A panini press can be a great addition to a commercial kitchen. It gives you the opportunity to serve hot, toasted sandwiches quickly and efficiently. However, there are a few unique factors to consider before adding one to your space.
The Panini Cooking Surface Area
A panini sandwich grill can typically cook about one to two sandwiches at a time. But, it’s not that simple. When you are shopping for a commercial panini press, ensure that the cooking surface area and height can accommodate the style of sandwich that your restaurant creates. If you use thicker bread or have sandwiches that tower taller than the press allows, then you might need to look for a larger option. On the other hand, if your restaurant doesn't produce that many sandwiches, a smaller unit could work just fine in your space.
It’s Heating Power
One significant difference between commercial and residential panini presses is the power. A commercial panini press offers much higher heating output. They cook foods faster and provide a more precise heating method. These units are specifically designed to put out more power than residential appliances to ensure quick, seamless service. If your restaurant serves specialty sandwiches, making the switch to a commercial model can be an important investment in the quality of the food and the service. You will be able to create gourmet foods faster and deliver them promptly to hungry customers.
Size of the Commercial Panini Press
Because of the two considerations above, a commercial panini press will always be bigger than a home model. They offer a higher cooking power and more room to actually cook on. Before shopping, it’s a great idea to take some measurements of your available kitchen counter space. This will be a crucial step in the shopping process. It will help you narrow down your search to help you better find the best unit for your needs and space.
Shape & Style of Cooking Plates
When you think of a traditional panini press, you think of plates that are grooved. These grooves create the classic grill marks in bread and give a sandwich the light crunch that takes it from ordinary to gourmet. Commercial panini presses come in two different models—smooth and grooved. When shopping for a panini press, it’s important to consider which plate will serve your restaurant the best outcome. Traditional plates are great for a classic sandwich, but smooth plates can be used to cook more than just sandwiches. Even though they produce similar results, the cooking plate can change its efficiency in your space.
Durable & Cleanly Plates
You know that your commercial restaurant equipment sees rough use every single day. This is no different for a panini press. When you are shopping, make sure to note the plate composition. Look for a panini sandwich press that is made with cast iron plates. These are sturdier, non-stick, and make for quick cleaning. Also, because of the many health codes and standards that your kitchen needs to adhere to, it’s important that you equip your space with the right cleaning tools for this type of unit. When you decide on a panini press, add a cleaning brush to your purchase as well. Keeping a cleaning brush nearby will help employees keep the cooking surface clean and up to code throughout even the busiest shifts.
Making the Right Investment
A panini press is likely going to be a great investment for your kitchen. By keeping these key considerations in mind before buying a commercial panini press, you will be able to get the most out of your investment. If you are unsure or need help deciding on the right unit for your restaurant, consult with one of our knowledgeable reps. Our team will be able to assess your menu, space, and overall needs to recommend an appliance that will make your kitchen a more efficient space.