Test Run: Panini Grill


As I wrote in a previous post, the most rudimentary kitchen tools can be put to use to make panini. All one really needs is two pans, one pan for cooking and the other to place on top as a weight, to make the Italian pressed sandwiches. But, with the addition to my kitchen of a panini grill, a recent gift, I am now able to take the art of panini-making to the next level.

I gave the new appliance a trial run by making a panino very similar to the one I wrote about earlier, back when I was using the two-pan method. I layered focaccia with prosciutto cotto, sopressata, pecorino fresco, and arugula, brushed the top and bottom of the bread with olive oil, and placed it in the press. The heavy weight of the top part of the grill pressed the sandwich to perfection. The resulting panino was grilled to a crisp golden brown on the outside, while the pecorino just began to melt into the thin layers of the cured meats.

Test run: successful.



looks like a sandwich maker. :) issit?

here's a suggested filling. it's a common favourite amongst malaysians.

cut some onions up and fry it until fragrant. mix it with a tin of cornbeef and add in an egg. fry until cook.

put the filling in-between two pieces of bread. yummy!

the cornbeef that is popular here are the red and yellow tin showing a black and white cow. made in china. :) tastes better than the ones from south america and europe but dunno what is inside though. *shudder* still, very tasty to eat now and again. :)


Hi Wena,

Yes, this is basically similar to a sandwich maker, but it differs in that it doesn't press the sandwich into any particular shape (like a croque monsieur), or seal off the edges. It operates more like a two-sided grill that lightly presses the bread.

I like the taste of eggs with salty, cured meats (one of my favorites is eggs scrambled with prosciutto), but corned beef from a tin? That's making me shudder too.


errr... any other way to get cornbeef other than from the tin? :) always wondered why it was called cornbeef when i never could taste the corn.


Corned beef is a cut of brisket or round that has been cured in a salty brine. The "corn" refers to the salt: "The term "corned" beef comes from the English use of the word "corn," meaning any small particle (such as a grain of salt)." (epicurious.com).

In terms of sandwiches, a classic delicatessen specialty is warm, freshly-sliced corned beef piled high between two slices of rye bread.

Here's a photo I found, though beware of the Fiddler on the Roof tune:



The panino looks great, makes me want to buy one of those panini grill. If I only had more free surface in my kitchen!
I know it is not exactly the right season but here's another filling tip, and a classic in Rome: prosciutto and fresh figs. You could grill (but don't have too) the bread beforehand and then fill it


Wanna do paninni without the machine? Put the olive-oil brushed sandwich in a skillet over MEDIUM heat. Take a saucepan, put it on top of the sandwich and press down really hard. Lean into it. Flip the sandwich and repeat.


Alberto, the prosciutto/fig combination sounds fantastic. Any particular type of bread for this? Cheese? It may be nontraditional, but something fresh like a goat cheese might work with the figs.

Good tip on the saucepan method, Xavier. That works very well in my experience.


Josh, the traditonal bread for thie prosciutto/fig panino is pizza bianca. Never tried it with goat cheese but sounds great. Maybe another option could be fresh sheep ricotta.


A question on equipment. As you know, classic paninis have characteristic ridges. A new model (at least to me) is from Breville, an Australian company, and the grill plates are flat, which allows other options, such as quesadillas, plus it has an floating, adjustable top so you could heat open-face foods(e.g., pizza) without pressing it. Do you think absence of ridges would affect the quality of the panini?


I'm just starting my panini apprenticeship, so I don't have know the definitive answer. The flat surface would basically mimic the tried-and-true method of cooking the sandwich in a pan topped with another pan, which produces an excellent panino.

One benefit of the grooved grill is that it enables you to toast the sandwich without browning, or even burning, the entire surface.

Of course, there is also something special about the presentation made by parallel lines, but this is in the eye of the panino beholder . . .


You know what else works? A George Foreman Grill! No kidding, I use mine all the time to make terrific panini. After it's non-stick, heats uniformally and has just the right amount of pressure to crisp up your creation....


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