I received this Breville TR39 Sandwich Press some years ago as a present. I went through phases of using it loads, and after recently re-organising my kitchen it is one of the things that I have fallen in love with again since finding it hidden in the back of a cupboard. There now seems to be a newer product available, the Breville VST025, and I would have to assume that this earlier version of mine has now been discontinued.
Product description: "Cafe-style toasted snacks in minutes. Non-stick flat cooking plates. Floating hinged top plate for snacks and meals of any width. Power on and ready lights. Ideal for toasting focaccia and ciabatta breads."
This particular sandwich toaster is a different beast altogether from the compact models that are designed to fit regular slices of bread and come out with that pressed triangular finish. The Breville TR39 model is much larger in size and does take up a fair bit of valuable surface space on my kitchen worktop, which is why I tend to keep it stored away when not in use. It has a rectangular shape with two flat hot plates that are connected by hinges. This allows for adjustable positioning of the top section, which means that the sandwich toaster is ideally suited to making open top sandwiches, and accommodates thicker bread rolls such as paninis or ciabatta. Of course, you can still use this to make a toasted sandwich out of regular sliced loaf bread, but I have a fondness for those squashed triangular things with the super-heated centres, and prefer to use this one specifically for special types of bread and rolls.
It is incredibly easy to use this sandwich toaster, and it takes practically no time at all to make a yummy toasted sandwich. I plug it in and let it heat up while I am preparing my sandwich. An orange light comes on to indicate that the plates are heating up, and once the correct temperature has been reached a green light comes on so you can see straight away when you need to pop the sandwich inside. The green light remains on for just a few minutes, which is enough time to toast the sandwich through, and once it's done the green light will turn off so you know that it's time to take the sandwich out and eat! There is a loud "click" noise that accompanies the light going on and off, so if you are pottering around the kitchen this helps to attract your attention. You can either lock the top plate into position which allows space underneath to toast an open top sandwich, or you can press the top plate down directly onto the top of the bread to get an extra toasty finish. The weight of the top section does press down onto the sandwich if you choose the latter option and it can cause the bread to compress somewhat, but it also gives the bonus of a more crisp texture to the bread, and makes any cheese filling melt more easily. The time between the green light going on and off is just enough to give perfect results, and it has never over-cooked or burned any of my sandwiches. The only slight negative comment I have is that it says you can toast 4 paninis at one time, however in reality you have to squish them in like sardines so the sides are all touching, and I find you get much better results when toasting them 2 at a time. I would rarely ever need to make more than 2 sandwiches at once, so this isn't really a problem for me most of the time.
The lower section has a raised lip around the edge of the hot plate, which keeps the sandwiches in place and stops anything from spilling out. After I have used the toaster I leave the top section wide open to help the plates cool down quickly, and then I simply wipe away any crumbs using a damp cloth. It is very easy to clean and takes no effort at all to keep the appliance in good condition. A handy tip is to scrape any bits of spilled melted cheese away while the plates are still hot, as it will be more difficult to remove once the plates have cooled and the cheese hardens and sticks to it. The plates have a non-stick finish and this appears to work very well as I've never had a sandwich stick to either side. I have noticed that some of the bread rolls I buy have a sprinkling of flour on the base which again helps to stop them sticking, but even when I use things like seed-topped paninis the bits do not stick to the plates.
The appliance comes with an instruction booklet which also includes a few recipe ideas, but really you can just use your imagination or stick with the old favourites. If you are using meat or fish as part of the filling, just remember that it must be pre-cooked as the sandwich toaster only heats the sandwich through and will not properly cook any of the ingredients inside. Some of my favourite panini sandwich fillings are: "pizza" which is slices of pepperoni layered with grated cheese, tuna and cheese (with olives if I have some in the fridge), chicken and cheese (great for using up leftover scraps of cooked meat). The café at my office makes a delicious one with roasted Mediterranean vegetables and mozzarella, which I have yet to recreate at home. Essentially pretty much any standard sandwich filling can be combined with cheese for a lovely melty hot filling.
