Bready Or Not: The Complete Guide To Buying Sandwich Presses & Toasters

Bready Or Not: The Complete Guide To Buying Sandwich Presses & Toasters

The versatile sandwich press (also known as a sandwich maker) and humble toaster are essential kitchen appliances for making delicious, easy and cost-effective meals. With so many different models on the market, it can be tough to know which one is right for you. This guide will help you choose from the best toasters and sandwich presses available in Australia.

Find out about the different types of sandwich presses and toasters, the features to look out for, as well as the best brands and current models on the market. Learn how to use these appliances safely and effectively, and be inspired by the incredible variety of meals that can be prepared with these adaptable appliances.

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Types of sandwich presses

The two most popular and commonly-used styles of sandwich presses in Australia are:

Traditional sandwich press

The most common type of sandwich press. It features two hinged hot plates that are designed to toast any kind of bread, wrap, panini or roll, no matter what shape or size they are. This style of sandwich press may also be used as a general hot plate to cook all manner of foods that require grilling.

Jaffle maker

A jaffle maker or toastie maker is a type of sandwich press that is specifically designed to make jaffles. Jaffle makers are designed with ridges that create a waffle-like pattern on the bread and help to seal in the filling. Jaffle makers are typically made of cast iron or aluminium, and they come in a variety of sizes and shapes.

Both traditional sandwich presses and jaffle makers are available in two-slice and four-slice variations.

Why invest in a sandwich press?

  • Versatile, convenient & practical: For such a simple and compact appliance, the sandwich press packs a big punch in the kitchen. Not only are they convenient and easy for anyone to use, a sandwich grill press has the ability to quickly and evenly cook a huge variety of foods with minimal clean-up.
  • Helping you eat healthier: A sandwich press can help you make healthier sandwiches by allowing you to control the ingredients that you use. For example, you can use whole-wheat bread, lean protein, and low-fat cheese to make a healthier sandwich.
  • A fun and creative way to cook: A sandwich press can be a fun and creative way to cook, as you can experiment with different ingredients and combinations. This can help you make sandwiches and other meals that are both delicious and unique.

Features to look out for when buying a sandwich press

When choosing the best sandwich press for you, consider the functions that you may wish to utilise and check if they're available on that specific model. Key features to look out for include:

  • Removable plates: Look for a sandwich press with removable non-stick plates that can easily be cleaned. This feature makes it convenient to remove the plates and wash them separately.
  • Floating hinge: A sandwich press with a floating hinge can accommodate sandwiches of different thicknesses, ensuring even cooking and pressing.
  • Locking mechanism: A secure locking mechanism keeps the sandwich press closed while cooking, preventing any filling from leaking out and ensuring even pressure distribution.
  • Drip tray: A removable drip tray collects any excess grease or oil that may drip from the sandwich during cooking, making it easier to clean up.
  • Indicator lights: These lights indicate when the sandwich press has reached the desired temperature or when the sandwiches are ready, making it easier to monitor the cooking process.
  • Timer function & adjustable temperature: Some sandwich presses come with a built-in timer that allows you to set the desired cooking time and temperature. This feature can be handy for ensuring consistent results.
  • Safety features: Check if the sandwich press has features such as cool-touch handles and non-slip feet to prevent accidents and enhance user safety.

Sandwich Press FAQs

What is the difference between a jaffle maker and a sandwich press?

Jaffle makers are a type of sandwich maker with two hinged plates, featuring grooves that are designed to seal the edges of the sandwich and create a crispy crust. This makes jaffles more structurally sound than regular toasties. Sandwich presses (also known as toastie presses) have flat plates that are designed to press the sandwich evenly. This results in more even browning of the bread, but it does not create the same crispy crust as a jaffle.

Do I need a 2-slice or 4-slice sandwich press?

Whether you need a 2 or 4-slice sandwich press will depend on your household size and intent of use. If you have a larger household or plan to use your sandwich press frequently, a 4-slice press may be a good investment. If you have limited counter space, live alone or are on a tight budget, a 2-slice press may be sufficient for your needs.

What food can be made in a sandwich press?

While toasties and sandwich melts are the most obvious foods to cook in a press, it is actually an incredibly versatile appliance that can be used to cook and heat a range of foods. By keeping the lid up whilst cooking, you may use your sandwich press as a general hot plate. You can cook bacon & eggs, boneless cuts of meat, fry vegetables, reheat= pizza, and even make pancakes from scratch!

How to clean a sandwich press?

