These quick and easy tips for making the ultimate grilled cheese sandwich at home are essential if you enjoy a gloriously gooey grilled cheese. Is there anything better than a freshly made grilled cheese sandwich with toasted bread and melted cheese?
The classic combination is difficult to beat, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be bettered. The basic recipe is good — white bread and American cheese toasted in butter — but with a few tweaks, grilled cheese can transform from a simple, satisfying sandwich to a mind-blowing culinary experience.
Here are some pointers on how to make the ideal grilled cheese sandwich. If you use one or more of these ideas, you’ll be well on your way to bread and cheese bliss.
Tips For Better Cheese Sandwich: Dress Up Your Grilled Cheese
Although the star of the show should always be the cheese, there’s no reason why fontina or cheddar can’t be joined by a few supporting players. Bacon or sliced ham and tomatoes are obvious choices, but get creative with your toppings. Sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions, sliced avocado, and roasted red peppers can all add flavor to your sandwich.
Apples or pears thinly sliced add color and contrast in texture, while mustard or olive tapenade add bite and nuts or potato chips add crunch. For a salty-sweet sandwich, try adding honey, jam, or chutney. Don’t go overboard, whatever you do. Always keep in mind that the focus should be on the cheese.
Tips For Better Cheese Sandwich: Don’t Use Too Much Cheese
You want to use the right amount of cheese in addition to the right cheese. There must be enough cheese in the sandwich to make it sufficiently cheesy, but not so much that it spills out the sides and makes a mess. The proportion depends on the size of the bread, but for average slices, about 1/3 cup of cheese per sandwich should suffice. Thin slices are preferable to thick slices, and grated cheese is ideal for melting.
Tips For Better Cheese Sandwich: Use The Right Cheese
There’s nothing wrong with using American cheese — it’s a classic for a reason — but there’s an entire world of cheeses waiting to be melted between two slices of bread. Stick to melted cheeses like fontina, Gruyere, Comté, young cheddars, Taleggio, and any of the jack cheeses, and don’t be afraid to mix it up.
Fresh cheeses like feta and aged cheeses like Parmesan won’t melt, but they’re a great way to add flavor; just make sure you use enough melting cheese to get that satisfying grilled cheese experience.
Tips For Better Cheese Sandwich: Pick The Best Bread
Is it possible to improve mediocre bread by heating it and layering it with cheese? Without a doubt. However, using better bread will elevate your grilled cheese to new heights. Make your own bread or buy a loaf from your favorite bakery. Experiment with different types of whole wheat and whole grain breads, as well as rye, sourdough, pumpernickel, and even a sweeter option like cinnamon swirl.
You could also use English muffins, waffles, croissants, focaccia, or pull-apart rolls instead of bread. Thick slices will make it difficult for the cheese to melt, and loaves with a lot of holes should be avoided. Also, stale or nearly stale best bread works well for grilled cheese because the fat and heat will bring it back to life.
Tips For Better Cheese Sandwich: Pre-toast The Bread
Grilled cheese is supposed to be simple and quick to make, and while this does add a step, it’s well worth the effort and very little trouble. Spread mayo (or butter) on both sides of both slices of bread before placing them in the pan where the grilled cheese will be cooked.
Toast both sides for a few seconds on each side, just until they begin to brown. Remove the slightly toasted bread from the pan, put your sandwich together, and then return it to the pan to finish cooking. This adds a minute or two to the cooking time and results in a crispier, more flavorful sandwich.