A sandwich toaster is not really an essential item in terms of everyday kitchen requirements, but it really is a handy extra. I use it often when I want to prepare a quick and simple snack, especially through the winter months when I prefer to have hot meals at lunchtime instead of my usual cold pasta or salad. This Breville sandwich press is reliable, easy to use, easy to clean, and is perfect for making toasted panini sandwiches at home. I love mine and can definitely recommend it.
Everyone likes a toasted sandwich, but let's be honest - they may be delicious, but even though we all have a sandwich toaster in the back of the cupboard, we rarely get it out and use it. Why? - well that is easy, it is because they are so fiddly... having to lightly butter the bread on the outside so that it doesn't stick, trying to take the sandwiches out of the machine and the sandwich splits open when you are trying to gently ease it out - or even more typically, the toasted bread has actually stuck to the sandwich maker, so even if you can get the sandwich out, it will not be in one piece, the filling will be spilling out and the actual toaster becomes a nasty mess that when it cools down will be a nightmare to clean...
My hubby and I were out and about one afternoon and we stopped off at Starbucks for lunch.. I can't say that we are the most trendiest of couples.. we are certainly not at the front of the queue when it comes to buying new ideas - but we saw on the menu that you could have a toasted Panini, not something we have ever had before - but it didn't look scarey, so we went for it!
My opinion of the Panini, was overpriced and stingy on the filling.. but this is not a Starbucks review..but it was actually delicious and we sat in the coffee shop working out what we would have in one, if we were to make one ourselves..
The next thing we knew we were hotfooting it to Argos to see how much the Panini machines were! We were pleasantly surprised, the Breville one that we bought was around the £35 mark, this was about eight years ago, so I would assume that there are better, cheaper deals to be had now.
It was just so easy to use... a wipe clean, stainless steel cover, which when you open up it reveals a flat hotplate base and a hotplate lid - be aware, absolutely scorching hot when heated up!
The lid does not clip into place, it just rests on the top of the sandwich..
There is room on this hotplate to make two toasted sandwiches, from typical-size sliced bread, or if you were to buy Panini type rolls then there would be possibly room for four.
Instructions could not be simpler... turn machine on, allow to warm up, place sandwiches/Panini rolls on the hot tray, close the lid - check on the sandwich in a minute or two..
Panini machines are so much easier than the old traditional sandwich makers, they are very easy to clean after use (obviously make sure that the hot plates have cooled down) food/bread does not stick to the surfaces.. 100% success every time.
My personal Panini favourite is traditional, cheese and tomato, sometimes with ham... delicious, you really cannot go wrong.
We have also discovered that you can use this hot plate for cooking.. my hubby is known to griddle bacon on there.. it is a little mucky though as there is nowhere for the fat to drain.. we heat through other items on it too - Hot Dog Sausages for example, Naan bread, toasted tea cakes, crumpets.. A very versatile machine - and one that gets regularly used, unline the old sandwich toaster.
Eight years on and still works a treat..
We received this sandwich press a couple of years ago as a Christmas present. At first I thought it would probably be one of those gadgets which ended up being shoved in the kitchen cupboard and never used, but as it turns out it's one of the most frequently used gadgets in our kitchen.
Looking around online, it seems this model is a little difficult to get hold of these days, although there are similar Breville sandwich makers online for around £30, and these look like they have the same features but are just a newer model.
The sandwich press is a cross between a toastie maker and a George Foreman grill. It is designed to make toasted sandwiches, but not in the same way as those sandwich makers you get where you are restricted to the size of the bread because it has ready-made compartments for it. This sandwich maker allows you to make paninis and ciabattas, and you can either just lightly toast the bread or have an open sandwich with melted toppings depending on how low you have the lid.
The base of the sandwich press is flat, allowing you to use whatever type of bread you choose. The lid has a hinge which can be locked, so you can either have the lid touching the top of the bread, or you can position it further away so it's just melting the toppings (this works well with cheese).
The sandwich maker is very easy to use. You simply plug it in and a light comes on to tell you it's on. Then another light to the side of this light comes on to tell you it's up to the right temperature. The temperature isn't adjustable, but you can adjust the heat by moving the lid either closer or further away.
