Bring the cafe to you.

By Christie Calucchia
April 24, 2020
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Cuisinart Griddler Grill & Panini Press

Who says you have to go to a bistro to enjoy a warm, comforting panini sandwich? As long as you have bread, cheese, deli meat, veggies, and a panini press, you can whip up restaurant-level sandwiches at home. And if you think buying a high-quality panini press is too large of an investment, think again. Plenty of the best panini press grills cost less than $100.

In fact, we did some research and found nine amazing panini presses from trusted brands like Cuisinart, Hamilton Beach, Breville, and Lodge all available for under $100. Some are small and simple, like this Lodge panini press that turns any ordinary pan into a panini grill, while others come with all the bells and whistles, like this Cuisinart griddler that includes multiple plates for cooking everything from pressed sandwiches to pancakes.

Aside from sprucing up your go-to homemade lunches, a good panini press can also serve as an indoor grill, which is ideal for those who lack the outdoor space for a traditional barbeque but love the taste of freshly grilled burgers or veggies in the summertime. It’s a win-win.

Ahead, the 8 best panini press grills under $100:

Cuisinart Griddler Grill & Panini Press

Best Overall: Cuisinart Griddler Grill & Panini Press

This Cuisinart panini press has dishwasher-safe, removable nonstick plates and can open flat for increased cooking surface area. You can use it to press paninis or grill burgers with ease; it has the capacity to cook as many as four burgers or two sandwiches at once.

To buy: $60;

George Foreman 5-Serving Classic Electric Indoor Grill

Best Value: George Foreman 5-Serving Classic Electric Indoor Grill and Panini Press

If your budget is tight, consider this classic George Foreman grill. Although it’s affordable, this powerful little grill still gets the job done. It has copper-infused plates for even heating, and its sloped design helps remove 42 percent of fat from grilled food.

To buy: $30;

Hamilton Beach® Panini Press and Indoor Grill

Best Basic: Hamilton Beach Panini Press and Indoor Grill

This Hamilton Beach panini press is a no muss, no fuss kitchen appliance fit for preparing grilled sandwiches or larger meals like steak and burgers on a 95-square-inch surface. It comes with an automatic shut-off feature for safety and can heat up to just below 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

To buy: $40;

Breville Panini Duo

Best Nonstick: Breville Panini Duo

While most panini press grills feature nonstick materials, this Breville appliance uses a powerful anti-stick coating that works so well you can cook without using any butter or oil. So if you’re looking to cut down on extra fats, this might be the panini press for you. It also has adjustable height settings to keep precious sandwich toppings from spilling out while pressing, and it features a flat bottom plate to cook eggs, pancakes, and more.

To buy: $70;

De'Longhi Retro Panini Grill

Best Design: De’Longhi Retro Panini Grill

With a retro design, this steel panini press from De’Longhi looks as good as it works. A tilted surface helps drain grease for healthier meals and a height adjustable hinge can work with just about any size sandwiches. Although you’ll have to handwash the nonstick cooking plates, it’s a small price to pay for high-quality paninis and other gourmet-tasting grilled dishes.

To buy: $75;


Best Press: Lodge Panini Press

You don’t necessarily need to buy a large appliance in order to make paninis at home, and this simple cast iron press from Lodge is proof of that. It comes pre-seasoned with soybean oil and relies on its heavy weight to evenly cook paninis to perfection. While it’s ideal for sandwiches, you can also use it to grill meat or veggies.

To buy: $26 (was $28);

De'Longhi ® Livenza Compact All-Day Grill

Best Compact: De’Longhi Livenza Compact All-Day Grill

If kitchen counter or storage space is an issue, this compact panini press is a great option. Fit for small spaces, the size-efficient grill comes with interchangeable plates so you can press sandwiches, make waffles, or even grill a whole steak. It’s basically three appliances in one tiny package.

To buy: $80 (was $100);

Silver Cuisinart Griddler

Most Versatile: Cuisinart Griddler

Complete with a grill, griddle, sandwich, and waffle plate, this panini press can do it all. It offers the most bang for your buck if you’re looking for a kitchen appliance that’s fit for cooking more than just panini sandwiches. It can reach a maximum temperature of 425 degrees Fahrenheit so you can whip up burgers, pancakes, eggs, or paninis with ease. Plus, all of the plates are dishwasher safe.

To buy: $79;