Almost no one would disagree with the assertion that grilled cheese is always better. Even the most basic of bread and cheese combinations are transformed when they are toasted into a warm, toasty, oozy treat that will make you feel good about eating it. Add additional fillings, spreads, and fancier breads and cheeses to that sandwich and you’ll have a gourmet meal in minutes.
Making a grilled cheese sandwich is incredibly easy and quick if you use a sandwich maker, an appliance designed exclusively for making grilled cheese sandwiches. If you use them correctly, these handy machines are pretty foolproof. Also, they’re not the one-purpose tools they seem – there are countless creative uses for sandwich makers that can inspire some fun culinary experiments.
There Are Two Different Kinds of Sandwich Makers
Sandwich makers fall into two general categories. The less expensive kind has upper and lower plates shaped like squares to fit regular sandwich bread. The sandwiches are pressed into classic triangular pocket shapes by pressing and sealing. A grill sandwich maker, or panini press, is another popular type. These grills have ridged plates and a weighted top plate for pressing sandwiches while they are being grilled. Sandwich makers of both types function in a similar way.
We also have compiled a guide that will help you choose sandwich maker, if you are looking for the best one.
Basic Sandwich Maker Instructions
When you have the instruction manual of your sandwich maker, it’s a good idea to read it. In any case, here’s the basic procedure:
- While the sandwich maker is heating up, plug it in and keep it closed. The light on most models will let you know when it’s ready, which should take a few minutes.
- Make a cheese sandwich. Spread butter on the outside sides of the bread slices if desired.
- You can now open the sandwich maker. You may spray a fine mist of oil on the upper and lower plates if you did not use butter on the sandwich.
- Place the sandwich on the bottom plate, being careful not to touch it.
- The sandwich maker should be closed. If your sandwich maker has a front clamp, close it.
- Open the sandwich maker after waiting 3 to 5 minutes, or until the indicator lights up.
- With a wood or silicone spatula, remove the sandwich.
- Let the sandwich maker cool completely after unplugging it and leaving it open. After putting away the plates, wipe them with a damp sponge.
A Guide to the Best Cheese Sandwiches
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If you use butter on the bread or oil spray on the sandwich maker plates, a grilled cheese sandwich will have the best flavor and texture, but it’s not necessary. Sandwich makers have nonstick plates, so you can keep the bread dry and it shouldn’t stick.
The best cheese to use for grilled cheese sandwiches is melting cheese. There are many types of cheese, such as American, Swiss, gruyere, and cheddar. The cheese should be surrounded by a small border of bread to prevent it from oozing out and making a mess on the plates.
Choose the right type of bread for your sandwich maker. Panini press-style sandwich makers can handle most types of bread, but square sandwich makers work best with regular sliced bread.
Creative Sandwich Maker Uses
Think outside of cheese sandwiches and try grilling other items with a sandwich maker. The following ideas might help:
- Quesadillas and burritos
- French toast
- Sandwiches with peanut butter and jelly
- Sandwiches with peanut butter and bananas
- Sandwiches with cream cheese and berries
- Garlic cheese bread
- White bread and pie filling dessert sandwiches
It is also possible to discover some sandwich maker uses that are unrelated to sandwiches. The following foods can be cooked on the plates of a sandwich maker:
- Omelets – Place egg and optionally other chopped ingredients on the bottom plate and close the sandwich maker.
- Frozen hash browns.
- Pancake, cake, cornbread or muffin batter – Just pour the mix into the sandwich maker and close it.
- Bacon, Canadian bacon and ham steaks.
- Canned biscuits – Flatten each biscuit to fit inside the sandwich maker.
- Thinly sliced vegetables such as eggplant, zucchini and onion.
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