There’s something about the striped grill marks on a panini that makes it so luring to me that i wanted to own a panini toaster. Having the grilled stripes does add extra crunchiness, balanced by the rest of the softer parts of the bread. This is not achievable by a toaster or an oven, which grills the entire surface.
Anyway, a panini grill isn’t common in Singapore. What’s typically sold in Singapore are sandwich makers, which clamp the edges of sliced bread together and does not allow you to make tall sandwiches. While a panini grill isn’t expensive on Amazon, they run on 110V, so they can’t be used in Singapore, at least not without a high-wattage transformer (which doesn’t make sense). Well, as usual, i went the way of Taobao as i wasn’t going to spend a lot of money to buy one.
i settled on an OEM panini grill made for the emerging economies market. The unit i received was obviously one that did not pass quality check due to aesthetic defects, which didn’t bother me at all as long as it was fully functional. It gets the job done, though it does have a small problem whereby the top swivelling grill panel tends to slant rather than maintain a horizontal position. You have to counter the tendency to slant by placing some weight on top. Well, since i only use the grill occasionally, i could live with this.
The panini grill can also be used for grilling meat and vegetables. The non-stick coating is fairly easy to clean. For 188 Yuan (S$41) I guess I don’t have much to complain about. There is quite a large selection on Taobao now (search for 帕尼尼机), including those meant for commercial use.