From a simple cheese and tomato toastie to stuffed jaffles to elaborate gourmet open melts, everyone loves a comforting toasted sandwich especially as the weather cools down. Crunchy golden crust and oozing cheese is what we’re after, and a sandwich press or maker is the way to go if you want to create cafe quality toasted sandwiches at home.
There are several types of sandwich makers available depending on the type of sandwich and function you’re after:
- Standard sandwich press. Two flat plates press the sandwich together, giving everything inside a nice squeeze, just like the toasted sandwiches you get at your favourite cafe.
- Jaffle maker. These encase the fillings inside sealed, crispy edges and often cut into portions as well.
- Electric grill. Capable of so much more than just making sandwiches, smart grills can be used to grill meat, vegies, pancakes and more. Truly multifunctional, they will give you more bang for your buck.
- Smart grill. Another level above the electric grill, smart grills can be programmed to monitor the progress and the doneness of your meat, ensuring it’s cooked to your preference every time. This can be a game changer for the not-so-skilled home cook, all the while still being capable of toasting you a mean sandwich!
Really only interested in making toasted sandwiches? A simple sandwich press or jaffle maker will probably do. But if you’re after a multi use appliance and fuss free cooking no matter the cuisine, consider a more expensive electric grill which not only makes delicious toasted sandwiches but a host of other meals too.
Read on to see our list of the twelve best sandwich presses and electric grills available now in Australia, from the top of the line to the more affordable ones. We’ve included all types in our list to give you the most options in your quest for the perfect sandwich.
1. Breville the Smart Grill Pro
Five intelligent settings let you design your perfect sandwich or steak
Price AUD: $399.00
The best sandwich press and grill on our list is the Breville Smart Grill Pro. This is the ultimate multi use grill with integrated smart features that will not only grill you the perfect sandwich, but help you cook delicious meats to your preference.
With powerful heating elements embedded in the grill plates, rather than underneath them, a higher and more consistent heat is achieved, ideal for grilling meat and getting that flavourful sear. Gourmet toastie lovers can grill their favourite fillings to perfection before putting it between two slices of bread and pressing to make the ultimate toasted sandwich, all in the one clever unit.
There are five settings to choose from which have programmed temperatures to cook different meats to your preferred doneness, a real God send if you love a medium rare steak but always seem to just over cook it. While this feature doesn’t directly relate to toasted sandwiches, it can be useful to play around with these settings to achieve your perfect toastie.
Prefer it super crispy on the outside, or maybe slightly blonde? There will be a setting perfect for that, and the great thing is you can just set it and leave without having to keep opening the grill to check the doneness of the sandwich.
The flat bottom plate and ribbed top plate gives you professional looking, cafe quality toasted sandwiches. Both plates are removable and can go straight into the dishwasher for easy cleaning.
2. De'Longhi Bench-Top Multigrill
Make up to three sandwiches at once in this generously sized electric grill
Price AUD: $279.00
This 3-in-1 smart grill makes you delicious toasted sandwiches as well as endless other meals. The LCD panel shows you the electronic temperature control and six different settings to help you cook meats, veggies and pancakes to perfection. Good news for waffle lovers, you can purchase special waffle plates for when the mood strikes.
Fitted with interchangeable, high quality Teflon coated grill plates, one flat and one griddle, you will be able to cook up to three sandwiches at once, an edge over most other models. They’re easily removed and dishwasher safe and the height adjustable floating top grill is ideal for making open melts or for accommodating tall sandwiches or burgers.
The integrated fat drip tray catches any spills to keep your benchtop clean and a spatula is included, useful not only for removing stuck on fat from the plates, but also for lifting your sandwiches out without risk of scratching the surface.
3. Tefal OptiGrill+
The best electric grill for meat has its own dedicated toasted sandwich function
We love the Tefal OptiGrill+ for its automatic sensor cooking technology, taking the guesswork out of cooking tricky items like steak and chicken. We also love the indicator light and beep system which allows you to monitor the progress of your cooking food while you get on with other things - no more watching and guessing, hoping it doesn’t burn.
This is our top pick for grilling meats. There are six integrated functions to achieve the perfect cook, but there’s also a special function for toasted sandwiches. It’s not as hot as the meat cooking functions which allows a slower, gentler cook but still results in a lovely golden crust and guaranteed melted cheese. Both top and bottom grill plates are griddled for all over grill marks.
It’s intuitive to use with well labelled operation buttons and a generous drip tray for catching excess oil, fat and food. As you’d expect from a high end electric grill, both plates are removable for easy cleaning in the dishwasher however be warned: this is a large unit and will take up a lot of bench space.
