good-pressed sandwich is hard to beat with the crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside. You'll undoubtedly be using your sandwich maker to cook a multitude of grilled sandwiches. Drizzle the outside of your bread with olive oil or slather on a bit of butter for an extra crispy finish that makes the fresh ingredients inside taste even better.
Grilled cheese sandwiches
Two cooking surfaces equal one perfectly crispy, melty grilled cheese sandwich. Butter the outside of your bread evenly and keep your cheese slices thin to create a perfectly brown exterior and fully melted cheese every time.
Skip a trip to the bodega by making your own homemade breakfast sandwich with any combination of eggs, bacon, sausage, English muffins, biscuits, small bagels, cheese, or whatever ingredients you please. There are breakfast sandwich makers that can make your eggs to perfection. Cooking plate cooks a fresh egg perfectly and then slides out to assemble the sandwich. However, we weren't able to find any breakfast sandwich makers that are non-toxic and safe.
After making quesadillas between the removable plates of your panini press, you'll never make one in a pan again. Use precooked meat and veggies for a golden-brown exterior and a fully-cooked interior.
Meat and Seafood
A sandwich maker with a drip tray can make a mean chicken breast, turkey burger, or grilled shrimp skewer without making a mess. It's a great alternative in homes without a proper outdoor grill.
Some sandwich makers feature interchangeable cooking plates, meaning your panini press can double as a waffle maker for weekend brunch. It sounds like it's time to stock up on maple syrup!