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Old 11-01-2004, 12:23 PM   #21
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I tried the using my waffle iron to make my pannini style breakfast sandwhich this weekend. It worked great! Thanks all who recommended this. I have decided to hold off on getting the p. grill for a while, since my waffle iron is good enough for now.

I made breakfast sandwiches using egg, meat and cheese. My stepson loved it so much he had 1 1/2 sandwiches...which is quite a bit for a 7 year old.. :-)
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Old 11-03-2004, 04:53 PM   #22
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I have the Villaware Pannini maker and I love it. I, too, was ambivalent about spendig the money when you can make pressed sandwiches using a brick or heavy frying pan.....BUT, I had a gift card to Sur La Table and instead of buying a lot of little gadgets like I usually do when I have gift card there (or to a place like Williams-Sonoma), I decided to splurge. I've had it about 6 weeks and have used it a bunch of times. Everything has come out really yummy!!!!!!

I looked at the Krups, the DeLonghi and the Villaware. I got the Villaware b/c it had a temperature control, though, I'm not sure how necessary it ultimately is!

Good luck.
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Old 11-04-2004, 05:13 AM   #23
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I make lots of Panini sandwiches where I work. We have a Panini grill press too. I am not sure of the name, but it sure cooks poorly. Hot spots and irregular temps haunt this thing. My boss swears by using it. I avoid it at all costs. At home, I'm a firm believer in the brick wrapped in foil method.

I think thats your best bet. Save the few hundred dollars and buy a grill pan and a brick.

RJ
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Old 11-04-2004, 09:49 AM   #24
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Okay, gang.. this is a bit premature 'cause I just got my Krups Panini grill a couple days ago and haven't really had time to fully test drive it, but here's my preliminary assessment of the panini grill I was talking about above.

First, I had mentioned earlier that because I got the grill on close-out at Kohl's and the shipping order said "white" for color, that it was not the same grill as the one on Amazon (see my url in my above post).. but it is the same chrome on showing at Amazon.

The first thing I wondered was whether it would turn on.. There were 37 customer reviews of the grill on Amazon, and while overall the rating came out 4 stars out of 5 (many gave it 5 stars), there were several 1 star ratings because the handles fell off and/or it didn't heat up, or it stopped heating after a week... I was pleased that the handles didn't fall off and that all the screws were tight.. so I put away my screwdriver. And when I plugged it in, both lights turned on and it got hot FAST... so far so good.

Secondly, this is a BIG grill, about 14" wide and 12" deep so it's gonna eat up some counter space. However, it has a slick little lever lock you push on the handle that locks the top element to the bottom one, then you can easily tip it up on it's back edge to store. That way it only takes up about 4" of depth. However, if you have the space to leave it down, it's really "foxy" looking grill and looks good on your/my counter, kinda "Ferrari" sleek looking.. So even though it was made in China, it was obviously designed by the Italians.

All I had around the house was a loaf of sourdough french bread, some deli ham, turkey, and some Swiss and Provolone cheese.. so I sliced the bread at an exaggerated angle and cut two slices about 4" long by 3" wide...

I should mention there's no "on-off" switch so you have to plug and unplug it.. a pain.. I'm thinking I can get one of those cord switches so I can leave it plugged in. A red & green light go on when it's plugged in,, and when the green light goes out, it's a "go".. This didn't surprise me because I've driven in Italy a few times and to find they consider leaving the RED light on a "go" figures... I've never had so many people trying to kill me since Vietnam... crazy drivers in Italy. Anyway, we would probably have the RED light to out when it's ready, leaving the GREEN one on.. but...

The grill heats up in about 5 minutes (reminds me of a girl I dated this spring) and seems to get quite hot. I read a review somewhere where a guy was saying he cooks steaks outside on his Weber gas grill with a grill temp of 500 degrees,, and it takes him 3 minutes.. Then he cooked the same type steak on his Krups Panini grill, and it took about 3.5 minutes.. so he figured the grill temp got as high as 500 degrees.. It's a 1,500 watt unit so I would assume it could get pretty hot. I have no way of telling because all my electronic thermometers only go to about 400 degrees before they burn out... and I haven' tried cooking any chicken filets or steaks or anything yet. And there is no temp control on it.. it's either floor-boarded or off. I'm not sure if this matters.. yet. I'm not going to fry eggs on it.. so I'm not sure why I would want the temp lower.. but the jury is still out on that one.

For toasting a "cheese type" sandwich/panino, it's GREAT... I slapped a couple slices of ham and turkey on the sourdough, topped that with two slices of Swiss, painted the inside of the bread with some yellow mustard and a swipe of Best Foods (Hellman's) mayo.. drizzled some olive oil on the outsides of the sandwiches, tossed it in, and closed the lid.

One thing I think is really neat is the lid is hinged and "floats" between the handles so it stays perfectly level/flat for "stuff" up to about 2 1/2 inches thick... probably all Panini type grills do this? but I've never had one before so don't know.

