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Old 10-30-2004, 07:45 AM   #1
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Cuban Sandwich Press

We love Cuban sandwiches.

They were available all over when we lived in Florida. But now we are no longer there.

And to make our own we need a press.

Can find commercial ones on the web for $300+, but we don't need one that fancy or pricey.

Was wondering if anyone has any experience with one of the cheaper home models, or if the Foreman grill, or some such substitute, can be used.

Haven't started a post before, so if this is screwy I apologize. And I hope this is the right place to post this. :?

Thanks for the help.


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Old 10-30-2004, 11:23 AM   #2
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I would think any of the flat hinged electric griddles that are made for pancakes/grilled cheese would work wonderfully for Cuban Sandwiches.

I'm not a big fan of non stick, although I'm not sure they make a non-non stick electric folding griddle these days.

And, if worse comes to worse, an excellent Cuban sandwich can be made in a regular flat bottomed frying pan with a heavy weight.

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Old 10-30-2004, 01:55 PM   #3
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One of our newer members - lutzzz - posted on this very subject this past week. Unfortunately I can't remember which forum.
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Old 10-30-2004, 07:35 PM   #4
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if I am not mistaken a "Cuban sandwich" is basically a sandwich that gets "pressed" by a heavy lid...for this you can try a panni grill or a George Foreman grill. If you buy it from a reputable store they will have a minimum of a one year warranty. I sell George Foreman grills and have just brought in Panni Grills....so far I have had no returns on GF in over 3 years and it is to soon to tell with the panni grills yet.
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Old 10-30-2004, 07:41 PM   #5
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I grill panini in my GF all the time. I do turn the sandwich half way through so that it's pressed evenly. Otherwise the part on the hinged side is a bit thinner
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Old 10-31-2004, 04:01 PM   #6
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Yeah - we just covered this in the cookware section under the topic "Panini Grill - is it worth it?" a couple of days ago. A shortcut to the full discussion is: http://www.discusscooking.com/viewtopic.php?t=4752

The major difference between a sandwich press (aka panini grill) and a contact grill like a George Forman is (a) the floating hinge and (b) how much the hinge floats. What you want is a something that will let the top plate "float" and be parallel to the bottom plate - to get even pressure on the top. A waffel iron obviously isn't going to be very good because it has a fixed hinge so even a grilled cheese is going to be marginal, and some of the older/cheaper Foreman grills have the same problem. The newer Foreman grills I have seen only go up to about 1 inch. Something like the Uno panini maker by VillaWare goes up to 3 inches. Commercial sandwich presses can go up to 6 inches ... for a few hundred dollars more.

The better home units will have adjustable temps - the cheaper ones don't, and a drip spout so you can make sandwiches or also cook steaks/chops, etc. Since most home models are going to have non-stick aluminum plates ... the heavy cast iron are on the commercial models ... you get the choice between the ones with removeable plates you can wish in the dishwasher or ones where the plates are not removeable. And, if that isn't enough ... some with removeable plates come standard with grill plates but you can purchase additional griddle plates.

I saw something this morning on HSN that looked neat and might be the only thing to make me give up my stovetop grill and brick. Ultrex has just introduced a contact grill with about a 2" float on the hinge - but it also has a seperate temp control for the top and bottom ... and ... has reversable grill/griddle plates standard .. and, you can fold the top back flat with the bottom to make a double flat grill/griddle. For those curious, you can find it here: http://www.hsn.com/cnt/prod/default.aspx?webp_id=1681693&web_id=1681693&am p;sz=0&sf=qc&dept=qc0010&cat=qc0025&am p;subcat=&gs=&attr=180&prev=hp!sf!180! dept!cat&ocm= I don't have one, they are brand new on the market, and I don't know how good they are. But, it sounds interesting .....
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Old 11-01-2004, 08:36 AM   #7
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I was introduced to Cuban Sandwiches when I started working at the club I currently work at. They have a Pannini machine, to the tune of a several thousand $$$.

I have two Foreman Grills, but haven't tried making a Cuban in those yet.

I did, however, see a cheap work-around on an episode of Alton Brown several weeks ago. Take a brick, wrap it with foil, and place it in the oven. Preheat the oven. When everything is hot, assemple the sandwiches on a sturd sheet pan, and place the brick on top. Return to the oven for a few minutes, until everything is good and toasty.

If the brick is small enough, you could even do this in a cast iron skillet on the stovetop, and heat the brick in the oven. Heck, if you have a couple bricks like this, you could rotate the cold one back into the oven, use a hot one, and start making a lot of Cuban sandwiches.
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Old 11-02-2004, 03:30 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone. I did search on Cuban sandwich before I posted but had not seen the panini grill post.

Have to make a decision soon, cause we sure do like those guys.
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Old 11-04-2004, 02:23 AM   #9
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I love Cuban sandwiches, but wouldn't dream of buying a special press for one.

Make up your sandwich with your best ingredients (those who don't now how, write in). I'm assuming you know what kind of meat, cheese, and more importantly, bread.

Take two heavy skillets and heat both on the stove.

Place the sandwich in one skillet, and put the other on top, and press. (you can brush the bottom and top of the sandwich with olive oil or melted butter, but not necessary)

If you are working with an electric stove, turn off all the burners, the residual heat will be enough to toast the sandwich.

Turns out pretty good for someone who is living in Northern Illinois. Luckily they love thin sliced roast pork here and I can buy it in all the grocery store delis!
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Old 11-04-2004, 09:02 AM   #10
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I just noticed this post about "cuban" sandwiches and just finished posting a preliminary report of the Krups panini grill under "Panini grill is it worth it"...

Based on my brief experience so far, it definitely would work for a "cuban".. the Krups grill has a heavy top so it's going to flatten your sandwich to "cuban" standards.. and you can always put a brick on top of it if you want it "squished" more...

I didn't have any roasted pork so I couldn't make an authentic "cuban" for my first test and I only had sourdough bread.. not sure if I can get a decent cuban type bread around here in Seattle anyway.. but the grill itself would probably work fine for you.

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