Which Panini Press Should I Buy? Breville vs. Cuisinart

by on September 21, 2011

Post image for Which Panini Press Should I Buy? Breville vs. Cuisinart

“Which panini press do you recommend – the Breville or the Cuisinart?” It’s a question that Panini Happy readers have asked me by e-mail and on Facebook for years. There are, of course, many brands of panini makers on the market. The Breville Panini Press and Cuisinart 5-in-1 Griddler happen to be two of the most popular models.

Until now, I could only give my opinion on the Breville panini press, which is the one I’ve owned since I started this blog. About a week ago, however, I finally bought the Cuisinart grill so I could find out how it compared to the Breville. All this time I assumed the two functioned in essentially the same way – and they do, to an extent. But there are some pretty significant differences that, depending on how you’d like to use your grill, may sway you to one model over the other.

Read on for the advantages I’ve observed for each grill. I do have a slight preference between the two, which I’ll share at the end. (Don’t forget to pick up a copy of my new cookbook, The Ultimate Panini Press Cookbook, to get the most out of your new press!)

Cuisinart's main advantage: removable plates are easier to clean (Photo: Williams-Sonoma)

Cuisinart’s main advantage: removable plates are easier to clean (Photo: Williams-Sonoma)

Easier to Clean: Cuisinart

The most notable advantage that the Cuisinart 5-in-1 Griddler has over the Breville Panini Press is its removable plates. This feature makes the Cuisinart very easy to clean – you just pop out the plates and wash them in the sink or in the dishwasher. The Breville has fixed plates so clean-up isn’t quite as easy (although it’s not difficult either – stay tuned for an upcoming post about cleaning the panini press!). Breville does offer a grill with removable plates, the Breville Smart Grill & Griddle, but that model costs about $200 more than the Cuisinart.

Breville's sloped front and tilt feature make it a great choice for grilling meats (Photo: Williams-Sonoma)

Breville’s sloped front and tilt feature make it a great choice for healthy grilling (Photo: Williams-Sonoma)

Better for Healthy Grilling: Breville

Two aspects of the Breville grill’s design make it a better choice for healthy grilling. First, the front edge of the grill is sloped, allowing fat to flow off of the grill and into the drip tray below. Second, the Breville allows you to adjust the tilt of the grates, further assisting in fat drainage. Of course, if you prefer your meats “extra juicy” you can always lower the little feet on the bottom of the grill to create a flat surface.

The edges of the Cuisinart grill are raised, rather than sloped, so it does not drain fat as easily. It also does not have a tilt feature – the grill remains flat at all times. There is a drip tray beneath the grill but I have yet to figure out how fat is able to drip into it.

Beyond a grill, you can turn the Cuisinart into a griddle or a waffle iron too (Photo: CHEFS Catalog)

Beyond a grill, you can turn the Cuisinart into a griddle or a waffle iron too (Photo: CHEFS Catalog)

Most Versatile: Cuisinart

As you know, I believe you can cook most anything on a panini grill. But the Cuisinart grill makes it much easier with its interchangeable plates. It comes with ridged grill and flat griddle plates and you can also buy waffle plates separately. Additionally, you can release the hinge on the upper grate and open it all the way to create two flat cooking surfaces. I successfully griddled some homemade English muffins last weekend on the Cuisinart.

The Breville is purely a grill, with no interchangeable plates or hinge release features. You can get creative with ramekins and other approaches to use it beyond grilling, but for true multi-purpose use the Cuisinart has a clear advantage.

Breville's adjustable height feature puts you in control (Photo: Williams-Sonoma)

Breville’s adjustable height feature puts you in control (Photo: Williams-Sonoma)

Top Plate Control: Breville

The Breville Panini Press has an adjustable height feature that lets you decide how high to position the top plate. You can choose to let the top plate rest right on top of the food with a bit of pressure for, say, pressing a sandwich. Or, if you’re grilling a burger or something else you’d rather not give a squeeze to you can raise the height accordingly. I have grilled open-face sandwiches on the Breville, hovering the top plate just above the food without actually touching it.