I recall the one thing I hated about the little George Foreman grill I had before I threw it out was when I'd put in a sandwich, the back part of the top lid wouldn't lift high enough up so the lid wouldn't lay flat, and it tended to "squish" the stuff out of my sandwiches... but this little "puppy" can take a 2 1/2" "dagwood" sandwich and the lid will stay level.. I like that.

It only took about 2-3 minutes for the top and bottom of the sandwich to turn a beautiful shade of "toast" color... and had those sexy little grooves on the top and bottom.. pretty sexy. And it toasted very very evenly... No "hot spots" on this grill, at least so far after toasting only two sandwiches. And, the large elements seemed to generate enough heat to easily melt the cheese before it burned the bread.. a problem I've had pan grilling cheese sandwiches, but obviously "operator error" causes that.. This is idiot proof.. I need that at my level of cooking skill:)

Overall, I don't see why this grill wouldn't do everything a George Foreman grill does but I'll let ya know more when I try different things. One thing is, it doesn't tilt forward or have a drain, so whatever grease/fat that comes out of your food is going to stay there... I'm not sure this concerns me... In the first place, a large part of the "flavor" in many foods comes from fat... I'll take the flavor and eat less and/or not worry about the extra what? 20 calories? the undrained fat adds? or the .0002 grams of fat it adds? If I'm on that type of diet, I shouldn't be eating 20-30% fat hamburgers in the first place and the extra-extra lean hamburgers don't have any flavor anyway..

My grill cost $29.95 on sale...would I spend $79.99 for one? I don't know yet. Are there better Panini type grills out there for about the same $$$.. maybe... but so far I'm pretty happy with my new "toy".. (I love kitchen gadgets.. I fall for them every time)... So I'm off to get some better bread and some other stuff to try... I'll report a bit more later. CIAO
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Old 11-04-2004, 11:37 AM   #25
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Thanks much for the report, lutzzz. Very handy info, that!

Great to "see" you, too!
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Old 11-04-2004, 01:01 PM   #26
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sounds like you're having fun with it. congrats on a "good" purchase!
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Old 11-04-2004, 05:33 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lutzzz
The grill heats up in about 5 minutes (reminds me of a girl I dated this spring) and seems to get quite hot.
Do you still have her number? Is she still single? Does she like cooks from Chicago?

RJ

ps - Oh yeah, congrats on that grill thing you bought.
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Old 11-06-2004, 01:50 PM   #28
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hahaha, Ardge.. She would KILL me if she knew I had written that here.. but fortunately she doesn't know I'm goofing around on these forums so I can get away with it... so far anyway.

No phone number for you though... She's a court reporter in San Francisco and loves to sail and spends weekends with me here in Seattle when she can. She was reporting on a trial I was defending.. and IF I wanna try marriage for a 3rd time, she might be a good choice.. but too soon to tell..

BTW.. as a brief follow up on my little Krups grill... I was curious whether it would substitute for the Foreman grill.. so I slapped a hamburger on it after pre-heating 5 minutes.. and it grilled the burger well done in about 3 minutes.. bit too much because I grind my own hamburger from chuck roast and feel safe eating my burgers on the medium side... but it had nice looking "grill marks" that were deeply browned. I still prefer my Weber kettle if I get motivated to fire it up, but just for myself, I usually don't.. and I still prefer a plain ol cast iron skillet, but it surely does cook a hamburger fast.

I also shredded a leftover baked potato to make hash browns,, oiled the grill with some butter flavored Crisco, piled the potatoes up on the grill and dotted the top with some butter... about 5 minutes later I had pretty nice crisp hash browns.. I was pleasantly surprised. They were "squished" a bit more than I'd like.. the lid on the Krups is pretty heavy.. next time I'll set it down gently...

Also, out of curiosity, I slapped four strips of regular (not thick) bacon on it when it was cool.. plugged it in, and as it heated up...about 3 minutes later, the bacon was perfect... one more minute and it would have been crisp. And one additional thing I discovered was the top lid seems to "interlace" (groove) with the bottom lid and lie perfectly flat.. so both sides of the bacon cooked at the same time..

I had read for the GF grill you had to flip the bacon over half way to cook the top... but no flipping here... BUT, it doesn't have grease drain so it's kind of a "pain" to mop up the grease afterwards. I usually just wet a paper towel right after I cook and spread the towel out on the grill and close the lid. And any food stuck either gets loosened/steamed up, or is soaked up in the wet towel... Makes cleaning a snap... except the extra grease from the bacon cost me an additional towel.. no big thing...
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Old 11-11-2004, 03:59 PM   #29
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This was so interesting I decided to join. We have a small GF grill and a large Hamilton Beach grill and use them both for panini type sandwiches. They both work very well - each according to how many and how big the sandwiches are. They work so well that I don't even want to think about another appliance. We use the grills for hamburgers, steaks, chicken, vegetables and most anything we want. I don't use mine for bacon because I make less mess using the microwave for that. Lots of interesting stuff here!!!!!!!!
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Old 11-11-2004, 04:20 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by licia
This was so interesting I decided to join.
Glad you joined Licia! Welcome!
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