I think the main advantage of this device over traditional compartmentalised sandwich makers, is that you have greater flexibility regarding what you can make. We have used normal bread, paninis, ciabattas, bread rolls, and each time you get a different result. We often have open toasties with tuna and cheese as sometimes a full toastie is just too much bread for me.
The other advantage of this machine, is that it is an absolute doddle to clean. The base is flat so it only requires a gentle wipe with a damp cloth. You're not supposed to scrub with a pan scrubber as this can damage the surface, but to be honest unless you forget it's on and burn the cheese (which has happened to me a couple of times!), it doesn't tend to get very dirty and is just surface grease. I wipe this with the soft side of the pan scrubber, with a little washing up liquid, and then dry with some kitchen roll. The plates are non-stick, so even if you get a bit of burnt crispy cheese, it does come off very easily so it's very easy to maintain.
The device is a nice size which doesn't take up too much space in the cupboard. It has a place for the cord to be stored underneath too which is good because I hate it when the cords get wrapped round everything in the cupboard. In terms of what you can fit on the plates, we can usually fit four paninis, or if you're using full sized bread, you'll only get two slices on it. As there's only two of us, this isn't an issue, but beware if you have a large family you'll end up doing these in batches.
The only slight niggle with the device is that the cord could be a little longer. Once it's plugged in, there's limited scope for moving it very far and if you have limited workspace this can be a bit annoying. But overall, it's such a useful product I have to give it five stars.
The Breville TR39 Sandwich Press is a practical and very useful addition to your home - you'll find yourself using it almost every day! The toasted sandwiches it produces are fantastic and you can save money from purchasing café-style food and instead purchase nicer breads to toast in the press.
When I bought this sandwich press, I was impressed by how it was able to take all different sizes of bread (such as foccacias, breakfast muffins, crumpets and oven rolls) and even be able to be stabilised (fixed) above the bread for that extra light toasting. I find I can fill up the sandwich with lots of ingredients too - so that you get a real "meal" out of it. The plates are large enough to hold two large sized sandwiches at once.
There's no need to butter the bread when you put it in - the non-stick surface is good for dissuading sticking. Occasionally there will be a slight bit of bread stick to the plates, just scrape it off with a frypan scraper (don't use metal or it will scratch your surface) and then wash it with hot water when the press has cooled.
Beware of putting cheese in a sandwich which overhangs the edges of the bread - you'll get a good melting cheese effect but it is a bit harder to get off when it sticks to the plates! Lots of scrubbing and hot water removes it, but don't use steel wool or you'll scratch the surface!
The Breville TR39 has a chrome exterior and heats up to the right temperature fairly quickly. There are some lights which show that the power is on and another one which shows that it is at temperature and ready to use.
Make sure you create a permanent space on the bench for this machine - it can be a little heavy to move and you'll use it often enough to keep it out! If you like toasted sandwiches from cafes, save yourself tons of money on buying takeaways and buy the Breville TR39 instead. I've never looked back since my purchase and it's quicker to make toasted sandwiches in this than to queue up behind everyone else!
Tip: Write down what's in your favourite café sandwiches and then make them at home with this press.
For example, my favourite toasty is avocado spread on large foccacia, with baby spinach leaves, chicken pieces, a hint of cranberry sauce and sliced camembert with capers.
To get chicken pieces, roast chicken Maryland in the oven, allow to cool and pull bits off the bone in small pieces. The chicken can be used for about 4 days with this method.
My sister bought us this for Christmas a few years ago and I have to say it is so much better than the usual sandwich machines.
The machine is quite alot larger than your average sandwich toaster and is made from black plastic and metal and has two large non stick 'floating' plates. The outside has a very shiny finish which drives me insane because it always gets covered in fingerprints and I end up polishing them off all the time. There is also space underneath the machine so that you can wind the cord up for neat storage although you have to wait until it cools down before doing this. The sandwich press has a latch on the side for different height settings which go from toast to melt and it also has a locking position for when you have finished using it.
Since getting this fabulous piece of equipment, I haven't used my sandwich toaster or in fact the regular toaster since, so although it takes up more space than your average sandwich toaster - I found that it also replaced the regular toaster as well so it meant less clutter and wires on the kitchen side and it looks really stylish and modern too.
