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I've probably been eating toasted sandwiches since about 1970 something, when we first owned a sandwich maker they were really seen as the height of exoticism and I remember trying out all sorts of weird and wonderful combinations.
Prior to picking up this sandwich maker for a bargain £14.99 I had owned a Breville for about 10 years, but the clip had broken and it was looking a bit sorry for itself. When I spotted this model in Morrisons I thought it would be worth a try (you can also buy it from Amazon for £19.99).
The sandwich maker consists of two hot plates, into which you insert your sandwich. The manual with this machine told me that I didn't have to butter my sandwich on the outside unless I wanted it to be crispy, and gave me quite clear instructions. This maker, like others I have owned, requires you to switch it on and wait for the green light to come on, a red light shows you that it is switched on.
The design of this maker is different from others, there is no handle and it is rather sleek looking for such a low price appliance, with a rather jazzy silver paint on it. The inside is non-stick and seals and cuts the sandwiches, this model takes 2 rounds of sandwiches, but there is also a 4 sandwich version available.
As I said earlier my previous maker, a Breville, had a handle and clip that went round it, which broke. There is no handle here, you push the maker down and there is an internal latch which clips into place. I thought this would be good as nothing to break, however on use I have found that it is rather awkward to close. You have to push down in a hamfist manner on the black section and somehow it just isn't intuitive or easy to do. There is nothing to break though, once clicked into place it is fine, and it does heat up quickly, being 700w.
As for the sandwiches themselves they are as good as any I have made, and the non stick works well. I tend to find that you can tell the sandwich is cooked as it starts to steam, but you can check whether it is done fairly easily by pressing on the latch under then unit and opening it up to peek.
Cleaning wise - the plates don't remove for cleaning, as I believe they do on more expensive models, however I don't find this too much of a problem, I just give the plates a good wipe.
For the price this is a good little machine, the lead could be a little more generous and doesn't stow easily, but overall it works well and the appliance stores easily; it is 25 x 24.5 and 9cm high. The non slip feet ensure that the machine sits comfortably on your worktop.
I have given this machine 4 stars solely for the fact that I don't like the way it closes, and there is no way of changing the heat setting, but at the price I paid I really can't complain.
The maker comes with a one year manufacturer's warranty. Recommended if you are looking for a basic machine.
The SM435 is a 2 Slice SandwichMaker from Kenwood / It has unique and modern design / It has diagonal sandwich divider on plates for easy sectioning of sandwiches / It has discrete interlock handle / It has a non-stick sandwich plates for easy removal of sandwiches / It has a power on light showing that the unit is on and heating up / It has temperature ready light making it easy to see that the internal temperature is ready for cooking / It has rubberized feet for added stability on the work surface / Short name: Kenwood SM435