This panini maker works just fine. The only thing it doesn't do is: It doesn't make those stripes or "grill marks" on your bread the way some sandwich grills do. Personally I don't care about these, but people who feel they must have grill marks should look for one that makes them. Performance It heats up simply by plugging it in. It takes about 1-3 minutes to heat up. It has red and green lights to show if it is heating and when it is hot enough. It grills sandwiches very nicely. The manual recommends either brushing the outsides of the bread with a little oil or spreading them with a very thin layer of butter. This works well but is not absolutely necessary. The sandwiches get nicely grilled through, and the outsides of the bread are done a lovely golden brown. (See above re: no "grill marks") Durability Be CAREFUL not to use any metal utensils that can scrape the non-stick coating! The user's manual does warn about this. I accidentally made a little scratch in the coating and was a little surprised how easily it scratched. As long as you use a Teflon-coated, plastic, or wooden spatula to turn and remove sandwiches, though, it shouldn't be an issue. Otherwise, I have had this machine for about 6 years or more and it still works just fine. Ease of Cleaning It cleans easily with just a little water and wiping. Ease of Use The manual warns that if you use Kraft Singles or similar processed cheese products, they will run. This is true; I have used sandwiches with Kraft Singles in them and it is a little messy. However, it's not so bad that I avoid using them.
Stone Mountain, GA