As it becomes more and more difficult to manage a full, healthy, home cooked meal three times a day, the sandwich maker comes as a messiah of sorts. Simple, efficient, and perfectly portable (you can easily stash one under your office desk), it is the new age mascot of healthy, sustainable eating. The multitude of modern electronic gadgets designed to toast bread and grill sandwiches are here to remind you that there is no need to turn on the gas and wait forever. Fixing yourself a wholesome, economic snack was never easier.
The first gadgets designed to cook bread were toasters. Early versions of what we recognize as a toaster have been around since the 1800s. It evolved over the years, and has been welcomed into households whole-heartedly by the whole family. The handy electronic toaster toasts your bread evenly without supervision, and does it real quick. It works on the same principle as the sandwich maker, with infrared coils located deep inside, that heat up the bread. Let’s take a quick look at the different types of toasters available in the market. Perhaps you’ll find what your kitchen needs!
The Pop-up Toaster
The pop-up toaster is one of the most recognizable symbols of the modern age, and with good reason. Designed to toast bread without fuss or manual human help, the pop-up toaster presents you with the toasted bread, after it is just done. Well, the first toasters had timers that you could set depending on how ‘done’ you wanted your toast, but it basically gets rid of the whole waiting, and flipping, and then waiting some more for your daily bread toast business. Bread goes into the slots at the top, gets heated by the infrared conducting coils surrounding the slot. The unique feature of these toasters is the spring which ‘pops’ the bread when it is done. Most pop up toasters come with a crumb tray that collects stray crumbs, making cleaning easy. Some toasters offer single side toasting.
A toaster oven makes for uniform, delicious, irresistibly crunchy toast. It is a compact electric gadget that has a front door and a wire rack on which you place your bread. You can watch as your bread heats, and get it out when it’s just right. The aerodynamics of an oven ensure an extra crunch in your toast. It will take a couple of minutes more than the snappy pop up toaster, but its all worth the wait.
Conveyor Belt Toasters
If you’re looking to churn out toast en masse, in a restaurant, or a party, this is your best bet. This industrial scale machine has two openings, the bread slice is placed on one side, and comes out toasted on the other. Temperature can be adjusted. This efficient toaster can take 300-1500 slices of bread an hour.
Top 10 Best Sandwich Maker Brands
Now that you’ve figured out what you’re looking for in a sandwich maker grill, here is a list of our favourite brands that offer the best, for consistently gorgeous sandwiches.
Nova is what you would call a veteran in the sandwich maker toaster-grill industry. With entries like the NT 233 HDG 1800 watt sandwich maker, and the Panini NSG 2439 grill, this is clearly a case of been there, done that. If experience and practice doesn’t make you an expert, I don’t know what does.
Prestige has already won thousands of hearts in India with its reliable appliances and kitchenware. When it comes to sandwich makers, the brand has a long list of models to pick from, so there is something for everyone. The fact that the PGMFB 800 watt model by Prestige is currently the most bought sandwich maker grill online in India says it all.
Philips has earned a name for itself as one of the most trustworthy maker of home appliances in the world today. It has given us some of the most durable sandwich makers and toasters in the market today. One look at the HD2393 820 watt model should tell you why.
The swanky new Bajaj Majesty series of sandwich maker grills is a recent entry, but is already making waves. These majesty series are currently some of the most bought sandwich makers in the country.
Kenstar by Videocon is a relatively young brand, but has quickly won over India’s home appliance market. The Kenstar KTG02KGP-DBH Grill is a case in point.
Pigeon is responsible for some of the most stylish appliances to enter Indian kitchens. It’s definitely sandwich makers and toasters live up to the standard. This brand is the best bet if you generally shy away from home appliances that look chunky and plain weird sitting on your countertop.
7. Morphy Richards
Anyone recognizes this brand in the world of kitchen appliances. If that is not assuring enough, consider how every appliance the company churns out comes with at least a two year warranty.
Some of the best, durable heavy duty sandwich maker grills are manufactured by Havell’s. And most of them have chic, geometric bodies that can fit right into the modern kitchen. Case closed.
Oster is one of the leaders in the ceramic, teflon kitchen appliance market. When talking about the best toasters or sandwich maker grills, it all comes down to the durable non-stick properties, after all.
Koryo is one of the most common brands in electronic retail outlets these days. The company offers compact affordable gadgets, including some of the best sandwich maker grills in India. The price tags make it a favorite of students who live away from home.
Features of a Toaster
1. Spring Loaded Tray
A pop up toaster works through a spring mechanism that is loaded on a tray. The tray is connected to the handle that you press after loading the toaster with bread. The spring is responsible for the ‘popping’ of the bread.
