10 best sandwich toasters
Perfect the grilled cheese toastie – and much more – with a handy kitchen addition
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Toasties – that is, toasted sandwiches – are the ultimate comfort food. And the options are endless.
To make the supreme sandwich, you’ll need a sandwich toaster. In selecting your machine, there are a number of factors to consider. How many sandwiches do you want to be able to make in one go?
What kind of bread can it reasonably take and how thick can you make the filling before it starts to spill out? How easy is it to clean and how much space do you have to store the gadget?
If space is an issue, it might be worth considering a multi-use machine that also grill steaks or makes waffles, for example.
Here’s our pick of the best models on the market.
Sage The Perfect Press: £99.95, Amazon
As with all things Heston Blumenthal, this machine goes above and beyond when it comes to innovation. In this case, the shining star is the crush control counterweight hinge, which basically means a lot less pressure than with other machines. This stops your sandwich from being squashed and your filling escaping, a particularly welcome outcome given that you can’t remove and wash the plates on this machine.
A damp sponge cleans the machine well enough, however. And you can store it vertically, resting it on the foot at the back of the machine. Be warned: it’s heavy.
Morphy Richards Mico Toastie: £29.99, Amazon
We’ll be honest: the thought of making a toastie in a microwave did not sound appealing and we prepared ourselves for one big soggy mess. But, we were pleasantly surprised with the golden brown toasted sandwiches the Mico produced. Using “heatwave” technology to turn microwaves into conventional heat, the Mico is a small container that clips together and has metal non-stick toasting plates hidden in the silicone walls.
In five minutes, the sandwich was ready to eat, with a crispy outside and a hot, melted filling. The gadget itself can be wiped clean, and the metal plates are detachable and can be put in the dishwasher. Golden rules are to use large bread slices, with medium thickness, and not too much filling. The Mico Toastie was probably the easiest sandwich maker to store.
Cuisinart 2-in-1 Grill and Sandwich Maker: £89.99, Lakeland
The best bit about this great looking machine is that it has interchangeable plates so you can use it as either a sandwich toaster or a grill. So whether you’re pining for a panini or dying for a delicious steak, this will do it all, regardless of the thickness. It’s ready to go in five minutes and cooks quickly. There’s a locking handle, choice of three heat settings and enough room to take two sandwiches at the same time, with plenty of ideas from the recipe booklet.
Plus, the plates can go in the dishwasher afterwards. On the downside, this machine gets very hot, so only touch the handles.
Russell Hobbs 24550 Four Portion Deep Fill Toastie Maker: £34.99, Amazon
Here’s another machine with interchangeable plates, which can cook everything from toasties to waffles. There’s also a grill, which would be perfect for paninis. The non-stick surface is hard-wearing, and the plates are easy to take out and put in the dishwasher. Despite being able to cook two sandwiches at once, it’s a small machine, which is ideal for those lacking in storage space. Lunch was ready very quickly, which is great for those wanting to eat on the hoof. It doesn’t suit very thick bread, however.
Breville Deep Fill VST041 Sandwich Toaster: £24.99, Amazon
Back in the 1980s, the word Breville meant sandwich toaster – they did, after all, invent the concept. These days, practically every small appliance brand makes them, but Breville still stays ahead of the game with machines like this, which have removable (and easy to wash) non-stick plates. This one also has enough space to make two sandwiches, which the machine cuts and seals in neat golden triangles.
The recipe suggestions including pizzas and even cakes. The bread gets crispier than with most machines and you can buy waffle plates separately. But, as with some other machines, the outer casing can get really hot, and we found it didn’t like thick bread.
Salter Deep Fill Sandwich Toaster: £24.96, Asda
A great option for those on a budget and who prefer to use thick, large slices of bread. You don’t have to hold back on the filling either, with minimal spillage in our tests even when it was packed to the brim. It couldn’t be easier to use, thanks to the power and ready lights, and taking the toasties out is a breeze as the plates are suitably non-stick. Hats off to Salter for a great budget machine that’s also efficient.
Judge Sandwich, Grill and Waffle Maker: £46, Horwood
Why stop at a sandwich maker when you can buy a machine that also grills and makes waffles? This one feels nice and sturdy and seals very well indeed, with sandwiches that look as good as ones you’d buy in a café. It’s ready to use in just a few minutes, with a light to show when the food is done. Swapping and washing the grill plates posed no challenge at all.
Storage is on your side with this one too, as you can slot it into narrow cupboard spaces by keeping it upright. You’ll need some serious patience for the waffles, however, as they can take more than 15 minutes.
Vonshef Large Sandwich Press & Grill: £39.99, Domu
This machine can rustle up a toasted sarnie or pretty much anything that needs grilling, be it halloumi, steak or fish. We found it versatile in other ways too, as it takes all kinds of bread. The non-stick coating lives up to its name and lasts a long time too, and the plates can be removed and washed easily.
The machine feels robust and built to last, but it does tend to show up finger marks and – like many of the other machines – the outer casing gets really hot.
Dualit Sandwich Cage: £15, John Lewis
Provided you already own a Dualit toaster, this nifty gadget with cool-touch handles is a great way of adding a sandwich toaster to your kitchen armoury without having to splash out on a bulky machine. The Dualit sandwich cage can be used with thin to medium sliced bread, and simply slots into the toaster.
But it doesn’t give the same oozy filling – in fact, you have to be quite stingy with your fillings (especially the cheese) as the last thing you want is for it to all leak out into the crumb tray. It’s also a shame that the cage can’t go in the dishwasher.
Tefal Snack Collection Sandwich Maker: £74.99, Argos
This comes complete with both a toasted triangle sandwich plate and a waffle grill plate and, as if that’s not enough, you can add to it with an incredible 16 grill plates. These make everything from bagels to biscuits and even doughnuts. The extra plates can be bought separately, and come in a box-set case, which makes storage easy. The non-stick coating is effective and there’s an on/off switch so you can leave it plugged in. But, don’t overfill your sandwiches with this one or you’ll end up with a big sticky mess.
The Verdict: Sandwich toasters
When it comes to innovation, Sage’s The Perfect Press won us over. The clever design means you can fill your sarnie up to your heart’s content, with no fear of spillage. The Morphy Richards Mico Toastie is another nifty design – producing golden brown triangles from the microwave.