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Panini Grill or Sandwich Grill?

Q: Is there a difference between panini grills and sandwich grills? We are looking at adding one of these to our deli. What else should we know before we place an order?

A: The big difference between 'Panini' and 'Sandwich' grills is that, typically, panini grills have grooved plates and sandwich grills have flat or smooth plates. A sandwich or panini grill is very much like a griddle with a heated plate mounted on a hinge to come down on top of your product, cooking it from top and bottom at the same time.

In the picture below you can see a panini grill with grooved plates on the left and a sandwich grill with flat plates on the right.

Typically, sandwich grills with smooth plates cook the product more thoroughly while panini grills with grooves tend to toast a product more and leave grill marks. Whichever type of plates you choose to go with, these are great machines for finishing sandwiches, wraps or any similar menu item. The plates toast the outside of your product and gently warm the inside, melting cheese, heating up proteins, and letting the flavors and aromas of your ingredients shine.

Heating up a sandwich or other product is a great way to quickly add value to your menu, especially as the weather turns cold. A panini or sandwich grill is also a great way to merchandise those tasty menu items, so consider placing your grill in a highly visible area where your customers can see and smell the product as it gets nice and toasty.

Pictured above is a double sided panini press manufactured by Vollrath.

Another thing to consider when shopping for a sandwich grill is the volume of your shop. If everyone orders hot sandwiches the grill can quickly become a bottleneck for your production line. Make sure that the machine you order will be able to handle your busy times.

No matter what food equipment you choose to buy, get in touch with the BigTray customer service team first to make sure you are getting the best fit for your business. You can contact them at 1-800-BIG-TRAY (1-800-244-8729) or email

Shop all Sandwich Grills Shop all Commercial Cooking Equipment

Have a question, or ready for a quote? Call us at 800-244-9729, or email us today!

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1-800-BIG-TRAY (1-800-244-8729)
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