The absence of this height control on the Cuisinart was something I noticed right away. There is no way to make the top plate hover above the food, it must rest on top. I didn’t realize how much I utilize height control on the grill until I didn’t have it.

Cuisinart gives more bang for your buck

Cuisinart gives more bang for your buck

Price Advantage: Cuisinart

Sales notwithstanding, on most days (at this writing) the Cuisinart 5-in-1 Griddler, at $99.95 at most stores, is about $20 cheaper than the Breville Panini Press. Considering that it technically does more than the Breville, with the interchangeable plates and all, one could argue that you get more for your money with the Cuisinart.

Both grills have their impracticalities (Photo: Williams-Sonoma)

Both grills have their impracticalities (Photo: Williams-Sonoma)

Practicality Points: It’s a Draw

Good thing I checked for a locking mechanism on the lid before I pulled the Cuisinart out of its box for the first time – otherwise the entire thing would have flung open. The Cuisinart lid does not lock closed, while the Breville lid does. This means that, when locked, you can pick up the Breville by its handle and transport it in one hand, say, from your pantry to your countertop as I regularly do. With the Cuisinart you need to use both hands to pick up the machine from its base. Not a big deal, but a difference nonetheless.

Another small but notable difference: the newest version of the Breville Panini Press no longer has actual temperature markers on its dial. Instead it shows an adjustable temperature scale from “Sandwich” to “Sear”. The Cuisinart, on the other hand, does allow you to set specific temperatures (just like my older Breville model does). In most cases, not knowing the exact temperature isn’t going to make much difference to your grilling. But, as someone who writes recipes for panini makers, it sure would be nice to be able to say “set your grill to 375°F” and know that everyone would be at the same temperature.

* * *

Which panini press should you buy? You really can’t go wrong with either of these two models. They’re both excellent grills. But since you asked my opinion (well, many of you have asked), I still prefer the Breville Panini Press for the way I like to grill, which is with control over the height of the top plate and easy fat drainage. I do love how easy it is to clean the Cuisinart 5-in-1 Griddler, and if I didn’t already own a griddle and waffle iron the versatility of the Cuisinart grill would probably have easily won me over.

For more of my panini press buying advice, including features to look for, check out this post.

NOTE: As you may know, Breville has sponsored giveaways on Panini Happy in the past but I wrote this review completely on my own initiative and received absolutely no compensation. I purchased the Cuisinart Griddler myself and my Breville Panini Press was given to me as a gift from my sister.

If you liked this post, you might also enjoy:

>Ready to buy a panini press? Check out my Panini Press Buying Guide for the features to look for.

>Want more panini recipes? See my Recipe Index for a list of all recipes on Panini Happy.

>Traveling to a new city soon? Browse Panini Happy’s Great American Sandwich Guide to find the best sandwiches across the country!

{ 68 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ramona September 22, 2011 at 3:48 am

I personally like Breville products. But I do love the fact you can remove the plates on the Cuisinart! That makes life so much easier. At the end of the day you have to go with what will make you want to use it more… if it’s easy to clean I always will go that direction.
Ramona´s last blog post ..Bacon, Fig and Arugula Pizza


2 Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) September 22, 2011 at 4:25 am

I recently purchased the Cuisinart Griddler (with the additional waffle plates), and for the way I cook, it’s been great. We’re not actually huge sandwich eaters, but I do like to grill in small portions, and also love the waffle option. As someone who doesn’t have single-use appliances or utensils, I got more bang for the buck from the Griddler. This post is really helpful to people making that decision for the first time, and I also used your guide from this site to help me choose which to buy.


3 Kathy September 22, 2011 at 7:18 am

Oh cool, you got the waffle plates too! How are those? I must say, the Griddler is still out on my counter, has been there all week. Lots of great uses, that’s for sure.


