Best Sandwich Maker a review of the Top 3

Christmas, Easter, your friend’s birthday party is literally just around the corner.  There are still gifts to buy and you might be finding yourself having no idea where to start! You have come to the right place. Trying to find a unique gift year after year can be a bit daunting and you can’t go past finding something that is both fun and practical. It is often said that one way to a person’s heart is through their stomach. There is nothing quite like a flavorsome, warm, toasty sandwich on a cold winter’s day that melts away the blues. There are a few “must haves” in the kitchen, the coffee machine is one and a good professional mixer is another, but the perfect sandwich toaster has its own place. So here is our review on the best sandwich maker for this winter holiday season to warm the hearts of you and your loved ones.

1) Hamilton Beach 25475A Breakfast Sandwich Maker and Hamilton Beach 25490A Dual Breakfast Sandwich Maker 

First up, and probably our favorite, is the Hamilton Beach breakfast sandwich makers. These come in a single (model 25475A) or double (model 25490A) and are just a no-fuss sandwich maker that is easy to use and maintain. And this we be perfect for a fully kited out man cave as well as kitchen or dorm room.

What are the advantages of this breakfast sandwich maker?

All the ingredients are cooked at the same time in the one unit. This is great because:

  • It keeps the whole sandwich neat and tidy. The ingredients all go in together and come out as a fully formed sandwich ready to go.
  • This sandwich maker combines a few steps together, keeping everything all in the one place. Using other equipment leaves more room for mess or spillages, especially when transferring from pan to plate for example.
  • You don’t run the risk of the toast going cold while you are waiting for your eggs and bacon (and other ingredients) to cook. This would be particularly helpful for me as I find the getting the timing right to have all ingredients ready at the same time, to be a little challenging!
  • If you want to achieve the same results with other traditional kitchen equipment, you will need to use more items for each step of the process. For example, a toaster or grill, a frypan (or two depending on the number and type of ingredients you want to use), which would mean more cleaning up.
  • All removable parts of this sandwich maker are safe to go in the dishwasher.
  • Your sandwich is ready in 5 to 6 minutes, which makes this a fantastic replacement for other potential fast food options. You know exactly what is going in to your sandwich and therefore you can control quantities and flavoring to what suits you and your family.

What are the disadvantages of this breakfast sandwich maker?

  • As with all new equipment, the ideal scenario and how it actually turns out may be two different things initially.   Not all ingredients have equal cooking time, so you may have to employ a little trial and error to create the perfect sandwich.
  • You will need to use bread that fits inside the round unit – English muffins or bagels are suitable, otherwise you will need to cut your favorite type of bread to size so that it fits in the unit.
  • Although the unit helps to contain the ingredients while cooking, you will probably find it won’t work to overload the ingredients. Again, test out what quantities and ingredient types work for you when using this product.

What are the main features of this sandwich maker?

  • Top and bottom heating plates
  • Detachable ring assembly unit that fits between the plates.
  • You can actually order parts if you need to replace them at any time.
  • Indicator lights:
    • Red power light
    • Green pre-heat light
  • Digital countdown timer with audible beep
  • Recipes are included with your purchase.

Who would this sandwich maker be suitable for?

  • People who lead busy lives and are looking for quick options
  • People who want to avoid eating fast food, but still enjoy healthier options
  • People who are creative with cooking – there are limitless options to create

Who would this sandwich maker not be suitable for?

  • This is probably purely a matter of preference over any other reason. I think most people would benefit from purchasing one of these, unless they prefer cooking with other conventional means.

How do you operate it?


Here is a quick overview:

  1. Clean all parts before first use.
  2. Plug in the unit to pre-heat. The red power light will glow to indicate power is on.
  3. Use spray oil or lightly brush the plates and ring assemblies with vegetable oil.
  4. Close the cover and wait for the green light to glow once the unit is at the correct temperature.
  5. Build the sandwich from the bottom bread layer up (see more detail in the next section).
  6. Once sandwich is built, close the cover and set the timer to the length of time required.
  7. When the timer beeps, your selected time is up and your sandwich should be ready.
  8. Rotate the ring plate (where you placed the egg), so the egg falls onto the bottom layer of the sandwich.
  9. Lift all handles using an oven mitt and you will have a sandwich ready to go sitting on the bottom plate.
  10. Use a plastic or wooden utensil to move the sandwich from hot plate to eating plate.
  11. Enjoy!

