I’m late to the make-your-own-Uncrustables game, but I’m here. And the first thing I realized is there are a lot of Uncrustable maker contraptions – ahem, sandwich sealers – on the internet, and I didn’t know which one to buy.
Let me spare you the trial and error because I purchased 9 sandwich sealers and tested them all. Spoiler: many of them are terrible. Some are decent. One is king.
What’s an Uncrustable?!
I assumed everyone knew what an Uncrustable is, but several friends were completely foreign to these crimped, crustless sandwiches.
Typically made for toddlers and children, Uncrustables® are peanut butter and jelly sandwiches made by Smuckers. They are circular, have no crust, and have sealed, crimped edges. Kids love them.
And to be honest, parents love them, too.
They’re also very expensive for PB&Js, and the ingredients are not exactly top-notch. That’s why lots of parents have fled to the internet to find their own sandwich sealer.
Is it cheaper to make your own Uncrustables?
Yes, it’s way cheaper to make your own Uncrustables! I’ll break everything down, but Smucker’s version is $1.05 per sandwich. Making a compatible version at home is 33 cents per sandwich. Making a high-quality version with organic ingredients and whole wheat bread is 81 cents per sandwich.
As I said, Smucker’s Uncrustables cost about $1.05 per sandwich, and the ingredients are very basic. It’s white bread, peanut butter with sugar added, and grape jelly (first ingredient is sugar). If you wanted an organic version, as an example, you can’t even buy that, which is another reason to make it yourself.
But let’s say we’re making a comparable version using cheap ingredients. You need two slices of bread, one tablespoon of peanut butter, and one tablespoon of jelly. It’s not a lot of filling, but if you add more, it’ll overstuff the sandwich and get everywhere.
- Wonder Bread: $3.16 per loaf or 23 cents for two slices
- Great Value Creamy Peanut Butter: $3.64 per jar or 5 cents for a tablespoon
- Great Value Grape Jelly: $2 per jar or just under 5 cents for a tablespoon
|Smucker’s Uncrustables||Homemade Uncrustables (Cheap Ingredients)|
|Price per sandwich||$1.05||$0.33|
If we make a high-quality version using organic ingredients and WAY less sugar, the prices are comparable. So, you can spend less than a third of the price to make the same thing or spend 77 cents on the dollar for a much healthier version.
|Smucker’s Uncrustables||Homemade Organic Uncrustables|
|Price per sandwich||$1.05||$0.81|
- 365 by Whole Foods Organic Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread: $4.69 per loaf, or 52 cents for two slices
- 365 by Whole Foods Market Unsweetened Organic Peanut Butter: $5.99 per jar, or 12 cents for a tablespoon
- 365 by Whole Foods Organic Grape Jelly: $4.29 per jar, or 17 cents for a tablespoon
We haven’t even covered making your own sandwich bread, which will reduce your costs even more.
Don’t Toss the Crust!
Food waste makes my blood boil, so there’s no chance I’m just throwing away the bread that gets cut off with the sandwich sealer.
Here are some of the ways you can use the discarded crusts:
- Homemade breadcrumbs: Toss bread crusts in a food processor. Spread breadcrumbs onto a baking sheet and bake at 300°F for 10 minutes. Stir it up and make sure all the bread is completely dry. If not, let it bake a few minutes longer.
- Homemade croutons: Tear bread pieces into croutons. Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Bake at 375°F for 15-20 minutes, turning the baking sheet halfway through.
- Crockpot French Toast Casserole
- Overnight Ham and Egg Breakfast Casserole
- Breakfast quiches
- Bread pudding
Basically, any recipe that calls for bread cubes is perfect for this. I usually opt for breadcrumbs, because I know we’ll use them in recipes like meatloaf and meatballs. Also, homemade breadcrumbs are way better than the store-bought stuff!
If you live on a farm or homestead, you can also just feed the crusts to your animals.
Best Uncrustable Makers (Sandwich Sealer)
I ordered and tested 9 sandwich sealers like a mad woman, but it was worth it. Three of them rose to the top as the best of the best.
- Best stainless steel (and overall, the best) sandwich sealer: Gelbira Stainless Steel Sandwich Sealer
- Best plastic sandwich sealer: HiYZ 5-piece Sandwich Sealer
- Best fun shapes sandwich sealer: HINZER 8-piece Sandwich Sealer
UPDATE January 18, 2023: After many months of use, I’m disappointed to share that the stainless steel winner is not holding up! The stainless steel is now a bit rough (likely from being washed in the dishwasher), and the bread often gets stuck in it when pressing down. I would recommend the HiYZ plastic version as it has held up well and has no issues in the dishwasher.