We use it almost daily for toast, crumpets, paninis, wraps, fruited tea cakes and it warms up so quickly and is so handy and convenient. After owning one of these, I wouldn't want to go back to a usual sandwich toaster as you can do so much more with this. The only problem we have encountered with this machine is that the wire is a little bit stiff and can sometimes be touching the back of the machine while its in use, but if you make sure you check it's out of the way before use, there won't be any problems. We have forgotten a few times and it has melted slightly.
The hot plates are very easy to clean, all I do is give them a wipe with a damp cloth when it is still warm (not hot) and it is as good as new again, ready to be used again next time.
Certainly worth getting one of these, once you have tried one and realised the endless possibilites, you won't ever go back to the usual sandwich toaster!
If you've ever tried to clean a normal "toasted sandwich" machine you'll appreciate what an unpleasant chore it can be. I've used several, including some with removable plates which supposedly makes them easier to clean but in fact just gives the filling a better chance of getting into the workings of the machine, rendering it almost impossible to clean.
With this stylish Breville sandwich press, cleaning is easy - just wipe the two plates, and you're done.
Another problem with the "conventional" sandwich toaster is the mess and fiddliness that comes from having to butter the outside of the sandwich. This can also leave the sandwich greasy.
With this that's all out of the window - just make the sandwich as you would normally, put it in, and a couple of minutes late its done, and the outside is grease-free. If you have cheese in the filling there's no need to use butter at all.
You can also use this machine to make open top sandwiches (the top plate can be locked so it doesn't touch the sandwich) which gives you more options to explore.
Breville is one of those names that you hear and expect quality from but would it really make a difference with something so simple as a sandwich press?
This sandwich press looks fantastic and has excellent design features for something so simple and it is the little touches like this that make it feel worth the £30 you paid.
I purchased this product as I wanted a device that would give a variety of options for doing hot sandwich types and due to this products flat plates and that you can set the height of the top press if you don't want to apply all of the pressure and weight to the top of your food you can easily do great panninis, wraps and toasties (either 2 slices or leave the top open a bit for single slice with topping) without spending ages waiting for it to be ready as this heats up quickly.
The press will hold about 2 large wraps without you having to push things about and make space (any more than this and I think you will be crowding too much on).
The press has a small black turn key on the side of one of the handles and if you are looking to have the press open when cooking something then just tighten the key when at the height you want for it to lock it at the height you set.
Overall this product is excellent value for money that offers up a variety of different options for making the humble sandwich something more exciting. The machine feels very well made and thanks to its plates heating up quickly you can make your foods quickly and easily which can in turn help you have healthier snacks.
Now.... I never used our toastie machine for a long time, it was mainly used by my other half when he could not be bothered to cook anything himself. So the day I decided I would make a toastie, i was disgusted to find the leftover cheese and mould that had obviously not been cleaned properly the last time!!! In the bin it went.
I had some argos vouchers that were due to expire so got this sandwich maker for half the price I would have normally paid for it. Because there are no little grooves in the heating element, it is much easier to clean, and the filling does not go everywhere!
It does take up quite a bit of bench space when laid flat in use but it has feet so that you can store it upright very neatly in a cupboard. The top plate is 'floating' which means it can rest lightly on top of the sandwich/panini/toasie that you are making whichmakes it ideal for 'melting' cheese in sandwiches rather than compressing it.
Also because of the flat heating element it can be used to make panini's but note it does take a long time to cool so ensure this is the case before putting it away.
Another nice surprise was the recipe idea booklet that i found enclosed in the box. There is more ideas than sticking with simply cheese or tuna. It is easy to follow and makes more uses from it.
To summarise it can be cleaned easily and now I have a use from it. Even though I had discount, the full price was reasonable anyway (I would of paid it), and it is something we use now more frequently, due to the versatility of it. It is worth its weight in gold!
~ A Sandwich Press ~
There I was, making a toasted cheese sandwich in my 10-year-old toasted sandwich maker, when I went to take it out.
Unfortunately it was stuck everywhere! It was a right mess, and even careful attempts to get it out without it all collapsing on me were a disaster.
So I had to finally concede that it was time for this trusty machine to be binned.
