This Steven Raichlen brand panini press is made from cast iron with a wooden handle, all in black. It measures about 9” x 5” x 4” and weighs approximately three pounds. The bottom of the paninipress is smooth, not patterned like some.
As with many cast iron products, you’ll need to give this grill press a good wash with soapy water before use to remove the chemicals used in it’s manufacture. It’s a good idea to season it as well, by applying a generous coating of your favorite oil. This should stop any metallic residue getting on to the food. It’s interesting to note there’s no mention of this particular step on the packaging.
When that’s done, you can use the BBQ press on your grill. This one is a good size, although not the heaviest I’ve used. The underneath of the plate is smooth, so you won’t get those pleasing lines on your panini like you do with other makes. The weight is enough for most purposes, and it won’t flatten your burgers too much.
On the down side, although this grilling press works ok, some chump has decided to put a wooden handle on it. Ok, it’s heat resistant, but you can’t close the grill lid with it inside and expect it not to catch fire. In addition, the handle is held on with small screws which come loose. Three pounds of hot iron is not something you want to lose control of. I also found the casting wasn’t great, and the steak press had small pits in it instead of being completely smooth.
And when it comes to cleaning up this panini grill press, neither cast iron nor wood are dishwasher friendly, positively averse, in fact. So make sure you dry the item thoroughly after use, and keep re-seasoning every so often. Far from being the ‘best of barbecue’ this is poorly designed and made.
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