Pros: Easy to use and looks nice.
Cons: None, other than the fact that this is another appliance for your kitchen.
I had no idea that I wanted a panini maker until I was given it as a gift. In fact, I was suspicious because this seemed like another gadget to clutter up my kitchen. All of those concerns disappeared after we used the panini maker to make a simple grilled cheese and tomato sandwich. I then used it for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and realized that this little machine could transform any simple sandwich into high-end food.
I now love our panini maker, and here are all the reasons why:
1. Easy to use: You just turn on the panini maker, let it heat up (it doesn't take very long), stick your sandwich on the grilled, close the door, hang out for a few minutes. Voila - your panini is ready. It couldn't be any more simple.
2. Looks cool: If you are going to have another appliance in your kitchen, it helps if it looks nice. The Breville Panini Grill meets that requirement. Stainless steel and a simple/sleek design. I believe they make a larger model. Not sure why anybody would want to have a bigger item, this one works fine. It can fit two sandwiches, or you can quickly cook one at a time (it only takes a couple of minutes to grill the sandwich).
3. No more butter: I love grilled sandwiches, but on the stovetop I always used butter. You do not need to butter the outside of the bread to use the grill, which makes the sandwich much healthier.
4. No more flipping: The cooking plates grill both sides of the sandwich, so there is no need to flip or mess with the sandwich. Just let it sit, pull it out, and you are done.
5. Great for using leftovers: If you are looking to use up meat, grilled vegetables or other leftovers, just stick it in your panini and you will have a delicious sandwich.
6. Easy to clean: The grill has non-stick cooking plates, which makes the grill easy to clean. It also comes with a special plastic "cleaning spatula" to clean the grill, although the spatula seems a little unnecessary. I just let it cool down and then use a rag to wipe it clean. There is also a drip pan to help eliminate the any crumbs. The drip pan is easy to remove and you can wash it in dishwasher.
7. Increases creativity: You can get creative with the type of breads you use and combination of items in the panini. This can be fun.
And a few other suggestions:
8. Don't try grilling chicken: The recipe book that comes with the panini suggests you can use the panini to grill chicken. In my personal opinion, the chicken was gross/rubbery and it created an unnecessary mess. I will stick to sandwiches. Much easier and delicious.
9. Ajdustable Height Settings: The grill has seven adjustable height settings. Don't worry about getting the setting perfect or having an oversized sandwich that looks like it doesn't fit. It will still grill perfectly.
Overall, this is a great item to have. There is nothing better than being home on the weekend and having a delicious panini for lunch!