If you’re handed an ordinary bread toaster or sandwich maker in the morning, it’s likely that you will prepare for yourself a simple cheese sandwich. You might already own one and sitting in your kitchen corner. Still, there is another appliance that deserves a spot in the counter top – and this is the Panini press.
This kitchen tool is much desired by housewives, mothers, and homemakers since it gives them the ability to create bread treats of a wide variety – and not just the homey cheese-filled type. You can even concoct you own creation.
The following are marked differences between the two home appliances. Knowing the many benefits and uses of these reliable Panino makers will convince you to get one and store your toaster away.
1. Panini grills use delicious Italian breads
However, wait until you tasted focaccia and ciabatta and have them filled with awesome food stuff (whatever your heart desires). Soon enough, you’ll have a major liking for these Italian breads, which means you’ll also want to own a Panini maker.
And while these breads look denser and heavier that you aren’t sure if the press can accommodate them; remember that the upper plates are hinged. In other words, you can put in as much fillings [such as turkey meat, salami, bacon, and the likes; vegetables and fruits; egg omelet; and (not to be missed) cheese] as you want.
2. It is Highly Versatile
There’s a big difference between grilling and just heating it up. A toaster simply heats up your bread meal. On the other hand, the Panini maker presses and grills it, mainly to obtain the grilled lines on the surfaces of the bread.
Indeed, Panini press can prepare a great variety of foods other than bread and sandwiches.
a. Meat and vegetables
You can put meat such as bacon and hamburger as well as vegetables like asparagus and carrot slices directly into the plate. To enhance taste, add a dash of pepper and salt and a drizzle of olive oil.
Want to grill lobster or salmon? A Panini grill can do it. Don’t forget to liberally squeeze some lemon while you’re at it.
Sliced mango and pineapple can also be grilled by directly placing it over the heated surface. You can enjoy caramelized bits by dipping them first into brown sugar, making sure that they are fully coated. Grill until everything is golden brown. Cool down before serving. Such sweet treats are perfect for kids as delicious deserts.
Craving for some warm and tasty sunny side-up for breakfast? You can directly crack your egg into the hot plate.
Cooking egg on an ordinary toaster – never heard of that.
Omelet? No problem at all. Just make sure that the Panini maker is heated for a few minutes and the surface is brushed with a little oil.
Needless to say, you will not be able to cook all this if you only have a simple sandwich maker. While grills for paninis are known to be more expensive than an ordinary toaster, it is because they are more versatile. Not only can they churn out these Italian bread treats but they can also cook other food types as well.
3. Stuff all you can
With a sandwich maker, the right bread to use is the regular and sliced one. In such case, you can only use food stuff for filling in a limited way. Otherwise, your sandwich will become deformed and soggy.
But with a press, you are allowed to stuff your Panino to your heart’s desire. Since you’re using thicker and denser bread, you can fill up your sandwich with tons of different food ingredients – vegetables, meats and cold cuts, cheeses, eggs, dressings, and even fruits.
Sky’s the limit!
Photo Source: Hannah
You don’t have to worry that your sandwich will turn mushy and not hold everything together. The appliance is precisely designed to do just that.
As the bread is pressed and toasted, the ingredients within are properly and evenly cooked. The melted cheese helps in tightly binding everything together.
4. Presses possess heavy duty plates
Toasters and sandwich makers are simpler and more limited in use than Panini presses. The plates of the former are triangular; making the toasted bread to assume such shape. As such, sandwiches made using such machines can be cut diagonally to form triangles.
In contrast, Panini grills are heavy duty and with grilled plates to ensure that seared lines are rendered onto the toasted surface. Upper plates are heavy in order to exert the needed amount of pressure on the Panini, however bulky or dense it might be.
5. Competitively priced
Toaster is less expensive than a Panini press because the latter boast of more features and functions such as temperature settings and precision timers. The Press is also designed to separate oil and grease, making every meal that it creates less greasy and hence, very healthy.
6. Panini makers are less messy
With sandwich toasters and makers, you will have second thoughts about putting in many filling since too much will be messy, with stuff tending to fall off. Your meal becomes soggy in the end.
Expect ingredients to hardly stay in place when using such appliance. Clearly, toasters are meant only to prepare simpler meals such as cheese or spread sandwich.
When it comes to Panini presses, you can throw in everything – turkey meat, lettuce and tomato, lots of cheese, more meat such as salami and bacon – and everything will stay in place. Just make sure that you use cheese as it will act as a binder that will hold everything together.
Generally, thick or large your Panini might be, you can be sure that it will be cooked properly and all throughout.
7. Enjoy healthy foods
Since Panini press is made of non stick plates, bread will not stick to the surface. It means that the use of oil or margarine is but an option. Such appliance is perfect if you’re on a diet or want to enjoy healthy meals.
On the other hand, if you want a more flavorful Italian bread treat, enjoy a beautiful golden brown hue, and want to avoid any possible burning, you might want to brush the surface with bit of olive oil.
Undoubtedly, if you have a simple taste in life and relishes even just a humble cheese sandwich, you will surely be happy to own a basic maker of sandwiches.
But if you want an appliance that not only churns out authentic Italian Panino but cooks delicious and healthful foods of all types in a fast and easy manner; then by all means, use the latest Panini Maker.
Needless to say, with all the wonderful advantages and uses that the best Panini presses offer, they are a better option over the sandwich toaster or maker.
Focaccia and Ciabatta Image source: Wikipedia