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First, I realize someone asked whether they can use a waffle iron. Great question, great idea. Alas, while I do have a waffle iron, it's not a very good one and won't fit sandwiches of substantial thickness.

I do have two cast iron pans. But the smaller one would still crush the sandwich. (I was thinking maybe I could fashion it in the oven somehow) I also have two Calphalon griddles, one flat and one with raised grilling "speedbumps". I also have a variety of other pans, but I think something from among these four would hold the solution.

Just wondering if anyone is using a brilliant alternative to waffle makers or uncheap panini presses.

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    Do you actually know if the small cast iron will crush the sandwich too much? The idea is to crush it some, and it takes a fair amount of force. – Cascabel May 27 '16 at 22:00
  • That's true. It's 10". Very heavy. I figured the innards would gush. – Jason P Sallinger May 27 '16 at 23:38
  • Two cast iron pans would work beautifully. – Chris Bergin May 28 '16 at 3:32
  • just a weighting with heavy-ish sm plate, flipping after first side browns then leaving uncovered is somewhere in between press/plain griddling – Pat Sommer May 28 '16 at 4:18
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Assuming that you don't mind the bottom of your smaller pan getting dirty, you could put the sandwich in a heated larger pan and place the pre-heated smaller pan on top. According to your question, you've got this this in own mental experiment.

The next step would just require you to borrow from mechanical engineering and some cheap root vegetables.

Mechanical designers use a widget called a standoff. It just help create a gap between two surfaces.

enter image description here

Couldn't you use the same concept with carrots? You could just surround the sandwich with equal length (maybe 1/4-1/2" shorter than the sandwich) cut carrot "columns" for a carrot "tripod" of sorts. Bread will certainly cook faster than carrots and the used chunks could be edge-trimmed if they got blackened and consumed.

  • I understand the principal. Maybe use carrots slightly less thick. Sounds good. Thanks. – Jason P Sallinger May 28 '16 at 20:26

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