I broke down and replaced my George Foreman… the thing was probably about as old as I am. I felt it was time, especially considering how dirty it is since it was such a pain in the ass to clean (no removable face plates). So, I went to the trusty internet to look for the best value replacement.
After about 10 minutes, I realized that I don’t need a new Foreman. I only used it to make were sandwiches… and since it wasn’t designed for sandwiches, they never turned out very good. So, instead of a new Foreman I went with a more specialized alternative… the panini press.
I chose the Hamilton Beach 25450 Gourmet Panini Press… read on and I’ll give my reasons as well as my first impressions.
Why did I choose this one? I had only three requirements.
- It was cheap… I found it on clearance at Target.
- It had a hinged top so it could accommodate both thick and thin sandwiches.
- It had favorable reviews on Amazon.
I usually would order this kind of stuff online (since I prefer to read reviews before I make a decision… and because I’m lazy and don’t usually want to go to the store). But, I really wanted a grilled sandwich… Target, you better thank my stomach for that purchase.
So the first sandwich I opted for? You guessed it (or you can read!)… Smoked Turkey and Apple.
The sandwich consisted of light mayo, smoked turkey, cheddar cheese (it was in my fridge), thinly sliced apples, and spicy mustard. I then lightly buttered up the outside of the bread and threw it on the press. A few minutes later, I opened it up and it looked ready… easy enough.
With regards to the Panini Press, it was simple to use and the sandwich came out crunchy on the outside and gooey on the inside… just what I was looking for. The only thing I would have wanted that I did not get… removable face plates. Cleanup is still kind of a pain in the ass… but the grids are nonstick and it seemed to wipe clean pretty easily. I guess we shall see how long that continues.
QoTD: What is your favorite grilled sandwich/panini?
Smoked turkey panini with sliced apples, cheddar cheese, and spicy mustard. You’ll be surprised how well cheese and apples come together.