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on January 30, 2013
I often cook for one and have a lack of kitchen space so I have searched for something that works for sandwiches and as a mini-grill for some time. After trying some others that were lacking or settling for one that does one or the other I finally have what I wanted.

This has lots of great features.

-the non stick surface is actually non stick
-you can remove the grilling plates and put them in the dishwasher
-easy to clean surface
-cooks and grills evenly
-easy to set for whatever you're cooking
-warms up quickly
-stores in very little space
-outside is easily cleaned

This is great if you aren't a great cook (I'm not) and if you need to have a minimum amount of gadgets in your kitchen (I do).

Would have been excellent in my college dorm and frankly for all it does and as good as it does it this is a really terrific bargain as well.
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on May 8, 2013
This is my third panini press purchase over the last 5 years. I have purchased two other panini products that did not have removable plates and were very difficult to clean. After a period of time I had to dispose of both because the food/grease buildup became excessive in spite of regular wiping down, scraping, and all other 'dry' methods of cleaning. This panini press heats up quickly, fits 2 sandwiches, and cleans thoroughly with both plates popping out with ease. My only complaint (and this has been an issue with all the panini presses I have owned) is that they heat at a higher rate in the back of the press so I have to flip the sandwiches for even cooking.

I highly recommend this product and will only buy removable plate products in the future!
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on September 25, 2016
We originally had a Sunbeam grill that we used for chicken and sandwiches which worked well but was a pita to clean as you weren't supposed to get anything wet. I would hold it sideways under the water so the plates would get wet but nothing else. It eventually stopped working; probably got wet but no big deal as i got it on freecycle. This was the replacement, i only wanted one that i could remove the plates. I was a bit disappointed at the size at first, thinking it would hardly hold anything, but I've been pleasingly surprised. We use it for EVERYTHING! Three boneless chicken breasts fit nicely, two huge burgers, three sandwiches on bakery Italian bread, one very thick porterhouse, tons of stuff and it all cooks perfectly. Everything sears well and the inside is juicy. The only thing i killed on it were 2 NY strips, but they were really thin, which i usually don't get, and i didn't think about how long i was leaving them on for as opposed to my normal 2inch thick steaks. I've never used it in the open position.

Not having an on/off switch hasn't bothered me, nor has not having a temperature gauge. The preset temperature seems perfect for everything.

The hinge works well for positioning thicker items. I agree with other reviewers that the lid isn't heavy, but that isn't an issue. Everything cooks evenly. For sandwiches i want to press, i put an old cast-iron iron on the lid and over the handle and that works perfectly to add the needed weight. A foil covered brick would work well too, the local Cuban place uses that for their press.

The removable plates are so wonderful for cleaning; they easily pop off and nothing sticks. I uses got soapy water and a papertowel to clean threm so my sponge doesn't get messy. I've never put them in the dishwasher as i don't have one. Thet do sometimes take a jiggle to get them back on as the end slips into little clips then you lay them in place and push and they click in, if you don't hear three click they aren't seated correctly and you try again. The people who wrote that the plates fall off either aren't seating them properly or they have a defective product and should return it.

The drip container works really well for collecting all the fat that runs off. I just recently realized there are little feet to put the surface on an angle so the fat runs off better, silly me, I'll have to try using them :)

I use a damp paper towel for the body of the unit, but it doesn't really get messy, just dusty if i leave it on the counter. Out takes up little space so i usually put it in a cupboard.

The cord is about a foot long.

I've had it since April 2015and use it asset least twice a week, sometimes 3 or 4 times a week and it works just as well now as when i first got it.

The grill can't be beat, i highly recommend it and would get another if it broke tomorrow.
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on March 16, 2017
We just rented a flat in Italy for a month. The flat had a really great panini press. So, in a month I may have used the thing 30 or 40 times! I loved it! So, that's what I'm comparing this product to, which may not be fair. The one in Italy heated more evenly than this one. It seems that it was hotter...and got up to temp quicker. It got the bread "toasty" quicker. It had more space between the plates so we could cut the fresh bread nice and thick, load up a hearty sandwich, and still fit it between the heating plates evenly.