4 Sommer@ASpicyPerspective September 22, 2011 at 4:52 am

Believe it or not, I DON’T have a panini press! Thanks for breaking it down for me.
Sommer@ASpicyPerspective´s last blog post ..BBQ Carnitas Tacos from White Duck Taco Shop


5 Kathy September 22, 2011 at 7:19 am

I do not believe this, Sommer!! 🙂


6 Barbara @ Barbara Bakes September 22, 2011 at 5:50 am

I enjoyed this post. I still haven’t convinced myself I need to buy a press, but I’m getting close.
Barbara @ Barbara Bakes´s last blog post ..Baked Cherry French Toast and Utah’s Owns Recipe Roundup


7 Anne September 22, 2011 at 12:34 pm

I have the Breville and absolutely love it. I use it way more than I expected. My 7 year old begs me to make him sandwiches with it.


8 Amy September 22, 2011 at 6:20 am

Thanks to you, I got the Breville for my birthday last year…and I LOVE IT.
Amy´s last blog post ..Pasta with Pea and Parsley Pesto


9 Kathy September 22, 2011 at 7:24 am

NICE, Amy!!


10 Heather September 22, 2011 at 8:21 am

Hi Kathy,

I’m so excited I can make a contribution to the discussion. I have the Cuisinart panini press and my only complaint is there is no height adjustment which can make it difficult to make panini with only soft ingredients such as gourmet grilled cheese or nutella and fruit. I end up holding the handle to keep the upper tray from smashing it flat.

About the drip tray, I have never had an issue with excess liquid/oil /fat draining off and the food has always been moist or crisp whichever effect you are looking for. In fact it is the best bacon maker I have ever used. The bacon come out flat, crisp and with minimal residue. AND it’s fast with no fat backsplash.

Love the fig recipes from all of you BTW. I have developed a crazed passion for them.



11 Kathy September 22, 2011 at 8:27 am

Thanks so much for weighing in, Heather! I’m interested in trying bacon on the Griddler, that sounds like a great use.


12 Nicole September 22, 2011 at 8:52 am

You know I’ve been talking about buying a press for years, but I still haven’t done it! I’m leaning toward the Breville… we’ll see if I can commit and actually buy one before the year is over 🙂


13 Kathy September 22, 2011 at 10:09 am

I want to be the first to know, Nicole! 🙂


14 kellypea September 22, 2011 at 9:47 am

Nice write up! I like both Cuisinart and Breville products, but when it comes to panini pans, I’m a dinosaur and use an enameled cast iron pan. Good to have this info if I’m ever in the market, tho… 🙂
kellypea´s last blog post ..Green Smoothie


15 Kalyn September 22, 2011 at 9:47 am

I have just about every kitchen gadget known to man, but no panini press! I do have TWO George Foreman grills, so I’ve been hesitant to buy one for grilling, but that photo of the steak grilling on the Breville one is pretty tempting! (And now I’m wondering if I could make sandwiches on my George Foreman grill; never tried it!)
Kalyn´s last blog post ..Recipe for Swiss Chard and Goat Cheese Custard Bake


16 Kathy September 22, 2011 at 10:09 am

You can definitely use a Foreman to make sandwiches!


17 Victoria September 22, 2011 at 11:06 am

After finding our small George Foreman grill useful for much more than grilling a chicken breast, we decided to look for a larger grill. My husband’s only stipulation: The new grill had to have removable plates. He hated cleaning the Foreman! So the Cuisinart was our choice. I have loved the versatility of the Cuisinart (and I don’t even have the waffle plates…yet). I have not had a problem with the fat drainage; plenty seems to drain off. Since I don’t make open-face sandwiches, the lack of a height control feature has not been a significant detractor for me. I did make grilled pizzas once on the Cuisinart, and I did have to hold the top plate open. But the versatility (and removable plates) sold me on the Cuisinart. Also Cuisinart’s reputation for durability; I have a Cuisinart food processor that I have used for years after wearing out the motors on several other brands.


18 Carole September 22, 2011 at 11:26 am

Thanks so much for the comparison of the two grills. I know people who have bought the Cuisinart and remarked re not being able to adjust the height.

@Kalyn, I have a Foreman grill and I’ve used it to make sandwiches.


19 Anne September 22, 2011 at 12:36 pm

My only complaint is, I don’t have enough room to store mine on the counter. If I did I think we would use it everyday and possible several times a day.


