George Foreman Grill vs Panini Press: Which Is Better?

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When it comes to cooking indoors, there is no reason to feel like you are limited when it comes to your appliances.

We live in an increasingly industrial society, and better manufacturing means we access to versatile cooking devices such as personal electric grills, noodlers, and air fryers.

Two of the most popular specialty appliances currently on the market are the George Foreman Grill and the Panini press.

But which is better?

Our guide will help you see just who the winner is in the grudge match of the George Foreman Grill vs Panini press.

Similarities of the George Foreman Grill and the Panini Press

Before learning about each device, you might be wondering whether or not there are any actual similarities between these two appliances.

Although one is advertised as a grill and the other calls itself a press, there are a surprising number of equal features in both devices.

Healthy and Convenient Alternative

For example, both advertise themselves as being a healthy alternative to traditional heating and frying, which often involves adding extra oil and butter to meals.

Both are also powered by electricity.

They also are designed to be small and easy to handle in the crowded kitchen.

Finally, both are affordable alternatives to more expensive equipment, which could break the bank and make it difficult for you to get creative in the kitchen.

Types of Food You Can Cook

However, one of the greatest similarities between the George Foreman Grill and the Panini press is in the type of food you will be able to make and enjoy with each device.

While many associate the Panini press with just sandwiches, it has actually moved on to better and brighter things.

Both appliances are capable of toasting bread, but they also prepare meat, roast vegetables, and make it simple to create fantastic meals just by pushing a couple of buttons.

George Foreman Grill vs Panini Press

Let us now look at the differences between the two devices by looking into each of their descriptions, pros, and cons.

The George Foreman Grill

Besides being the source of tons of infomercials in the 1990s and the butt of numerous contemporary jokes, the George Foreman Grill is actually a solid cooking appliance that can be beneficial in any kitchen.

It has some basic characteristics, including an electric heating filament and a flat surface for griddling and cooking delicious food.

An added benefit of the design is that excess fat drips away into a separate container, which can be emptied and washed, helping people avoid unwanted calories in their diets.

But how does the George Foreman Grill stack up when compared to the ever-popular Panini press of the modern era?

The Pros

There are several key positives to consider when choosing whether or not the George Foreman Grill is right for you.

1. Reduced Fat

Unlike the Panini press, the George Foreman Grill helps reduce the fat in your meals so that you can keep better track of your calories and lose weight.

Excess fat, grease, and oil drip into a separate chamber away from your food, allowing you to enjoy treats like bacon with less guilt.

2. Flat Cooking Surface

Unlike the Panini press, the George Foreman grill has a flat and straightforward main cooking surface.

While the flatness might seem like a strange benefit, it’s important to consider that the heat will be evenly distributed across your food, ensuring an even cook with little to no burned areas.

3. Easy to Clean

One drawback to many modern appliances like the toaster is that they are challenging to clean.

Although the George Foreman Grill is electric, you can remove the main cooking surfaces to wash them by hand in the sink using soap and water.

On some grills, you can even pop the plates in the dishwasher without damaging the non-stick coating, resulting in less work for you.

4. Extra Attachments

Finally, the George Foreman Grill distinguishes itself from the Panini press by having room for growth.

What does this mean?

Unlike the Panini press, the George Foreman Grill has numerous optional attachments and accessories which allow you to be more creative and versatile in the food items you cook.

Some of the options currently available include griddles, folding second plates, and even muffin tins.

Why limit yourself when you could cook almost anything conceivable using a single appliance?

The Cons

Just as there are high points to the George Foreman Grill, there are also lows.

There are a couple of negative features that stand out about the grill, especially when compared to the Panini press.

1. No Traditional Grill Surface

The basic George Foreman grill does not have a traditional grill surface, so you will not get to enjoy the lines and crisp edges created by the press.

2. Healthy Does Not Equal Flavor

Another con is also one of the pros: elimination of excess fat and oil.

This is a con, as well, since it means you could be missing out on flavor in the long run.

3. Requires Attachments for Pressing

When compared to the Panini press, with the George Foreman Grill, you cannot actually press any food with it unless you are willing to buy additional equipment like a genuine meat press or a separate sheet of metal.

4. Attachments Cost Extra

Finally, you need to pay extra for all of the optional attachments, so you aren’t getting some of the most fun features as part of your original product.

george foreman grill vs panini press

The Panini Press

The Panini press started as a specific tool used to grill the sides of bread while making sandwiches, but its role in the kitchen has expanded exponentially.

Now, this device can be used to sauté and grill a broad range of food products, including bread, meat, and vegetables. 

Ultimately, the goal is to sear both sides of a meal to perfection using the two griddled sides to apply contact heat.

In many ways, the Panini press is similar to the basic George Forman Grill, but there are also a couple of key differences that make it stand out.

The Pros

The Panini press is closer to a griddle than a traditional press, although it does possess that amazing pressing action to heat both sides of your food.

Some of the benefits of using one include:

1. Grill Action

One of the most frequently cited pros is the presence of raised metal lines on either side of the device, resulting in the ever sought after grill lines and an even application of heat.

In just a few minutes, a high-quality Panini press can raise internal temperatures to their ideal number and keep food succulent and juicy.

2. Even Heating Surface

The other benefit is the Panini press has an even heating surface throughout because it uses electricity rather than standard methods like propane, charcoal, and wood chips.

3. Versatile Sizing

Finally, Panini presses come in numerous shapes and sizes, so it is easy to find a model that suits your cooking habits.

You never have to worry about your model choice being too small or too large since you will find more custom options in physical stores or online.

The Cons

As with any kitchen device, there are some negatives to using a Panini press.

1. Difficult to Heat Meat

One of the most important cons to consider is the difficulty in heating meat to the desired temperature since you can only use the press for shorter periods, as opposed to the George Foreman Grill.

2. Some Ingredients Stick

It is also easy to accidentally get cheese and other sticky substances stuck to the sides since not all Panini presses are non-stick and easy to clean.

3. Difficult to Clean

Finally, these devices can be difficult to wash.

Unlike the George Foreman Grill, you cannot pull apart a Panini press and wash the plates separately, and the device is definitely not safe for the dishwasher.

So, you might end up putting extra work into using this style of the device.

Which Is Better?

At the end of the day, the best device for you will be the one that better suits your needs and desires in the kitchen.

With that said, if you are looking for one of the most versatile handheld cookers on the market, you can’t go wrong with the George Foreman Grill.

It manages to beat out the Panini press by being more customizable, removing excess fat from the food, being easier to clean, and also having the capability of cooking meat to consumable temperatures.

On the other hand, the Panini press is ideal if you like preparing, serving, and eating hot sandwiches and rolls.


Choosing between similar kitchen appliances can be a difficult task, especially if you have limited space and a restricted budget.

In the contest between the George Foreman Grill vs Panini press, the victor is the George Foreman Grill because of its versatility and functionality.

You will be able to cook a broader range of food items and try out new recipes, can put the grill plates in the dishwasher, and also get to have fun with a non-stick surface.

But there is no reason why you can’t try out both appliances and see for yourself which one better suits your diet and lifestyle.

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