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100 of 104 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes wonderful HEALTHY sandwiches!
First off:

1) I've used it now for over 6 months and not a single flake of the teflon coming off. My husband is a panini addict too. The machine is used every other day at the very least!

2) The plates are not flat because they are not supposed to be! I know one reviewer commented that they hated it because its not flat. This is a PANINI machine and...
Published on December 10, 2006 by Cheryl A. Webster

versus
269 of 278 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous, but no frills
You can't give this machine a bad rating. This Hamilton Beach Panini Press does one thing and one thing only, but it does it very well. If you enjoy pressed/grilled sandwhiches you will love this machine. As I write this I'm eating a feta/olive/artichoke/roasted peppers on pita sandwhich hot off the panini press, and it's scrumptious. I actually bought this as a christmas...
Published on January 19, 2006 by Logical Paradox


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269 of 278 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous, but no frills, January 19, 2006
This review is from: Hamilton Beach 25450 Gourmet Panini Press (Kitchen)
You can't give this machine a bad rating. This Hamilton Beach Panini Press does one thing and one thing only, but it does it very well. If you enjoy pressed/grilled sandwhiches you will love this machine. As I write this I'm eating a feta/olive/artichoke/roasted peppers on pita sandwhich hot off the panini press, and it's scrumptious. I actually bought this as a christmas gift for my mother, but I probably use it more than she does.

The machine looks good on the counter, and has a large, non stick service. It's not on a hinge so it's designed to accept even the thickest sandwhiches without squeezing all the filling out. You can even "lock" the lid down to apply constant pressure, or lock it up to maintain minimal pressure or to not make contact with the top at all. It's great for quesidillas as well. Ignore the user that says it takes too long to heat up, it takes only a couple of minutes, about the time a waffle maker would take to heat. Even cooking on the stove you need to take a few mins to heat the pan! Also ignore the comment that this machine burns the bread before heating the filling, I've never had such problems, although I do wish there was a temperature control for further versatility. But my bread never burns... I find 2-6 min will brown the bread perfectly, from lightly browned to nice and crispy (depending on how you like it) without burning it at all. I've never burned anything on this machine. Maybe this would happen if you used the wrong bread, but I can't say for sure. I even once used it to grill some chicken, and it did the job nicely, though it's not really designed for that.

There are a few down sides. This is a no-frills unit. There is no included recipe book, just a few hastily thrown together ideas in the instruction booklet. That's not a big deal, as I'm sure you'll have plenty of ideas of your own. More disappointing is the lack of a temperature control. That might have helped the reviewer who had problems with bread burning, and would give better flexibility. The machine itself gets very hot on the outside, but that's to be expected. Keep youngin's away from this thing, though. There's no alternate "plates" or cooking surfaces for say a flat "griddle" style surfaces, so if you prefer that or find a need for one. I don't think that's a huge deal, but I do think I'd prefer a flat surface, as that means more surface contact and more browning (though you wouldn't get those nice brown grill marks).

This is a decent machine at a decent price. It could be better with a temp control, some added weight, and some extra features, but all-in-all, you can't complain too much there.

*Update*
After having this a while, we noticed the non-stick coating was beginning to a) lose its nonstick ability, and b) peel and flake off the cooking surface (and into our food!).
This was within a year or two of owning and using with only non-metal utensils. We only used the grill occasionally, so it's not like it was due to over use.

I've also since come to realize that nonstick in general, and PTFE (Teflon) in particular, make absolutely no sense in an application like this--the surface must get quite hot to do it's job well, and that both burns the coating and causes it to release harmful fumes into the air. I've reverted to using a pair of well-seasoned, cast-iron pans, one small enough to fit inside the other. I preheat the pans until they are very hot, and let time and weight to the rest. No harmful fumes, no limited lifetime, and cast iron holds and distributes heat as well if not better than even the higher end presses.

If you're looking for this kind of grill, you'll have these problems with almost any model, but I would recommend a plain cast iron model without nonstick if you can find one (I've never seen one). You may also want to just try doing it the old fashioned way. Honestly, I don't remember why I thought having a dedicated sandwich press was a good idea.
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100 of 104 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes wonderful HEALTHY sandwiches!, December 10, 2006
By 
This review is from: Hamilton Beach 25450 Gourmet Panini Press (Kitchen)
First off:

1) I've used it now for over 6 months and not a single flake of the teflon coming off. My husband is a panini addict too. The machine is used every other day at the very least!

