Sandwich toasters provide a twist on the traditional grilled sandwich. These appliances resemble waffle makers and operate on a similar principle. Toast both sides of the sandwich simultaneously by compressing the bread between two heated plates. Create fancy sandwiches like panini or sweet treats like small pies using a sandwich toaster. Sandwich toasters operate in much the same way no matter the type or the brand.
Plug in the toaster. Some models automatically come on; others have a switch to turn on the machine.
Select the type of bread you want to toast, from plain white sliced bread to fancier breads like focaccia. Butter one side of the bread while the toaster is heating. Assemble the remaining ingredients for your sandwich. When the toaster is heated, place once slice of bread buttered-side down on the toaster.
Layer in the remaining ingredients, then place the other piece of bread on top. The buttered side should face up. Close the lid and latch it, if a latch is included on your model. Toasters that accommodate thicker sandwiches may not feature a latch.
Wait for the sandwich to toast. Some models feature a light that indicates when the sandwich is ready. Check for doneness by lifting the lid and looking at the sandwich. When it reaches the desired brownness, remove it by gently loosening it from the hotplate with a fork. Remove it from the toaster and place it on a plate to cool.
Unplug the machine and allow it to cool before storing it. Some models offer removable plates for easier cleaning. When the toaster is cool, remove the plates and wash the non-stick surfaces with warm, soapy water. Allow the plates to air dry or dry them with a towel, then reattach them to the rest of the toaster.