I’ve broken down the instructions here into a more detailed list if you need more specific information on how it works:

  1. Before first use and after every use, wipe down the heating plates with a damp cloth. Remove the ring

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    Go from ordinary to extraordinary- Go grab some unique Deli foods to make a delicious sandwich

    assembly unit and wash with warm soapy water also. Ensure all parts are thoroughly dry before using.

  2. Before turning the sandwich maker on, spray the plates and ring unit with cooking spray or brush lightly with vegetable oil if you prefer.
  3. Close the top plate, then plug the cord into the power socket – the Red power light will automatically light up and start to heat the plates.
  4. The Green pre-heat light will glow once the unit is heated enough for you to start to add your ingredients. This light will cycle on and off throughout the time it is on as it keeps the correct temperature.
  5. There are handles for the top heating plate, the two rings and the plate in between the rings. Lift the handles for all except the bottom ring.
  6. Place the bottom part of the sandwich bread face up in the bottom unit.
  7. Add pre-cooked ingredients such as meat, vegetables and also cheese on top of the bottom layer of bread. Make sure not to overfill at this point so the sandwich will stay together and not cause too much spillage or mess.
  8. Then bring the ring plate and top ring down, ensuring that the ring plate is rotated to completely cover the ingredients underneath. This will prevent the egg from leaking onto the ingredients below.
  9. Add the egg to the ring plate – you can crack an egg straight onto the plate, use egg white or even use a scrambled egg mix – whatever you prefer to use.
  10. Next, place the top part of the sandwich bread face down on top of the egg.
  11. Close the cover gently. If the sandwich is loaded with ingredients, it is best not to push the cover too hard, as this may cause the ingredients to spill out.
  12. Set the timer for approximately 5 minutes – you will get to know the optimal time it takes to cook with the ingredients you use. You can use the up and down buttons next to the digital display to select the appropriate time required.
  13. Once the time is up, you will be alerted with a beeping sound. Note that the unit will not automatically turn off at this point – it is just alerting you that the time is up.
  14. Before you lift the cover, use the handle to rotate the ring plate all the way out. The egg will then drop from the ring plate onto the other ingredients in the bottom layer of the sandwich.
  15. Using an oven mitt or something similar to protect your hands from the heat, lift the handles of the ring assembly, which will lift the top cover of the unit.
  16. Use a flat plastic or wooden utensil (not metal) to remove the sandwiches onto a serving plate.
  17. Enjoy!

What ingredients can I use in it?

There is a recipe book included when you purchase the sandwich maker. Due to the shape and size of the unit, you will be limited to ingredients that are going to fit inside, however be creative – you can use a large variety of ingredients. Here are some recipe suggestions from the recipe book supplied with the unit:

  • Egg, Ham and Cheese Muffin Sandwich
  • Cheddar, Apple, Bacon & Egg Croissant Sandwich
  • Pancakes (Frozen) & Sausage Patty Sandwich

Here are some other ingredient suggestions you can use (not necessarily all at once!), but the list is really only limited by your imagination as to what you think would be great in a toasted sandwich on any given occasion.

  • Goats cheese, Monterey Jack Cheese, Jarslberg Cheese
  • Avocado
  • Egg White
  • Red pepper rings
  • Tomatoes
  • Chicken
  • Hash brown (cooked first)
  • Last night’s left-overs
  • Don’t forget to add your favorite sauce flavors and seasoning

What do I do if my food is not cooking properly?

You will probably find that you will adjust the cooking time for the different types of sandwiches you make, but here are some factors to consider if your sandwich is not cooking the way you like it done. Eggs are not cooked properly:

  • Larger eggs and frozen/chilled ingredients may increase the cooking time. Just adjust the timer for another 30 seconds or 1 minute as is appropriate.
  • By the same token, smaller eggs, scrambled eggs and egg whites may take less time to cook. Again, adjust the timer accordingly.

Eggs are leaking out:

  • Firstly check that the ring cooking plate is rotated all the way around and in the correct position.
  • Check whether there is too much egg on the plate or that the egg product (eg. egg white) you are using is not too thin.
  • Ensure the unit is pre-heated to the correct temperature so the egg starts to cook right away.

Bread is not toasting the way you like it done:

  • If bread is chilled before cooking, this may increase the cooking time.
  • If you find that the bread is overdone by the time the other ingredients are cooked, you could try assembling the sandwich without the top bread, then add the bread after a minute or so. It will also help to have all ingredients ready to assemble right away so that the bottom bread layer is not cooking for too much longer than the other ingredients.

