This is a review of the the GR 1 Panini maker model.
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However, the Cuisinart Panini and sandwich press does have enough room for two sandwiches at a time, and the unit doesn’t take up a lot of counter space like many of its bigger rivals.
The top and bottom nonstick cooking plates of the GR 1 design measure at 11 by 7 inches each. Despite the size of these nonstick grill plates (or maybe because of), the unit actually heats up quite evenly and able to cook the food properly, even better than many other Panini and sandwich makers that are larger in size compared to this product.
Moreover, this griddler tends to heat up rather quickly, probably because of the fact that it takes less time for the heat to spread across a surface that is not very spacious. It’s important to note that that the entire unit except for the handle gets pretty hot, so you should avoid touching the stainless steel housing of the appliance while it’s working.
Like the grilling plates of the good old George Foreman grills, the plates of the GR 1 sandwich press are fixed to the unit and cannot be removed. Now, it could definitely be better if the product had removable cooking plates (like the plates of the Cuisinart GR-4N griddler for example). Obviously, it’s much easier to clean such a unit if you can remove the plates from the griddler, and either soak them in water or place them in the dishwasher.
Even if the nonstick plates of the GR 1 Panini grill were removable and dishwasher safe, it would be better to wash the appliance by hand, since the dishwasher will cause the nonstick coating to deteriorate and therefore make the unit unusable.
It’s recommended to treat the nonstick surface of this electrical machine gently – it shouldn’t be hard to use a paper towel in order to clean the groves of the appliance.
It’s quite evident that this unit isn’t as versatile as the popular Cuisinart 5 in 1 griddler that can function as a griddle, grill, half griddle and half grill, contact grill and yes – even as a Panini maker. However, the GR 1 model really does its job as a Panini press and it’s also relatively cheap compared to many other Panini makers (it even costs less than half the price of the GR-4N product).
So, if you are looking for a Panini and sandwich maker you should definitely consider the GR 1 model. And to those who claim that there isn’t much to do with an appliance that is not as versatile as other multi-task units, well in order to refute this claim one only has to take a look at the popular cookbook of Tiffany Collins that people often buy when they purchase this electrical machine – the 200 Best Panini Recipes cookbook.
Because of its size, the Cuisinart GR 1 design is generally ideal for a single person or a couple. And there is some resemblance between the Presto Liddle griddle and the model reviewed on this page. Both of these units are small compared to their rivals and on the other hand, they cook the food quite well and evenly and are often considered as a better alternative to some of its bigger competitors.
Another thing that should be mentioned about the GR 1 appliance is that there is no on/off switch so you’ll have to plug it in and wait for the griddler to preheat before you place the food/sandwich inside. Of course, in order to turn the item off it is necessary to unplug the unit.
This product also comes with a cleaning tool and an instructions book that includes some recipes (although it’s far from being as thorough and as user friendly as the 200 Best Panini Recipes cookbook by Tiffany Collins).
Despite the fact that the Cuisinart GR 1 grill has a floating hinge that can adjusts to the right thickness of food (and thus allow the user to cook a wider variety of foods), you may have to apply pressure in order to cook really thick sandwiches with it, so it’s necessary to be careful since the whole appliance other than the handle gets quite hot.
Overall, the GR 1 item has a very simple and minimal design that is a bit small yet doesn’t catch a lot of space like many other large and bulky units. In addition, it cooks the food evenly and well, and although this is basically an appliance that is intended to be used only as a Panini/sandwich press, it is both attractive and affordable at the same time.