Canstar Blue’s grill and sandwich press review has compared Sunbeam, Target, Breville, Kmart and George Foreman on their performance, ease of use, functions & features, ease of cleaning, design, value for money and overall satisfaction.
The humble grill and sandwich maker may be two of the most underrated kitchen appliances. After all, is there anything better than breaking apart a fresh, warm cheesy toastie in the morning? Even chucking a donut in a sandwich press can provide the perfect afternoon pick me up you never knew you needed.
To find out what makes the cut, we grilled nearly 700 Aussies for their feedback on the grill(s) or sandwich press(es) they’ve bought and used in the last three years. Brands were reviewed on performance, ease of use, functions & features, ease of cleaning, design, value for money and overall satisfaction. Manufacturers that received at least 30 survey responses are rated in this report.
Sunbeam was rated the pickle on top, receiving five-star reviews for performance, ease of use, functions & features, ease of cleaning, design, value for money and overall satisfaction.
Here are the best brands of grills and sandwich presses in Australia, as rated by consumers in our latest review:
Sunbeam cooked up a five-star rating for overall satisfaction, while Target and Breville squeezed out four stars. Finally, Kmart and George Foreman rounded up the results on three stars for overall satisfaction.
It’s worth noting that Breville also dished up full marks for performance, functions & features and design. Target and Kmart similarly got five stars for value for money.
Sunbeam has a variety of grills and sandwich makers to suit various different needs and budgets. If you like to stuff more goodies in your sandwiches without having to fork out extra bucks, Sunbeam’s Big Fill Toastie models contain deeper and larger plates that supposedly fit 25% more filling than most other models from the brand.
Sunbeam’s range starts from $49.95 and reaches up to $169 for a grill designed to be used both indoors and outdoors. Some models from the range include:
Sunbeam earned a five-star spread across all categories, including performance, ease of use, functions & features, ease of cleaning, design, value for money and overall satisfaction.
Target dishes out its own range of kitchen appliances including budget-friendly grills and sandwich presses, either sold under the Target brand name or Bellini. You can spot Bellini products in Target stores as well as other retailers owned by Wesfarmers, including Bunnings.
Prices start from just under $30 and go up towards the $100 mark. Models include:
Target was rated five stars for value for money and four stars for design, features & functions and overall satisfaction. It got three stars for the remaining categories.
Breville offers a slightly larger range of grills and sandwich presses than most brands. Breville models also come packed with a variety of features that separate them from standard sandwich makers. This includes an integrated probe that supposedly detects the temperature of the meat inside the sandwich and alerts you when it’s ready. Some products also provide an LCD display with five settings, including beef, lamb, pork, poultry and fish.
Breville prices are also generally heftier than some brands, ranging between $69.95 and $489. Some models include:
Breville got five-star reviews for performance, functions & features and design. It got four stars everywhere else, including for overall satisfaction.
Kmart has a small range of hip pocket-friendly sandwich makers − all priced under $30. The cheapest option is the Sandwich Maker, which retails for just $7.50. It can grill two sandwiches in one sitting (perfect for after school snacks) and features non-stick plates, a ‘Ready’ and ‘Power On’ indicator light as well as a locking latch. Kmart’s range includes the following models:
Kmart earned a five-star review for value for money, plus four stars for ease of use. It got three stars everywhere else, including for overall satisfaction.
George Foreman has a variety of grills, including standard models as well as units with nifty features like SmartTemp. The range also includes a ‘smokeless’ grill which apparently contains open grate cooking technology to avoid creating smoke while cooking, perfect for those who want to bring outdoor grilling indoors!
Prices range from $39.95 and up to $199.95, with most grills available under the $100 mark. Some George Foreman grills you can find include:
George Foreman wrapped up the scores with four stars in most categories, including value for money. But it ended on three stars for ease of cleaning and overall satisfaction.
The brands rated in this year’s report aren’t the only ones worth considering. Here are a few more popular brands that might tickle your tastebuds.
Our survey respondents helped plate up a picture of what they consider important when choosing a grill or sandwich maker.
Two-fifths (40%) of people said price was their number one reason for choosing a particular brand or model, followed by how easy the appliance was to use (22%) and the size & style (15%). Brand name (11%) and features (10%) were next on the priority list.
Generally, prices for a grill or sandwich press start from around $50 and reach up to $500. Our research revealed consumers spend an average of $71 on a new model, although almost one in five (17%) said they wished they’d spent more money for a better grill or sandwich maker.
Naturally, your budget determines which grill you will ultimately go with. The good news is you’ll find perfectly capable grills and sandwich presses at different price points to suit a range of budgets.
When it comes to choosing the right grill, you should first look at the size you need. Think about the kinds of food you will want to cook on your grill or sandwich press and how many people you might be cooking for. You might also consider how much space you have in your kitchen to store this appliance. While it may be fairly small, large four-slice units can be pretty bulky. Only 14% of survey respondents said they wished they had purchased a bigger model.
You’ll also want to look at any additional features such as slanted designs, allowing excess oil to slide off into an oil drip tray. Plus, non-stick plates might further help with the clean-up. In addition, floating hinges might be useful as they’re designed to maintain even pressure on your toastie, especially if you are using thick bread.
When choosing which brand to go with there is plenty to keep in mind. Before jumping into any purchase, it would be wise to do your research so that you find exactly what you’re looking for. Our survey revealed that 22% of consumers don’t use their sandwich press/grill as much as they thought they would. So, before you send your money down the drain, consider if you really need one.
For those on a budget, Kmart and Target might be brands to consider with most of their models priced under $30. This is decent value if you’re new to the grilling game and are just trying your luck. However, if you’re a serious sandwich or wrap maker, Sunbeam was the best-rated brand for overall customer satisfaction, while Breville also rated well in key areas such as performance, design and features & functions.
This report was written by Canstar Blue’s home & lifestyle journalist, Tahnee-Jae Lopez-Vito. She’s an expert on household appliances, grooming products and all things grocery and shopping. In addition to translating our expert research into consumer-friendly ratings reports, Tahnee spends her time helping consumers make better-informed purchase decisions on all manner of consumer goods and services, while highlighting the best deals and anything you need to be aware of.
Picture credits: Yuriy Golub/Shutterstock.com, Ashley Whitworth/Shutterstock.com.
*Prices taken from respective retailer websites, correct as of November 2020.
Our latest customer satisfaction research on grills and sandwich presses saw a number of brands rated best in different categories:
Canstar Blue surveyed 3,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased and used a new grill or sandwich press in the last three years (this includes grills, presses, jaffle makers, etc that have a closable top/lid) – in this case, 698 people.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.