There are only a small handful of manufacturers who make quality Panini presses out there. For consumers, that makes it so they can decide on the features they want and pick out a pretty good Panini press without being overwhelmed by a half million choices. However, while there are only a few brands, we still want the best, and among those that are considered the best is Cuisinart models and Hamilton Beach models. Both companies are reputable producers of kitchen appliances, but they have a wide array of popular Panini presses out there. However, as both manufacturers are pretty well known for their sheer quality, it can make choosing between the two a bit of a task. So when you are shopping for Panini presses, which is better – Cuisinart or Hamilton Beach?
Easiest to Clean – Cuisinart
A number of Cuisinart products are multi-tools, unlike Hamilton Beach that has one set purpose and does it well. Cusinart Panini presses like the 5-in-1 Griddler are often the easiest to clean not just because they have non-stick plates, Hamilton Beach has those too, but because the plates are removable.
While a few Hamilton Beach Panini presses have removable plates, Cuisinart makes them more prevalent in its presses. This means you don’t have to swab a germy washcloth over the plates to clean them, you can remove the plates from the machine and wash them in the sink or even put them in the dishwasher. If you never tried to clean a Panini Press with removable plates before, you just don’t know how much easier that it makes things.
Best for Other Types of Grilling – Cuisinart
Again, Hamilton Beach makes products that excel in one thing while Cuisinart makes multi-tools. Cuisinart is meant to be reminiscent as professional kitchen tools, while Hamilton Beach products are home kitchen tools. While you can easily cook other things in a Hamilton Beach Panini press, it doesn’t mean that it will be easy on all models. Almost all Cuisinart models comes with spacious slanted plates that lead to drip trays which make cooking foods that are just slightly more greasy than your typical Panini a lot easier. While all Hamilton Beach models guide grease towards the bottom of the press, not all of them feature drip trays, which has the large potential for mess if you choose to cook something like a burger.
Price – Hamilton Beach
Price is typically why many consumers pick Hamilton Beach products. They are often the most affordable Panini presses on the shelf without being some generic unheard of brand that will probably break after one use. That is all part of Hamilton Beach’s brand too. They are home kitchen products so they needed to make them affordable for the home cooks. Cuisinart, on the other hand, is a more professional brand. Everything from its design to its multi-functionality and all the way to its elevated price attest to that. However, just because it is more expensive doesn’t necessarily mean that it is better.
In Panini presses, it is always about picking out the features you want tin a press. If all of those features you want are present in a more affordable model, then that is all the better for you and your wallet. Hamilton Beach Panini presses do just as they say, they make excellent Panini’s, and if that is all you need, then that is all you need.
Practicality – Hamilton Beach
One of the features that a lot of people look for in a Panini press is the ability to be turned off or easily stored away. In this respect, Hamilton Beach comes with many of those features. They are meant to be easy to use in the home, which means being able to be shut off without completely unplugging the machine. A locking mechanism may not always be present, though. Typically, they are really only needed when a press has removable plates that might fall out, and not all Hamilton Beach presses have removable plates so loc king mechanisms aren’t always needed.
Alternatively, Cuisinart isn’t meant to be moved around. It is meant to be parked in a specific spot and, for the most part, left there. While there are some models that have on-off switches, it is more common to find models that just need to be unplugged in order to turn off.
As you can tell, each manufacturer of Panini presses, both Cuisinart and Hamilton Beach, have their advantages. With Cuisinart, you get the professional quality you would expect from professional kitchen appliances while with Hamilton Beach you get the affordability and practicality of a home kitchen appliance. So which is better?
In this respect, Cuisinart comes out just above Hamilton Beach. If affordability is one of the features that you want, then that is fine. However, by paying more for a Cuisinart model, you get a Panini press that excels in more than just making sandwiches. Both manufacturers make great Panini presses, to be sure, but because Cuisinart is meant for professional kitchens, you get more features so you can use it to do more.