Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Panini Maker

Have a cheese monster in your life? Nothing melts cheese in a sandwich like a panini maker. The basic concept is fairly simple. You brush the outside of sandwich bread with butter, fill the inside with your favorites, like ham, mustard and cheese, insert the sandwich and close the panini maker. Both sides are heated simultaneously and within minutes, the cheese has melted and a delicious hot sandwich is ready to be savored.

It seems like all the small appliance companies have at least one or two models. The bells and whistles vary but, in my opinion, the two most important features are an unhinged back (you want the top to come down flat on the sandwich, not squish the rear) and removable grill plates for ease of cleaning. I was surprised to find that mine didn't have a temperature control, a fact that made me very nervous in the beginning. But once I used it, I liked the fact that it knew what to do and I didn't have to fuss over the temperature. They vary in price from about $30 to $150, with a huge selection coming in at the $50ish mark. Be careful about overbuying one of these, some of those bells and whistles just aren't necessary. But once you have a delicious panini, you might want a panini maker for yourself, too.


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