But what to get as a replacement? We love our toasted sandwiches, and after some looking around it was decided to go for the Breville TR39 Sandwich press.
~ The Difference between a sandwich press and toaster ~
Well basically it all comes down to the hinges. A sandwich toaster has fixed hinges and allows you to use regular bread, which it then turns into a toasted sandwich using either one or two compartments. It also means your not as restricted in the slice of bread in overall size (often our old machine wouldn't take more than a small loaf slice).
These Sandwich presses are more versatile since they have floating hinges that allow for thicker bread like ciabata, panini and focaccia. Great if like us you enjoy a variation on the toasted sandwich dream.
~ The Toasted Sandwich ~
The first noticeable difference between this and the toasted sandwich maker is there are no compartments that the bread fits into. This also means you don't get the edges sealed in the same way, nor do you have the sandwich "sealed" in half.
I admit I was a little concerned that the sandwich might end up spilling its contents all over the place, but we found this hasn't been an issue in the way that the hinged top works. In fact, there is very little spillage at all and we don't think there has been anymore than we used to get from the old sandwich toaster.
The bottom plate does have a slightly upturned edge, so even if there is some spillage it's often neatly contained anyway and so you don't get an oozy mess everywhere else. This could also be a problem with the old toaster, especially around the hinges area and it could be a nightmare to clean down. Not so with this machine.
You have two main lights, one to indicate it is turned on, and the other to let you know it is up to temperature. Both are easily visible and it seems to heat up in a similar time to the old toaster, which means its pretty quick and you don't waste time hanging around waiting for it.
The old toaster required that you buttered the side of bread being placed down on the plates before. With this device, buttering is optional (great for those who have to watch the diet) and there is little difference between sandwiches made with or without buttered sides.
You can even do basic toast slices if you want to in this.
The top hinge can be "fixed" into position allowing you to also use this to have toasted open sandwiches. This is a great option for Cheese on toast or for something slightly different.
It also sits on four good sized non-slip feet, so it is nicely secure on the counter top when using it.
~ Other points ~
Some of you are already aware that I suffer with arthritis. This sandwich press has also come with one unexpected bonus for me as an arthritis sufferer. Before I would rely on my partner to put the front clip on the old toaster down into place - with this machine you don't have a front clip, which means I can do a sandwich from start to finish, and if for some reason my partner isn't around I don't have to wait for them to come back before being able to use it.
The cleaning down of the machine is simplicity itself. A simple wipe of a damp cloth is always enough, and again because of the hinge design it allows much better access than the old sandwich toaster did to clean.
The non-stick coating on the top and bottom plates seems to be good quality and so far nothing has stuck, and it's all wiped down well afterwards once it has cooled down slightly.
The design has a nice chrome finish to it, and it wouldn't look out of place in a café somewhere. You also have locking storage clip slides that lock plates closed for upright storage, and you can also wind the cable up, so if you are pressed for counter top space, this really does fit away in a cupboard neatly until you need to use it.
Are there any flaws? Well not really. The worse thing I can say about it is the plates do take a little while to cool down, and while we don't have children this might be something those with "little people and sticky mitts" might have to take into consideration after using it.
~ Sandwich Ideas ~
The versatility of the press allows you to think about a wide variety of sandwiches, and so far our favourites are:
Goat's Cheese and Roasted Peppers.
Char Grilled Chicken with Oyster Sauce and Spring Onions (on Panini).
The standard Melted Cheese! (Hey its basic but still unbeatable at times).
Mozzarella, Fresh Tomatoes and Fresh Basil (also great with ciabata, panini or focaccia breads).
If you (like my partner) have a sweet tooth, then you can also try some different ideas.
Toasted Chocolate and banana Panini (Use a chocolate spread).
Great for chocolate croissants or chocolate filled Brioche.
~ In summary ~
Easy clean, no-stick plates
Rapid heat-up and high temperature
Vertical storage and cord wrap to save on space
Power on and ready to cook indicators
Non-slip feet for safety
Price is on average £29-99 from various outlets including Tesco and Argos.
We love the sandwich press, and would say to anyone who loves toasted sandwiches of any kind to ditch your old Sandwich maker in favour of this sandwich press.
A full five out five stars.
Short name: Breville TR39