Best Commercial Panini Press

Heating power and the safety lock feature are two of the most crucial factors to consider when looking for the best commercial panini press. To help you shop, I’ve rounded up some of the top commercial panini presses on the marker, as rated by restaurant owners and panini sandwich lovers.

I’ve also curated a handy buying guide to further help you. In this article, I’ll talk you through it, making sure you’re only considering the best options possible. And if you’re in a hurry, you can skip ahead to my top picks!

Crisp sandwiches, grilled cheese, and vegetables, hash browns, quesadillas, you name it ― commercial panini press will be your best buddy when it comes to making all of those delectable goodies. Sandwiches, especially, are really simple to prepare in just a turn of a knob!

A commercial panini press can accommodate a wide range of ingredients. You can simply turn your brunch into a fine meal. It truly is a fantastic kitchen appliance that gives your everyday sandwiches lovely grill markings.

But finding the right equipment doesn’t always come easy. The best commercial panini press must be adaptable enough to serve as a bacon fryer or hamburger griller. A versatile appliance can get you the best bang for your buck.

Having said that, let’s have a look at some of the best commercial panini presses!

My Top Picks

ImageProductsDetailsPrice
Best OverallCuisinart GR-150P1 Panini PressCuisinart GR-150P1– 15.98 x 14.6 x 7.87 inches
– 1800 watts
– 6 Cooking options
– 240-square inch removable, reversible and non stick grill plate
– Dual-zone temperature control
– Can sear at 500 degrees Fahrenheit
– Dishwasher-safe accessories
Check price
Runner Up, Best OverallCuisinart GR-5BP1 Panini PressCuisinart GR-5BP1– 8.75 x 16 x 13.75 inches
– 1500 watts
– 5 Cooking options + sear function
– User-friendly digital controls
– Removable, reversible nonstick cooking plates
– Adjustable temperature up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
– BPA-free, dishwasher-safe accessories
Check price
Best SplurgeWaring Commercial WPG150 Panini PressWaring Commercial WPG150– 15.5 x 11.5 x 9.25 inches
– 1800 watts
– Ribbed cast-iron plates
– Brushed stainless steel body and removable drip tray
– Hinged, auto-balancing top plate
Check price
Best ValueBreville BGR820XL Panini PressBreville BGR820XL– 16 x 14 x 5 inches
– 1800 watts
– 6 Adjustable height settings
– Removable, PFOA-free non stick plates with Element IQ
– Integrated, removable drip tray
– Dishwasher-safe parts
– Adjustable temperature up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
Check price
Best BudgetCuisinart GR-4NP1 Panini PressCuisinart GR-4NP1– 13.5 x 11.5 x 7.12 inches
– 1500 watts- 5 Cooking options
– Removable, reversible grill/griddle non stick cooking plates
– BPA-free, dishwasher-safe parts
Check price

The Best Commercial Panini Presses

Looking for a new commercial panini press for your dream sandwich shop or restaurant business? How about a reliable sandwich maker at home? Don’t fret! These sandwich makers are sure to upgrade each slice of bread you put on the hot plates.

Here are some of the best panini presses available today. With each having its own pros and cons.

Cuisinart GR-150P1 – Best Overall

Cuisinart GR-150P1 Panini Press

From one of the leading manufacturers of kitchen appliances, the Cuisinart GR-150P1 boasts six cooking functions. Which allows you to serve hot baked goodies to your hungry customers!

Equipped with 1800 watts with adjustable heat up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, you can even sear meats, fish, and poultry to perfection. One of the features I like about this panini press is its SearBlast feature. This mechanism helps seal in flavors.

Its 240-square-inch cooking surface is large enough to accommodate large orders of bacon and eggs. As well as panini sandwiches, seared cutlets, and sautéed veggies. If you want to know how spacious it actually is, think about cooking up to 12 pancakes on the entire griddle. How about 6 burgers in the contact griddle?

The DuoControl is also a feature I appreciate. I find this very useful, especially if you take a lot of orders everyday. Think of warming tortillas on one plate while sautéing meat and veggies on the other. This makes combining dishes easier than ever before.

The top cover “floats” for classic contact grilling and you can manually adjust it to 6 different heights for top-melting. I find this a great tool for making pizzas and open-faced sandwiches.

Aside from all the wonderful perks, this panini press features removable and reversible non-stick cooking plates. You can also easily detach the built-in drip tray,  plates, and scraper to make cleanup a breeze. Plus, they are also dishwasher-safe!

