Knowing how to maintain your Panini Press or tips and tricks that can come in handy in your cooking journey is key – and that’s exactly what inspired me to create this guide that will help you get the most out of your unit.
We’ll start by looking at several cleaning and maintenance tips and tricks, after which I will also list five unlikely meals that you (probably) didn’t know you could whip up using this unit on your kitchen counter.
Without further ado, let’s jump into the main section of the post.
1. Clean your Panini grill before the first use
To ensure that your Panini Press’ cast iron plates are always in pristine condition, most manufacturing companies tend to oil them before the unit is shipped. With that in mind, always ensure you clean your unit you acquire before using it for the 1st time.
To do this, simply warm up the press until all the oil liquefies. Subsequently use a sponge soaked in dishwashing soap or a damp cloth to wipe away all the sediments and oil on the plates.
2. Season the Panini press
Seasoning is essential if you want to keep the cooking unit from rusting or food sticking to the cooking surface. So, once you have utterly cleaned and dried up the Panini grill after the 1st use, spread a thin layer of cooking oil on the cast iron plates and then turn the heat to its highest setting.
Once the oil has cooked for approximately ten minutes, let the press cool down, then repeat the entire process. You also ought to keep in mind that slight discoloration on your Panini Press’s surface is to be expected.
You will also need to reseason your unit after prolonged use.
3. Always clean the press after every use
Remember to clean your Panini Press plates after every use in order to get rid of any buildup of sediment left from the meal. When the press’ plates are still slightly warm, use the cleaning scraper/brush with warm water and soap to get rid of the sediment.
Could you, for some reason, have misplaced your cleaning scraper or brush? Then no worries. A simple damp cloth will also do the trick. All you ought to keep in mind is that you shouldn’t use cold water on the warm plates.
Another thing to keep in mind is that to always make sure you remove the drip tray, wash it using soapy, warm water, and then dry it thoroughly before putting it back inside the unit.
4. Storing your Panini Press
Depending on your kitchen size or the space available on your kitchen cabinet, you may just need to place your appliance with all of your other cooking pans, pots, and cookware. If you don’t have room, then simply place the grill in a different location.
All you need is to keep in mind that the things you recently use like the Panini Press should always be the easiest to get. Also, if you have to place a different item on your Panini Press, then place a paper towel or flattened paper plate in between the two appliances.
Other meals to cook with your Panini Press (other than just Panini sandwiches)
Certainly, you need a Panini Press to prepare some of the tastiest grilled sandwiches. That said, if you happen to have one of these masterpieces on your kitchen counter, rest assured it can do way more than its name implies.
A versatile Panini Press can be used to prepare all sorts of meals creatively, healthfully, and often quickly. With that in mind, from dessert to dinner, when it’s cold to grill outdoors or on busy weeknights, here are great uses for your Panini Press:
1. Pound Cake
Speaking of cakes, why not use your Panini Press to prepare a slice of toasty, warm pound cake? Just ensure that you brush the sides with butter before pressing for delicious results.
Thin fish fillets will take just a minute or two to cook to perfection on a Panini Press. Most importantly, thicker oily fillets like salmon and tuna won’t take too long either. During my test sessions, my unit took approximately 4 minutes to toast each. This is an easy and quick option for getting healthier dinner options on your table without too much effort or fuss.
3. Chicken Breasts
Whenever you feel the need for a chicken on weeknight dinner or while in a hurry, you need to look no further than your Panini Press. Simply fire your stroke of genius, grease the surface, and cook your seasoned chicken breasts until their insides hit 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
A great advantage of using your Panini Press for chicken breasts is the fact you can pretty much step aside and let your chicken cook. This awards you sufficient time to finish up on a side of veggies, rice, or whatever else you may have wanted to serve with the dinner.
Your high-end Panini Press can easily help you whip up a tasty omelet in next to no time. To try this, start by tossing several sliced veggies in a bit of oil with some of your favorite seasonings and cook them for one to two minutes on the Panini Press.
Subsequently, pour two or three beaten eggs over the veggies and then close the lid to cook for a minute. Once the time is up, open the Panini Press’ lid, roll up the omelet, and enjoy the delicacy.
Quesadillas could not be faster or easier to make using a Panini Press. The unit’s dual cooking surfaces of the best futuristic Panini Press units can melt the cheese evenly without you having the need to fuss or flip.
This implies that whenever a quesadilla craving strikes, you can simply rest assured knowing that you’re only a minute or two from cheesy, melty goodness.
If this detailed guide on Panini Press’ tips and tricks hasn’t convinced you to invest in one of these bad boys (if you haven’t already), then I do not know what will. Here are several guides I recently created to help you get started on your shopping journey:
Best double Panini Presses, best electric Panini Presses, best extra-large Panini Presses, best griddle Panini Presses, and best Panini Presses with ceramic plates.