When I first tried out this handy-dandy little device, it was 3 a.m. in Myrtle Beach, I hadn't eaten since 6 and the beer gods had been very kind. Scrounging through the fridge, I found some staples (ham, cheese, bread, pudding) and decided to make a sandwich (luckily deciding that pudding didn't quite belong).
Recommend this product?
Then I spied it - a gleaming black metal invitation for something different, something more than a boring ham & cheese. I had the power to create a super sandwich, a heated pocket of gooey cheese and warm ham just like Mom used to slave over. And, remarkably, I was able to do it without burning myself or setting the kitchen on fire (just like mom used to do...)
I neatly placed the bread on the heated bottom plate, added some swiss, then ham, then cheddar, then ham and finally another slice of bread. Then I pushed down on the top of the sandwich maker, closing it like a cocoon which would soon provide a succulent late, late, late dinner for me.
About 3 - 6 minutes later (hey, time has no meaning at 3 a.m.), it was ready. I pulled out this pocket sandwich, the cheese leaking enticingly out of the sides of the bread and onto the plate. After the first excruciatingly painful bite (oops, forgot about that hot thing), I devoured my sandwich, so perfectly made and presented. Others must have noticed my smile, because soon there was a rush for the machine and the masses attempted (pitifully) to duplicate the perfection on white bread I had created...
The next morning, the chaos from the night previous became apparent. There was bread, cheese and meat all over the counter and the sandwich maker lay encrusted by the remains of the previous nights feast. Somehow, I rose from the couch and wandered over, gasping at the damage we had wrought. But no fear - this magical device was easily fixed with only a damp cloth and some soap (and lots of water - soapy sandwiches ruin the effect). Within minutes, I had returned this heavenly device to its pristine, enticing state, awaiting another use in the not so far future...
This sandwich maker is one of the best that I have used. I have had about 5 of them, and this one has really outperformed them. (Note: Avoid Salton sandwich makers. The hard plastics seems to crack very easily when you are loading larger than average sandwiches.)
It heats up quickly and does a fantastic job of cooking your sandwich all of the way through (assuming that you haven't stuck a George Foreman-sized grinder on the thing). It's easy to use and easy to clean up. Even children can use it, although exercise the normal burning cautionary notes - the 'plate' gets very hot, as do the sandwiches. The Proctor Silex one that I have can handle decently-sized sandwiches (maybe 6 oz. of meat and cheese) and does a great job of evenly heating them to perfection.
I have done all sorts of combinations on this thing - roast beef, ham & cheese, grilled cheese, etc. A personal favorite of mine is Italian or sourdough, with prosciutto (an Italian ham) and aged provolone. The combo is fantastic.
I would highly suggest this sandwich maker (and sandwich makers in general, except for the Salton), particularly if you are getting tired of your typical lunchmeat sandwiches. It will breathe new life into the staid turkey and cheese sandwich, and will take you little more time than you already spend.
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