Pros:

– Powerful motor

– Versatile cooking options

– Offers sufficient cooking surface

– Dual-zone temperature control offers flexibility

– Adjustable up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit

– Removable and reversible cooking plates

– Easy to clean with dishwasher-safe parts

Cons:

– Struggles with keeping heat consistency

– Hard to level

– Heats up slowly

Cuisinart GR-5BP1 – Runner Up, Best Overall

Cuisinart GR-5BP1 Panini Press

Another great option from the same brand could be the Cuisinart GR-5BP1. With five cooking options, you get to contact grill, panini press, full grill, full griddle, and half grill/half griddle all your favorite breakfast goodies!

Much like other good panini grills from Cuisinart, this one features an LCD display. This feature allows you to easily read temperatures. Aside from its 5-in-1 cooking options, it has intuitive digital controls with a searing function. You can also adjust the temperature up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Its floating cover and reversible cooking plates are also easily detachable, which lets you convert the Griddler 5 from grill to griddle. And I think this is one of the best features a panini grill should have. Plus, they are non-stick and BPA-free, which means you can run them in the dishwasher.

This panini grill also boasts power with its 1500-watt motor. The stainless steel top cover, a handlebar, and control panel add to its reliability and longevity. Another thing that makes this appliance convenient to use is the dishwasher-safe scraping tool that comes with it. Which makes cleanup a breeze!

Pros:

– Multifunctional grill

– Powerful motor

– Easy to use digital controls

– Easy to clean with BPA-free and dishwasher-safe parts

Cons:

– Might still be difficult to clean due to its intricate nook and crannies

– Heats up slowly

Waring Commercial WPG150 – Best Splurge

Waring Commercial WPG150 Panini Press

When it comes to the race of versatility, the Waring Commercial WPG150 is sure to outperform a lot of commercial panini presses on the market. The higher the power use of a panini press, the more slices it can handle. And this is true with this machine. Its regard for reliability makes it essential for any restaurant.

A true workhorse, this Italian-Style Perfetto compact panini grill is equipped with 1800-watt power. It features beautifully-grooved cast iron plates that heat up evenly for a well-done sandwich, grilled veggies, and burger.

One of the best things about this panini grill is that it has a maximum heat of up to 570 degrees Fahrenheit. Which offers more searing capabilities than many other commercial panini grills on the market. And although it’s designed for commercial purposes, both seasoned chefs and novices may find it easy to use.

With its heat-resistant handles and a ribbed bottom plate, this commercial panini grill provides exceptional performance. Its hinged, auto-balancing top plate allows it to evenly toast food up to 3-inch thick. This allows for more flavorful grilled menus.

The power on and ready indicator lights are also a feature I appreciate about this model. Which makes it an ideal baking tool if you intend to serve a range of panini sandwiches and grilled meats.

This commercial panini grill is on the expensive side compared to other models on the list. But with offered power and durability, I think it would still make a well-worth investment!

Pros:

– Powerful motor

– Durable construction

– High heat capacity

– Indicator lights for efficient grilling

Cons:

– Heavy

– Expensive

– Needs careful application to avoid burning food

Breville BGR820XL – Best Value

Breville BGR820XL Panini Press

If you’re looking for a versatile panini press that gives you the most bang for your buck, you may consider the Breville BGR820XL. This panini grill comes in a compact design. Which makes it a suitable choice if you run a small sandwich stand.

Don’t underestimate its size though ― this grill is smart and powerful. Offering six adjustable height settings with a bright LCD display, this commercial panini grill can offer endless possibilities in the kitchen. It features an adjustable temperature of up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. This allows you to set it to low, panini, and sear modes.

This 1800-watt commercial panini press is equipped with Element IQ technology that blurs the line between indoor and outdoor cooking to a greater height.

When you place cold food on its pre-heated surface, the heat sensors built in its plates adjust for the heat decline. And when the sensors detect a loss in heat, they adapt by pumping heat, allowing it to quickly return to the ideal cooking temperatures.

The top plate features six adjustable heights. It can accommodate sizable sandwiches, mini sliders, cheeses, and more. The nonstick plates are made of cast aluminum that’s been coated with titanium-infused Quantanium. Which allows for oil-free cooking and effortless cleaning.

Also, its plates are dishwasher-safe which makes cleaning a snap. The removable drip tray is also dishwasher-safe, so no tedious post-grilling clean-up here!

Pros:

– Compact yet powerful motor

– Intuitive design

– Comes with smart features for convenient cooking

– Durable construction

– Dishwasher-safe parts

Cons:

– Panini setting tend to smash sandwiches

– There are cheaper alternatives for similar features

Cuisinart GR-4NP1 – Best Budget

Cuisinart GR-4NP1 Panini Press

Commercial kitchen appliances tend to cost more. This is due for their heavy-duty design, but you might not need to pay extra to have a decent tool for your cafeteria. The Cuisinart GR-4NP1 is a versatile panini grill that offers five functions. This allows you to prepare a variety of sandwiches.