4. George Foreman SmartTemp Grill
Innovative upgrades to the classic and versatile grill we all know and love
This classic electric George Foreman grill boasts modern innovation and technology to offer you even more ways to cook.
Along with the signature angled bottom plate which allows excess fat to drip away from the food, a nifty sear function has been introduced for a burst of high heat, locking in the flavour of your meats (and for toasted sandwich enthusiasts, fast browning and crisping of the crust, but be warned, use it carefully to avoid burning!). There’s also a handy temperature probe to check the doneness of your meats, though it doesn't have much use for sandwiches.
The LCD display features a digital timer and temperature control so you can set it and leave while it cooks. While there isn’t a specific function for toasted sandwiches, with a bit of playing around you’ll be able to find one that’s suitable so you can chuck in your sandwiches, returning to yummy toasties when prompted.
For healthy grilling, you really can’t go wrong with a George Foreman grill. It covers all your bases whether you’re cooking steaks, sausages or sandwiches and is a sound all rounder at a price that won’t blow your budget.
5. Breville the Original 74’
A modern update to the original and best jaffle maker
Calling all jaffle lovers! Our preferred jaffle maker is the Breville the Original 74” which creates perfectly sealed, supersized jaffles to satisfy any sized appetite. A household favourite since its invention in 1974, Breville has updated their best selling jaffle maker to bring you the best jaffle experience yet.
The non stick wide sealing edges contain more yummy fillings without any spillage, cutting them into perfect triangles for serving and finishing with a lovely golden crust.
Jumbo sized plates allow you to use extra large bread slices, or even croissants, brioche or puff pastry to create the jaffle of your dreams in just minutes with minimal clean up - just give the plates a quick wipe after use and it’s ready to go again for next time. The fast cooking time not only has your jaffle ready to eat in a flash, but also ensures the insides are never soggy yet still piping hot with melty cheese.
The handy storage clips closes the plates together safely for upright, freestanding storage, with an integrated cord wrap that hides in the base, perfect for small kitchens where bench and storage space is an issue. It will also look great on your benchtop, retaining the classic charm of the original model with a modern spin for the new century.
6. Breville the Perfect Press
The best sandwich toaster and open sandwich grill all round
Price AUD: $109.00
Introducing Breville the Perfect Press - could this be the best toasted sandwich maker? Innovative hinge design means the perfect weight is applied to your sandwich for a crisp, golden crust and fluffy interior every time. Say good-bye to squashed, paper thin sandwiches and soggy crusts!
Compact in size while still accommodating two full sized sandwiches, it won’t overwhelm your bench space and heats up quickly with a green “ready” light to let you know it’s time to toast. The heat that is applied hits the perfect balance of being quite fast whilst also not so hot you run the risk of burning. We tested thick sandwiches with cold fillings and every time the middle was heated through and cheese melted with no burning of the outer layer - a big thumbs up from us.
If you prefer an open melt, the floating top plate is adjustable to four heights, locking in place, for melting open sandwiches or pizzas of any height.
Constructed with high quality stainless steel and aluminium, non stick cooking plates, the Perfect Press is easy to clean with just a quick wipe, even for stuck on melted cheese. The bottom plate also features a generous lip to catch any falling or dripping food so no need to worry about cheese melting all over your benchtops.
7. Breville the Toast and Melt
Ideal for the casual toastie fan with simple operation and delicious results
This is one of Breville’s smaller and more compact models suitable for the more casual toasted sandwich maker without compromising on quality. The Toast and Melt can make two small toasted sandwiches at once, ideal for snacks or feeding the kids a quick and easy meal.
Breville’s adjustable height control also lets you make delicious open melts with golden, bubbly cheese on top; simply lock the top plate in place to cook the top with radiant heat, still enjoying a crispy bottom cooked by contact.
The operation couldn’t be any easier - simply plug it in and wait for the little green light to illuminate, letting you know it’s at its optimal temperature and ready for toasting. Note that there’s no on/off switch on the actual unit and you’ll need to use your power supply to control this, so best to position the Toast and Melt near a powerpoint so it’s within easy reach. The flat, non stick plates clean easily after use with a quick wipe and the unit stores neatly and easily with the integrated cord wrap.
8. George Foreman Family Steel Grill
Australia’s favourite health grill also makes awesome toasties without fuss
Price AUD: $39.00
An Aussie favourite, the George Foreman Family Steel Grill offers complete versatility to the way you cook. Its unique grooved grill design is perfect for achieving perfect grill marks on your toasted sandwiches and the patented 42º angle of the bottom grill lets excess fat drain away for healthier, leaner cooking. This is a classic two-in-one choice for toastie lovers who are also keen on healthy cooking.
