The stupidist thing about this design is the controls: Turn the center control to the left and use the griddle temperature control. Turn to the right and use the Grill/pannini control. Identical except for labeling--left numbers, right words--both hard to read. DUH. For the identical cost Cuisinart could have had the left control one plate and the right control the other. Why is this important? A good example is their recipe for "Breakfast for 2" you have to use one heat, so the bacon is cooked below Cuisinart's recommended temperature and the eggs above. A good example of "fool the consumer into thinking he/she is getting something that he/she is not." A missed opportunity to truly improve the appliance at no extra cost.
Recommend this product?
It make a nice panini.
OK for pancakes, but slow.
A pan is much better for eggs, either fried or scrambled.
Don't try it for anything more that a 1/2' steak. For anything thicker,this is not the machine for you. I let the grill heat until the light indicated it was ready to grill (max temp available). 1" Steaks at room temperature; Initially a good sizzle but soon the power could not maintain the temperature required, so the result was steamed steak not grilled steak--might be healthier I suppose. Very thin steaks-1/2' cooked OK.
The cooking plates are easy to remove and are dishwasher safe, But not metal safe. Be careful. Expect a fair bit of spatter and leakage, so I learned quickly to put the machine on foil or, better, a large cookie sheet.
With 500 more Watts and truly flexible controls (vice useless and costly redundent ones), this could have been well worth the price.
This machine appears to be heavily discounted. For $80.00 it passes muster as a pannini griller. The rest is hype!
Amount Paid (US$): $79.95