We spent 45 hours researching and testing more than 12 different types and brands of sandwich makers and found that performance, ease of use, and capacity were the most important factors with consumers who were shopping for sandwich makers. Hamilton Beach 25460A Medium Sandwich Maker scored high marks in all categories and is our overall top pick. Making delicious hot sandwiches is easy with the Hamilton Beach medium-sized sandwich maker. You can easily make everything from yummy grilled cheese to Reubens to hot ham n’ cheese using fresh ingredients from your fridge. The café-style lid evenly presses the sandwiches so you can decide how thin or thick you want them.
Sandwich Maker Comparison
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Sandwich Maker Buying Guide
There are two basic types of sandwich makers on the market:
- Panini Press – This type of sandwich maker is used for a variety of sandwiches. It has plates on the top and bottom that heat the food when they are closed. You can make all kinds of foods with the Panini press including pancakes, burgers, grilled cheese, and much more.
- 4 Triangle Sandwich Maker – This is a common kitchen appliance that has four triangular square plates. The closedown handle shuts the sandwich maker so the food can cook. It is a great appliance for making grilled sandwiches of all kinds as well as other types of snacks.
Features to Look for in a Sandwich Maker
There are several features you want to watch for when you start browsing through the different sandwich makers on the market. We have listed the most important ones below.
- Removable Plates – Almost every sandwich maker of any kind will feature removable plates. This is a very important feature since it allows the sandwich maker to be cleaned properly which will reduce the chances of bacteria growing from food particles stuck under the plates. The plates are the only part of the sandwich maker that you will be washing in a sink since putting the entire until in water will ruin it and damage all the electrical parts.
- Power – The smaller a sandwich maker is the less power it will use. There are some models that heat up fast and can handle several sandwiches at once and these will take up more power to run. The average wattage for a sandwich maker will be around 750 watts. A sandwich maker is not going to take up an excess amount of power so you can use it to replace using the oven sometimes and save on your power bill each month.
- Size – How many slices of bread can the sandwich maker handle? Larger units can handle up to 8 slices of bread and are great for large families. If you have a small family, it’s just you, or you are part of a couple, a smaller sandwich maker will work just fine.
- Plate surfaces and shapes – It is always to your benefit to choose sandwich makers that have nonstick plates. This makes cleaning super easy since the nonstick surface will keep the food, including melted cheese, from sticking to the plate’s surface. Make sure that all the plates your sandwich maker comes with have nonstick coating if at all possible. Most plates come in square or triangle shapes. Some plates have bread shaped compartments while others have flat surfaces that can handle any sized bread, even sub rolls.
- Adjustable Settings – Not many sandwich makers come with adjustable heat settings so if you can find one and it is from a reputable company, grab it. With the adjustable heat setting feature you can choose how crispy or hot your sandwich is. The majority of sandwich makers currently on the market have indicator lights in red and green so you can tell when the unit is ready to use and when the power is on.
- Functions – Some sandwich makers can do other things like waffle making, grilling, toasting and other functions in addition to sandwich making. If you want to do more than make sandwiches with your sandwich makers look for those that advertise being able to cook other types of food on them. Some can handle burgers, kebabs, omelets and other foods that are very popular.
- Floating Hinges – The top or cover of a sandwich maker is typically pulled closed but when it features a floating lid this means it can be arranged in such a way that it doesn’t unevenly press or crush the food you are cooking. These floating lids are a great choice for those wanting to cook a variety of sandwiches on the sandwich maker. Another benefit to a floating lid is that if you want to make something like pizza, you can adjust the top so it does not touch any of the toppings.
- Ergonomic handles – Having easy to reach and use handles on your sandwich maker will make it a lot easier to use especially when the lid is open. For taller people this isn’t normally a problem but for those who are not tall or for kids who want to use the sandwich maker the hard to reach handles can be a potential hazard. (Note: children should not use the sandwich maker without adult supervision) The lower profile designs are much simpler and easier to maneuver and use which keeps everyone much safer.
- Warranties – A good warranty is always a positive feature to look for. Companies that stand behind their products typically offer sound warranties that provide the consumer with peace of mind that they have purchased a quality product. Warranties can range anywhere from 30 days to several years depending on the company. Make sure you understand what the warranty covers and how to prevent accidently voiding the warranty by not registering upon purchase or not performing required maintenance. Make sure you note the day you purchased the sandwich maker and keep receipts or copies of your payment proof so you have them in the event you need to contact customer support regarding a problem.
- Customer comments – One great way to learn a lot about any sandwich maker you are considering is to read comments from customers that have purchased the sandwich maker you are interested in and are using it in their homes. This is information you can’t get from a sales page or description. Most customers that leave reviews on the products they purchase will tell you how the product performs, how easy it is to use and clean, if there are any problems with it or difficulties that are not mentioned in the description, and other very important information that can help you determine if that particular model is the right one for you. It is better to look for sandwich makers that have a 4 or above star rating and lots of comments from customers that are positive. Keep in mind that not all customer reviews are legitimate but if the majority of the comments are positive and the item has a high star rating you can safely assume it is accurate.
Sandwich makers are one of the best inventions ever for anyone who loves hot sandwiches. These unique and easy-to-use appliances are affordable and can make the ordinary sandwich a new, fun creation. Whether you love grilled cheese with fresh new fillings or a pizza pocket, the sandwich maker will take your sandwich making to a whole new level. If you have never used a sandwich maker before you will really enjoy all the different kinds of sandwiches you can create.
The three top-rated sandwich makers we have featured above are all high quality sandwich makers that have the features you want including ease of use, plenty of space for multiple sandwiches, sleek design, and much more. All three of these sandwich makers are worth considering for anyone looking to purchase one and eliminates having to sort through the many sandwich makers on the market.
The information we have covered in the buying guide will make understanding the descriptions and what each sandwich maker offers much easier. If you are not interested in any one of the three sandwich makers we have featured, don’t worry, you can use all the tips and information you have learned in the guide to sort through the different sandwich makers available and choose the one that will meet all your sandwich making needs.