The panini press is the best thing to happen to sandwiches since, well, sliced bread. I mean, why eat a cold sandwich when you could eat one that's all warm and grilled and melty? And what about burgers? Do you really need to fire up the grill when you're cooking just a couple patties? Nah. What you need is an indoor grill and panini maker -- and trust me when I say it'll quickly become one of your favorite kitchen appliances. That's certainly been the case for me.
For a limited time, and while supplies last, there's a great deal on the one I use religiously: The Cuisinart Griddler GR-4N for $39.99 at Amazon. (It's also available at Best Buy for the same price.) It normally runs $80. Update: Yikes, sold out very quickly at Amazon, but still available at Best Buy!
Weirdly, the GR-4N is referred to here as a five-in-one product, but elsewhere it's tagged as a four-in-one. Here's the straight scoop: It has two removable, reversible plates that are flat on one side and, er, grilly on the other. You can use the Griddler as a press for things like meats and sandwiches or open it a full 180 degrees for things like eggs and pancakes.
In my house it's used mostly for burgers and paninis -- and it works like a champ for both. When you're done cooking, the plates pop out easily and can go straight into the dishwasher.
I'm not the only fan: The Griddler has a 4.4-star review average from over 8,000 Amazon customers, and a 4.7-star average at Best Buy. My advice: Grab one before the deal expires.
Note: Originally published earlier this year. Updated to reflect new sale prices and/or availability.
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