I am sad that I cannot give this a full 5 stars, but since Cuisinart refuses to answer my concerns about this product, I must make sure the people are aware of the issues.
I have bought two of these in less than 6 years. I take really good care of my items; I still have the original box and foam inserts just in case I needed to move it or ship it back for warranty purposes (explanation in a minute).
The side buttons that you push to pop out the grill plates are plastic and one will break after a couple years of frequent use. That means, you have no button to push and the metal underneath is inside the machine-not easy to access. I bought the second panini grill for the same issues as the first one in March 2015, not having kept original receipt to know if it was under warranty, so I was thrilled to see that this one was still within the three year warranty.
I called the Warranty number and was told that I'd have to ship it back and the cost was on me. You're also expected per their warranty paperwork to pay an additional $10 to get a repaired/refurbished/potentially new one back. I did ask to have that second fee waived, as it seemed unfair. So, I go to the U.S. Post Office with the machine in its original pristine box.
It was $38.12 to ship via ground and $42 for priority. I was shocked. The box looks so brand new that the agent assumed it was and she joked to the other postal worker did she want to buy it from me? I explained that it needed repair and her jaw dropped. She too thought it was absurd that they would not send me a postal order as the weight and the fact it has to go cross-country is what makes the shipping so much. I decided that for more than half the price of the item, it didn't make sense to ship. I checked with UPS and they too were over $24. I mean, I can see paying $15, but this is too much money for a $59.99 item (that I paid $91 with tax in 2015 when it was still a higher price as their newer model).
So I called Cuisinart back and explained my case. I was told that if I wanted to use the Warranty, I had to ship it because that is what I agreed to-did I have a choice? They wouldn't even offer me $34 towards a brand new one.
I really loved this product and am disappointed that Cuisinart makes their warranty policy difficult to honor. I even contacted them on Facebook privately to see if they'd look into my case and work with me, but they didn't even bother to respond.
I wonder if the extended warranty offered here on Amazon by the third party would not make me jump through hoops if I wanted to buy another one. Just not sure I am wasting my money or not. I don't like the ethics of a warranty that costs you a fortune in order of fit to be honored.
As for the machine itself:
The pros: -makes a great panini; -great for indoor grilling meat/fish/vegetables ; -awesome griddle (makes best hash browns); -nonstick plates; -can buy waffle plates to make waffles; -can make eggs, bacon, hash browns at the same time when it's flat
-Buttons that hold the grill plates are plastic and don't last long -Warranty is three years, but if you contact them, they require you to ship the entire product back and shipping is over $34 through the U.S. Postal Service on ground shipping (not priority). You're expected to pay $10 in addition to get a repaired/refurbished/potentially new one back.