Stack of panini sandwiches with white cheese
The Key To Making An Ultra-Crispy Panini
There are a few ways to ensure your panini comes out of the press crispy. The simplest method is coating your panini press’ grates with olive oil or a brushing of melted butter.
To get an extra-crispy panini without added calories, use nonstick or butter-flavored cooking spray on your grates, which will distribute minimally but provide an even coating.
You can also coat the bread instead of the grates to prevent burning yourself on the powered-on panini press. Just remember to clean the grates between each sandwich.
Ingredients with high water content like tomatoes, roasted peppers, pickles, lettuce, certain types of meat, and fish release moisture when cooked and will make the bread soggy.
If you want tomatoes, remove the tomatoes’ seeds before placing them between the bread, or sprinkle them with salt and let them sit for 10 minutes until they release their water.
For roasted red peppers, pickles, or sauerkraut, it's best to transfer them to a strainer and let them sit for a bit to fully drain their juices and excess liquids.
For meats and fish, a slight dust of panko breadcrumbs over their surface will do the trick, as the breadcrumbs will soak up the moisture before the other ingredients.
Spreading condiments such as Dijon mustard or mayonnaise on the bread also makes the bread soggy. Place condiments in the center of the sandwich to retain the bread’s crispiness.