20 Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. September 22, 2011 at 6:20 pm

great post! I would love either!
Alison @ Ingredients, Inc.´s last blog post ..Homemade Caramel Corn


21 Alex September 22, 2011 at 8:34 pm

Was checking prices and found that Sur La Table is currently selling the Cuisinart for $99.95 and the Breville Panini Quatro for $49.95. The Breville duo is 69.95. No idea why the larger one is less expensive. Maybe it’s not as popular. Based on your comparison and the pricing, I think I’m going to go with the Breville.

Thanks for the info.


22 Kathy September 22, 2011 at 8:48 pm

Just to clarify, Alex – the Breville Quattro and Duo presses have different features from the Breville Panini Press I’m talking about in this post.


23 Margaret September 22, 2011 at 9:27 pm

I love the Breville. I’ve had mine almost 2 years. It’s the one with the temp. controls like yours. That’s when I started reading your blog, after I googled “panini.”
I keep it standing upright on the counter all the time and it has a very small footprint.


24 Carolyn September 23, 2011 at 1:05 pm

Great review, Kathy. We have one from Koenig, which we’re pretty happy with, but if we are ever in the market for another, I will keep this post in mind.
Carolyn´s last blog post ..Samoa Bars (Low Carb and Gluten Free)


25 JulieD September 23, 2011 at 3:15 pm

What a great post, Kathy. Thank you! I’m still torn between which one so I’ll have to decide which features are more important to me. I appreciate this because I feel like I will make an informed decision based on this article. 🙂
JulieD´s last blog post ..Zojirushi Rice Cooker Giveaway


26 Jane F December 3, 2011 at 1:39 pm

I’m just returning the Breville, which doesn’t have an on/off switch. I consider this a major safety flaw since, when I unplugged it, sparks came out of the electrical outlet. I’m surprised to see a review that doesn’t mention that. It’s a high wattage appliance — higher than one of my microwaves. Imaging unplugging a microwave while it was working. No thanks. I’ll wait for the switch or perhaps buy the Cuisinart, which my sister has and likes.


27 Kathy December 3, 2011 at 2:50 pm

I’ve never found the lack of an on/off switch to be a problem and have never experienced sparks, but the Cuisinart is definitely another good option.


28 Chuck L January 30, 2012 at 6:33 pm

I have the Cuisinart and will try to perfect my craft on it, then see if I need the features of the Breville. Who has the fig recipes? I love fig preserves and can’t wait to try some on the press


29 Harry May 4, 2012 at 10:09 am

You can control the height of the top plate of the Cuisinart model by rolling some foil into two two balls and placing them between the plates on both sides of the sandwich. The size of the balls determines the distance between the plates and the pressure the top plates exerts downward.


30 Kathy May 4, 2012 at 1:29 pm

What a smart solution – thanks!


31 Suzie May 24, 2012 at 4:32 pm

Thank you for the comparison! I have been using a grill pan with a glass press for a while now and I finally took the panini plunge after reading your review! My griddler arrived yesterday and I spent an extraordinary amount of time preparing and grilling a jalapeno-popper panini. Love your blog!


32 Kathy May 24, 2012 at 4:38 pm

So glad it was helpful, Suzie – happy grilling! 🙂


33 Reid June 23, 2012 at 3:13 pm

This post mentions a upcoming post about cleaning a Breville grill, but I couldn’t find it through the search. Has it been written yet?

Either way, happy to have found your site after we just opened up our grill!


34 Kathy June 23, 2012 at 4:00 pm

Thanks for the reminder, Reid – I still have yet to write it! But it’s still planned. 🙂 Have a great time with your new grill!


35 Jackie August 5, 2012 at 5:08 am

Thanks for the post. I like the Breville, but I am worried I would not use it enough. Yesterday I picked up a Bella press for $20. I tried it last night, its ok and I figure I can always upgrade to the Breville. I grilled veggies to use on pizza. This one has no floating hinge so I will try the tin foil trick mentioned above. I can’t wait to try a grilled cheese. My smooth top range does not do a good job with them.


