Grilled Cheese Cooking Method: Mayonnaise
About this method: Many cooks online have begun advocating cooking a grilled cheese in mayo rather than butter, so I had to put this to the test. To make this grilled cheese, I followed the method described above, using 1/2 tablespoon of mayonnaise spread directly on each side the bread .
Results: This was, without a doubt, the most disappointing method of the bunch. Its worth noting that I actually love mayonnaise, which made this failure even more of a bummer. The flavor of the grilled cheese was kind of blah , the bread was barely crisp, and it had the most lackluster browning of all the methods.
How To Make The Perfect Grilled Cheese Sandwich
As many of you may know, I am completely obsessed with grilled cheese sandwiches! They are so simple and yet so irresistibly good! Over the years I have made countless grilled cheese sandwiches and more recently I have been experimenting with them and sharing my adventures with you. I recently realized that although I have posted a lot of grilled cheese sandwich recipes, I have not written about the basic grilled cheese sandwich or gone into much detail about how to make a grilled cheese sandwich. Since I have picked up a few tricks along the way, I thought that it was about time that I shared them with you.
At its base a grilled cheese sandwich is pretty simple consisting of bread, butter and cheese. These three ingredients, when combined correctly, come together to form something that is truly magical! Now, I am not going to tell you that you need to to use expensive high end ingredients to make a perfect grilled cheese sandwich because you do not. Lets face it, a grilled cheese sandwich made with basic white bread and a slice of American cheese can be pure pleasure with the ability to instantly transport you back to your child hood days and even I get the cravings every once in a while. That is not to say that you cannot get better results using better ingredients but this post is more about the techniques to get that perfectly grilled cheese sandwich.
The Perfect Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Tips For The Best Grilled Cheese
- Low heat it takes a little patience to make the perfect grilled cheese. Keep your heat on low to give the cheese time to fully melt while the bread gets golden and crisp. If browning too fast, turn the heat down.
- Butter generously the amount of butter may seem like a lot, but it is important for a crispy exterior.
- Use thick-sliced bread we love using Texas toast because its sliced about twice as thick as normal sandwich bread. You want bread that is about 3/4 to 1 thick, but also avoid bread that is too thick or your cheese wont melt properly. Using bread that is too thin will produce a flimsy and sometimes soggy sandwich.
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Choose A Cooking Method
When it comes to cooking your grilled cheese, you have three options.
- Stovetop: A standard skillet is the most straightforward and convenient method. Preheat a skillet over medium-low heat, then cook the assembled sandwich uncovered, flipping halfway through, until both sides are golden, about 3 to 4 minutes per side.
- Oven: Making grilled cheese for a crowd? Save yourself time and effort and simply cook sandwiches on a rimmed baking sheet in a 450-degree F oven. Cook, flipping halfway through, until the cheese is melty and the bread golden, about 10 minutes total.
- Panini Press: For a maximum crispy sear with minimal effort, try cooking grilled cheese in a panini press. Preheat a panini press to medium heat, place sandwich in press, close the top and cook until lightly browned and the cheese is melted, about 5 to 6 minutes.
The Best Pan For Grilled Cheese
The pan is just as important, if not more so, than the bread and cheese. A flimsy skillet will grill your sandwich unevenly. A skillet thats too small makes it hard to maneuver the sandwich.
For one sandwich at a time, I like a 10-inch cast-iron skillet.
Grilled cheese sandwiches dont really stick to the pan, so if you dont have a nonstick pan, its fine. I prefer a cast-iron pan.
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How To Make A Grilled Cheese
For the perfect grilled cheese sandwich, you will need:
2 ounces of sliced melting cheese
2 slices of bread
1 tablespoon fat
Here are our top tips and preferred methods, including how to pick the best grilled cheese bread, what cheese to use for grilled cheese, and whether you should use butter or mayo for grilled cheese.
Using An Unsuitable Variety Of Cheese
Please bear in mind that all types of cheese are not treated as equal when making a grilled sandwich. There are some varieties that are suitable for grilled cheese, while others may not deliver the same results. We suggest that you avoid the hard and old cheese varieties like Pecorino or Parmesan.
