May 13

Check Out the Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker

I know this is a panini site, and most of the posts are related to panini makers and recipes, I would like to add information on some other interesting sandwich makers and other helpful appliances from time to time.

Hmailton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker

The Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker is something I came across while doing a web search. It’s not something I would have even thought of searching for before, but now I’m interested and I want to take a closer look.

The description on this breakfast sandwich maker is that it cooks hot, fresh breakfast sandwiches in about 5 minutes. I think the idea here is that you don’t need to go through the fast food drive through when you have this handy appliance at your disposal.

Think about it. If you’re someone who often rushes to the nearest fast food joint for breakfast, this could be an outstanding alternative. You can get better quality ingredients, which will make you feel healthier and happier. And, I would venture a guess, that those ingredients would cost much less overall than a daily fast food breakfast sandwich.

Here is a description from Amazon.com about how it works:

“Once preheated, place the bottom half of your bread choice onto the bottom plate and top it with ingredients such as precooked meats, cheese and vegetables. Then, lower the top ring and cooking plate. Crack an egg onto the cooking plate and pierce the yolk. Place the other half of your bread selection on top of the egg and close the cover. After 5 minutes, rotate the cooking plate handle clockwise until it stops. Using an oven mitt, lift the ring assembly and cover via the bottom handle and voilà, your breakfast sandwich is complete. Simply remove the sandwich with a plastic or wooden utensil and enjoy!”

So, this means that this breakfast sandwich maker cooks the egg and assembles the sandwich. All in approximately 5 minutes. (How long does it take to hop in the car, drive to the nearest fast food restaurant, and go through the drive-through?)

Well, all of that sounds great, but I really wanted to know what people thought about it who have already tried it out. Because we all know another kitchen gadget is no good taking up space in the cabinets. It needs to be good enough for us to be OK with it taking up precious counter space. (Not that it takes up very much since it’s such a little appliance.)

From reading some of the reviews, overall, users seem to be very pleased with this sandwich maker. Reviewers mentioned that their sandwiches came out perfectly cooked in 5 minutes time. Most people did mention that there was a bit of a learning curve, but once they figured out the ins and outs, they love it and use it frequently.

Some of the issues that people mentioned include egg and cheese spilling out from the sides and making a mess on the counter, being a little hard to clean, and sandwiches not being fully cooked.

All of these issues have been countered, however. As for the egg and cheese spilling over the side, many people mentioned using a little bit of cooking spray and also using bread that isn’t too thick. (Bagels seem to be a bit hard to use since they’re thick and they have a hole which egg and cheese love to ooze through.)

As for it being hard to clean, once the issue mentioned above is resolved, the egg and cheese should not spill over the side, which will cause less mess in the first place. Also, using a damp paper towel to clean the plates while still warm seems to take care of the mess quickly and easily.

Breakfast Sandwich

Now obviously, nothing is worse than an undercooked sandwich. Especially when there’s raw egg involved. Some customers mentioned that there’s a misunderstanding with the directions. There are indicator lights on the sandwich maker, and once the green light comes on, the cooker is warm enough to add the ingredients. Some users put their ingredients in, then waited for the green light to come on, thinking this was indicating that the sandwich was done. Once they figured out to cook the egg for about 5 minutes, their sandwich came out perfectly.

In conclusion, I think this is a nifty little gadget that could provide a hot, fast, and fresh breakfast during busy mornings. Anything that you make yourself is always going to be better and healthier than running to a fast food restaurant.

If you have kids, this could be the perfect go-to breakfast to get them filled up, focused and ready for a packed day at school. It sure beats a sugary breakfast cereal or Pop-Tarts.

If you work out of the house, you could make your breakfast and let it cook while you’re getting ready for work. When you’re done, you can just grab your sandwich and go. I would say that’s much more convenient than waiting in a line at McDonald’s or Burger King.

If you’d like to try out the best-selling Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker, then I’ve made it really easy for you. You just have to click here. :) If you do try it out, leave me a comment and let me know how you like it.

