Product Type: Breville Sandwich Maker
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Create café style sandwiches in your own kitchen
Breville TR39 Sandwich Press
Member Name: Holland1
Breville TR39 Sandwich Press
Advantages: Easy to use, easy to clean, can make a variety of sandwiches, doesn't take up too much space
Disadvantages: Cord could be a little longer
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.
Summary: A versatile sandwich maker
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