The Best Sandwich Makers for Quick Meals

Toast a quick breakfast sandwich, grill a panini, cut cleaner crust lines, and more with these versatile appliances.

By Sarah Littleton | Updated Jul 10, 2020 6:27 PM and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

The Best Sandwich Maker Options


Wishing for a healthy breakfast sandwich, a crisp fresh panini, or a grilled meat and veggie lunch? The best sandwich maker options can produce all three. Running the gamut from the classic triangle-sealed hot sandwiches to full-scale griddle and grill combinations, today’s sandwich makers offer service for more than just lunch. Top quality sandwich makers now feature nonstick plates, easy cleanup, and balanced, even heat.

Shoppers will find sandwich makers that include a floating hinge, providing even pressure on paninis or larger sandwiches, while others are designed to seal the edges and center of the sandwich closed for neater eating. It’s also worth considering the types of sandwiches you enjoy, and whether you want a basic, specialized, or multitasking model.

Our Top Picks

Based on key shopping considerations, we narrowed down the market to present recommendations for top-performing sandwich makers.

The Best Sandwich Maker Option: T-fal Sandwich and Waffle Maker


BEST OVERALL: T-fal Sandwich and Waffle Maker

T-fal’s EZ Clean Nonstick Sandwich and Waffle Maker features two sets of interchangeable plates: one set produces two toasted sandwiches neatly sealed into triangles, the other produces two crisp belgian waffles. Sized for standard sandwich bread, the T-fal’s sandwich plates make a great grilled cheese and can also handle meat, cheese, and vegetable fillings—or can just be used to add neatness to a standard peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Cooks can experiment with other combinations, such as pizza dough and fillings to make small calzones.

This T-fal sandwich maker includes two lights: a red one to indicate that the power is on, and a green one that notifies users when the plates are preheated and ready for cooking. The removable plates are coated with T-fal’s heavy-duty nonstick coating, so most debris can just be wiped off, but they are conveniently dishwasher safe as well. Though the temperature is not adjustable, the device includes an integrated timer function based on toasting preference. The unit stores vertically and includes a cord wrap for tidy storage.

The Best Sandwich Maker Option: Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker


BEST FOR BREAKFAST: Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker

Breakfast sandwiches provide a healthy and filling start to the morning, but assembling and cooking the ingredients, then toasting the bread, is often too time-consuming on a busy weekday. The Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker attends to this problem. It’s designed to turn the process of making a layered sandwich into a one-step job that can cook while you get ready for the day—getting the job done in less time than stopping for a fast-food sandwich. This Hamilton Beach unit consists of a tall ring mold enclosed in a griddle. Place your bread, muffin, croissant, or tortilla on the bottom, and top with precooked meat and cheese if desired. Lower the egg plate and crack an egg directly into the plate, top with more bread, and close.

A countdown timer lets you know when the sandwich is done cooking—about five minutes—and then the egg plate can be slid out and the sandwich is ready to eat. The machine emits an audible beep when the sandwich is finished, and the parts can be tossed in the dishwasher for easy cleanup. Ideal for dorm rooms, busy morning kitchens, or a quick snack, the Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker means you’ll never need to hit the drive through on the way to work again for a hot, fresh sandwich.

The Best Sandwich Maker Option: Hamilton Beach Electric Panini Press Grill


BEST FOR PANINI: Hamilton Beach Electric Panini Press Grill

Restaurant paninis with golden grill marks crisscrossing the toasted bread are delicious, but difficult to replicate at home. The Hamilton Beach Electric Panini Press Grill is a worthy contender. A roomy 8×10 cooking surface features nonstick raised grill grids to mark the bread. This press takes about six minutes to preheat, then is ready to grill your sandwich from the top and bottom simultaneously. A floating lid allows the press to exert even pressure on the whole sandwich, rather than a regular hinge which would crush one side and leave the other untoasted.

The lid of this panini sandwich maker locks down when pressing, so the sandwich is completely compressed even if it’s thick. The entire grill lid opens up 180 degrees to lie flat, so cooks can also heat up pizzas or quesadillas, or function as an open-faced indoor grill. A green light lets you know the sandwich maker is preheated and ready to go, and after you’re finished cooking, the plates easily wipe clean.

The Best Sandwich Maker Option: Diablo Stovetop Toasted Sandwich Snack Maker


BEST STOVETOP: Diablo Stovetop Toasted Sandwich Snack Maker

The Aerolatte Diablo Stovetop Toasted Sandwich Snack Maker is a little old-school, but sometimes there’s a reason to keep traditional in the kitchen. Designed to be used on both gas and electric stovetops, the Aerolatte press is made of sturdy cast aluminum coated with a nonstick, scratch-resistant titanium surface. Fill the press with the bread or tortilla of your choice, pile the ingredients high, then lock down the heat-resistant handles and hold on the stove burner, turning periodically.

The resulting toasted sandwich is a sealed round disc with a gloriously even toast. The Aerolatte is dishwasher safe with a loop for hanging built into the handle, so cleanup and storage are uncomplicated. Nothing to break or lose, not another bulky appliance to store—the Aerolatte Diablo is just a simple tool that does its job well.

The Best Sandwich Maker Option: Cuisinart 5-in-1 Griddler


MOST VERSATILE: Cuisinart 5-in-1 Griddler

Multifunctional and easy to use, Cuisinart 5-in-1 Griddler is suited for sandwich-making beginners and seasoned cooks alike. This sandwich grill is a kitchen multitasker: grilled cheese, hamburgers, and paninis are all easy to make—flip the plates to the flat griddle and pancakes, eggs, and shaved steak are suddenly possible as well. One side of each plate is ridged to create nice brown grill marks on the food and to allow air to circulate, while the other is a flat griddle.

The selector knob on this Cuisinart model allows cooks to choose griddle or grill functions and adjust the temperature manually. It’s a superb sandwich press, featuring a floating hinge providing even pressure on paninis and subs. The plates are nonstick, easy to wipe clean, and dishwasher safe—with such an adaptable appliance, you may find yourself using this appliance very often.

The Best Sandwich Maker Option: Dash Mini Maker Portable Grill Machine


BEST SMALL-SIZE: Dash Mini Maker Portable Grill Machine

Lightweight, compact, and easy to move, the Dash Mini Maker Portable Grill Machine is a suitable choice for cooks who need to make single-serving hot sandwiches quickly. The Dash can handle anything from a grilled cheese to a small panini, burgers, grilled veggies, or anything else a cook might want to grill in a small portion.

Useful for small kitchens or dorm rooms, the Dash doesn’t compromise function with its small size. The stationary plates are nonstick and easy to wipe clean, and are hot enough to leave gorgeous grill marks on breads, meats, and veggies. The function is simple but efficient: plug in to turn on, unplug to turn off, and enjoy delicious results. A recipe book is also included to get you started.

The Best Sandwich Maker Option: Chefman Gourmet Sandwich Maker


BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Chefman Gourmet Sandwich Maker

Similar to other floating-hinge panini press/grill combination appliances, the Chefman Gourmet Sandwich Maker rings up at a significantly lower cost without reducing functionality. When closed, the Chefman accommodates two small sandwiches in its 6- by 9-inch press, or it can open to 180 degrees for a large flat grilling surface.

Heated ridges in the surface make even grill marks, and a large heatproof handle makes it easy to press down on larger sandwiches. The plates on the Chefman are not removable, but are nonstick and simple to wipe clean. This sandwich maker is a worthy choice for cooks on a budget looking for a high-performing appliance in a lower price range.