May 13

Sourdough Chipotle Chicken Panini

They had me at sourdough. And chipotle. This is from AllRecipes.com.

 photo SourdoughChipotleChickenPanini_zpsbe583fe0.jpg

(Serves 1)

2 slices sourdough bread
1/4 cup caesar salad dressing
1 cooked chicken breast, diced
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon bacon bits
1 1/2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder, or to taste
2 tablespoons softened butter


  1. Preheat a panini press for medium-high heat.
  2. Spread one side of each piece of bread with the Caesar dressing. Place the chicken on top of the bottom slice, sprinkle with Cheddar cheese, bacon bits, and chipotle chile powder. Place the top piece of bread onto the sandwich, and butter the outsides with the softened butter.
  3. Cook on the preheated grill until the bread is crispy and golden brown, and the inside of the sandwich is hot, about 5 minutes.

May 13

In-Depth Review: Breville Panini Press

The Breville Panini press was probably made most famous by Oprah. In 2007 Oprah named a Breville panini press as one of her favorite things. And then she picked one of the newer models as one of her favorite things in 2010. Oprah’s pick was the Breville BGR400XL Ikon grill, which is no longer available. And that’s probably because, according to the research I’ve done, customers really didn’t like it. But, in 2010, Oprah picked an updated version of one of the Breville panini presses. And that’s a good thing because the updated one is very much loved by customers!

Read more about the Breville panini presses and grills…

Breville BSG520XL Panini Duo 1500-Watt Nonstick Panini Press Breville BSG520XL Panini Duo 1500-Watt Nonstick Panini Press
The Breville BSG520XL Panini Duo is a smaller version of Oprah’s pick. This panini press does one thing, and one thing only – grill panini sandwiches! But it does that one thing very well. What’s interesting about this panini press is that the bottom plate is flat for faster cooking. Most panini presses have two ribbed plates. It also has a floating hinge which allows you to add thicker sandwiches without the bread slipping off the top. The plates are not removable, so cleaning is not quite as easy.

Customers really love this grill, and it gets a total of 4.5 out of 5 stars at Amazon. They love the solid design, the simplicity of the machine, and the fact that it’s so compact.

Breville BSG540XL Nonstick Panini Quattro 4-slice Breville BSG540XL Nonstick Panini Quattro 4-slice
The Breville BSG540XL Nonstick Panini Quattro 4-slice is the larger version of Oprah’s favorite thing pick. It can hold 4 sandwiches at a time, which is nice for those who have a family to cook for. This press, like the Breville Panini Duo, also has a floating hinge for thicker breads. You can also keep the top open for open-faced sandwiches. Both plates on this press are flat. This is a nice feature because it cooks sandwiches more even and faster. But it’s something to keep in mind if you prefer ridges on your sandwich.

There are only a few customer reviews, but they almost all love this one too! They feel it’s a great product for the price and they enjoy the flat plates for easier clean up.

Breville Heavy Duty Panini Maker Sandwich Cooker TG425XLR Breville Heavy Duty Panini Maker Sandwich Cooker TG425XLR
The Breville Heavy Duty Panini Maker has variable temperature control heat from 350 degrees F – 440 degress F. It has ribbed grill plates for that true panini look. The top lid is adjustable with 6 preset heights so you can press sandwiches of different thicknesses. You can also use this press to grill other meats and vegetables – and it does it quickly and easily!

Customers who reviewed this panini press say that it cuts grilling time in half, is easy to clean up, and they love the lock feature for stand up storage. One reviewer also mentioned that it makes perfect paninis!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000A76VCO/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=easypaninis-20&linkCode=as2&camp=217145&creative=399369&creativeASIN=B000A76VCO Breville 800GRXL Die-Cast Indoor Barbeque and Grill
The Breville 800GRXL Die-Cast Indoor Barbeque and Grill is touted as an indoor grill versus just a panini maker, but you can certainly make paninis on it as well. It has a flat plate on the bottom, and a ridged plate on top. The temperature is adjustable, the height and tilt are adjustable and it also has a 15-minute timer for cooking convenience. The plates are not removable.