To clean a sandwich press, unplug it after use and let it cool down completely. Wipe down the outside with a damp cloth. Use a soft-bristled brush to clean the inside, paying attention to the grooves. For any stubborn crumbs, use a small amount of baking soda or vinegar to help loosen them. Wipe down the inside with a damp cloth and dry thoroughly.

Types of toasters

While all toasters serve the same function of browning sliced bread, there is a significant variance between styles and capabilities. Popular types of toasters include the standard two-slice models and retro-style toasters, all the way up to four-slice high-end models with innovative features.

Standard or smart?

While the standard toaster remains a tried-and-true kitchen appliance for over a century, you might be wondering if it's worth investing in a smart toaster that uses innovative technology to create the perfect toast. Standard toasters will generally feature basic functions such as an adjustable browning level, a removable crumb tray, and occasionally a defrost setting. They are available in two and four-slice models and will require a basic level of monitoring to ensure your bread is toasted to your liking.

Smart toasters, such as the Breville Smart Toast Toaster or the Russell & Hobbs Attentiv Toaster are part of a new generation of toasters that are transforming the way we use this typically simple appliance. Toasters with touch-screens, colour sense technology and customisable toasting configurations allow the appliance to remember your favourite setting and perfectly toast your bread using 1-touch automation.

If you value convenience, consistency and innovative technology, a smart toaster may be a good option for you. However, if you simply want a toaster that has basic functionality and is easy to use, a standard toaster will be sufficient.

What to look for when buying a toaster

Consider these factors to find a reliable, high-performing toaster that meets your specific requirements:

  • Number of slices: How many slices of toast do you typically make at once? If you have a large household or often toast bread for guests, you may want to choose a toaster with more slots.
  • Features: Some toasters have additional features that others don't, such as bagel and crumpet settings, defrost functions, and removable crumb trays. Consider which features appeal to you when choosing your perfect toaster.
  • Size of the slots: Make sure the slots are wide enough to accommodate the type of bread you intend to toast.
  • Browning control: Some toasters have better browning capabilities than others. If you're particular about the way your toast looks, you'll want to choose a toaster with a good reputation for even browning.
  • Ease of cleaning: A toaster with a removable crumb tray is much easier to clean than a toaster without one.

Toaster FAQs

What do the numbers on a toaster mean?

The numbers on a toaster are a measure of toasting time. They refer to the level of toasting or browning of bread or other bread products. The higher the number, the longer the toast will be cooked, resulting in a darker, crispier toast.

Here is a table that shows the approximate guide to the level of browning you can expect for different numbers on a toaster:


Level of Brownness




Light to Medium




Medium to Dark





Should I buy a 2-slice or 4-slice toaster?

If you live alone or with a partner, a 2-slice toaster may suffice. However, if you have a family or often entertain guests, a 4-slice toaster may be more convenient. A 4-slice toaster can be a great time-saver if you need to make a lot of toast at once but also takes up more kitchen & bench space.

How to use a toaster safely?

Some of the key toaster safety tips include: keeping the toaster away from combustible materials and never leaving it unattended while in use, disconnecting/unplugging the toaster when not in use, regular cleaning of the toaster, and never using metal objects to remove or dislodge stuck items.

How to clean a toaster?

To clean a toaster, unplug it and allow it to cool completely. Remove the crumb tray and dispose of any accumulated crumbs. Turn the toaster upside down and shake out any loose crumbs and debris. Use a soft brush or cloth with a wooden skewer to clean the slots inside the toaster. Wipe down the exterior, and allow it to dry thoroughly before replacing the crumb tray and recommencing use.

Best brands for toasters, jaffle makers & sandwich presses in Australia

When looking at the best brands in Australia for toasters and sandwich presses, two brands stand out as industry leaders: Breville and Russel Hobbs. Breville is one of the original innovators of the sandwich maker, to the extent that jaffle makers are often referred to as a "Breville" in many households.

Shop Breville

Russell Hobbs has supplied quality kitchen appliances globally for over 65 years, with Russell Hobbs toasters and Russell Hobbs sandwich presses being some of the most popular on the market.

Shop Russell Hobbs

If you're after a matching toaster and kettle set, check out the options from Smith+Nobel, exclusive to Harris Scarfe. Smith+Nobel offers sandwich presses with interchangeable plates, and kettle and toaster sets in both contemporary and retro designs.

Shop Smith+Nobel

Browse the full range of kitchen appliances including toasters, sandwich presses and jaffle makers online and in-store at Harris Scarfe.