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on January 15, 2012
I bought this to use with a Le Creuset enameled cast iron grill pan, 10-1/4 inch square. First the good news: it fits perfectly, it cost a fraction of the Le Creuset press which is around $70, it's heavy and it does the job. Preheating it for a few minutes directly on my gas stove provided nice grill marks on some sausages we grilled. Now the bad news: I seriously doubt that it is truly "enameled" cast iron. It looks no different from old fashioned cast iron, say, made by Lodge. In fact the box mine came in makes no claim to have an enamel coating. I suspect it does have a spray coating of vegetable oil to "preseason" it. The Le Creuset grill pans and presses truly are enameled cast iron. You can see the difference if you compare them side by side. Why does this make a difference? The way they explained it to me at Williams-Sonoma, the enamel gives you the best of both worlds -- great heat retention from the cast iron with the easy clean-up of glass/enamel. They told me that because of the enamel the Le Creuset grill pan and press are dishwasher safe, though this is not recommended. The Norpro press must be hand washed and dried. Finally, my press came in a torn, broken box with no instructions, just a small slip of paper with a total of two panini recipes -- one requiring 12 ounces of prosciutto -- no heating or cleaning directions to be found. I am going to keep this press, but I want others to be informed before purchasing.
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VINE VOICEon April 6, 2009
The Norprp cast iron panini press is a very good and useful gadget. I had really gotten tired of using a filled-up tea kettle as the top weight on my grilled cheese sandwiches. The press has just the right amount of weight, covers a wide area on my 11-inch calphalon grill pan, and is easy to clean (just a quick wipe-and-dry). The reason I gave it four instead of five stars is that the ridges on the underside are pretty useless. You can't really heat this thing up enough on the gas burner to use it to simultaneously grill the top-side of your sandwich as the product lit promises. It never gets hot enough and loses heat as soon as it comes off the flame. So for me it's just a fancy weight -- but that's what I bought it for.
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on February 2, 2009
I found this exact panini press at Marshalls for $10...what a steal!

When I got home, I could not wait to use it with my Le Creuset skillet. When I bought the skillet, I did not spend the extra money for the panini press. I had seen this panini press on Amazon and toyed with the idea of buying it there and saving some money instead of spending $70 on the Le Creuset equivalent.

The panini press is a heavy cast iron and is excellent for making paninis! My tuna melt came out beautifully and clean up was a breeze. I highly recommend it, especially if you have the Le Creuset square skillet--it fits perfectly!
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on September 6, 2013
The product description on this page is wrong, this panini press is NOT enameled. In fact, I doubt that it's even pre-seasoned. If you are not expecting either (enamel or pre-seasoning), this is a nice panini press.

I have a few pieces of cast iron cookware including Le Creuset and Lodge. This panini press was for my Lodge grill pan (Lodge Logic L8SGP3 Pre-Seasoned Square Grill Pan, 10.5-inch) and I'm happy to report that it fits perfectly. I heat up this panini press on a burner next to the grill pan when cooking. I wasn't necessarily looking for a ribbed press...I would have preferred a flat one (for ease of cleaning) but this Norpro was about half the price of a Lodge flat press at the time of my purchase so I decided on the Norpro instead.

So far, so good. If you are familiar with using and caring for cast iron, there really are no surprises. The press itself has been good, especially for the price I paid on Amazon ($14.41). It's a nice weight. I hesitate to give it 5 stars only because of some missing information about the product. I'd like to know the maximum recommended temperature for the handle - it seems to be made of some type of sturdy plastic material, similar to that of Le Creuset. Unlike Le Creuset, there is no indication that the handle is oven-safe, nor does it have maximum recommended temperature for the handle. It also does not list the country of manufacture either on the box or the product.

I also considered buying a smaller grill press, but I'm glad that I went with the bigger one instead...if I'm grilling 2 paninis, I want to do it in one shot and not have to move a smaller one from one sandwich to the other. All in all, a good purchase.
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on June 7, 2013
Needed a panini press for my Le Crueset square grill pan. I was not willing to spend $90 + for just the LC press! I read all the reviews whenever I purchase anything even the negative reviews are relative in any purchase. The Norpro fits just right in my LC square grill pan. What a bargain! I used it twice so far. My son came over and we made NY steak, Swiss cheese and sour dough bread grilled sandwiches using my new Norpro 'enamel' press. The sandwiches were great! We did not have to flip the sandwich over. Both sides were done to a nice crispy grill marked and golden brown. Maybe a tad, just a tiny tad, uneven from the press but it worked just fine. Using an in door grill pan is a skill that takes time to develop. I like the challenge not using all the electric gadgets like an electric panini grill etc. I'm pleased with this purchase!
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on June 29, 2008
This is a great product. it does everything those fancy Panini grills do. It makes a perfect crust with gooey cheesy inside. Easy cleanups-nothing sticks to it. Love it
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on March 5, 2015
Used this last night in a pinch making Medianoche sandwiches - worked like a charm. Excellent for home use. It will fit in a saute' pan easily, I don't need it to 'fit the pan' as to shape so no worries there. I see no reason to buy an expensive pan shaped like this when any pan will do.
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on January 23, 2013
For the price you can't go wrong with this press. It is basic but effective. The only negatives would be that it comes in a flimsy package without any instructions and I am not sure about the claim that it is enameled. But all in all its well worth it.
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on November 5, 2014
I've used this a couple of times and I'm happy with it. It does the job but could be a little heavier. Thought I'd have to buy a new square cast iron grill pan but it fits well enough in my round Lodge. Not a big investment but really only wanted it to make sandwiches so I'm happy enough.
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on June 3, 2014
Heavy enough to press down your paninis. I do agree with the other reviewers who sad it doesn't really get hot enough to grill the top. I don'ti mind that too much. I just flip the sandwiches. It's a lot less expensive than an electric panini grill and takes a lot less space!
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