Customers really like this grill. They feel it’s versatile since you can use it to grill (burgers, fish, vegetables), griddle (pancakes or bacon can go on the flat bottom plate) or make panini sandwiches. One reviewer mentioned that this grill is very large and takes up a lot of counter space. However, that is an asset too since it can make 6 panini sandwiches at once. So if you need to make a lot of food at once, this could be a great grill for you!

May 13

Panini with Chocolate and Brie (With Video Instructions)

This is from FoodNetwork.com.

(Serves 6)

12 slices sourdough bread
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
12 ounces Brie cheese, thinly sliced
1 (12-ounce) bag semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
Preheat the panini grill.

Brush both sides of the bread with olive oil. Grill the bread slices until they begin to turn golden, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the panini grill and place 2 ounces of cheese on 1 slice of bread (the bottom half), top the cheese with 1/3 cup chocolate chips, and a sprinkle of basil. Top with another slice of bread. Continue with the remaining sandwiches. Return the sandwiches to the panini grill until the chocolate begins to melt, about another 2 minutes.

Cut the sandwiches into 2-inch wide rectangles or small triangles and transfer to a serving platter.

May 13

Cuisinart Panini Press

If you’re looking for a Cuisinart panini press, then I will help guide you toward the one that is right for you. There are a few things to consider – price, size, and reviews. I’ve broken each one of those down below and included my recommendations for those considerations.

There are two fairly low-priced Cuisinart panini presses available.

The Cuisinart GR-1 Griddler Panini and Sandwich Press is priced at $49.00. This is a smaller press and can only handle two sandwiches at a time. It also does not have removable plates for easy washing. However, the reviews on this one are excellent, as most people seem to be happy with this purchase. They seem to love the floating hinge, which allows for extra large pieces of bread that don’t move when closing the lid. That is definitely a huge plus.

You could also try the Cuisinart WM-SW2 Dual-Sandwich Nonstick Electric Grill, though this is less of a panini press than just a hot sandwich maker. The price is great – only $19.95. This one also only makes two sandwiches at a time, but it’s nice and compact and I’m sure would easily fit on any countertop. Most people still give it positive reviews, but not quite as many as the GR-1 Griddler.

Here are two recommended Cuisinart panini presses – one smaller and one larger.

The sandwich maker mentioned above is probably the most compact item, but if we’re talking about a true panini press, then the smallest version would be the GR-1 Griddler Panini and Sandwich Press (also mentioned above). You don’t want a big, bulky machine when a smaller one will do. On the other hand, if you need to make more sandwiches than just two at a time, you might need something a little bigger.


In that case, you might want to think about the Cuisinart GR-4N 5-in-1 Griddler. This grill cooks four sandwiches at a time. It’s also a very versatile machine. Besides making panini sandwiches, it can also grill, griddle, or a combination of both at the same time. This one has a floating hinge to adjust for food thickness and also comes with removable plates. (That lets you throw them into the dishwasher or wash them in the sink easily.)

The top two best-reviewed and most popular Cuisinart panini presses are the ones already mentioned above. They are the Cuisinart GR-4N 5-in-1 Griddler and the Cuisinart GR-1 Griddler Panini and Sandwich Press. These two seem to have what most customers like. It really comes down to your personal preference and if you need something a little bigger, or a little smaller.

Based on all of this research, the Cuisinart GR-4N 5-in-1 Griddler and the Cuisinart GR-1 Griddler Panini and Sandwich Press are my recommendations. However, if you’d like to look at the other Cuisinart panini press options, click the link below. Happy pressing!

May 13

Which Hamilton Panini Press is Best? My In-Depth Review.

While there are so many different options for panini presses out there, a Hamilton panini press seems to be a pretty popular choice among consumers. No matter which brand of panini maker you choose, you should think about what your needs are and then decide which kind to get from there.