2) The plates are not flat because they are not supposed to be! I know one reviewer commented that they hated it because its not flat. This is a PANINI machine and not a griddle.

3) One reason people's sandwiches are not hot through out could be because we are used to eating HUGE sandwiches. Remember this cooks from the outside in, so if your sandwich is HUGE, the middle is going to be cold. That is just common sense. I like more meat than bread when I have a sandwich because I am not a bread person. (I eat my hamburgers with no bun or only half a bun.) But my sandwiches on the panini are hot throughout and they are not skinny whimpy ones. And if you are going to have lettuce and tomato, put it on after you cook the sandwich. I personally do not like cooked lettuce, tomato, pickle, etc. on my sandwiches...YUK!

4) Another reason could be because you need to put your ingredients on evenly. Don't clump a bunch of stuff in the middle and then expect it to be hot, it's not going to. Lay your ingredients evenly across the sandwich and there shouldn't be a problem with it heating throughly. Also remember the thickness of the cuts that you put on effects it too. Slice your vegetables thinner and there shouldn't be a problem!

5) It doesn't take a long time to heat up if you do it right. You go in the kitchen, get out the panini machine, and plug it in. THEN go to the refrigerator and get your items, wash your vegetables, slice things up, etc. By the time you have everything ready, your machine with be hot and ready to go!

6) It's plenty big! I have a big husband and son. Between the 3 of us it takes mere minutes to make our sandwiches. We fit at least 4 sandwiches at a time on our machine. So I'll make the guys their sandwiches, then plunk my sandwich on after theirs, put away all the fixings, and when I'm done so is my sandwich! Or we put the panini in the middle of the table and get all the fixings together. While someone enjoys their salad, another cooks their sandwiches. Good conversation and good panini sandwiches, you can't beat that!

We love this panini sandwich maker. I've seen many more units that are fancier and MUCH more expensive but I don't need all the bells and whistles for a sandwich for pete's sake! I have brunch or lunch dates with family and friends all the time and we make panini's. We set out the fixings and let everyone put together a sandwich and make their own panini! Seven people have bought their own machine since then! One of the greatest gifts this machine gives is an easy way to eat healthy. You don't need any grease, butter, margarine, Pam, or anything when you use it. That is so much healthier! By far, one of the best kitchen gadgets I have ever purchased!
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113 of 122 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bread is Done, Sandwich Fixin's Are Not, September 20, 2005
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Hamilton Beach 25450 Gourmet Panini Press (Kitchen)
Mechanically, the press has a nice design and it works OK for a $40 item. The upper lid is not hinged, so it can be raised very high to accomodate thick sandwiches. Bread comes out nicely ridged and crunchy. It does take a while for the unit to heat to cooking temperature, however. The main problem seems to be how to cook the inside of the sandwich without burning the bread; for an average sandwich (3 oz. ham and 2 oz. cheese) after 1.75 minutes the bread is done, but the ham is not sufficiently warm nor the cheese melted. This may be an issue with all lower-end panini presses, I suppose; perhaps some experimentation with different bread types and cooking times will solve my little dilemma. In any case, so far the resulting sandwiches are better than if served at room temperature, but not as good as those heated in my toaster oven and then slapped together.
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81 of 88 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nicely priced, multi-use grill, February 6, 2005
By 
Reader Rabbit (Northern Calif., USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hamilton Beach 25450 Gourmet Panini Press (Kitchen)
Excellent value because it's not just a panini press -- you can also use it as a contact grill for vegetables, burgers, etc. You do this by using a set screw to lock the upper plate at the height you want. Bingo: buy one appliance rather than two.

The upper plate has about 3" to 4" of travel, so you can press fairly thick sandwiches. The size is nicely compact, with the overall dimensions not much bigger than the heating plates.

The plates have very fine ribbing, so you can't use this grill to fry eggs or pancakes. If you want those options, consider the Breville SG620XL panini press/grill (which has flat plates that lock into 6 positions), or the smaller Hamilton Beach 25219 Contact Grill.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hamilton Beach/Proctor Silex 25450 Gourmet Panini Press, August 31, 2011
By 
This review is from: Hamilton Beach 25450 Gourmet Panini Press (Kitchen)
My son and I each bought this panini maker on sale for about $30. Loved it!

However, his stopped working about 6 months after purchase; mine lasted another 2 months.

Talked with Customer Service at Hamilton Beach and the best they would do was replace it for $20 shipping. Not a good deal.