36 Kathy August 5, 2012 at 2:45 pm

Have a great time with your new grill, Jackie!


37 Igor October 2, 2012 at 8:36 am

after reading you post , i have ordered Cuisinart today, but for only reason , coz there is no where i could find to buy the breville one in UK , as it made for US and Canada electric standards for some reason , however there are some cheaper models but…. 🙂 so can’t wait to try it tomorrow !!! the only thing is might be the hight controller , but reading reviews on John Lewis web , the shop i bought it from , no negative comments about it at all! 🙂


38 Paula October 23, 2012 at 6:45 am

I bought the Breville for my parents one year for Christmas. They basically gave it back to me because they had George Forman and didn’t want another similar product, thinking that 2 months later I could return it. I couldn’t, so I kept it. By the end of the year, I had used it exactly twice. I plugged it in one day and it didn’t work. It was shiny and beautiful in my garbage. I might as well have thrown away the money. I have a Breville convection oven that I use every day and I love, but never again will I purchase this brand.


39 Cheryl November 23, 2012 at 11:20 am

I have had my griddler for 3 years now…love it! I just put a cutting board under the back feet to give it more of a slope for drainage. Problem solved!


40 Kathy November 23, 2012 at 11:31 am

Glad you’re enjoying your Griddler! You might try tilting it from the front as the drain is at the back of the grill (at least on the model that I have).


41 helen December 11, 2012 at 12:24 pm

thank you for your detailed review. i was leaning towards the cuisinart due to the removable plates, but seeing as the height does not adjust, i may may splurge on the breville smart grill. the removable plates really make a huge difference in cleanup!


42 Kathy December 11, 2012 at 12:29 pm

That one really is the best of both worlds!


43 Jackie January 1, 2013 at 5:40 am

I bought the Breville press at Williams Sonoma for $80, plus I got a $10 coupon to use later. The Breville looked the same as the Bella, but it has a lot more heat. I’ve only used it once so far but it does seem way better.


44 Kathy January 1, 2013 at 8:01 am

Sounds like you got an awesome deal! Enjoy!!


45 Sheri January 9, 2013 at 4:37 pm

Just got the Cuisinart 5-in-1 for Christmas and it has top plate height control. Must be a newer model. I love it and your website!


46 Kathy January 9, 2013 at 5:27 pm

Congrats on the new grill, Sheri! Just to confirm we’re talking about the same thing with regard to height control – because the Cuisinart does allow you to grill at different heights – does your new grill allow you to fix the height of the upper grate so that it can hover above the food without touching it? As far as I know, that feature is only available on the Breville but, as you said, Cuisinart could have just come out with a newer model.


47 Sheri January 10, 2013 at 7:07 pm

Yes it can hover above food and its the Cuisinart elite. My husband purchased it from Williams-Sonoma so I’m guessing its pricier than some of the other models but I didn’t look at the price (as that might diminish my excitement).


48 Kathy January 10, 2013 at 7:19 pm

Oh yes, the Cuisinart Elite is a higher end model than the Griddler I’m describing in this post. I just checked it out – it looks terrific!


49 Gloria Pfeiffer June 10, 2013 at 9:44 am

My sister was trying to decide whether to buy the Cusinart vs. the Breville. I have the Breville. Two comments. Cleaning isn’t as easy as I’d like it to be. I recently bought a product called Krud Kutter (a horrible name) but its a nontoxic, biodegradable product. I got the spray bottle at Home Depot. Anyway, I used it the last time I grilled burgers and it made it so much easier to clean the Breville. Second, my husband sold our grill at our yardsale. He said why should he bother grilling (for the two of us) when I could do it in 3 to 4 minutes on the Breville. I’ve only ever used it once to make a pannini sandwich! I do burgers, chicken, steak, pork chops and even sausage.



