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How to make Perfectly Grilled Sandwiches without a Cafe-Style Press

Grilled Sandwiches can be easily made at home without a Cafe-Style Press and you probably have just the right tool in your kitchen…

Recently I read this article about 10 most useless kitchen appliances. It made me laugh because, it’s so true… We all have one, don’t we?! My Mum has one of those Home Rotisseries. She stores it in the cellar and uses it maybe once a year… Personally, I’m just as guilty! I used to have a blender that was only ever used once, a fondue set gifted to me that I ended up selling on eBay and an unused deep fryer that, well, I think I sold at a garage sale for $5.

Having said that, I think that one machine that will never make it onto that list is the cafe-style sandwich press. We have 2 actually. A jaffle maker for making sealed toastie triangles and a straight cafe-style press – which is great for toasting non-square sourdoughs.  I use mine quite a lot to make toasted sandwiches for lunch, grilled haloumi to snack on or even cook bacon and eggs on if I run out of space on the stove… This was my lunch yesterday made in the press. Speaking of press, if you look closely you’ll see me and my pumpkin soup recipe in the other press (p.22)!

But how do you make Perfectly Grilled Sandwiches without a Cafe-Style Press? 

Don’t panic. And if you’re stuck for counter and cupboard space don’t buy one. You probably have the right tool, right there in your kitchen: a fry-pan! Yes, you can achieve almost exactly the same result using the more traditional method of a small fry-pan and said stove.

For an even more authentic “pressed” look you might also need a small saucepan to weigh the sandwich down and for the very fashionable grilled look swap your frypan for a grill pan. But that’s just aesthetics. To be honest, it’s so simple to make,  that 10 sentences after saying never, I am beginning to wonder whether the cafe-style sandwich press will be met with the same fate as the electric can opener and the egg-and-toast-maker. And sooner than I thought…

Instructions: How to make Perfectly Grilled Sandwiches without a Cafe-Style Press

{1} Prepare your toasted sandwich as you would a normal one – fillings in between 2 slices of bread. My favourite is tuna, feta and capers. Yum. I digress.

{2}Spread about 1/2 teaspoon of butter or dairy-free spread on theoutside of the sandwich – this will give the bread a wonderful crust.

{3} Place fry-pan or grill-pan over small heat and allow to heat up for a minute.

{4} Place your sandwich in the pan and cook for 2 minutes on each side {&5} each time top with a square of baking paper and weigh down with a small saucepan to get that cafe-style pressed effect.

{6} Slice and serve.

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Maureen (@OrgasmicChef) July 4, 2012 at 12:58 pm

I have a sandwich press and a jaffle maker too and neither are in the cellar. (I don’t have a cellar) I really like toasted sandwiches and your method makes a lot of sense

Lizzy (Good Things) July 4, 2012 at 1:03 pm


The Sundress Chef July 4, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Drooling! :) Thanks for the great tips!

Eha July 4, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Oh how I agree about all the kitchen paraphrenalia we are supposed to need and really don’t! Having a very small kitchen of late have been quite ruthless with mine! Actually have never had a sandwich press, but am used to variations on your theme :) ! I suppose coming from N Europe where one basically has open sandwiches most of the time, the need does not oft arise. Living alone [thus having many meals just pour madame] I love my small Ready-mix with all its whizzing attachments and adore my wok-like titanium frypan which can act as anything from grill to pot to steamer :) ! Only needs a wipe too!

thelifeshemade July 4, 2012 at 3:04 pm

I have a sandwich press and I do this all the time because my kitchen storage situation is terrible and getting the press out from under a whole bunch of other clutter is a chore.

i stick my pestle and mortar in the small frying pan on top, it makes an excellent weight.

Martyna @ Wholesome Cook July 4, 2012 at 4:03 pm

That’s a great tip too! Thanks.

Anna @ The Littlest Anchovy July 4, 2012 at 3:38 pm

Thank you for this! I have been trying to decide weather to get a jaffle maker or a press and this blog post has made my decision for me! Jaffle it is!

rsmacaalay July 4, 2012 at 4:42 pm

This is what I needed, I never had a sandwich press but always wanted to make grilled ones. Thanks for the info

frugalfeeding July 5, 2012 at 3:25 am

That’s a great idea! they certainly look tasty! I don’t have a sandwich press… but then, I really like uncooked sandwiches. Besides, in Britain we tend to grill sandwiches under the grill :D

annashortcakes July 5, 2012 at 5:53 am

Lovely photos…. makes me hungry. :)

Mez July 5, 2012 at 9:44 am

I LOVE a toasted sandwich and it’s the perfect weather for them at the moment. Our current sandwich press is far too small, we use your method for bigger slices of bread. Lovely! xox

Nami | Just One Cookbook July 5, 2012 at 6:55 pm

I bought a panini press because my kids back then didn’t like cold sandwiches (it was headache!). I used it so many times that we probably it was worth it, but you have a very good tip here for someone who is occasionally making it. Looks delicious!!

Courtney July 6, 2012 at 6:12 am

We all adore grilled cheeses around here – and have been known to use the frying pan trick, too!

Inka July 7, 2012 at 11:38 pm

i like sandwich like this one :) looks so tasty :)))

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[…] In Poland we normally have our sandwiches open, one slice of bread topped with a heap of deliciousness. It works well for a sit down brunch and I love toasting them in the oven, like you would pizza. We also make plenty of toasties. Here are a few ideas you might like to try. Check out also this post on how to Make a Grilled Sandwich without a Cafe-style Press. […]

Sgt Kirk May 2, 2016 at 12:43 am

You’ve just explained how to make a toasted sandwich? Am I missing something….?


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