A humble cheese toastie has saved many an Australian on a busy afternoon when cooking is out of the question. In fact, the nation loves them so much that sandwich presses are rapidly becoming must-have kitchen appliances. Here are some of our recommendations for which sandwich makers to consider for your home.
Best Overall Sandwich Maker
Sunbeam Cafe Contact Grill & Sandwich Press
- Variable temperature control
- Floating hinge design for ease and control
- Under $100
- Plates are not removable
Sunbeam makes top-grade sandwich presses across the board, but this is our favourite. Big enough to toast several sandwiches at once and designed to grill vegetables and meat, this contact grill does it all.
Meant for use in a health-conscious home, the non-stick grill slopes to automatically drain fat into the dishwasher-safe removable drip tray. 2400 watt power and a stainless steel construction make this sandwich press powerful and durable.
Best Sandwich Maker for Jaffles or Toasties
Breville the Original 74 Jaffle Maker Sandwich Press
- On and ready indicator lights
- Minimal mess
- Automatic cut and seal function
- Compact and easy to store
- Not the fastest sandwich maker
In case you have never had one before, a jaffle is what Aussies call a closed toasted sandwich. Jaffle makers do more than just grill the bread- it seals the edges to create a perfect pocket of yumminess within. The Original 74 Jaffle Maker by Breville is top of the sandwich toaster class.
Big enough to cook two sandwiches at the same time, but small enough to fit in a drawer or cupboard, this is a perfect addition to Aussie kitchens of every size. The nonstick surface and deep fill plates can accommodate bread, pastry, and whatever else you decide to make a sandwich with.
Best Cheap Sandwich Maker
Sunbeam Compact Cafe Grill
- Indicator lights
- Cool-touch handles
- Limited cooking space
- Not as robust as the higher-priced models
It may be small, but the Sunbeam Compact Cafe Grill packs quite a punch. With 1800 watts to boot, this little sandwich maker has your snack ready in no time. There is enough space on the non-stick plates to accommodate one or two sandwiches, depending on the bread.
A ribbed top plate gives you that griddle look when you grill meats, while the flat bottom plate keeps everything stable. The whole thing is set up for easy cleaning, with wipe-down, stain-resistant stainless steel surfaces.
Best High-End Sandwich Maker
Breville The Smart Grill
- Dishwasher-safe plates
- Advanced temperature control for even pressure and searing
- Several cooking options
- Cool touch locking handle
If you have some stretch in your budget and want the very best, regardless of price, The Smart Grill by Breville could be the sandwich maker for you. Professional-level appliances don't run cheap, but they do come with some bells and whistles.
The Smart Grill is a sandwich toaster, meat grill, panini press, and BBQ wrapped up in one perfect package. Not only can you make delicious sandwiches in your kitchen, but you can also take this grill outside and open it up into a fully functioning BBQ.
It comes with interchangeable cooking plates to suit whatever style of cooking you need. Versatility is not the only benefit of these removable plates- they are also exceptionally easy to clean!
Best Mid-Range Sandwich Maker
Breville Sear & Press Grill
- Specific settings for a panini press, waffle maker, searing, and burger grilling
- Reversible flat and griddle non-stick plates
- Removable and dishwasher safe plates and tray
- Converts to open BBQ
- Chunky design that is not good for small kitchens
If you are looking for a happy medium between a simple sandwich toaster and a fully decked out cook and grill appliance, you are in luck. The Breville Sear and Press Grill is all class, with enviable style and functionality. Although more expensive than most models on this list, the features and capabilities make it great value for money.
Switch between settings quickly and easily to suit the task at hand. You can even adjust the temperature on each side of the plate to cook different things simultaneously! Grill your cheese sandwiches on one side and sear a steak on the other- what's not to love!
There is plenty of space to prepare food for all the family, and the clean-up afterward could not be easier. If you are planning to use it regularly, it may be worth pushing the budget a little higher to have the Breville Sear and Press Grill in your kitchen.
Best Sandwich Maker Brands
Some brand names stand out from the crowd in the world of sandwich makers. With every five-star review, the following sandwich toaster manufacturers grow stronger in their reputations.
If you want to up your sandwich game, these are the top two brands in Australia to turn to.
- Breville - First launched out of Sydney back in 1932, Breville is one of the most loved Australian appliance makers. Over the last 90 years, homeowners across the country have decked out their kitchens with top-quality gadgets from the Breville brand - including some of the best sandwich toasters ever made. Known for its excellence in nonstick surface grill design, Breville is a household name to any Australian who likes to cook food efficiently.
- Sunbeam - An American home appliance manufacturer whose Australian branch because more prominent and independent in the mid-90s. Like Breville, Sunbeam is known for building good-quality products for use in the home - especially the kitchen.
Buying a sandwich maker from Sunbeam is a solid choice, as happy customers from across the country (and beyond) can attest to.
How to Choose the Right Sandwich Maker
Picking the best sandwich maker for your kitchen is a big ask, thanks to the sheer number there are to choose from. Before you start to browse, think about what features are most important to you and filter your search accordingly. While you shop, ask yourself the following questions whenever you see an appliance you like.
How Versatile Is It?
The best sandwich presses are so much more than just a toastie maker. Some models come with a variety of interchangeable plate designs for cooking a mix of grub. Waffle plates let you up your breakfast game without having to buy a separate waffle maker, a ribbed plate makes it easier to grill meat George Foreman-style, and other settings do so much more. By choosing a versatile appliance, you open up your cooking possibilities. You can cook everything from English muffins to a T-bone steak if you pick the right appliance. Of course, if you just want good toasted sandwiches, a simple panini press can still do the job.
How Easy Is It to Clean?
Everyone loves a toastie, but nobody loves scrubbing melted cheese off of a dirty grill. The easier your sandwich maker is to clean, the better. Some standout features that make for easy cleaning are removable plates and dishwasher-safe elements. It also helps to pick a model that can easily drain fat and has an easily accessible drip tray. The surface material is another factor worth considering. Stainless steel is the most resistant to grease stains and rusting over time.
Does It Have Non-Stick Plates?
Of all the features you can choose from, non-stick surfaces are amongst the most essential. Not only do they make the grill far easier to clean, but they also give you better cooking results and are less likely to burn your food. Trying to pry your toasted sandwich off of a hot plate is neither enjoyable nor safe- and it is likely to ruin lunch! If you are in the market for a sandwich press to use commercially, the non-stick coating is an absolute must.
How Much Space Does it Take Up?
Size matters when it comes to available kitchen space. It is easy to find a high-quality toasted sandwich maker or panini press that can fit inside a kitchen drawer if worktop space is an issue. On the other hand, some more advanced grill-style sandwich presses can be almost half a metre long- or more!
How Long Does it Take to Heat Up?
Waiting for that indicator light to tell you the grill is hot can feel like an eternity when your stomach is grumbling. Some sandwich makes are more powerful than others and take far longer to do the job. The higher the wattage, the faster your food is ready. A shorter cooking time is beneficial to anyone who often finds themselves in a hurry. It is also a top priority in a commercial kitchen or cafe.
How Long Is It Going to Last?
Although it is impossible to know for sure exactly how many years a sandwich maker is going to last, there are a few things that can help you get an idea. First, you should always check the warranty. Even the best sandwich toaster can run into trouble now and again, so it is nice to know you are covered just in case. Additionally, look at the hardware, the materials used, and how sturdy the machine looks. Customer reviews are the best way to get some insight into how durable a sandwich maker is once it is in use.