How To Cook Chicken On A Panini Maker

Panini makers are popular appliances and though originally invented to make paninis they are also great for making a number of other foods.

Cooking chicken on a panini maker is simple and easy to do, simply make sure the panini press is clean and place it on your chicken and press down. Make sure to check the chicken is thoroughly cooked before eating.

I will be covering whether you can cook chicken on a panini maker, what you need to know before doing so and how to cook chicken on a panini maker.

Can I Cook Chicken On A Panini Maker?

A Panini maker is essentially a type of contact grill used to apply pressure to your sandwich as it is toasted, giving it those delightful grill lines on the surface.

What makes your Panini press more special than your normal sandwich grill is its versatility. It doubles as an indoor grill and can be used to grill chickens, meats, fish, flank steaks, and even bacon.

So your panini press is ideal for cooking your favorite chicken breast, mini cakes, juicy grilled kebabs, and can prepare all kinds of grilled sandwiches and non-sandwich quickly and efficiently without compromising on taste or health.

One of the major benefits of the Panini press is its capacity to accommodate bulky sandwiches, and because you can heat the panini press on both sides, they get the food done in a matter of minutes and makes it taste even better.

Types of Panini Press

You’ve probably heard of ceramic panini presses types or the ones with removable plates, but what about the cast iron type or the flat ones.

Do you know the differences? Before we talk about how to cook chicken on a panini maker, let’s talk about some of the key characteristics of a panini maker to help you make your informed purchasing decision.

Cast-iron Panini Maker

This kind of panini press plate is built from cast iron. These plates are usually preferred because they are a non-stick and chemical-free option.

They are quite simple and easy to clean and have long durability, too. 

Panini Maker with Removable Plates

The best panini presses have reversible, removable plates, which let you utilize the two sides of the plates. One side of the plate normally has grooves for grilling, while the opposite side has a flat, iron-like surface.

Removable plates likewise make cleaning simple and easy.

Flat Panini Maker

These panini presses typically feature plates that are flat leveled and smooth instead of ribbed. The level plates help the flame heat the food totally across all surfaces. These are particularly wonderful for making sandwiches!

Ceramic Panini Maker

Another excellent type of these panini makers is the ceramic types. They are durable, non-stick, and scratch-resistant due to being built with ceramic. Another wonderful characteristic of these types of Panini is that they are free of PTFE and PFOA chemicals.

Now that you have a good knowledge of some of the different types of panini makers available, it’s time to explore how to cook chicken on a panini maker.

How To Cook Chicken On A Panini Maker?

Panini barbecues and presses are essentially used for cooking the famous Italian pressed sandwiches known as Panini. However, the amazingly versatile grills additionally offer an ideal surface for cooking chicken. Panini grills come in both burner models and countertop models that connect into a plug.

Due to its double-sided heating ability, you can cook chicken breast quicker, easier, and you will always get that exquisite perfect char mark every time.

Follow these steps to make the perfect grilled chicken with a panini maker.

Before you begin, wash your panini maker in hot, soapy water if you are using it for the first time, and make sure your workspace is clean. Clear your counter space, put away any dishes you’re not using, and clear your sink.

What you’ll need:

●    A panini maker

●    An oven glove

●    A spatula

●    Vegetable oil

●    A barbecue brush

●    Thawed chicken breast

●    Any seasoning of your choice

Heat your Panini Maker

To ensure even cooking of the chicken breast, heat your grill on a medium setting for 3-5 minutes. In case you’re using a two-piece stove-top model, you will need to place the skillet grill on one burner and the panini maker, ridged side down, on another burner.

To ensure the panini maker’s grill portion is hot and ready, pour a few drops of water on the grill’s surface. If it sizzles, then you’re ready for the next step.

Prepare the Chicken

Defrost the chicken breast all the way through, and dry with a paper towel so that the chicken breast will sear well. The reason for drying the chicken breast is to prevent it from sticking to the panini press, and the striking sear lines from the grill ridges may not appear.

Now you have to season the chicken to your taste. For the seasoning, we do recommend salt, pepper, garlic powder, and lemon for tasting. The lemon will keep the chicken moist throughout the cooking process.

Prepare the Panini Maker

Here you need to keep your oven glove handy, especially if you’re using a stove-top Panini maker model because even the knob on the Panini maker can get hot easily.  Once you’ve heated the grill for a few minutes and the panini maker is hot enough, brush the ribs of your skillet and panini maker with vegetable or coconut oil.

This helps in preventing sticking. Please don’t use olive oil or flavored oils. This is because they have a lower smoking point than vegetable and coconut oil.

If the oil begins to smoke, you might have to reduce the temperature of your panini press. You should note that not all Panini press models run at the same temperature, so it’s imperative to ensure your grill isn’t too hot to prevent burning.

Also, note that returning the oiled Panini maker to the ribbed burner side down can cause flaring. So please use caution if you’re using a two-piece grill because your safety and everyone else are paramount.

Grill the Chicken

After preparing the Panini maker, the next step is to place the seasoned chicken breast on the panini maker’s grill and close the lid. Press down on the chicken for twenty seconds slightly; after that, release the force, leaving the breast inside the panini maker.

Make sure the chicken breast is cooking at a medium temperature inside the panini maker for two to four minutes prior to lessening the heat for another six to eight minutes, depending upon the chicken breast’s thickness.

Make a point to check and ensure the chicken is cooked all the way through. You can do this by checking if the cut of meat has contracted, the juices are clear, or when you cut the chicken breast, ensure the middle is white, not pink, taking everything into account.

When your chicken is done, you can either serve it quickly or sit tight for it to cool and store it for some time for later consumption. Nevertheless, it would be best if you always utilized an airtight compartment when storing the chicken breast or some other meat item.

Cooked chicken breast can be stored for as long as four days and ought to be eaten during that time period as this is very vital.

How Long Does It Take To Cook Chicken On A Panini Maker

Chicken breasts cooked on a panini maker take around three to four minutes to cook for a ½ inch thick. However, you probably have to experiment with yours to determine the optimum cooking time.

Cooking times can vary depending on the thickness of the chicken, the overall size and the cut of the meat.