Goat and feta cheese are also not suitable as they tend to be dry and crumbly. Although delicious, these varieties will not melt to give you the perfect gooey texture for grilled cheese. Hence, we suggest that you choose from the above varieties such as American, Cheddar, and Swiss.
The grilled cheese plays varied roles in our livesit may be the lunchtime diner order: two slices of white bread with gooey American cheese. It may be the late-night snack: leftover whole wheat with slices of Swiss eaten after a stressful day, à la The Devil Wears Prada. And, more and more often, it maybe be gourmet: great artisan bread, imported cheese, and fresh vegetables.
Thats the situation here. We matched slices of sourdough bread with Danish fontina cheese, which melts into an extraordinarily gooey filling. Weve also stuffed summer heirloom tomatoes, spicy leaves of rocket, and rings of red onion in between the bread.
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Butter Your Bread Not The Pan
Instead of dropping a pat of butter into a hot skillet, butter the bread for more flavor and even browning. Generously spread one side of each bread slice with softened salted butter. Or, instead of butter, spread one side of each bread slice with mayonnaise. It will give your sandwich a slight tang and help it brown beautifully.
To Shred Or To Slice The Cheese
Shredding the cheese is a great option, but not always necessary. If you are using cheese that is harder like a gruyère and doesn’t melt quite as easy as cheddar or American, then shredding is your best bet to an even melt before burning the bread. If it’s cheddar or American, then slicing the cheese is totally fine.
There is a little hidden benefit to shredding cheese though, and that’s eating the little pieces of melted cheese that have fallen out of the sandwich and crisped up on the griddle.
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Benefits Of The Breville Perfect Press
- It’s great when you have kids – I don’t know about your hungry kids, but mine isn’t in the waiting mood when it’s time for a sandwich. The Perfect Press takes a few steps away from my normal routine and his sandwich, so it’s ready to eat in less time.
- Quick and even browning – It cooks from both sides and lightly presses the sandwich together.
- Easy clean up – A simple wipe with damp paper towel is really all you need to do to clean the non stick surface.
- Makes two sandwiches at once – There’s enough surface area to make two sandwiches at the same time.
- Heats up quickly and to the right temperature – Ready in just under 3 minutes, by my test.
How Much Cheese To Use
I find that using at least 2 thick slices, about to ¼-inch max, of sharp cheddar provides just the right ratio of cheese-to-bread. If the slices are any thicker, itll affect the melt time. If using a block of cheese, you can grate or shred it to make an even layer, although it will melt quicker than slices.
When placing the cheese on top of the unbuttered side of the bread, leave a little bit of space along the edges so the cheese doesnt spew over, unless you like a little bit of fried cheese on the edges.
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Best Bread For Grilled Cheese:
This is what making grilled cheese is all about!
- Use whatever bread you love, but make sure it is sturdy enough to hold the cheese in.
- White bread and sourdough are the most popular, but even a thickly sliced boule will make a perfect grilled cheese!
- Dark rye and pumpernickel pair well with lighter cheeses like Gouda or Havarti
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How To Make A Better Grilled Cheese: 7 Tips For A Cheesier Crispier More Flavorful Sandwich
Of all the quick but delicious meals Ive leaned heavily on the past 18 months, grilled cheese is near the top of the list. I almost always have the basic ingredients around some type of bread, some type of cheese as well as some little extras to make the sandwich really sing. I suspect Ive rarely made the same one twice.
Whether youre a grilled cheese improviser or creature of habit, theres usually at least one thing you can do to help transform a good sandwich into a great one. Im not necessarily talking about overhauling your strategy. Instead, these are small tips for making a next-level grilled cheese.
I canvassed the Voraciously team, my food-loving Instagram followers and my own experience to compile this list of suggestions. Mix and match, or pick one to focus on. But most importantly, have fun trying them.
Wed love to hear your tips for the perfect grilled cheese! Share in the comments below.
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Shredded Or Sliced Cheese
Shredded or sliced are both awesome choices for a great grilled cheese sandwich. Here are some tips for choosing which one will work best for you.
