You’ve definitely seen paninis, whether at a restaurant or in a cafe being made, but do you know what they are? To put it simply, a panini is a grilled sandwich. This is different than grilled cheese as it’s made on a grilled surface instead of a frying pan.
Paninis are made with Italian bread with cheese, meats, and any other fillings that you could want. Then, usually using a panini press, the sandwich is grilled with grill marks giving the sandwich its classic look.
Because this sandwich is grilled, some may wonder if they can reheat it back to its original texture. While many methods may not be as good as the original grilling, there are still ways to reheat a panini. In the oven, stovetop, panini press, and if you dare- the microwave are all ways to reheat a panini.
In the Oven
While this method takes longer, it also reheats the panini evenly without needing a panini press.
- Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350℉
- Step 2: Put a light coat of butter on each side of the sandwich before placing it onto a baking sheet.
- Step 3: Put the panini in the oven for 5-7 minutes.
- Step 4: Flip the panini and then cook for another 5 minutes.
- Step 5: Take out your sandwich and enjoy.
- Reheats the panini evenly
- Preserves both the taste and the texture
- Takes the longest
- More effort is involved
On the Stovetop
It may not be grilling, but frying is still a great way to reheat a panini. It’s also a lot quicker than in the oven. For the average person, this method is the best way of reheating a panini, though some may prefer the grill method.
- Step 1: Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Melt a small amount of butter or heat up a spoonful of oil.
- Step 2: Once nice and hot, place the panini onto the pan.
- Step 3: Flip every minute until the sandwich is hot once again. This can take around 4-6 minutes depending on how cold the panini is.
- Step 4: Allow to cool and enjoy.
- Reheats pretty evenly
- Doesn’t take too much time
- Keeps the bread nice and crispy
- Requires more effort and attention
- Too high of heat can burn the bread before heating the middle
The Panini Press (or the grill)
A panini press is really just a small version of a grill. You can also use a countertop grill for this method. These all work great because they will keep the grilled effect of the panini while reheating.
- Step 1: If using a grill, prepare your grill in the way you see fit. Prepare your panini press or countertop grill with some cooking spray. Have the heat set to medium.
- Step 2: Place your panini on the grill. With an outside grill, wrap the sandwich in foil and cook for a shorter amount of time. Otherwise, reheat for around 4 minutes.
- Step 3: With a press, you don’t need to flip the panini. On a countertop grill or an outside grill, flip and cook for another 3 minutes on the other side.
- Step 4: Take the panini off the cooking tool, allow it to cool, and enjoy.
- Has the best texture out of all the methods as this is the most similar way to the original cooking
- Reheats evenly and thoroughly
- Takes the most amount of effort
- Not everyone has a grill or panini press
While this is the quickest method, this is also the least recommended. The microwave will change the texture of the panini from grilled and crispy to soft. Of course, if you need the panini reheated really quickly, this method will still reheat the sandwich.
- Step 1: Wrap your panini in plenty of paper towels.
- Step 2: Cook in the microwave for 20-second intervals.
- Step 3: Repeat step 2 until the sandwich is fully cooked.
- Step 4: Hopefully the texture hasn’t changed too much, enjoy.
- Super quick
- Super easy
- The texture will be severely altered
- The taste will be affected
- A lot of the time it’s not worth it to put the panini in the microwave
Storing a Panini
Before having a panini to reheat, you must know how to properly store a panini to keep its high quality.
- Step 1: Let the panini reach room temperature before putting it in the fridge.
- Step 2: Wrap with either a paper towel or parchment paper.
- Step 3: Put the wrapped sandwich into a plastic bag and remove as much air as possible.
- Step 4: To keep the sandwich from getting squished in the fridge, put it into an air-tight container.
- Step 5: Put in the fridge.
In the fridge, the panini will last for around 3 or 4 days. Preventing any air from getting into the wrapping will keep the panini fresh for longer.
Never put a panini in the freezer. The freezing and thawing process will mess with both the taste and texture. It’s just not worth it.
With the method of stovetop, in the oven, and on the grill, you will end up with a tasty reheated panini. It is not recommended to use the microwave as you will end up with a soggy and sad sandwich.
Each method has its pros and cons, so choose which method works best for you. The best easy way is on the stovetop, but if you have the resources, the grill also gives amazing results. No matter what method you choose, you will get to enjoy a panini even if it is no longer super fresh.