The Unconventional Way To Make Your Next Pressed Sandwich

There are a few things every kitchen should be stocked with: pots and pans, knives, and basic utensils. However, the options for additional, specialized appliances are nearly endless. Air fryers exploded in popularity in recent years, and gadgets like bread machines, slow cookers, and panini presses all promise to make your life easier. However, after your shiny new appliance starts to gather dust in the back of a cabinet, you may find yourself experiencing buyer's remorse. The Guardian argues that many of the appliances we stock our kitchens with, like popcorn makers and pasta machines, are actually redundant. With a little creativity, you can save money — and cabinet space — by using kitchen supplies you already own.

While cast iron skillets have a reputation for being finicky and difficult to care for, these classic pans are nevertheless wildly popular among American cooks — and for a good reason. Michigan State University explains that cast iron is durable, holds its heat well, and even supplies our diets with necessary iron in addition to its myriad culinary uses. Cast iron is an excellent choice for cooking everything from classic cornbread to unconventional recipes like giant chocolate crinkle cookies, but most recipes involve using the inside of the skillet. As it turns out, cast iron skillets have additional uses if you just think outside the box — or rather, outside the skillet.

You can use your cast iron skillet as a panini press

If you love paninis but think a panini press might be one of those extraneous appliances you'll just end up regretting, consider using a cast iron skillet instead. As Taste of Home explains, you can use a cast iron skillet to create the crispy pressed paninis you crave.

After assembling your panini, pre-heat two cast iron skillets over medium-high heat. Once they're hot, add a little oil to one skillet and carefully wipe the bottom of the other with an oiled paper towel. Place the sandwich in the first skillet, then place the second on top. You might want to add a weight to the top skillet to keep it in place. After a few minutes, you should have a toasty, beautifully melted panini.

But what if you've only got one cast iron skillet? No problem. While using two cast iron pans is ideal, Southern Living explains that it's ok to use a regular stainless steel or aluminum pan to hold your panini.