Professional Panini Press.

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by pierreblack, Oct 25, 2012.

  1. pierreblack

    pierreblack

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    Im in the process of opening up a take away panini business and have just bought a commercial grade panini press. The problem is the sandwich/panini's take a very long time to cook. There taking 4 to 6 minutes to have heated and melted the cheese and toppings sufficiently. I  have conducted tests on a few different models and there was no difference in the timing.  My business is take away. So the sandwiches need to be cooked within 3 minutes max.

    I have a george foreman at home and this will cook the exact same sandwiches in 2 minutes! I really dont know what to do, I ve spent a lot of money on this machine and now since it has been used it is second hand. 

    I am very interested to hear from anybody that has worked with these wretched machines in a professional capacity and could provide some much needed insight.

    At this stage I am considering bringing the old georgie foreman into work with me!

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    Can you "start" the sandwich on the grill or in a pan covered with a SS bowl to speed things up?

    Not enough to color, just so the middle gets warm.

    mimi
     
  3. smork

    smork

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    nuke it first
     
  4. greg

    greg

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    We did cubans at the baseball stadium I worked at and had the same issue. We had to run the sandwich through the press, then opened it up and put it in the oven to heat through. I'm pretty sure that won't fit the 3 minute time you're aiming for, though.
     
  5. colombochute

    colombochute

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    Cooking time depends on temperature. I am using a Waring model right now in my restaurant, and I obtain best results with a temperature set around 380 F. To my knowledge, anything 350 and 420 F is a good temperature for paninis.

    The more you increase the cooking temperature, the quicker your panini will be ready, however also the more likely it will be to get dry or even burn.

    The only reason I see for your Foreman to cook faster is because it is set at a higher temperature.

    If you want to maximize the efficiency of your machine, make sure to pre-heat sufficiently (for the Waring, at least30 mins), and to minimize the time during which the press is open during operation (heat loss is quite high and temperature will fall rapidly). You might gain some time by taking these 2 points into account.

    In any case, IMO it seems difficult to correctly cook a panini in less than 4-5 mins.
     
  6. pierreblack

    pierreblack

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    Thanks for the input guys. I have some good quality george foremans I sourced for a fraction of the price as my commercial machine. I figure if I get 6 months out of them it will be worth it.  

    Thanks again.
     
  7. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    What are you gonna do with the commercial press?

    mimi
     
  8. pierreblack

    pierreblack

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    I can use it for some other jobs around the kitchen for the moment. But I intend to sell it eventually.
     
  9. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    Your friendly health inspector may have something to say about using non NSF equipment in a commercial kitchen...
     
  10. jstephen

    jstephen

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    We are a small bistro that currently make our grilled cheese sandwiches (5-6 per day) on the range in frying pans. Cooking one side and then the other occupies frying pans which we need for other dishes and takes too long. To overcome this, we just purchased a new Waring WPG250 commercial sandwich press with flat plates.

    Having never used a sandwich press, we were wondering, to overcome the 30-min it takes to warm, do we keep it on all day and if so, do we keep it closed while on. We have a commercial waffle maker that we keep on all day but open. Not sure what we need to do with our sandwich press.
     
  11. colombochute

    colombochute

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    Hi Stephen,

    Yes you need to keep the press closed as much as possible, this way the heat will be retained more easily, hence reducing the use of energy.

    I have the same machine in my restaurant. Honestly, it seems to me that it is a big press for only 5 or 6 sandwiches per day; especially if you have to keep it on all day, as this will increase quite a bit your electricity bill. Make sure to include this extra cost in your selling price, or (better) try to get other uses (more products?) for the press.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2013
  12. lornahara

    lornahara

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    I am having a similar problem.  The press makes awesome grilled cheese sandwiches and a few other things.  I own a small cafe and we serve soup, salads, sandwiches, quiche and pastries.  I do most of the main cooking and baking; but have a young man who makes sandwiches and assists me.  He complains that if I leave this on, he gets too hot.  If I turn it off, it takes 30 minutes to reheat. We don't use it for most things, but I do like using it for the few things it works well at (grilled cheese, precooked Chicken patties, etc). I previously was a "home cook" who enjoyed cooking and opened a cafe a year ago.  I could write a book on our experiences (many have told me to consider it.  I love writing and this has been a nightmare-staff, venders, customers, etc).  I appreciate any help you can give me!
     
  13. jstephen

    jstephen

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    Thanks for the input. My next challenge is getting it to not squish the sandwiches down so much. We like a high, thick sandwich. Thinking of placing a piece of metal that is at the correct height between the press when we make our sandwiches. Thanks again for your help.
     
  14. jsinvancouver

    jsinvancouver

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    I have been microwaving my sandwiches then grilling for 3 minutes... Feedback from consumers have been positive.
     
  15. chef diana

    chef diana

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    Just a test.
     
  16. chef diana

    chef diana

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    Greeting from ILLINOIS. Found this website today. Can't wait to gain some knowledge from you all.