“ Brand: Igenix / Type: Sandwich Toaster „
Every year in my office we collect up the corporate gifts given to us from suppliers and raffle them off for chairty, at Christmas. This year I was lucky enough to win a sandwich toaster and the model that I won was the Igenix G3298JUN11 2 Sandwich Toaster in white. The unit is packed in a box with a slim instruction manual. Before use I gave the toaster a wipe and turned it on with a little bit of oil as recommended. This helps burn off any nasties that may have been left behind after the manufacturing process. The sandwich toaster is a very basic model. It has no switches and just needs to be plugged in at the wall, and the wall switch on. A red light will come on to show that it has been plugged in/on. If you wait patiently for a couple of minutes then a blue light will come on and you are ready to go. There are two sandwich plates here so you can make two sarnies at a time. Before I got this I used to make only one (using the oven grill), but now I tend to eat two at a time. I place two slices of buttered bread on the bottom plates, butter side down as recommended in the instructions, add my cheese (I always make it with cheese) and top it off with two other slices of bread, butter side up. I close the lid, fasten the toaster shut (it has a little hook) and Doug's your uncle (I don't have an Uncle Bob). There is not timer, so don't wander too far and pop back a few minutes later (depending on how well done you like your toasties) and open it up. The unit has a 'cool handle' so opening it up is simple. I scoop out the hot sandwiches with a plastic spatula so as not to scratch the cooking plates and I now have a delicious cheese toastie for my lunch. The unit is easy to clean. After it has cooled down I just wipe it with a clean, damp cloth. Any melted cheese that has escaped seems to solidify and can be brushed off, it doesn't seem to stick thus not requiring any effort on my part. Whilst I do love having a toasted sandwich for a weekend lunch, the unit has a few disadvantages. Firstly the lack of on/off switch means I have to remember to turn the unit off at the wall when I have finished it. Sometimes I forget - fortunately never for long. Whilst the unit makes diagonal indents in your sandwiches it doesn't cut them and cutting a piping hot sandwich is not that easy, even using the indentations as a guide. I usually make a pig's ear of this and end up with half torn sarnies. With different sizes of bread I am not sure putting a pre-cut slice on would work. The unit is basic and small, sometimes with a chunkier than normal slice of bread and a generous layer of cheese means it only just shuts. I would be concerned about putting in other fillings as it would be difficult to shut. If a basic sandwich maker is what you are looking for then this is worth considering. It retails on Amazon and Tesco for around £19.
I faced the daunting task last September of having to move away from home to go to university. Most aspects of this transition excited me - I would finally get some independence, be able to go where I want, when I want and not have to explain to anyone what I had been doing. One aspect that didn't excite me was the prospect of having to cook for myself every single day. It wasn't that I couldn't cook, I could, I was more concerned about how much time and effort cooking seemed to take, and I knew that I would much rather be out with my friends somewhere than cooking. In this respect, I honestly believe that this toasted sandwich maker has saved my life. As a student, I find myself spending as little money on food as possible. I was buying 50p loaves of bread and expecting them to taste as good as the Kingsmill my parents used to stock the cupboards with. The 40p Sainsburys basic mozzarella ball didn't quite compare to the mature cheddar I was used to. I was not used to shopping for myself at all, let alone shopping on the tight budget of a student - you can buy enough food to not be hungry on £7 a week, but you are not going to be eating like a King. It was when I was on the phone to my parents that they suggested the idea of a sandwich maker. I bought this sandwich maker on eBay for about £15, which might not seem a lot to many people, but being my food budget for the next two weeks, I was hoping it would be good, and I was definitely not disappointed! Even the cheapest of foods taste so much better once they have been warmed up or toasted. My cheap bread now made a sandwich that tasted to me almost as sophisticated as the posh sandwiches and paninis you could get in Costa. When you first plug the sandwich maker in, a light comes on to say that it is warming up. A second light then comes on to say that it is ready to start making the sandwich. I was impressed at how quickly it heats up, it is ready within 2-3 minutes. Once ready, you put the bread in, then put the fillings on top of the bread, then put the second piece of bread on the top, and close the sandwich maker. The only thing I would say is that you have to be careful not to overfill the sandwich, as then the sandwich maker becomes very difficult to close. I imagine using thick bread in the sandwich maker would also be difficult as it would make it hard to close, although as 50p bread is definitely not thick, I can't really comment on this. You then only have to leave the sandwich in the machine for a further 2-3 minutes depending on how well you like your bread toasted. When you take it out, it has been indented with grooves in the bread which makes it really easy to cut the sandwich into two triangle shaped pieces - and makes it look much more appetizing. After use, I find it easier to clean the machine as soon as it has cooled down, as it makes it much easier to clean. The hot plates in the machine are non-stick, which helps to clean it. On the whole I would say that this sandwich maker is perfect, especially for people living on a budget or who are pushed for time.
Short name: Igenix IG3298JUN11