A Guide to Commercial Panini Presses – The humble panini press, once relegated to the back of the cupboard, has become a culinary powerhouse. In cafes, bistros, and even Michelin-starred restaurants, these compact appliances crank out crispy, melty sandwiches that tantalise taste buds and boost profits. Recent research shows that while wraps and flatbreads gained market share in 2023, paninis still held a steady 5.1% share of the UK sandwich market.  With an abundance of options on the market, choosing the right commercial panini press can feel overwhelming.

Where can you use a panini press?

Cafes and Coffee Shops: A panini alongside a steaming latte is a match made in heaven, offering a quick and satisfying lunch or snack option.

Restaurants: Paninis can expand your menu with gourmet grilled sandwiches, and even breakfast fare.

Hotels and Bars: Paninis are perfect for room service, tasty snacks, or late-night bites.

Food Trucks and Concession Stands: Portable panini presses keep the crowds fed at events and festivals.

What plate material is best?

Cast Iron: Heats evenly, retains heat superbly, and creates beautiful grill marks, but is slower to heat up, ideal for high-volume kitchens and classic paninis.

Aluminium: Heats up quickly and is lightweight. Perfect for low-volume use or quick paninis.

Stainless Steel: Durable, easy to clean, and heats evenly. Great for high-volume use and delicate fillings.

What kind of plates do I want?

Grooved Plates: Create iconic grill marks and help drain fat, ideal for classic paninis and grilled vegetables.

Smooth Plates: Perfect for delicate fillings like fish or pancakes, and for panini variations like Rarebit sandwiches.

Combination Plates: Offer the best of both worlds, with one grooved and one smooth plate. Ideal for versatile kitchens.

Single or Double Decker?

Single presses are compact and affordable, but limit output. Double presses cook two paninis simultaneously, boosting efficiency but requiring more space and investment.

Look for these features to elevate your panini game:

Floating Hinge: Applies even pressure to fillings of varying thicknesses, preventing smashed masterpieces.

Ergonomic Handles: Reduce hand fatigue during high-volume service.

Adjustable Thermostat: Ensures perfect grilling for different ingredients and bread types.

Timers: Free you up for other tasks while your paninis reach golden perfection.

Our recommendations:

LincatRenowned for their durable construction and precision heat control, Lincat presses are built to handle the demands of even the busiest kitchens.

InfernusThese powerful presses boast scorching temperatures for lightning-fast panini perfection.

Blizzard – innovative technology that ensures even cooking and prevents overheating.

SammicA European leader in food prep equipment, Sammic panini presses offer outstanding performance and reliability at competitive prices.

In short, when shopping for a panini press consider your budget, cooking volume, menu, and desired features to select the perfect press. Remember, the ideal panini press is an investment that will return delicious dividends for years to come.

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