DASH Mini Portable Panini Press and Grill

Last updated date: February 10, 2020

DWYM Score

DASH Mini Portable Panini Press and Grill

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We looked at the top Panini Presses and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Panini Press you should buy.

Overall Take

If you're looking for a compact grill you can take anywhere, the DASH Mini Portable Panini Press and Grill is the appliance to choose. It's designed to cook for one, although you can make multiple paninis if you don't need them to be ready all at once. It's also very lightweight and compact, which means you can take it with you when you travel. In our analysis of 24 expert reviews, the DASH DASH Mini Portable Panini Press and Grill placed 6th when we looked at the top 8 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note May 5, 2020:
Checkout The Best Panini Press for a detailed review of all the top panini presses.

Expert Summarized Score
2 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
1,035 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
For under $15, this mini model from Dash is a dorm room or first apartment must. Great for cooking for one, you can whip up a better-than-average grilled cheese in no time.
- Good Housekeeping
Very affordable. Incredibly lightweight and compact.
- Whit's Amuse Bouche
What experts didn't like
While it's cute-factor is off the charts, don't expect too much in terms of bells and whistles — it doesn't have On/Off switch, timer or temperature control. Plus, since it doesn't have grease tray, our Lab pros say it's best to only use it for lean cuts of meat.
- Good Housekeeping
Too small to cook bigger food items
- Whit's Amuse Bouche

From The Manufacturer

Craving a slider or zucchini burger? with the Dash mini maker grill, you can make single serve dishes in less than three minutes. The nonstick surface allows you to perfectly cook and Brown whatever is it you make, and is a fun activity for both adults and kids! Unprocess your food with the recipe book that is included with purchase, and gain access to our database of thousands of recipes for free!

Overall Product Rankings

Cuisinart 5-in-1 Griddler
1. Cuisinart 5-in-1 Griddler
Overall Score: 9.3
Expert Reviews: 4
George Foreman Grill and Panini Press
2. George Foreman Grill and Panini Press
Overall Score: 9.0
Expert Reviews: 2
Hamilton Beach Electric Panini Press Grill
3. Hamilton Beach Electric Panini Press Grill
Overall Score: 8.9
Expert Reviews: 4
Breville Duo 1500-Watt Nonstick Panini Press
4. Breville Duo 1500-Watt Nonstick Panini Press
Overall Score: 8.8
Expert Reviews: 3
iSiLER Panini Press Grill
5. iSiLER Panini Press Grill
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 3
DASH Mini Portable Panini Press and Grill
6. DASH Mini Portable Panini Press and Grill
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 2
OVENTE Electric Panini Press Grill
7. OVENTE Electric Panini Press Grill
Overall Score: 8.2
Expert Reviews: 1
IMUSA Electric Panini Press
8. IMUSA Electric Panini Press
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 3

An Overview On Panini Presses

Paninis may just be the perfect food. More than a sandwich, they combine the taste of the grill with the ease of stacking items between two slices of bread. They may have first become popular in Italy, but Americans have embraced paninis as a quick meal option for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack.

For a good panini, though, you’ll need a grill that can tackle the job competently. Panini presses bring the grill experience indoors, letting you get those char marks that you’d normally only have on a commercial cooktop or an outdoor grill. Today’s panini presses go beyond making sandwiches, though. With some, you can also cook eggs, pancakes, quesadillas and more.

One important feature to keep in mind, though, is the size of your chosen grill. If you’re in a dorm room or studio apartment, you may need a smaller press that you can tuck away in a drawer or cabinet when you aren’t using it. Smaller presses also are easier to transport.

But some larger presses have expanded grill surfaces, which means you can make multiple sandwiches at once. You can also use some presses for cooking items like eggs and pancakes, making them handy for feeding houseguests. However, you’ll need to make sure you have a place to store something that large in between uses.

DWYM Fun Fact

Paninis traditionally have been loaded with cured meats like ham, along with cheese. But don’t feel limited by classic recipes. In recent years, chicken spinach and mozzarella and tomato paninis have become increasingly popular, both requiring their own extra ingredients and a little extra preparation. To make a proper panini, though, you’ll need the right kind of bread. Flavored bread can add a little something extra to your panini. In fact, ciabatta bread is the most popular, but you can also use focaccia bread for delicious results. If you’re health-conscious, a whole grain baguette can make a great panini. The key is to use a weightier, hearty bread that retains its moisture during the grilling process.

The Panini Press Buying Guide

  • One factor missing in many small grills like panini presses is an on/off switch. This may not matter to you, as it simply means you’ll have to unplug the unit when you’re finished with it. However, it’s worth considering as you’re looking at features.
  • Temperature control is another missing feature with many panini presses. That means you won’t have control over how hot the surface gets, limiting what you can cook on the surface.
  • If your panini press comes with a lid, look to see if it has a latch that holds it in place when it’s lifted. Otherwise, you’ll have to keep a hand on it unless it’s in the closed position.
  • Some grill surfaces take longer to preheat than others. You may be looking at a preheat time of five minutes or more with some panini presses, making those that advertise a quick heat-up time much more attractive.
  • Paninis can be messy, especially if you include ingredients like cheese. To ease the cleanup process, look for a panini press that has removable plates. Bonus points if those plates are dishwasher safe.
  • Another factor in cleanup is that drippings can slip from the grill surface while cooking. There are grills that are designed specifically to drain fats and oils away from items that are cooking, which makes your food a little healthier. But whether your panini press drains off oils or not, look for one with a drip tray that can catch all these liquids to prevent a mess on your counter.