The sandwich over-all is taking too long to cook:

  • Make sure the cover is down when pre-heating, so all parts are heating to the correct temperature.
  • Allow about 2 minutes in between cooking each sandwich so the unit has time to adjust to the correct temperature again.
  • The more you have in the sandwich, the longer it will take to cook properly.

How easy is it to clean?

It is as easy as this:

  • Let the unit cool down
  • Remove the ring assemblies and place in dishwasher or wash with warm soapy water in the sink
  • Wipe down the top and bottom heating plates with a damp, soapy cloth.

Is it easy to store away?

The unit is very compact and relatively light-weight. Once cleaned, connect the ring assemblies back to the unit and store for easy future access.

2) ZZ S6141A-B 4 in 1 Breakfast Waffle Omelette and Sandwich Maker (with 4 Sets of Detachable Non-stick Plates, Black)   

If space is at a premium at your house, then this unit might be worth considering. The manufacturer has very thoughtfully created a unit with four different plates for four different purposes of cooking. All plates are detachable, so you only need to connect the plate required at any given time.

What are the main features of this unit?

  • One unit with four detachable heating plates:
    • Waffle plate
    • Griddle plate
    • Sandwich plate
    • Flat plate
  • All detachable plates are safe to go in the dishwasher
  • Power on light and pre-heat light, so you know when the unit is ready to go for cooking
  • The unit can be stored vertically which makes for more compact storage.
  • The cooking surface for the plates is 8.82 by 5.12 inches.

What are the advantages of using this unit?

  • The unit has a cool touch handle, making it easy to open while cooking your favorite meals. The handle also locks, so you don’t need to worry about the unit popping open while cooking.
  • This is great if you are entertaining guests for breakfast, brunch or lunch with a selection of delicious treats to choose from. There will be much less cleaning up using this than other conventional equipment that you would normally use for these types of creations.
  • Compact easy storage.

What are the disadvantages of using this unit?

  • Most likely, any disadvantages would be personal preference, however, if entertaining a larger amount of guests, the plate size may not be big enough to cook enough food quickly enough for everyone.

How do I operate this unit?

Using the unit for the first time:

  1. Before using the unit for the first time, lightly grease each surface.
  2. Then plug in the unit to the power socket, close the lid and let it warm up for around 10 minutes.
  3. After the 10 minutes, unplug the unit and let it cool down.
  4. Once cooled down, use a damp cloth to wipe over the baking surface.
  5. The instruction booklet recommends to not eat the first piece of toast that is cooked on the surface. There is no reason mentioned for this, but might be something to look out for nonetheless.

General operation of the unit:

  1. Place the unit on a heat-resistant surface or mat. The handle will be the only part of the unit cool enough to touch once it heats up.
  2. Make sure the unit is closed while warming/heating up the unit.
  3. The blue indicator light will glow once the temperature is right for cooking.
  4. Add the ingredients to the plate surface and close the lid carefully.
  5. The unit creates heating cycles, so the blue indicator light will glow again once the food has gone through the next heating cycle. This should indicate the food is ready, however use your own judgment to assess whether the food is cooked or not.
  6. Make sure the plug is removed from the socket immediately after use as there is no power off button on the unit itself.

How do I clean the unit?

  1. Ensure the plug is removed from the socket and the unit has cooled down before attempting to clean the unit.
  2. Remove crumbs and other food remains with a gentle brush.
  3. Use a damp cloth to wipe down the unit – avoid abrasive detergents.
  4. Place plates in a dishwasher or wash in the sink with warm, soapy water.Check out these Waffle Iron toaster Hacks


What are other users saying about this?

This is a popular item on Amazon, with some pretty positive feedback:

  • Safer for kids and teens to use instead of the stove.
  • The kids/teens can cook almost anything they like – keeps them happy and they can use the unit unsupervised.
  • Lightweight and very easy to use and clean.
  • Works really well with prepared waffle mix.
  • Quick warming up and cooking times.
  • The non-stick surface works really well.
  • Very handy for taking to work too – great opportunity to have hot food at work.

Some not so positive feedback:

  • The unit stopped working after 3 months.
  • The instructions are not very helpful as they don’t offer cooking tips and do not include recipes either.
  • When the unit is warmed up for the first time, it releases quite a bad smell – probably from the non-stick surface materials.

 

3) Hamilton Beach 25462Z Panini Press Gourmet Sandwich Maker  

 What are the advantages of this unit?

  • Sandwich thickness is no longer an issue – go for gold with this unit and load it up with the ingredients you love.
  • No need to remove the plates for cleaning.
  • The sandwiches will look great on any plate with the toasted grid finish on the bread.