Quick note: you don’t need a sandwich sealer to make your own version of Uncrustables at home. We have a friend that grew up in Jamaica, and he said his grandmother would use a cup to cut the bread and a fork to seal around the edges. It’s nothing new, and it’s not like Smuckers was the first to come up with this concept.
Best Stainless Steel (and Overall): Gelbira Stainless Steel Sandwich Sealer
The overall winner for me as the very best Uncrustable sandwich maker – and it’s also stainless steel – is the Gelbira Stainless Steel Sandwich Sealer.
I love that it’s stainless steel instead of plastic, and it’s one contraption as opposed to multiple pieces. Just push down and stamp – it’s really that simple.
I also think it’s a great value for the price.
The other stainless steel sandwich sealer I tested fell apart, and the metal was very thin. It was so thin that you could actually bend it! This sealer is solid and has stood the test of time.
Best Plastic: HiYZ 5-piece Sandwich Sealer
The plastic option from HiYZ is a fantastic sandwich sealer, especially for the dirt-cheap price tag.
It’s very functional and mostly intuitive. I wish it had come with the two pieces you need to stamp and seal the sandwich as opposed to 5 pieces. You just don’t need that many pieces, in my opinion, and it makes the entire process more confusing.
If you really want two sandwich sealer sizes, I suppose it’s a perk, but for me, it was just a waste of plastic and space.
That said, the sloped shape of the sealer really helped form the sandwich and avoided cracks in the bread. It was one of the cleanest seals out of any contraption we tried.
Best Fun Shapes: HINZER 8-piece Sandwich Sealer
HINZER has a sandwich sealer pack with four shapes: circle, square, dinosaur, and heart.
The circle and square are not exactly unique, and the dinosaur is actually a really bizarre and difficult shape to get right (the neck is particularly challenging!). However, the heart shape is worth the cost of the entire kit.
My daughter gets so excited about her heart-shaped PB&Js! A bonus is the cutter portion is metal and can double as a cookie cutter in a pinch.
Sandwich Sealers Not Worth Your Time or Money
Not all sandwich sealers are created equal. These are the 6 I wouldn’t waste my money on.
The brand BigLeef has a two-pack with a square and circle shape. However, it doesn’t have those signature crimped edges that we all know and love.
It also doesn’t cut very well, so you’re left with ragged edges.
Geesta Stainless Steel
The other stainless steel sandwich sealer we tried was pretty bad. The metal is super thin and it kind of squeals when you press down the red topper to seal and cut the sandwich.
We also didn’t get a clean cut with this one. When you compare this one versus the winner, you can see a clear difference.
N+A/Pro Kitchen Square
You know it’s a bad sign when the Amazon listing says the brand is “N+A” and the packaging says “Pro Kitchen.” The packaging also says it’s a “Pocket Maker,” so we’re all confused.
The performance on this one was just as good as the branding. It couldn’t cut the sandwich and left me with torn edges.
The Savoychef Bwitched version wasn’t awful, but it’s just a little too big.
Some of the crust stayed on the sandwich, even after sealing and cutting it. If it was a smidge smaller, I’d have no issues with this one.
HappySales Pastry Crimper and Sealer
And the award for the absolute worst sandwich sealer goes to HappySales. This was a train wreck. In the product’s defense, they market it as a pastry crimper and sealer.
However, Uncrustables are mentioned in the listing, so I purchased it to test. I can confirm this is NOT meant for sandwiches. The bread will just get stuck in it and you’ll want to rip your hair out.
Tribe Glare is a plastic option that comes with 5 pieces. It’s very similar to the plastic winner from HiYZ, except it doesn’t have that domed shape on the sealer.
I found that the domed design on the HiYZ outperformed this non-domed version. The HiYZ version also had a cleaner cut. You can see how the edge of the Tribe Glare cut is a little ragged.
There you have it – the Uncrustables sandwich maker throwdown you didn’t know you needed.
Let me know in the comments if you make Uncrustables at home!
I often use cookie cutters on our sandwiches. Lots of fun shapes, but no crimped edges. I didn’t even know these existed! Very cool.
Good idea!! I bet you could just use a fork to crimp the edges yourself.