When camping you want to carry light, portable items that help prepare meals fast. A campfire Panini Press makes a great grill accessory for cooking toasted sandwiches, steaks, burgers and delicious paninis quickly.
It is made of heavy cast iron to allow uniform cooking and solid pressure for café-quality sandwiches. The large chamber provides ample space for cooking full pieces of bread while the ridges within the press add grill markings to your treat.
The press has a latch that keeps the sandwich closed while the wooden grip at the end of the handle protects your hands from getting burnt. The discussion highlights some great features of the Panini Press
Who should use the Panini Press Cast-Iron?
The Panini press is designed for camping and home use more specifically on a charcoal, gas grill, or other small camping fire pit because,
- Cooks one sandwich at a time
- Can be used on a BBQ grill
- The handles are pretty short-16 inches
Also Read : Easy Camping Meals for a Large Group
The surface is large enough (22 × 8 × 2 inches) to hold 8 inch by 4 inch sandwiches, a good fit for cooking camping treats. It is designed to allow the ingredients to blend in well while holding the sandwich together to produce the characteristic contrast in texture of a soft, melty inside and a crispy outside.
It is this feature that makes Panini sandwiches so delicious. You will also note that the plates bed towards the end to ensure even distribution of heat throughout the compartment and the press remains closed when it is not in use.
Plate Material :
The heavy cast-iron material is perfect for making home-made sandwiches while camping as it is durable, energy-efficient and resistant to scratches. It generates constant heat evenly and holds heat for a long time so that your sandwich cooks uniformly. And when the cast-iron material is seasoned properly, the Panini Press can be stick-resistant.
Floating Hinge :
The campfire Panini Press features a removable press lid that allows you to prepare foods of different sizes. As such, the regular Italian bread and the standard sandwich should fit comfortably. Be careful not to add too many ingredients to ensure the press lid closes easily and the ingredients cook evenly i.e. they should not exceed the 3-4 centimeters in height.
Ease of Cleaning :
The removable rods make it easy to clean; you just need to unscrew them and run the plates through the dishwasher.
Campfire Panini Presses can get very hot which explains the insulation feature added to this model. Its rods are chrome-plated with a wooden handle to allow you to open and close without using towels or mitts.
Does it need seasoning?
Yes. While all pie irons from Rome are seasoned cast iron, this campfire Panini press also requires seasoning. Seasoning creates the non-stick feature as it does not have the coating which ensures the sandwich or other foods prepared do not stick.
First, you need to cover all the spots with vegetable oil and heat it at high temperature on an oven. When it has heated sufficiently, place the grill inside and leave it for half an hour. The extreme heat helps the oil coating to penetrate the surface of the grill.
Turn off the oven after thirty minutes and allow the grill to remain in the plates until it cools off. Wash the surface using dish washing soap to ensure it is clean and re-coat the surface using vegetable oil.
Does the Panini Press work on an induction cooker?
Answer: Yes, it is possible to use the Panini Press on an induction cooker. The cast-iron material is a poor conductor of electricity thus the electric current running through the iron allows most of the energy to be converted to heat. As such, when cooking using the induction cooker, the heat comes from the pan and not the burner. The cooker has a ceramic plate that has an electromagnetic coil below it.
When it is turned on, an electric current runs through the coil producing a fluctuating magnetic field. Once an iron pan like the Panini press is set on the burner, the magnetic field induce many small electric currents in the pan’s metal. It is this feature that makes it more efficient to cook on an induction stove; cooking a sandwich takes half of the time compared to using a gas stove.
Additionally, you are less likely to get hot spots on your Panini press where food gets burnt as it has more contact with the source of heat below.
How do I remove the stubborn stains on the plates?
Answer : The manufacturer has provided the guideline on how to use and clean the Panini press. However, if you are finding trouble removing the stains between the grooves on the plate, you can use a wet paper towel to wipe off chunks of food stuck on the plate and any non-stick cooking spray you may have used on the grill.
If that does not work, you can pour baking soda solution on the groove of the grill and allow it to soak for a few minutes before wiping it off using a cloth.
The camping Panini Press makes an excellent addition to your camping gear. Its versatility allows you to cook a range of foods- the standard sandwich, grilled chicken breasts, grilled bread stuffed with cheese and other ingredients, cooked bacon among other yummy snacks. And with the cast-iron material you are sure to cook all such foods within a short period.
This coupled with the removable rods adds to its convenience. However, since it has been designed for open fire.