Hamilton Beach Panini Press: Is it Any Good?

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There are few things more delicious than a panini. There are thousands of panini recipes, but all of them have one thing in common: you need a panini press. The market is full of different brands and models, but there seems to be one that many people are interested in: Hamilton Beach Panini Press Gourmet Sandwich Maker. This Hamilton Beach panini press seems simple enough and has the right features, but is it actually good?

Let’s take a deeper look at the panini press Hamilton Beach to see if it’s actually worth the money, or if there’s a better grill & panini press for your kitchen.


Panini presses aren’t known for being huge kitchen appliances, but having more capacity is always better. Sure, making one at a time is alright, but what if you want to make more? What if you’re hungry and you know one won’t be enough? The more you can make, the better.

With that said, what is the Hamilton Beach® Panini Press Gourmet Sandwich Maker capacity? The Hamilton Beach electric panini press can make two paninis simultaneously with the 8”x10” grilling surface. That’s great because it allows you to make extra food if you want, but it keeps the press from being too large to be compact and easy to store.

Many of the best panini makers are around this size. It’s considered the sweet spot, so expect other great presses to be this capacity.


Some panini presses only heat the top or bottom. The Hamilton Beach Panini Press Gourmet Sandwich Maker uses two nonstick heating surfaces on the top and bottom. This allows it to heat both sides at once for faster cooking and even more grill marks.

Now you might be thinking what happens if you only want one side heated for open-face sandwiches. Don’t worry. This grill & panini press has a floating lid. Simply keep the top lid away from the food and it will cook underneath.

The preheating time is also quick. While it will be ready in just a few minutes, Hamilton Beach suggests waiting 6 minutes before placing your food on the grill surface. The preheat indicator will tell you when it’s ready. This ensures it cooks properly. You don’t want light grill marks on your sandwich, do you?

Overall, this is an efficient panini maker that will have your food ready in minutes.

Hamilton Beach Panini Press Gourmet Sandwich Maker Lid

We mentioned the lid a bit in the previous section on heating, so we apologize if some of this seems redundant.

The Hamilton Beach Panini Press Gourmet Sandwich Maker | has a floating lid with a connected heating element. Both the top lid and bottom section have their own grills. This allows you to cook both sides evenly and quickly.

Many people like having a panini press with floating hinge because this makes it easier to cook thicker paninis. It doesn’t matter how big the panini is because you can easily set the lid to the right height.

Not only that, but the lid locks wherever you want it. This helps secure the lid, and it also keeps the lid open if you want to only cook the food on one side. You can also lock the lid while storing the panini press, which keeps it from accidentally falling over and opening up.

This design is ideal for paninis and other recipes.

Hamilton Beach Panini Press Features

You’ll find that the Hamilton Beach® Panini Press Gourmet Sandwich Maker is a very straightforward kitchen appliance. While it doesn’t have a very long list of features, many of which we’ve already covered, this is still a highly versatile and useful appliance.

It has two heating elements on the top and bottom for fast, even cooking. The locking lid prevents the press from accidentally opening up, and you can lock the lid in place. The top lid floats, which makes it easy to cook sandwiches, paninis, and other recipes of any size.

There is a preheat indicator light and the press should be ready with 6 minutes. You can make open-face sandwiches by keeping the lid open. For upright storage, simply lock the lid, turn on its side, and place it anywhere in your kitchen.

We usually cover appliances with lots of features, like the Instant Pot Duo Nova or Emeril Lagasse Power Air Fryer 360, but this can be a nice change of pace. No need to check settings and push buttons. Just plus the Hamilton Beach panini press in, wait for it to preheat, and then expect delicious paninis in a few minutes.

What Can it Make?

Obviously the panini press Gourmet from Hamilton Beach can make paninis, that goes without saying. It can make a lot more than that, especially because of the floating lid and both top and bottom heating.

This grill and panini press can just as easily make sandwiches and quesadillas. Prefer a fruit turnover? That’s easy. You can even make pizza pockets with the right ingredients. All of these require cooking with both the top and bottom grills.

If you keep the lid open, then you can easily cook open-face sandwiches, bruschetta, or even grilled pizza. Or, if you only want to warm the food, you can even cook frozen pizzas with nice grill marks.

This is a versatile appliance that can make a lot of different recipes.

Final Thoughts

So, is the panini press Hamilton Beach any good? We think so. Not only does it evenly cook both the top and bottom, but the locking lid is very useful, the preheat time is fast, it stores easily, and makes so many different recipes. On top of all that, it’s quite affordable and can fit anyone’s kitchen and budget.

Give this a try and see how wonderful it is. You’re sure to love it.