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If you’re serious about your sandwiches, a panini press can be a great addition to your kitchen.
A well-pressed sandwich, with ingredients such as cheese properly melted, can make lunchtime a lot more fun and really impress your gifts.
To ensure you’re getting the best possible experience, please read this post about how to use a panini press.
What is a panini press?
For a sandwich to become the pressed sandwich known in many places as a “panini,” it requires a specific tool.
While you can certainly press your sandwich with a variety of tools, the hassle is far more than the cost of an actual panini press.
Even if you do execute it, it’s just not going to look or taste as good.
A panini can come in a variety of ways. It could be ham and cheddar with pesto. It could also be turkey and swiss with bacon.
The only thing that’s tying these together is the method of creation: pressing.
However, that’s a small aspect that can make a huge difference. By compacting everything into a pressed sandwich, you can have a much more enjoyable dining experience.
It looks a lot more visually appealing, with those familiar grill marks.
It also enhances the bread, texture and taste-wise. Bread is a vital part of a sandwich, and it’s a shame to turn it into an afterthought.
More than sandwiches
You might be thinking that you enjoy paninis from time-to-time, but not enough to get any consistent usage out of a device like this.
That’s totally understandable, and you shouldn’t buy anything you don’t need.
However, a good panini press has qualities that go beyond sandwich-making.
At its heart, a panini press is a grill. There are so many things you can make on a grill, including meats and vegetables.
You could even use your panini press to make desserts such as brownies.
It’s awesome to have this compact device that cleanly handles cooking duties so you don’t have to worry about getting your stovetop too dirty or cluttered.
Setting up and operating a panini press
How to use your panini press depends on what kind you get. You may be tempted to buy yours secondhand to save money, but we strongly urge you to buy new, as it’s going to be of better quality and include valuable information such as instructions.
A panini press is a fairly inexpensive purchase, and a good one can last for years without issue.
When you’re setting up your panini press, be sure to carefully follow all of the instructions and warnings.
There are going to be common sense warnings about things like not touching certain parts of the panini press while it’s on and avoiding electrical shocks.
It’s still vital to read all of these instructions and take absorb the messages.
Safety with your panini press
In 2007, a fire broke out in a Melbourne, Australia home due to a sandwich press that wasn’t turned off.
Your panini press must be handled responsibly.
A moment of inattentiveness can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage.
Only plug your press into wall outlets that have been deemed safe.
Do not step away while your press is on.
When your sandwich or other item is finished cooking, make sure you turn off your press safely and make sure you have protection for your hands.
Be sure there’s no liquid in the immediate vicinity of your plug and/or the outlet.
Letting children use it
Young children may love having a panini press in the home, but you’ll need to impose rules about using it.
When starting out, you and any other adults in the house should be the only ones allowed to operate it.
If your children request to use it and you believe they may be mature enough to do so, supervise them in the process.
At first, you may loosen the rules to where they can use it, as long as there’s at least one adult in the home.
As they grow up and show their maturity, you can let them have free reign with the panini press.
This is all dependent on whether they follow the instructions.
Any act of carelessness or recklessness with the panini press is an appropriate reason to revoke, or at least suspend, their privileges.
Finding your panini press
Some of the biggest names in cookware have panini presses. This isn’t the most vital purchase of your life, but going with a trusted name can help you avoid a dud.
Check around your kitchen and see which brands are most prevalent.
Then, look to see if those companies offer panini presses.
Read features and reviews carefully so that you can make sure you’re getting exactly what you intend to.
A sleuth-like way to get a great panini press is to go to your favorite sandwich shop and see what kind of panini press they use.
You might be able to see from the dining room or just ask a staff member.
This won’t be like you’ll be snooping around for their secret recipes or anything.
You just want to know what kind of sandwich press they use. They should be happy to answer.
Using your panini press properly
While your panini press can definitely make it easier to get great sandwiches, it’s not going to do all the work for you.
To make your sandwiches golden-brown and delicious, you need to make sure your panini press is given at least five minutes to warm up before you put the sandwich on.
Monitor it closely so that your bread is properly crispy and your cheese has melted just right.
Use foresight during the preparation process as well.
If you stuff your sandwich with ingredients, you’re going to end up with something that is too big too be pressed and mucks up your panini press with excess cheese.
A panini press is a great tool if you’re trying to get more out of your sandwiches and grilling experience.
Yield this advice and look for one that will help you out.
Once you know how to use a panini press, you can make so many amazing sandwiches.
Featured image credit: Shutterstock.com Image ID: 497560255