For BOTH of our machines to break within a year clearly says "Poor quality control" to me. And the level of Customer Service available from Hamilton Beach is very poor.

I would spend a little more to get a higher quality product and not have to buy it again in less than a year.

UPDATE: 10/13/2011

The beginning of September, a Customer Service rep agreed to replace the panini maker for $4.99 S&H charge. On Sept. 20th my credit card was charged. On Oct. 6th I called the rep to find out that the item was NOT SHIPPED. So they have my money and they have not shipped the replacement.

This is definitely not a company to be dealing with, either for the quality control of the appliances nor the customer service.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great panini press...with a few minor issues, January 9, 2006
This review is from: Hamilton Beach 25450 Gourmet Panini Press (Kitchen)
I've been using this press every day since it arrived at my doorstep. I love it! It does have a few issues:

1) The lever that secures the height of the press broke after 1 day of light use. Also, the black paint started to peel off in its first use. I just took the entire thing off and it still works just fine.

2) The surface of the press is not insulated. I have to keep my young children away from it.

3) It does not have an on/off feature. Just plug it in to turn it on.

4) The grill plates are not removable for easy cleaning. I would have given it 5 stars if it had this feature.

I still gave it 4 stars because I consider these issues to be minor compared to the great food this thing makes. Makes a killer grilled cheese sandwich. I have also made quesadillas with it. Yummy!

To address some of the other reviewer's comments:

1) Do not overstuff your sandwiches. There is a very popular, expensive deli in our area that makes terrific paninis. They dont put much in the middle but the fixings become hot, yummy goodness. I have gone to other deli that try to give you a big bang for your buck and put in tons of fixings. The fixings came out cold and the cheese not melted. If that happens with their commerical panini maker, you bet it would happen with this one.

2) I like the fact that the surface is NOT flat. It leaves wonderful grill marks. I think the food should look as good as it tastes.

Overall, a great panini maker especially for the price I bought it for ($39.54, not including the $25 off $125 promo discount). Target sells this thing for $49.99.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Does A Great Job ! - BUT, June 29, 2007
By 
Jim Rad (Phila., Pa.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hamilton Beach 25450 Gourmet Panini Press (Kitchen)
About 7 months ago or I was happy with this product BUT a major problem with it now exists = the non-stick surface is chipping off - going into the sandwiches (?) Sent it back - they said they never received it. Would have tried another one from them but didn't get the chance. Check for this defect.. This site won't let me change the Star rating - which would now be 1
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The BEST Sandwich Maker EVER !!!!!!!!, January 11, 2007
By 
Kiki (Seattle WA. USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Hamilton Beach 25450 Gourmet Panini Press (Kitchen)
If anyone is wondering if this is worth getting, Trust me it is!!!!! I'm a stay at home wife who loves to cook for my hubby, and one of his favorite meals are subs or sanwiches that are grilled or toasted, sometimes when I'm away he will go to Safeway and pay 5 to 8 bucks for a panini, so I thought I would see if there was something I could buy that would give the same result as a store bought sandwich only way cheaper, this panini press is the answer!!! This thing works great and is SOOO simple to use, way easier that trying to grill in a skillet where you have to try flipping a loaded sandwich! Just plug in, heat up and you're good to go. I have made dozens of different sandwiches and all have come out perfectly toasted and cheese melted all the way through, I have had ZERO complaints with this and although reading some of the other reviews ,people saying is burns the bread and such I was a little leary 'but dont believe it for a second, I have had nothing close to burnt, EVER! Give it a try, my husband and I are so glad we did, ( our favorite is rye bread with bbq sauce , chedder , ham and olive oil on the bread to keep it from sticking and to crisp it right up) Sooooo yummy!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very short life span, July 9, 2012
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Hamilton Beach 25450 Gourmet Panini Press (Kitchen)
As stated in other reviews, this product is very good while it works, but stops working after very limited use. We owned ours for less than six months, with minimal use, before it unexpectedly stopped working. I do not recommend this product.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars TEFLON came off after 2nd use, March 1, 2006
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Hamilton Beach 25450 Gourmet Panini Press (Kitchen)
This product was awful. I love their indoor grills so I thought I'd try this and then teflon came off after the 2nd time I used it. Everything sticks to it and I wasn't even scrubbing but I guess since the food stuck to it so hard it took off the teflon with it. Would not recommend this!
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Hamilton Beach 25450 Gourmet Panini Press
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