What Is A Panini Press?
The number of international and exotic foods that we are exposed to is growing every day. New restaurants are popping up all over the place offering new dishes that we might not be familiar with. One such dish is the panini. This is a pressed sandwich with an Italian background. Once you become familiar with the sandwich, you will discover that it is made on a specially made device called a panini press. So, what is a panini press?
A panini press is a special type of contact grill. It has two grilling surfaces that can close together almost like the mouth of a clam. One grilling surface could be considered the bottom since it lays flat at all times - the other surface closes on top of it like a lid. As both sides of the press heat up, the chef prepares a sandwich with any number of ingredients including salami or ham and several types of cheeses. The bread that is used most often is ciabatta.
The sandwich is then placed on the grilling surface and the lid is closed. This is where the panini develops its most famous characteristic - being grilled on both sides at the same time. The special way of preparing the sandwich grills the outside of the bread to a perfect crisp while warming the inside just enough to melt the cheese. A high quality panini press will also give the sandwich its characteristic grill marks.
In the United States, these press machines are becoming very popular. They can be purchased from any number of department stores or even online. Online manufacturers offer these appliances for anywhere from $20 to $100 or more depending on the brand and quality.
There are a number of different brands including Cuisinart, Hamilton Beach, and Breville. Some models are made to fit a larger number of sandwiches while others are made for very personal use and can only fit one. The preparation time also varies from model to model. Depending on the heat output, a press can take anywhere from 3 minutes to 8 minutes to prepare one sandwich.
Cleaning your panini press should be quite a simple process. Most of the time, all you need to do is let it cool down a bit then wipe it clean with a paper towel. Once every few uses you should clean it with soap and water. Some models even have removable grilling surfaces that can be put into a dishwasher for very easy cleanup.
The close relation between a panini press and a contact grill have led to some interesting inventions. These days it is easy to get ahold of a single appliance that works as both a grill and a press. All you need to do is set the appliance to a higher heat and you can grill hamburgers and hot dogs. On the lower heat setting, you can prepare perfectly grilled paninis. However, it is important that you keep safety in mind. Anytime that you cook meat on your press, make sure that you clean it thoroughly to avoid any accumulation of bacteria or other harmful germs.
Enjoying exotic foods in your own home is a great way to make your life fun. Consider adding a panini press to your kitchen so you can prepare these delicious sandwiches for you and your family today!