2. Automatic Timer
The handle that presses the spring down is also connected to the power switch, so that the toaster starts heating up as soon as the bread is in. Since the tray is to pop up after a certain amount to time, it is also connected to a timer. This timer releases the spring and the toast pops up.
3. Browning Level Setting
The browning control on the toaster controls the intensity of toasting- in other words, the level of ‘browning’ of the bread. It is a simple knob surrounded by numbers, and is commonly mistaken for a timer. It works through a complicated mechanism that involves switching off the power when the set voltage is reached. It may, or may not correspond to the timer settings.
4. Removable Crumb Tray
This is a flat tray fitted at the bottom of the toaster. It collects stray crumbs and spills. It makes cleaning highly efficient. One can simply dust is off in the bin after a session of toasting.
5. Cord Placement
Different toasters come with different designs and cord placements. Pick one that matches the alignment of your kitchen/ table, and the nearest switchboard. Toasters with retractable cords make for a neat, aesthetic setting.
6. Uniform Toasting
The main selling point of the modern electronic toaster is its capacity to toast bread evenly till the end of its life. Depending on the design, the best toasters have an even toasting surface, and deliver consistently crunchy toast.
The defrost function is a feature offered by many toasters, primarily to heat frozen bread, waffles, or cake.
What is a Sandwich Maker? Types of Sandwich Makers
A sandwich maker, or a sandwich toaster is an appliance that lets you seal, heat and toast a sandwich. The basic sandwich maker consists of a pair of hinged plates attached to a handle. Bread slices with or without filling are placed in between the plates to toast. So, the electric sandwich maker doubles up as a toaster, too, if you’re just craving plain toast. The filling, if there is one, is also heated in the process. The first sandwich makers were heated over the fire, and were popular with campers. The modern ones are electronic devices which can be placed in any room with a switchboard. The all-round electronic gadget also goes by the name sandwich grill, given its grill-like properties. More on this in a bit.
The Four-triangle Sandwich Maker
This is the classic sandwich maker designed to cut the sandwich into four triangles at the same time that it is toasted. The diagonal wedges that cut up the toast ensure a distinctly toasted, well sealed sandwich.
The Panini Press
If you really like chunky sandwiches brimming with fillings, you might want to go for the panini press. The Panini press is a versatile gadget that works like a grill. Hinged, heavy duty plates offer a surface to cook on. This means that you can use this gadget as an all round breakfast and snack maker. Toast bread, grill sandwiches, grill vegetables, paneer, thinly sliced chicken, you can even make an omelette!
If your looking to buy a sandwich maker grill for the house, these are some of the features that you should be looking out for.
First things first, let’s talk design
Size: Do you live in a joint family, or a big household setting? You might want to go for a four-slice sandwich maker grill to ensure that nobody has to stand in a queue for their breakfast. Apart from capacity, you have to consider the location of your sandwich maker and measure whatever you buy carefully to make sure it fits your designated nook.
Design: Aesthetic or practical? Or, both? Floating lid (for bigger sandwiches, or burgers), or lock down lids? You know what’s best for you!
Plate Materials: Ultimately, its the grilling surface that does most of the work, so it’s only right to prioritize accordingly. While most sandwich maker plates are made of, the new ceramic options are healthier, and more efficiently non-stick.
Features of a Sandwich Maker
Sandwich maker grills typically have coloured lights to indicate when the sandwich maker has finished preheating, or when the sandwich is done.
2. Non-stick Surfaces
The grill plates on the sandwich maker come with Teflon coating that makes them non-stick, so that sandwiches can be easily lifted off after grilling. The thicker the coating, the longer the life of the sandwich maker. If you have removable plates on your sandwich maker, it is advisable to coat with a thin layer of butter or oil before placing the sandwich in.
3. Removable Plates
This is a feature offered by many sandwich maker grills. The cooking surfaces can be removed in a sandwich maker with detachable plates, and washed, for efficient cleaning that also ensures that no water seeps into the electronics.
Many sandwich makers offer a variety of plates. These are the cooking surfaces, and can be grilling plates, waffles plates, four-triangle sandwich plates, and so on.
5. Adjustable Heat Settings
As the name suggest, this function allows you to control the degree to which the sandwich is cooked, or the bread toasted.
6. Lid Types
A lock down lid is found in most sandwich maker grills, and helps seal down the sandwich. It helps distribute the heat evenly for a crisp sandwich. A floating lid does not have a lock down mechanism, but opens up the possibilities. Since the lid sits on the top of the sandwich, you can grill sandwiches of any size.
While toasters and sandwich makers all have many common elements, each model offers different features. Look for the features that suit you and your kitchen best, and you can promise yourself some of the best, most gorgeous sandwiches you’ll ever eat.