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Hamilton Beach Panini Grill 25450 Review

Editor's Note: The Hamilton Beach 25462Z Panini Press Gourmet Sandwich Maker is now available. Clicking the Buy button will take you to this version for purchase. We will evaluate, rank and review the Hamilton Beach 25462Z when we next update the Sandwich Maker reviews.

Our Verdict

Although the device is large and hard to clean, it makes great sandwiches.

For

  • Upright storage is a definite plus, especially on a unit this big.

Against

  • The plates do not detach so there is no dishwasher option.
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Hamilton Beach Panini Grill image: One of the larger grills in our comparison, this unit will be good for entertaining.

Hamilton Beach Panini Grill image: One of the larger grills in our comparison, this unit will be good for entertaining.
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Hamilton Beach Panini Grill image: A locking mechanism makes it possible to store this unit upright when it's not in use.

Hamilton Beach Panini Grill image: A locking mechanism makes it possible to store this unit upright when it's not in use.
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Hamilton Beach Panini Grill image: A floating hinge makes it possible to grill sandwiches that are piled high with vegetables.

Hamilton Beach Panini Grill image: A floating hinge makes it possible to grill sandwiches that are piled high with vegetables.
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Hamilton Beach Panini Grill image: This grill can fit four normal-sized sandwiches or two large ones.

Hamilton Beach Panini Grill image: This grill can fit four normal-sized sandwiches or two large ones.
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Hamilton Beach Panini Grill image: A large amount of grilling space makes for a large amount of counter space, but the extra space is worth it if you cook for a lot of people.

Hamilton Beach Panini Grill image: A large amount of grilling space makes for a large amount of counter space, but the extra space is worth it if you cook for a lot of people.
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Hamilton Beach Panini Grill image: The shiny outside surfaces clean up easily.

Hamilton Beach Panini Grill image: The shiny outside surfaces clean up easily.
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Hamilton Beach Panini Grill image: The outside surfaces heat up hot enough to burn, so they require caution.

Hamilton Beach Panini Grill image: The outside surfaces heat up hot enough to burn, so they require caution.
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Hamilton Beach Panini Grill image: The handle stayed relatively cool to the touch when we were testing, but the manual still suggests wearing an oven mitt.

Hamilton Beach Panini Grill image: The handle stayed relatively cool to the touch when we were testing, but the manual still suggests wearing an oven mitt.
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Hamilton Beach Panini Grill image: This press comes with two lights - one to tell you it is powered on and another to tell you it is ready to grill.

Hamilton Beach Panini Grill image: This press comes with two lights - one to tell you it is powered on and another to tell you it is ready to grill.
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Hamilton Beach Panini Grill image: This unit comes with everything you need to get started.

Hamilton Beach Panini Grill image: This unit comes with everything you need to get started.
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Hamilton Beach Panini Grill image: When we tested for even toasting, we got pretty good results with this grill, though a few spots were slightly darker.

Hamilton Beach Panini Grill image: When we tested for even toasting, we got pretty good results with this grill, though a few spots were slightly darker.
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Hamilton Beach Panini Grill image: Hamilton Beach is reachable by phone and email for questions that are not answered by the instruction manual.

Hamilton Beach Panini Grill image: Hamilton Beach is reachable by phone and email for questions that are not answered by the instruction manual.
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Hamilton Beach Panini Grill image: Spare parts for this grill are easy to find on the Hamilton Beach website.

Hamilton Beach Panini Grill image: Spare parts for this grill are easy to find on the Hamilton Beach website.
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Hamilton Beach Panini Grill image: An electronic version of the user manual is accessible online.

Hamilton Beach Panini Grill image: An electronic version of the user manual is accessible online.
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Hamilton Beach Panini Grill image: The storage latch makes it possible to store this unit on its side.

Hamilton Beach Panini Grill image: The storage latch makes it possible to store this unit on its side.
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Hamilton Beach Panini Grill image: In order to avoid damaging the non-stick surface, you should never cut your sandwich on the grill.

Hamilton Beach Panini Grill image: In order to avoid damaging the non-stick surface, you should never cut your sandwich on the grill.
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Hamilton Beach Panini Grill image: This grill comes with a plastic scraper to remove food after use.

Hamilton Beach Panini Grill image: This grill comes with a plastic scraper to remove food after use.
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Hamilton Beach Panini Grill image: A collection of recipes comes with the user manual.

Hamilton Beach Panini Grill image: A collection of recipes comes with the user manual.
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Hamilton Beach Panini Grill image: This unit is backed by a one-year warranty, which is standard.

Hamilton Beach Panini Grill image: This unit is backed by a one-year warranty, which is standard.

Editor's Note: The Hamilton Beach 25462Z Panini Press Gourmet Sandwich Maker is now available. Clicking the Buy button will take you to this version for purchase. We will evaluate, rank and review the Hamilton Beach 25462Z when we next update the Sandwich Maker reviews. Meanwhile, enjoy our review below about the Hamilton Beach 25450 Gourmet Panini Press.

The Hamilton Beach Panini Grill Gourmet sandwich maker has a good combination of features on a relatively large scale. It might be just right for a family or anyone who likes to make paninis for a crowd. This fine sandwich and panini maker produced nice sandwiches quickly in our tests.

You can expect a sandwich maker to struggle a little with basic store-bought bread, and the Hamilton Beach does, but not as much as others. The sandwiches we made with this appliance were perfectly toasted in most cases, with crisp bread that was flattened but not so much that it was like a tortilla. Some competing sandwich grillers smashed the bread until it was unrecognizable. There was still some air left in the bread after the Hamilton Beach cooked the sandwiches, and all of the ingredients inside were melted just right. On some of our tests there were a few spots that toasted slightly darker than others, but results were generally perfect with this hot sandwich maker.

Sandwiches peel off of this unit pretty smoothly, although they sometimes stick. The grill plates are generally fine for cleaning, but the grooves in the surface are a little more squared than others. This makes it hard to get into the corners and nooks for thorough cleaning, especially since the plates have to stay attached so you cannot just leave the leftover food and grease, throw everything in the dishwasher and forget it. If you like being able to put the cooking plates into the dishwasher so they get extremely clean, take a look at the Cuisinart Griddler & Panini Press GR-11.

Also, everything is on a relatively large scale with this sandwich maker, so it takes some time to clean for that reason too. You will not notice the large size for storage, though, because it can be stored upright.

The large cooking area will be frustrating to many but great for others. It just depends on who you cook for on a regular basis. This device got quite hot on the outside. Of course a grill is going to get hot, but some competing units were at least touchable – warm rather than hot. The handle stayed relatively cool, and that is most important. Even though it can be stored upright, the Hamilton Beach lacks a cord wrap that would make it even more convenient for storage.

We could not find any tutorial videos on the Hamilton Beach site to get you started, but this is not a terribly complicated appliance. Most of what you need is in the instruction manual, which is easy to find and download. If you have concerns beyond that, you can email or call this manufacturer.

This unit was not our favorite to clean because of its small and boxy grooves, and you have to clean it all yourself because the grill plates don't come off to go in the dishwasher. However, we got some really good sandwiches from our testing of this unit. It toasts the bread nicely without smashing it and melts everything on the inside to comfort-food perfection.