Electric Grills and Sandwich Toastie Makers

Feeling a bit peckish? How does a crisp panini, stuffed with perfectly melted cheese sound? Or what about that hankering for a properly griddled burger, when it definitely isn’t barbecue weather? Making tasty snacks and meals – authentic grill lines and all – is quick and easy if you’ve got an electric grill or sandwich press to do all the cooking at the flick of a switch.

Speedy toasted sarnies

Think back to being a kid. Was there ever a time when a crisp, golden toasted sandwich didn’t hit the spot? They’re a favourite speedy snack that we’ve never grown out, but we’ve branched out to rustling up more adventurous things than a cheese and ham toastie (although there’s nothing wrong with a cheese and ham toastie).

The toastie maker has a come a long way. Take the Cuisinart Overstuffed Sandwich Maker. Its extra-large sandwich plates accommodate thicker breads like ciabatta and focaccia, and you can still generously stuff it with yummy fillings. Think mozzarella and roasted med veg; chicken with ricotta and roasted peppers; or a tangy chunk of vintage cheddar with kimchi. Marvellous. A couple of minutes in a sandwich toaster and your bread and fridge leftovers are transformed.

Perfect paninis and more

Variety is the spice of life, so if you’re looking for a kitchen appliance that offers more than just toasted sandwiches, consider an electric grill or griddle. If you want convenience without cutting corners on the way to deliciously griddled paninis, chicken breasts, burgers or fish, they’re a seriously versatile option that will suit all your snacking needs.

There’s a lot of cutting edge thinking that goes into a panini press or fold-out grill, so it’s worth taking a closer look at the features. A grill with a floating hinge will give you a perfectly pressed panini or fish fillets without crushing them; angled grill plates let fat drain away; variable temperature and timer control give you flexibility, and the really clever digital grills have built-in sensors that measure the thickness of your food, and tailor cooking settings to remove any guesswork. Rather than be guided by price alone, it’s wise to look out for features like these that will make cooking easier.

Breakfast and beyond

Not that we’ve got bacon on the brain (mmm… bacon), but we can’t talk about electrical griddles without thinking about a hearty cooked breakfast. Choose a 2-in-1 fold out grill and sandwich press that can be used as a contact grill, or opened up so you have two flat cooking surfaces, a bit like hot plates. And if your grill comes with interchangeable or reversible non-stick cooking plates, even better – flat plates are perfect for fried eggs, omelettes and pancakes.

In the same family as grills and griddles are electric waffle makers – and we love them. Waffles always feel like a proper treat for a weekend breakfast or brunch, but you don’t have to reserve them for a special occasion if you’ve got a handy little plug-in machine. Switch on, whip up some batter, pour it on, and you’ll be enjoying golden, fluffy waffles in mere minutes. Pass us the syrup, please!.