Waring Panini Grills: Good for More than Just Grilling Sandwiches

Panini Buyer's Guide Waring

A Waring panini grill can open up a whole new world of possibilities for your restaurant menu. Toasted paninis are popular items on lunch, breakfast, and dinner menus, but these units aren't just for making the sandwiches they're named after.

With thermostatic controls, these grills heat up to an intense 570 degrees F, meaning they're useful for more than just browning and toasting products. You may be surprised to learn that you can also grill meats and vegetables on these machines in much the same way you'd use a griddle or charbroiler. These can also grill burritos, quesadillas, and other tortilla-wrapped foods. Panini grills put two surfaces in contact with food, meaning that they can cook faster than a griddle or charbroiler that requires you to monitor and flip products while they're cooking.

Choosing the Best Panini Grill for your Needs

You're presented with an important choice when you go to select your new Waring panini press between two types of platens, or cooking surfaces. Ribbed platens, similar to the ones you commonly encounter on traditional grills and charbroilers, impart those classic grill marks that often serve as the signature of grilled sandwiches. They also help drain away grease from foods like burgers for a leaner product.

Flat platens are similar to the surface of a griddle and, because that flat surface makes contact with the entire surface area of your cooking food product, they deliver heat quickly and evenly. That imparts a uniformly browned surface to whatever's being cooked.

If you think your restaurant could take advantage of both surfaces, choose a double Waring panini grill. Those have two sets of platens and are available with the same type of platens on each side or with one of each, so you can grill two batches of entirely different products at the same time. You can even buy a Waring panini press with ribbed top platens and smooth bottom platens.

The top platens on every Waring panini grill are hinged and auto balancing, meaning they lift to adjust and sit flat on products of different sizes, making full contact with the surface to ensure even cooking. Both compact and large models accommodate food up to 3-inches thick. Waring's compact panini grills are 9-1/4 inches wide by 9-3/4 inches deep, and their large versions are 14-1/2 inches wide by 11 inches deep.

Waring panini grills are built with several thoughtful design features that make using them simple and comfortable for operators. Removable drip trays catch grease and loose food, preventing the machine from creating a mess on your countertop. The grills' back feet are adjustable, ensuring they are level and that grease drains down to the front of the unit and into the grease tray, rather than down the back or just collecting on the surface.

Individual power and ready indicator lights inform users when the machine is powered on and when it is preheated. Heat-resistant handles protect operators from burns and discomfort. Each panini grill comes standard with a cleaning brush with heavy-duty bristles on one side and a scraper that's designed to clean both the contours of ribbed platens, as well as the surfaces of flat platens.