The Cuisinart GR-11 doesn't allow for a very thick sandwich (don't expect to be able to heat/grill your sub from Subway.) A thick sandwich CAN be compressed if you don't mind it being somewhat flattened out..."smooshed." In this regard, understand that the top plate is not actually free floating to any large degree. This means that when you DO try to grill a thicker sandwich, the rear of the top plate makes contact first and then sort of folds forward. This in turn pushes the top piece of bread/bun off the sandwich a bit and can cause some ingredients to push off the sandwich and on to the grill surface. The GR-11, by comparison to the Italian one, seems to really take it's own sweet time. It takes longer to get up to heat and longer to grill your bread. I haven't timed it with a stop watch or anything but but I've been pretty surprised when I've left it and come back several times only to find it's still not looking all that "toasted". (I have found that this is partially because the top plate doesn't seem to get as hot as the bottom...for example you can see nice grill marks on the bottom when they haven't appeared much on the top yet.)

Other than what's described above, everything else was just fine. No problem with the removable plates as other reviewers have stated and for your basic grilled cheese sandwich on sliced white bread I think it would perform satisfactorily.

I have made at least a half dozen sandwiches and English muffins with this unit and, although it does an okay job, it doesn't do an excellent job. If you're content with "okay", buy it and it will be "okay." If you've used really good ones, this will probably disappoint you a little.
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on October 11, 2016
Absolutely love this grill. It is very compact and takes the same space as an oversized toaster. It is very quick to heat up. The clean up is a breeze with the removable plate. I only wash them by hand. The size is good for one, max two servings. A must have tool who wants a quick and painless dinner in 10 minutes (that's how long got takes to cook a chicken breast. Twice as less for salmon).
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on August 26, 2015
Very lightweight grill. No locking mechanism for paninis. I have to admit that I've never had a grill/panini maker without a locking mechanism (and I've had several over the years). So, I assumed that this "3-in-1" grill which includes the panini label would have a mechanism that would lock down the top grill to ensure that the panini is appropriately pressured. No such mechanism. Will keep the grill as its 3 in 1 feature is useful (when opened flat, creates a reasonably large grilling surface), but will continue to use my old panini maker until I find one that makes real paninis, not just lightly grilled sandwiches.
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VINE VOICEon February 4, 2014
Panini sandwiches have gotten my attention lately and this Cusinart panini press has satisfied my craving.

The press is quite small, but it can easily handle two good sized sandwiches. I usually make mine with sourdough bread so you can judge the size of the sandwiches. The bread toasts nicely on both sides and the ingredients are done nicely. I've also pressed chicken in it and it does everything a Foreman grill can do.

The best thing about it, according to my wife, is that the two grills easily flip out and can be cleaned quite easily. Unlike the Foreman grill that can be challenging to clean, the Cuisinart gives you three easy pieces that rinse off easily and quickly. The machine is quite small and looks good sitting on our counter. I think it was worth the price.
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on April 13, 2017
Hey... just plug it in, wait till it displays green light, and grill. We love the removable grill plates. Easy to clean, and grease tray readily accessible. We've grilled ham slices, asparagus, hamburgers, sliced chicken tenders and steaks. Just need to learn how long to properly grill each. The grill plates are not huge but suffice for two BIG burgers or a one good size steak. Have found out that meats less than 1 inch and boneless works best, otherwise lid rests ajar and won't produce even grill marks. One of our favorite uses is recooking tri-tip that we previously cooked to very rare state. Simply refrigerate, then slice off (across grain) to desired thickness and finish off on our little grill. MmmMmm.
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on April 22, 2015
Works just fine. Received this ítem fast and tried it out with two paninis. I am satisfied. I would keep this ítem away from children and be very careful since there is no temperature control, timer, or setting of any sort, not even an on-off switch. Plug in, pull the plu is how you turn this on and off

It gets very hot, absolutely needed to use a silicone tool to handle the food. Although the instructions call for preheating until the green light comes on, for me it worked best when the panini was placed in the cold press and then connected. The floating lid is not quite free floating but for my paninis it did not matter, they were pressed flat evenly anyway. removing the plates to put them in the dishwasher is straight forward, but there was no mess to clean in this case, truely non stick at least on day one.
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on June 23, 2017
I purchased this item as it was described as a 'panini maker'. But as soon as I opened the package I knew it was mistake as this 'griddle' does not have a floating top. This may work for thin sandwiches, but any thicker sandwich will not work here, unless you like a finished sandwich that has an uneven thickness. It may be good for burgers, etc., but should not be called a "panini press".
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