Aside from panini, it can also handle grilled cheese, pancakes, sausages, steaks, and hamburgers. It features three selection knobs that allow you to pick between the grill and griddle functions, each with its own adjustable temperature settings.

Much like any good panini grill, it has red and green indicator lights to prompt you once it hits your preferred temperature and is ideal for cooking. I find this useful if you’re new at sandwich making because you can’t always gauge when your meal is done or not!

This 1500-watt commercial panini also has a sturdy brushed stainless-steel casing, a durable panini-style handle, and a floating cover that adjusts to the thickness of the meal. Its dishwasher-safe nonstick frying plates drain grease into the inbuilt drip tray for healthier cooking.

All of its plastic parts are BPA-free, and all of its removable components are dishwasher-safe. This commercial panini press also comes with a scraping tool, which is a hand accessory for convenient use.

I don’t know about you, but I find it too complex to use. Maybe I’m just a noob user, but having three knobs might confuse me if I’m faced with a long queue of customers. But overall, I think it’s still a great affordable choice. Particularly for those who run a small cafeteria.

Pros:

– Powerful motor

– Budget-friendly

– Durable construction

– Comes with essential features you’ll need despite the price

– Easy to clean with dishwasher-safe parts

Cons:

– Handle not lockable at a fixed height

– Top of the grill wiggles

– Some users say it heats up slowly

– Too many knobs, though other may actually find it useful

A Buyer’s Guide in Choosing the Best Commercial Panini Press

Buying a new kitchen appliance means getting one that you can use for years to come. Which is why it’s essential to keep a few crucial factors in mind. Consider the following consideration to further help you find the ideal panini press for your food business.

Temperature Control

You’re going to be making different sandwiches with your new panini press. So, I highly recommend that you look for one with adjustable temperature control to let you select the proper grilling temperature.

Cooking a broad variety of foods might be quite a task with a panini press that lacks this capability. But it must also include a thermostat and a wide temperature range. This feature lets you cook high for crispy grilled dishes and low for soft panini sandwiches.

Heating Power

If you run a restaurant that makes and serves specialty sandwiches, upgrading to a commercial panini press might be a significant investment. It can also improve the quality of food you make and service your offer.

I suggest that you go for a high-powered model with great heating capacity to optimize your panini press. This will allow you to make gourmet delicacies quicker. And you can serve them to your hungry consumers faster, cutting the long queues.

Safety Lock Feature

Many commercial panini presses you’ll encounter will include safety locks. Such a safety feature prevents the possibility of mishaps. It may be a minor feature that’s easy to overlook. But you’d wish your appliance had it in the event that your toddler gets stuck inside while pressing sandwiches or other items put on its plates.

Durable and Clean Plates

You should be well aware that your commercial panini press is subjected to daily abuse. I would suggest that you look into the plate’s construction. You must opt for one with cast-iron plates which are more durable, nonstick, and easy to clean.

Besides that, due to a lot of health codes and standards that your kitchen must follow, it is critical that you have all the proper cleaning tools. Fortunately, many panini presses come with a cleaning brush. You should also make sure that the panini press you prefer has a removable plate to make cleaning a breeze.

Floating Hinge

Relying on how thick your food is, a floating hinge controls the gap between the sandwich’s pans and the top cover. Certain manufacturers don’t provide hinge specifications. So, you should avoid such models. The floating hinge design helps decide whether the press is best suited for small or large-scale cooking.

Size

Commercial panini presses are typically larger than residential ones. This is due to their larger cooking surface and heating power.

I suggest that you take up precise measurements of the space where you intend to place your panini press. This will help you down your options to discover the ideal model that fits your kitchen and its demand.

Price

Since you’re looking for a commercial panini press designed for business, you should expect to pay more than you would for the standard grill you use at home. Also, the price range can vary greatly. You’ll find decent models at a low price point, while others can cost as high as $500.

While a more expensive model has more features, sometimes you won’t really need all the bells and whistles. This is especially true for small-scale cafeterias and sandwich stands. Commercial panini presses below and slightly above $100 could suffice if you’re only serving fresh sandwiches and other melty items on the go.

Types of Commercial Panini Presses

When it comes to selecting the ideal appliance for your restaurant, it’s a wonderful thing to have a choice. Below are the various types of mini presses you can choose from.

