This griddler replaced a panini maker that died when I tried to scrub the non-removable grilling plates and ended up getting water inside. I've had this one two years and it's still going strong after using it at least weekly. Panini makers (which is what this is to me as I've never used the griddling plates) get very dirty and it's a necessity to clean after each use, grilling surfaces that remove, as these do, for cleaning are a necessity. I would never buy another without this feature. The griddler's plates are easy to remove with a button, and lock in tight again. It's a solid machine that does what it should, very well in fact, and cleans up easily.