- 10¼’ x 6½’ nonstick, removable grill plates
- Opens flat to double the cooking surface
- Preset temperature is perfect for grilling burgers, steaks and sandwiches
- Power On/Ready to Cook indicator lights
- Adjustable front feet for better grease drainage
Our testing showed the Cuisinart Griddler & Panini Press Gr-11 makes great grilled cheese sandwiches, as well as turkey and cheese paninis.
Occasionally, we found the top of a sandwich or a few spots on the bread were toasted less consistently than other areas, but those were the exceptions. In general, we got nicely compressed sandwiches, excellent melted cheese and overall good consistency. This machine did take longer than other models to cook sandwiches, but the results were first-rate. The sandwiches themselves and any spilled contents came off the surface easily. This sandwich maker’s grilling surface can be opened flat, and you get preset temperatures so you can cook such foods as steaks and hamburgers. The device is slightly slanted so any grease will drain into a removable reservoir. This took about five minutes to assemble, which is not bad. This Cuisinart is easy to clean, and its removable cooking plates can be washed in the dishwasher. This is particularly important if you use it to cook meat.
As for paninis, you can make what would otherwise be a panini, but the machine lacks ridges, so you don’t get the signature sear marks of a panini maker. Nonetheless, the resulting “panini” sandwich tasted good, even while lacking its identifying calling card. The flat cooking surface cooks evenly, and this sandwich maker got perfect scores when we tested the evenness of heat distribution with two slices of white bread. The slices showed uniform browning from edge to edge. The cooking surface for this sandwich maker is small, so you can make only two regular-size sandwiches at a time. If you opt for larger bread slices, you’ll end up making one sandwich at a time. We found that a grilled cheese turned out nicely, but we had some trouble getting the sandwich off the cooking area. Otherwise, we encountered no problems with stickiness. As far as cleaning, this machine takes little time and effort. If you wipe or wash it down, it takes about two minutes. This also comes with a clip lock so you can snap it shut and store it standing upright, which is a great space-saver. You also can wrap the 24-inch electrical cord around a cord wrap area, saving even more storage space.
You can adjust the floating hinge that connects the two cooking surfaces to four heights, which offers considerable cooking flexibility. This feature lets you cook thin, medium and thick foods. Our testing with white bread slices showed even heat distribution and consistent toasting. It’s easy to make sandwiches with this device, but it offers only one cooking surface with ridge grills, so if you’re making a panini, you must flip it over to get the grilled-looking effect on the other side. Sometimes the machine can compress bread too much for a panini, and it turns out a bit flat. However, the paninis generally were tasty, warm and good – they just needed the extra effort of turning them over to get grill marks. This Breville sandwich and panini machine is designed with a scratch-resistant cooking surface, so it’s a snap to remove food. Cleaning is a simple task and in our testing it took only one minute and 45 seconds. Although you can do more elaborate cleaning, you also can simply wipe this machine down with a soft cloth.