On this page, I’ll show you some of your Hamilton panini press choices and then go ahead and post my recommendations on the best ones.

Hamilton Beach 25450 Gourmet Panini Press The Hamilton Beach 25450 Gourmet Panini Press is a nice, compact machine which basically just does one thing – make panini sandwiches! (It can also grill burgers and chicken, though it’s not actually designed for that.) It has a floating hinge so you can press thicker sandwiches with no problem. The downside is that there’s no temperature control. Do you need one? Probably not for panini sandwiches. The other issue is that the plates don’t come out, so it makes clean up just a little less convenient.

Hamilton Beach 25331 Super Sear 100-Square-Inch Nonstick Indoor Searing Grill The Hamilton Beach 25331 Super Sear 100-Square-Inch Nonstick Indoor Searing Grill has a digital display and does have adjustable temperature controls, unlike the Hamilton Beach 25450 Gourmet Panini Press mentioned above. This one is a little bigger and can hold 4 burgers at a time. It also has a floating hinge to allow for thicker cuts of meat or sandwiches. The reviews on this one are pretty good as most people seem to think this is a great purchase! The biggest downside is that the plates don’t come out for easy clean-up. I have a feeling that could become a theme!

Hamilton Beach 25324 100-Square-Inch Nonstick Indoor Grill with Panini Press The Hamilton Beach 25324 100-Square-Inch Nonstick Indoor Grill with Panini Press is very similar to the Hamilton Beach 25331 Super Sear mentioned above, except that this version does not have the super sear function. This is fine if you’re just using this grill for panini sandwiches. If you want to make steaks on it too, then you may want to opt for the Super Sear version. There are only a few reviews on this product, so it’s a little early to tell how much people will like or dislike it, but so far, the reviews are somewhere in the middle. It does not have removable plates (told you that would be a theme!), but it does have the larger cooking space. I don’t know, you might want to think twice before buying this one. For the same price (even lower in some cases?) you can have a better-reviewed machine with more features – the Hamilton Beach 25331 Super Sear!

Hamilton Beach 25219 HealthSmart Contact Grill, White The Hamilton Beach 25219 HealthSmart Contact Grill is a different little guy. This is similar to the smaller George Foreman grills. It’s a no-frills (but inexpensive) indoor grill. It’s small so can only fit 1-2 sandwiches or burgers at a time. It does not have removable plates or a floating hinge. However, this one has great reviews, and it’s perfect for someone who doesn’t need any fancy extras and just wants to make a nice toasty sandwich now and again.

Hamilton Beach Set & Forget Indoor Grill The Hamilton Beach Set & Forget Indoor Grill has an interesting feature to it. It has a temperature probe so that you can check meat and make sure that it’s done at the perfect temperature. That’s a great feature if you’re going to use the grill for meat, but if you just want to make panini sandwiches, then this is not something that’s really necessary. There are other great features to this grill though. It has a floating hinge (for those thicker foods) and removable plates for easy clean-up! (Woot, finally!) And, so far this one seems to be loved by its customers. The biggest downside seems to be that it’s a smaller sized grill, so it’s probably best for those who will only need to use it for no more than 2 people at a time.

Hamilton Beach 25451 Indoor Grill with 85-Inch Cooking Surface, Stainless Steel The Hamilton Beach 25451 Indoor Grill with 85-Inch Cooking Surface is the final grill that we’ll take a look at. This one has a larger cooking surface, so if you’re interested in making more than panini sandwiches, it can make 4-6 burgers at a time. It does have a floating hinge and removable grill plates. That’s all good stuff. It does not have a timer which is a complaint from some customers. Overall, it’s a well-reviewed product and does what it claims it can do!

Ok, based on what I read about each of the Hamilton panini press options, there are two that I would most recommend. For strictly making hot, toasty panini sandwiches, it seems that the Hamilton Beach 25450 Gourmet Panini Press is your best bet. It makes paninis and that’s all it does, but it does it well. For a machine that is a little bigger and a little more versatile, I recommend the Hamilton Beach Set & Forget Indoor Grill. It cooks meats to the perfect temperature, and it can also cook up some panini sandwiches.

