If you really want to keep your panini press clean and in working order, then you really should be cleaning it after every use. Why? Consistent cleaning will prevent any sort of stubborn residue from forming on the plates. And, if you’ve ever had to really get at non-removable plates on your press or sandwich maker, then you know what kind of a pain in the butt that can be.
STOP! In the Name of Non-Stick Coating
Avoid going after your panini press with any kind of chemicals, scrubbers, Brillo, or scouring pad! You’re liable to really damage the non-stick coating on the plates. I did this once on an old sandwich maker and oye…every time I made a grilled cheese sandwich half of it wound up stuck to the machine.
Step by Step
- Unplug the machine. Make sure it’s completely cool.
- Wipe away crumbs and any oily leftovers/residue with a damp paper towel.
- With a non-abrasive sponge, warm water and some dish soap go ahead and scrub the surface of those panini plates.
- Pay attention to grooves, edges, and slits where oil and crumbs can build up, get caught, and hide out.
If you got seriously gunked on gunk then you can do this: Take a chop stick and wrap it in a dish clothe and with the same soapy water you can really get into the grooves and put some pressure on that gunk.
Avoid using cooking sprays on your panini maker to avoid build up. Instead, try a VERY light coat of olive oil brushed on.