50 Kathy Strahs June 10, 2013 at 10:08 am

I know the feeling, Gloria! It’s so much easier to just heat up the panini press to grill, that’s what I use more often than not too. 🙂


51 Allottadolls June 28, 2013 at 2:00 pm

I have only used the Cuisinart and loved it so much that I went out and bought another one! As for price, if you live near a Bed Bath and Beyond get on their mailing list and wait to receive a 20% off coupon, drastically reducing the price. With the exception of a coffee pot I have never used a small appliance as much as this. We cook our meat on it; eggs; french toast and pancakes; sandwiches… The juices and fats DO run into the drain pan under the appliance. In fact if you save bacon grease for anything it is perfect because the brown crunchies do not. I also bought the waffle plates and am not as enthusiastic about those. They are only for “Belgian” waffles and most of the time I’ve ended up with a mess. I don’t know if it was mentioned but you don’t have to heat up both plates either. You can choose one or both. I would give this appliance an eleven on a scale of one to ten!


52 Dan December 29, 2013 at 11:06 am

I bought the Cuisinart Griddler for my wife with the waffle plates. I used this review (along with some others) as my guide before purchasing. I use this as much as she does as I do about 60% of the cooking.

Here’s why we went with The Griddler:

1. Removable Plates – Cleaning a cheesy, goey, or greasy mess out of something without removable plates is a pain. Also, I worry about accidentally cleaning the other model while still plugged in (see #3). Not that this would happen, but, you know. I have my moments in life…

2. Waffle Plates/Value – We don’t like “one trick pony” appliances. Generally, they are not a good value unless you use them constantly. The only other kitchen appliance we own that does one particular thing is a juicer. I know, I know. A panini press can do all this other stuff. However, we use our stove for things like eggs and bacon and our outdoor grill for chicken, burgers, steak, etc. We wanted a panini press, but the waffle plates option really made this an easier decision. These waffle plates work well. I also realize I could still go old school and not use a panini press, but being able to make two grilled cheese sandwiches at once for your kids with one simple machine…parents know what I’m talking about here. 😉

3. On/Off Switch – Not a big deal to most people, but this is an important safety thing for us. I work in Risk Management, so I tend to think more about these things. I want something I can turn off/on. Yeah, you can unplug it, but this is an additional safety feature that is important to us (especially with kids and curious cats that patrol the counter tops). I don’t want to start cleaning this 45 minutes later only to realize OMG it is still plugged in, but my hand has perfect grill marks…I can look at the switch/light and know whether it is on or not.

4. The gentlemen that talked about the aluminum foil trick is spot on. Although adjustable height of the top plate would be a nice feature on the Cuisanart. I didn’t want to pay the extra for the “elite”, so this works well-enough. Additionally, the Bed Bath coupons are also a great way save money. That 20% off…well, just invest that in the waffle plates. So someone else in the comments nailed that aspect as well. 🙂

5. Temperature control – There are a ton of appliances with different settings like popcorn, frozen bagel, sear, flamethrower, Arizona summer, defrost, etc. but I don’t know the actual temperature at which the machine is cooking the food. Again, not a big deal for most people but I know with this model and it helps for following recipes and developing your own timing when cooking a meal. However, it only works on the griddle/waffle maker. NOT the panini press. Bummer.

Why did we get a panini press? It’s a lot of fun, actually. My wife and I can make caprese paninis for ourselves and grilled cheese for our kids in half the time. It didn’t cost an arm and a leg and who doesn’t love waffles on a Sunday morning as a treat every once in awhile? Again, faster to make waffles in the Griddler then pancakes on the stove and less messy. They turn out great.

Your Milage, as always, will vary. Both are great choices. If you need that floating hinge than go Breville or invest in a company that makes aluminum foil. The Breville had some neat features but the Cuisanart easily won the day based on value. We’ll see if this appliance can stand up to the “family beating” it will take in our kitchen. That will be the true test.

Your advice was excellent and this review was in-depth and well balanced. Both these companies should get your input when doing redesigns.

I Look forward to reading your recipes on the site. oooh! Mortadella and Fig Panini .


53 Kathy Strahs December 29, 2013 at 11:33 am

Thanks so much for sharing all of your valuable insights, Dan!! ~ Kathy


54 Andi January 1, 2014 at 11:16 am

Kathy, do either of these panini makers have a problem with temperature? I’ve read consumer comments for other brands, and they seem to have one problem: not hot enough to cook, or grill to a crisp finish. What do you think with these two?