Excellent for grilling meat, fish and veggies, this grill is also ideal for toasted sandwiches, wraps and quesadillas. The non stick plates heat up quickly to the perfect temperature for a crispy outside and super melty cheese on the inside. Any excess spillage simply falls neatly into the integrated drip tray which you can then remove easily for cleaning.
Large enough to grill two large sandwiches at once yet compact enough to not overwhelm your bench, it stands vertically when not in use to optimise storage space. However, as there’s no clip to hold the two plates together, be careful when moving it around as it has the tendency to fall open.
9. Russell Hobbs Sandwich Press
This entry level sandwich press handles sandwiches of all sizes
Price AUD: $62.95
Toasting two large sandwiches at once, the Russell Hobbs Sandwich Press is a great choice if you love toasties of all shapes and sizes but don’t love a hefty price tag. The floating hinge accommodates sandwiches of all heights (even triple decker sandwiches - we tried!), laying flat for perfectly even heat distribution, even for tricky bread types like bagels and panini.
Its powerful 2100W heats up quickly with the indicator light letting you know when it’s ready for toasting, and it delivers a golden, crispy crust and warm, melted insides.
When not in use, the lid locks in place for compact, upright storage, perfect if you have limited space in your kitchen, and the non-stick flat plates are easy to wipe clean. However, we noticed that it doesn’t have a lip or collection area to collect excess dripping food or oil. Without this, melted butter tends to drip off the back of the top plate when the lid is open, resulting in a more intensive clean up than other models.
10. Breville the Big One
The best sandwich maker for big appetites
Price AUD: $45.00
Boasting extra large plates for extra large appetites, Breville the Big One is designed for size and doesn’t disappoint. Its deep pocket design lets you stuff your sandwich with whatever your heart desires, easily accommodating two eggs and equally good for sweet treats such as stewed apples.
Unlike a traditional jaffle maker, the Big One doesn’t cut the sandwich in half, but seals just the outside edges. In this way it’s able to fit in more fillings without spillage, but the downside to this is it’s messier when serving and eating. We also noted that it takes longer to warm through than others due to the denser volume, during which time the crust becomes quite brown, though not burnt.
To achieve the best seal to lock in the goodness, the bread you choose should be large and thick in size; smaller slices will likely result in gaps in the seal.
Constructed with heavy duty, non-stick aluminium plates and cool touch plastic housing, it’s easy to use, clean and store and will be an appreciated addition to any home whose members have big appetites, or if you’re after something a bit different to your traditional jaffle maker or sandwich press.
11. Sunbeam Compact Cafe Grill
Grill and toast cafe quality sandwiches with this compact option
Price AUD: $44.00
For those who like versatility, Sunbeam’s Compact Cafe Grill is not only a sandwich press, it’s also ideal for grilling with its ribbed top plate for gourmet looking food complete with authentic grill marks.
Sunbeam’s EasyClean, non stick coating means you can cook oil free and more healthily with no sticking, with meat cooking up to 50% faster than traditional cooking thanks to the ability to cook both sides at once.
The floating hinge keeps an even pressure on your food so it’s cooked perfectly all the way through, allowing you to toast non-flat food and sandwiches such as baguettes, bagels and wraps with great results. We noticed that this model is better at cooking and toasting thinner items such as simple sandwiches and bacon, rather than thicker items like multi ingredient sandwiches and sausages. It just doesn’t have quite enough oomph to completely heat through the insides of thick items whilst maintaining a perfectly golden outer.
Although compact in size, it can easily toast two sandwiches at once, but unfortunately doesn’t store upright which we feel is a missed opportunity. It is, however, easy to clean after use, including the ribbed top plate.
12. Sunbeam Big Fill Toastie for 2
Ideal for those with a sweet tooth and perfect for desserts as well as toasties
Price AUD: $39.95
The Sunbeam Big Fill Toastie for 2 boasts extra deep, extra wide plates to fit maximum amounts of your favourite fillings and large bread slices for big appetites. It’s also easy to make delicious sweet or savoury pies in minutes by using pastry sheets in place of bread, great for desserts and after school treats. It seals and cuts into two triangles for jumbo sized jaffles that are easy to eat one handed with less mess.
Because it’s capable of toasting such large sandwiches, it does take longer to cook than other models as the plates don’t get as hot. This is actually a good thing as the lower heat prevents the outside from getting burnt yet still heats and melts the insides thoroughly. Be sure to butter or oil the outside of the bread well for a golden, crispy crust. Good things come to those who wait!
The design of the unit is sensible - the lid closes completely to encase the fillings so there’s no spillage out the sides, and perhaps most importantly, there are no small gaps for melted cheese to get stuck in which makes clean up an absolute breeze.