By Yuliya Prilepina

Sandwich makers were never intended to replace your toaster and skillet, but their dual cooking surfaces make preparing simple, two- or three-ingredient sandwiches a lot faster than using the stove. Grilled cheeses, hot-ham-and-cheese sandwiches and even rubens go from prep table to dinner table in under six minutes, and the nonstick cooking surfaces make cleanup a breeze. There aren't many rules to using a sandwich maker, but only use sandwich ingredients you want to serve hot; add cold ingredients after cooking.

Sandwich maker machine in kitchen interior
credit: John_Kasawa/iStock/Getty Images

Step 1

Clean the cooking surfaces of the sandwich maker using a moist cloth. Spread a thin layer of vegetable oil on the sandwich maker's cooking surfaces.

Step 2

Plug the sandwich maker in and close it. The sandwich maker will preheat automatically.

Step 3

Place the sandwich on the bottom cooking surface when the indicator light illuminates green. Close the sandwich maker lid over it and secure the lock.

Step 4

Cook the sandwich for 3 to 6 minutes; 3 to 4 minutes lightly toasts the bread, 4 to 5 minutes moderately toasts the bread and 5 to 6 minutes gives the bread a dark golden-brown color.

Step 5

Open the sandwich maker and remove the sandwich using a spatula. Unplug the maker and allow it to cool completely, then wipe the cooking surfaces with a moist cloth to clean.