Good luck, and enjoy those paninis!

Sep 11

Turkey and Tomato Panini

This is from EatingWell.com.

(4 Servings)

3 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons nonfat plain yogurt
2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
8 slices whole-wheat bread
8 ounces thinly sliced reduced-sodium deli turkey
8 tomato slices
2 teaspoons canola oil

1. Have four 15-ounce cans and a medium skillet (not nonstick) ready by the stove. (Or, make your life easier by getting a panini press!)

2. Combine mayonnaise, yogurt, Parmesan, basil, lemon juice and pepper in a small bowl. Spread about 2 teaspoons of the mixture on each slice of bread. Divide turkey and tomato slices among 4 slices of bread; top with the remaining bread.

3. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Place 2 panini in the pan. Place the medium skillet on top of the panini, then weight it down with the cans. Cook the panini until golden on one side, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low, flip the panini, replace the top skillet and cans, and cook until the second side is golden, 1 to 3 minutes more. Repeat with another 1 teaspoon oil and the remaining panini.

Sep 11

Panzanella Panini

This is from AllRecipes.com.

1 French deli roll, split
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2 slices mozzarella cheese
1 small tomato, sliced
4 fresh basil leaves
olive oil

1. Preheat a skillet over medium-low heat.

2. Sprinkle cut sides of roll with balsamic vinegar. Layer one slice of mozzarella cheese, tomato slices, basil leaves, and the remaining slice of mozzarella cheese on the roll. Close sandwich; rub outside with olive oil.

3. Place sandwich in preheated skillet; top with another heavy skillet to press (or use a panini maker). Cook until bread is toasted and golden, about 3 minutes. Flip sandwich; top with skillet. Cook second side until toasted, about an additional 2 minutes.

Sep 11

Grilled Vegetable Panini (With Video Instructions)

This is from FoodNetwork.com.

(serves 12)

1/4 cup olive oil
2 small Japanese eggplants or 1 medium to large regular eggplant, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
2 zucchini, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 small red onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 baguettes (each about 2 feet long)
1/2 cup Basil Pesto, recipe follows
8 ounces fresh water-packed mozzarella cheese, drained, sliced
2 tomatoes, sliced
1/2 cup roasted red peppers
8 large basil leaves, optional

Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Drizzle the oil over the eggplant, zucchini, and onion slices, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Working in batches, grill the eggplant, zucchini, and onions until they are tender and grill marks appear, about 4 minutes per side. Cool completely.

Cut each baguette into 6 pieces. Working with one baguette piece at a time, slice in half and spread both sides with the pesto. Working with the bottom slice of the baguette, stack 2 slices of eggplant, 2 slices zucchini, 1 slice onion, 1 slice tomato, 1 slice mozzarella, and 1 slice of roasted pepper. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place top half of baguette on top and continue with remaining baguette. (The sandwiches can be made 4 hours ahead. Wrap well with plastic wrap and refrigerate.)

2 cups fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup (about) extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

In a blender, pulse the basil, pine nuts, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper until finely chopped. With the blender still running, gradually add enough oil to form a smooth and thick consistency. Transfer the pesto to a medium bowl and stir in 1/2 cup of cheese. Season the pesto with more salt and pepper, to taste. (The pesto can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Yield: 1 cup
Prep Time: 10 minutes

Sep 11

Chicken Pesto Panini

This is from AllRecipes.com.

(Serves 4)

1 focaccia bread, quartered
1/2 cup prepared basil pesto
1 cup diced cooked chicken
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
1/4 cup diced red onion
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Preheat a panini grill.

Slice each quarter of focaccia bread in half horizontally. Spread each half with pesto. Layer bottom halves with equal amounts chicken, bell pepper, onion, and cheese. Top with remaining focaccia halves, forming 4 sandwiches.

Grill paninis 5 minutes in the preheated grill, or until focaccia bread is golden brown and cheese is melted.