What are the disadvantages of this unit?

  • The unit is pretty much limited to making sandwiches, which will all have the same finish from the grid.
  • There are no detachable plates to cook other types of ingredients.
  • You will need an oven mitt for the handle as this will be hot once the unit has heated up.

What are the main features of this unit?

  • It has a café-style floating lid, which means there is even pressure on whatever is on the plate.
  • The non-stick grids (top and bottom) are 10 inch by 8 inch – enough for two sandwiches or a large panini type sandwich.
  • Power light and re-heat light.
  • The unit can be stored in an upright position, making for more compact storage.

How do you operate this unit?

Before first use:

  1. Add a small amount of detergent to a damp cloth or sponge and wipe all cooking surfaces.
  2. Then use a damp cloth or sponge without detergent to wipe over the cooking surfaces again.

General operation:

  1. Before heating the unit, add cooking spray or lightly brush with vegetable oil to ensure non-stick cooking.
  2. Plug the unit into the wall socket and allow to heat up for about 6 minutes before adding any ingredients. Make sure the cover is closed during this time.
  3. Once the green pre-heat light starts to glow, add the desired sandwich ingredients and close the cover again.
  4. You will need to keep an eye on the cooking time and check from time to time to see if your food is cooked as desired.
  5. Use plastic utensils as metal utensils have the potential to damage the surface.
  6. Once food is cooked, remove the plug from the socket immediately to allow the unit to cool down.

How do I clean the unit?

  1. Once the unit has cooled down, use a damp paper towel or cloth to wipe over the surfaces to remove any drippings etc.
  2. Use a plastic spatula to gently scrape away any food or grease that has been baked on to the surface.
  3. Add a small amount of detergent to a damp cloth or sponge and wipe all cooking surfaces.
  4. Then use a damp cloth or sponge without detergent to wipe over the cooking surfaces again.
  5. Ensure that abrasive detergents or steel wools etc. are not used to clean the unit.
  6. Also, do not immerse the unit in water.

What ingredients can I use in this sandwich press?

Some of the suggested bread types in the recipe book include:

Try a whole variety of breads, and find the one that you love. If you are unsure, start with a sourdough bread.

  • Baguette
  • French bread
  • Italian bread
  • Sourdough bread

The recipe book also suggests:

  • Club sandwiches, eg. turkey, tomato, cheddar, cheddar, bacon, onions.
  • French bread with red peppers and goats cheese
  • Chicken pesto on Italian bread
  • Italian Hero – a mixture of deli meats, provolone cheese, tomato and red pepper rings

What about warranty?

Hamilton Beach offer a one year warranty from the date of purchase. The warranty liability is limited to the value of the purchase price of the unit. What are others saying about this sandwich maker?

This is what other people said about the Panini Press!

  • This unit is a lot nicer than a more expensive product I was looking at.
  • The advantage of the floating lid is that you can cook open-faced sandwiches where you need the cheese to melt.
  • Matches well with other red colored appliances in my kitchen.
  • Great for storage – very compact.
  • The unit is great for all thicknesses and different types of breads.
  • Helpful if you want to use up left-over ingredients.
  • You can fit 2 large sandwiches on the plate at one time.

Some cons that others have mentioned:

  • The unit gets quite hot, so make sure children are supervised at all times.
  • If the unit doesn’t brown evenly, you can turn the sandwich around half-way to finish it off.
  • It does have a not so nice new smell, but this disappears quite quickly.

 

CONCLUSION

Each of the sandwich maker units mentioned above have their own unique purpose.  The best thing is to think about what you expect your general purpose for owning a sandwich maker would be.  For example, if you just want to have toasted sandwiches, the Hamilton Beach 25462Z Panini Press Gourmet Sandwich Maker might be the best option for you. If you like the idea of being able to create a variety of different foods quickly and easily, then the ZZS6141A-B 4 in 1 Breakfast Waffle Omelette and Sandwich Maker might suit you.  Although this unit has a lot of advantages of having four separate plates that can be used, there have been several reviews on Amazon suggesting that the unit is not as sturdy or long lasting as other sandwich makers out there. We think the Hamilton Beach 25475A Breakfast Sandwich Maker and Hamilton Beach 25490A Dual Breakfast Sandwich Maker would make a fantastic gift.  Not only are these units a novel idea, but they actually do help create a great breakfast sandwich.  If you don’t know who to give this to, then get one for yourself and wow your guests with some delicious hang-over food for the day after the party! If you couldn’t find your gift here, also try- Watches, Gold, Knifes and Vouchers.

 

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