Is there anything more satisfying than a hot and gooey grilled cheese, especially on a cold winter day? Of course, there are rules to follow for a really good grilled cheese – we’re not talking about the kind with a couple slices of sticky processed cheese slapped on it. We’re talking about perfectly golden-brown bread, rich flavors of multiple kinds of high quality, gooey cheese and that perfect crunch as you bite into it. While there are different ways to make an excellent grilled cheese, we have 5 rules for you to make a perfect grilled cheese, every time. Let’s begin!
1. Be Patient
The perfect grilled cheese is an artform, which requires patience in order to perfect. It’s important to ensure that you’re not taking your grilled cheese off the pan too early or two late if you don’t want your sandwich to be less than satisfying.
BonAppetit.com tells us exactly how much time is involved in making the perfect grilled cheese:
“Two things can happen if you rush the grilled-cheese-making process. In one scenario, you quite literally take the sandwich off the of the pan before the bread reaches a deep golden-brown. You may be hungry and tired, but accept that it takes a bit of time to get optimally toasted bread. We’re also not that sorry, because it doesn’t take too much time (5–7 minutes). But more often, you toast (or worse, burn!) the bread before the cheese melts. This happens when your heat is too high and your pan is too hot: Before the inside gets gooey, the outside blackens.”
2. Use Mayo
Use mayo instead of butter? Are you crazy? While this may seem like a completely foreign concept to some, it’s a common tip that is used by home cooks and chefs alike. Not only is it perfectly spreadable right out of the jar, but it has a higher smoke point than butter. This means that it won’t start to burn as quickly as butter and will help you achieve that perfectly even golden brown.
3. Pick the Best Bread
Switching up the type of bread you would normally use for a grilled cheese can truly take this hot sandwich to the next level. Instead of using the traditional white bread right out of the bag, consider using a fresh loaf from your favorite local bakery.
Lauren Salkeld of Today.com explains why experimenting with different kinds of bread can turn your grilled cheese into a treat that is a little more unexpcted:
“It can be fun to experiment with whole wheat and whole grain varieties, as well as rye, sourdough, pumpernickel, or even a sweeter option like cinnamon swirl. You can also go further outside the breadbox, and use English muffins, waffles, croissants, focaccia, or pull-apart rolls. Avoid thick slices, which will make it harder for the cheese to melt, and skip loaves with a lot of holes. Also, note that day old or about to go stale bread is perfect for grilled cheese, as the fat and heat will bring it back to life.”
4. Go Low and Slow
Cooking your grilled cheese at the highest burner level straight onto the pan will not help you achieve that perfect grilled cheese. It’s important to keep the heat at the medium to medium-low range and make adjustments as you cook. If you start by cooking your grilled cheese too high, it’s more than likely that you will burn the bread before the cheese is a perfect, gooey consistency.
5. Combine Three Cheeses
Combining three cheeses is a great way to take a basic grilled cheese to the next level. The different flavors and textures of a three-cheese grilled cheese will make your grilled cheese experience truly out of this world.
Cowgirl Creamery tells us why combining three different cheeses is the way to go:
“The best-tasting sandwiches combine three cheeses. For a creamier cheese middle, make one of them a soft cheese such as fromage blanc. This acts as a suspension; just as egg whites suspend the heavier particles in a soufflé, so does the soft cheese suspend the grated cheese and distribute it more evenly across the bread. The end result is a much creamier filling.”
Looking to order a high-quality grilled cheese at your favorite restaurant? Check out our list of all restaurants to compare food menus all in one place.