It is easier to get overwhelmed by the plethora of choices that we currently have when we are trying to buy online. It becomes easy to get lost while trying to find the one product that suits your needs. The same is true for Sandwich Makers. With different brands putting out new sandwich makers with new features, it surely is maze to be navigated. Well, worry not. We have made this buying guide for sandwich makers so that you can find the perfect product online. This sandwich maker buying guide is a practical one – meaning, it is based on the various products available online. Let’s dive in!
What is a sandwich maker?
Let us get to the most important questions – What is a sandwich maker and do I need one?
A sandwich maker is a kitchen tool that allows you to toast your bread, either electrically or by heat from a gas stove. The major advantage of a sandwich maker is that you can cook it along with the fillings of your choice and doesn’t require any post assembly. They are very handy if you are in the habit of making sandwiches for you and your loved ones.
If you are looking to fast-track the sandwich making process in a pan, then you definitely want to switch over to the sandwich maker. They are capable of preparing tasty sandwiches with ease and efficiency. Since modern sandwich makers have a non-stick coating in its plates, it is also easy to clean afterwards.
Now that we have answered these questions, we are ready to tackle the types of sandwich makers available in the market.
Types of Sandwich Makers
There are many ways to classify sandwich makers ranging from mechanisms of heating to type of plates used. For our purposes, we have classified based on the popular products available online. These are the following:
Grilled Sandwich Makers
These types of sandwich makers are usually dominant in the number of products available online. The major feature of these appliances is the grilled pattern that are present on the plates and these are transferred to the bread while heating up. This grilled pattern is preferred by many as it makes the bread soft yet crunchy.
Related – Top Grilled Sandwich Makers
Four Triangle Sandwich Maker
As you can guess, this type of sandwich maker gets its name from the plates having typical 4 triangle shaped indents in them. The sandwiches made from these are toasted evenly, unlike a grilled sandwich maker. However, they shape the sandwich in such a way that you can easily make them into bite sized triangular sandwiches. Super convenient, right?
Related – Best Toaster Sandwich Makers
Press Sandwich Makers
Also known as the Panini Sandwich Maker, it is used to toast larger breads. It typically can accommodate up to 4 regular sized bread sandwiches. You can also use its surface to cook other dishes such as grilled meat, eggs, crepes and more. It is typically built to handle large amounts of food and sometimes provision for open wide space is also available, where you can just use it as any other grill.
Open Flame Sandwich Toasters
These are gas based toaster sandwich makers. The plates are held close by the long handles and are put on top of a flame from a typical gas stove or open flames. The sandwich gets made in this heat. These models are relatively cheap and are popular in India. The famous “Bombay Sandwiches” are made from these sandwich makers.
Related – Best Sandwich Maker for Commercial Use
What to check in a Sandwich Maker
Now that we have some idea on the types of sandwich maker, the next agenda of our sandwich maker buying guide is to discuss about features to note while selecting a sandwich maker.
Typically, the higher the wattage rating, the better the performance of the sandwich maker. As it can deliver enough power to heat the plates of a sandwich maker rapidly, it can quicken the sandwich making process. However, it may lead to increases power consumption and ultimately add to your electricity bill. For an average kitchen usage, a sandwich maker of 700-900 is the perfect sweet spot for making sandwiches easily without heavy burden on the electricity consumption.
Plate and Coating Material
Aluminium is the most preferred plate material for a sandwich maker. It conducts heat received from the coils and transfer heat over to the sandwich. Some sandwich makers come with removable plates. This can improve the type of food you can process – sandwiches, waffles, grilled foods etc. We have covered the best 3 in 1 sandwich makers in India in one of our blogs. Fixed plates are also an option, if you are looking to make just sandwiches.
As far as coating material is concerned, the average sandwich maker comes with a non-stick coating that prevents material to stick to the plates during cooking. This can make your after-cooking clean-up much easier. However with recent concerns on the effects of non-stick coating on the overall health of the food, other alternatives have also come up, such as the ceramic coating. Be sure to check for the material used in the coating before confirming your purchase.
It may be one of the most obvious feature to check, but it is very important. The amount of sandwiches that it can process in one go can affect your buying decision based on your needs. On an average a typical sandwich maker can process up to 4 slices of bread (that is 2 sandwiches). But based on the surface area of the plate area, it can be higher or lower. Capacity also determines the storage space required in your kitchen.
Probably one of the most crucial feature to check are the in-built safety features. As it is an electric appliance, (if you are looking for models other than open flame sandwich toaster) there are several features provided by brands nowadays. Features such as heat-resistant body and handles, auto shut-off feature on prolonged use, locking mechanisms for keeping the sandwiches in place, and light indicators for on/off and ready status are to be noted before buying.
One of the final checks to be done before buying is to read some reviews online. Reviews are a great way to gauge the sentiment of the users after buying the product.
Sandwich Maker FAQs
Still have some questions left? Worry not. We have listed some of the frequently asked questions for your convenience.
For cleaning, do not use water directly on the surface for an electric sandwich maker. You need to first wipe the surface gently with a dry towel/napkin to remove any debris left over after cooking. Then use a wet towel dipped in soap water and rub thoroughly for removing oil stains. Finally, wash it again with a dry cloth for a perfect clean surface.
When starting for the first time, apply a thin layer of cooking oil using a brush or kitchen towel and start the sandwich maker and heat for 3-5 minutes with the lid open. Leave it to cool and remove excess oil with a dry paper towel. Now your sandwich maker is ready to use.
Sandwiches (obviously). You can also make grilled veggies, wraps, rolls, meat, fried eggs and more. For waffles, a separate plate may be needed.
Both of these appliances do toast the bread. However in a sandwich maker, you can toast the bread along with the filling, whereas a toaster can handle only bread and assembly for sandwich can only be done later.
Here we are at the end of this buying guide for sandwich maker. Do let us know your feedback in the comments. We hope this guide has provided you with the information required to get you started on your journey to welcome home a sandwich maker.