Electric panini presses let you adjust the temperature on the fly. And you can do this while maintaining accurate cooking times. However, certain models have an auto-eject rack. This feature prevents workers from getting burnt when removing sizzling hot sandwiches and burgers.

Gas-fired panini presses use less power than electric ones. They are perfect for restaurants with pre-existing pricey gas lines attached to their kitchen appliances.

The downside is that such a type of commercial panini press might be more difficult to clean. This is because you will need to burn off residues before you can store them.

Infrared panini presses often have a heated top plate and offer toasted sandwiches that are cooked to perfection. Such a type of panini grill heats up rapidly and maintains stable temperatures, owing to it to their digital controls. Which displays precise measurements through clear LED lights.

Best Commercial Panini Press FAQs

What is a commercial panini press?

Commercial panini presses are a common sight in eateries. They’re used to serve hot sandwiches and fajitas, or quesadillas. Also, called sandwich presses, panini press, or grill, these compact kitchen appliances are a staple in many restaurants.

Panini presses were first used to press sandwiches and hamburgers, creating delicious sandwiches and burgers with soft and gooey on the inside and crispy on the outside.

A commercial panini press practically replaces your frying pan. You can simply brown both sides of your deli meat or grilled cheese by placing them between the two hot plates. Then, you let them sear until they’re ready.

I would say they are versatile kitchen appliances that you can use for more than just making sandwiches. You can also use a panini press whenever you’re in the mood for baked goodies like quesadillas.

How does a commercial panini press work?

Commercial panini presses work by pressing and sealing deli meats and cheeses in the heated plates. The key to cooking your panini sandwich securely is to wrap it firmly. This way, the cheese does not seep out throughout the cooking process.

How do you clean a commercial panini press?

There are two ways you can clean a commercial panini press. You can either steam clean it or do the baking soda solution, instead.

Steam Cleaning

Using steam to clean your panini press is an excellent way to keep its nonstick surface in tip-top shape. You can use the heat generated by the grill as the cleaning steam. To do so, you need to:

1. First, turn the panini press to the lowest heat setting.

2. As it heats up, soak a cloth in clean water and make sure you do this thoroughly, otherwise, the fabric may burn.

3. Once fully soaked and the press has reached room temperature, spread the damp cloth over the entire grill and shut it for around 5 minutes.

4. If you smell any smoke, remove the cloth from the panini press immediately. You may also allow the steam to do the job and release any stains or glued residues.

5. Open the panini press and take off the moist towel.

6. At this point, you may now switch off your girl. But, don’t let it cool down completely before wiping it down with another soaked clean towel.

Cleaning With Baking Soda

A simple baking soda and water is another great way to keep your panini press clean without damaging its nonstick plates. To make the concoction, simply combine two teaspoons of baking soda with a half cup of warm water.

Make sure it’s a runny mixture so you can pour it onto the panini press’ bottom. Then, you can proceed to the following steps:

1. First, pour the baking soda solution over the bottom of your grill and wipe the excess off the top grill plate with a towel.

2. Allow it to sit for 5 to 10 minutes.

3. Then, use a damp towel to wipe the individual groove on the grill clean.

Keep in mind: These approaches are just some of the few efficient ways to clean your panini press. I would still suggest that you consult the user’s manual for cleaning instructions.

Is a panini press the same as a grill?

Panini grill and panini press are terms that are commonly used alternately for the same appliance. Indoor grills and panini makers are two popular names for these appliances. An external heat source or electricity is used to heat two plates, each having a raised grill.

Conclusion

My favorite is the Cuisinart GR-150P1 because it’s multifunctional with six cooking options. Aside from being a powerful motor grill, it offers a large cooking surface. Which allows efficient cooking that lets you prompt your customers.

Another favorite of mine is the Cuisinart GR-5BP1. It resembles both the Cuisinart GR-150P1 and the more budget-friendly Cuisinart GR-4NP1. All of which boast reliability and durability with easy-to-use design and features.

But if you don’t mind splurging to get a heavy-duty workhorse in the kitchen, the Waring Commercial WPG150 could be an excellent option. This model offers both power and durability. With a high heat capacity that’s hard to beat.

If you’re looking for the best bang for your buck, then you may consider the Breville BGR820XL. This commercial panini press just gets it – the compact profile and powerful motor, combined with intuitive design. It also comes with smart features for convenient cooking.

With so many models on the market right now, choosing the best commercial panini press might be daunting. And I hope going through the brief overviews of each model on the list makes it easier for you.

Make sure to check out the latest prices and discounts for these fantastic panini presses so you can start serving delicious sandwiches, burgers, and steaks. Good luck, and happy pressing!

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