55 Kathy Strahs January 1, 2014 at 11:40 am

Hi Andi – I haven’t had a problem with the temperature on either one. Anecdotally, it feels like the Breville gets hotter, but I can’t say for sure. I prefer to sear on the Breville. When I’m using the Cuisinart I usually turn the temp up a bit higher than I do on the Breville to get similar results. Hope this helps!


56 Priscilla January 6, 2014 at 2:58 pm

Do you know the year or model number of the last press that had the temperature gage as opposed to the “sandwich to sear” dial?


57 Kathy Strahs January 6, 2014 at 3:50 pm

You might check directly with the manufacturers on that. The Cuisinart Griddler I bought in 2011 has temperature settings, as does my Breville Panini Press from 2007. However, my Breville from 2011 only has Sandwich and Sear.


58 Priscilla January 7, 2014 at 11:31 am

Thank you. Sent them an email. I’m hoping to track down a model with the temp knob and try all your recipes. The green goddess looks amazing! Actually a lot of them do.


59 Sandra January 14, 2014 at 8:18 am

I am looking for a small Panini press and am torn between the Breville Panini Duo and the Cuisinart Griddler Compact. I do not care for the flat bottom on the Breville machine but not sure how the Cuisinart would press day old ciabatta rolls or a leftover French baguette without a height adjustment feature (I don’t want to stand there adding more pressure to the handle during entire cooking process). Is this extra bit of pressure very important in your Panini making or just occasionally? Thanks for your opinion.


60 Kathy Strahs January 14, 2014 at 8:24 am

Hi Sandra — I almost never add extra pressure when I’m grilling. If anything, I’m trying to apply *less* pressure. That’s why I like the height adjustment feature — so I can adjust the upper plate so that it’s resting lightly on top of the food, if needed. ~Kathy


61 Sandra January 14, 2014 at 8:59 am

Thank you….very good to know. I currently make paninis using the grill pan method which needs the extra pressure from me for thick dense breads. I am looking forward to the ease of a panini press!


62 Judy January 18, 2014 at 5:23 am

I got the Cuisinart Griddler for Christmas, my first time at making Paninis at home. Although I like all the features of the Griddler, it tends to smash everything I try to make using it as the Panini press. I am disappointed that there is no way to adjust it so that the top sits lightly on top of the food. It’s impossible to make a thin Panini on it, as it simply smashes it. I’m going to use it as a countertop grill and only make very thick Panini sandwiches on it.


63 Kathy Strahs January 18, 2014 at 8:26 am

Hi Judy — You might try using a denser bread? I recently wrote a post about choosing the best bread for making panini: paninihappy.com/the-best-bread-for-panini/


64 Patty May 27, 2014 at 2:37 pm

I love my Cuisinart! Had the other one before, the Cuisinart is so much easier to clean, never going back!


65 Christine August 23, 2014 at 11:35 am

If you don’t want the top of the grill touching your paninis while using the cuisinart grill, leave the top up. It really doesn’t provide much pressure on the sandwich when closed either. You need to “press” down on it to get a good sear. Also, as for the tilting, put an oven mitt or trivet under the back feet for more drainage. It does drain without doing that though.


66 Johnny California September 10, 2014 at 9:36 am

I ended up throwing out my Griddler. Not having an adjustable height feature for the top plate was annoying. It wasn’t pressing the sandwiches properly. And you are spot on about the grease not draining off. And when it did drain off it seemed to go all over the place, so I found myself having to clean the back and the bottom of the Griddler. But I do like the versatility of the Griddler, which is a major drawback of the Breville. So I’m holding out on a 3rd, better option that is a combination of the two. Please update your blog when you find one:)


67 Debbie September 24, 2017 at 6:44 pm

I purchased the Griddler Deluxe and you can adjust the height on that model. Perhaps Cuisinart has been listening to suggestions.


68 Kathy Strahs September 24, 2017 at 6:49 pm

That’s great to hear! ~Kathy


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