- Shredded cheese: If you like to combine more than one type of cheese, shredded cheese is your best bet. Youll have the ability to fine tune the ratios of each one to your liking. The amount of cheese used will depend on the size of the bread. For a standard loaf of sandwich bread, use & frac13 ½ cup of shredded cheese per sandwich.
- Sliced cheese: If you are only using one type of cheese, 1 oz. of sliced cheese is perfect. Two slices around 2mm thick seem to be ideal. Request a number 2 thickness if you are getting cheese from the deli counter.
Adjust the amount of cheese used per sandwich to your liking. The amounts suggested are good starting points!
How To Make Grilled Cheese In The Oven //
I used a crusty white bread that I got at a local bakery. I buttered one side and toasted it, then took it out and spread a light layer of Dijon mustard on the opposite side of bread. Then I topped it with shredded Gouda and Havarti, a few thin slices of ham and apple. Add a little more cheese to help it all stick together. Put it back in the oven and toast until the cheese is melted and gooey. Take it out and add a grind of pepper, a handful of baby arugula, and a generous drizzle of hot honey.
This sandwich hits all the notes that make me happy. Crispy, crunchy, salty, sweet, creamy, spicy. Its absolute perfection. I hope you love it as much as I do.
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A Few Notes About Methodology
Grilled Cheese Prep: In an effort to focus on how each of the cooking fats performed, I standardized all of the other elements. I used the same brand of pre-sliced white sandwich bread, the same kind of prepackaged yellow American cheese, the same stainless steel skillet, the same metal spatula, and the same cooking temperature for making each sandwich. I also used the same total amount of cooking fat one tablespoon per sandwich. For example, if it was just one ingredient, like softened butter, I used one tablespoon total. If the method involved both butter and olive oil, I used 1/2 tablespoon of each.
Method: To make each grilled cheese, I heated the skillet to medium-low, spread 1/2 tablespoon of the cooking fat on one side of a slice of bread, and put it into the hot skillet, fat-side down. I immediately put two slices of cheese on it, and popped a lid on the skillet. Meanwhile, I spread the other 1/2 tablespoon of cooking fat on one side of another slice of bread. Once the cheese started to melt , I removed the lid, placed the second slice of bread on the cheese, fat-side up, and immediately flipped the sandwich with a spatula. I continued cooking the grilled cheese uncovered until the cheese was completely melted and the bread was golden brown, about two to three minutes.
How To Make Perfect Grilled Cheese
Spread one side of each slice of bread with the butter, dividing it equally.
Place 2 slices on a cutting board, butter side down , and layer 3 slices of cheese or sprinkle 23 cup of grated cheese on each slice of bread. If you are using more than one kind of cheese, divide the different kinds as you like between the sandwiches.
Top the sandwiches with the remaining 2 slices of bread, butter side up.
Heat a large skillet, either a nonstick skillet or one that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, over medium heat. Carefully place the sandwiches in the skillet, cover it, and cook the sandwiches until the bottoms start to turn golden brown, about 2 minutes.
Uncover the skillet and, using a spatula, turn the sandwiches over .
Press down on the sandwiches a bit with the spatula, and cook them uncovered until the second side is golden brown and crisp, about 3 minutes.
Turn the sandwiches one more time, and cook them until the bottom is fully golden brown and crispy, 1 to 2 minutes longer.
Transfer the sandwiches to the cutting board, let them sit for 1 minute so that the cheese firms back up a bit.
Cut the sandwiches in half and serve.
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Grilled Cheese Sandwich Ingredients
- Bread. The bread makes all the difference! We want to use thick-sliced bread like Texas Toast. This particular type of bread is sliced thicker than regular sandwich bread which were relying on. If the bread is too thick, the cheese wont melt and, too thin, the sandwich will be flimsy. Aim for bread sliced about 1 inch thick.
- Softenedbutter. Its important the butter is thoroughly softened so it can spread easily without mashing up or flattening the bread. Plus we want an even layer of fat to ensure the perfect bread toasting. See quick tip below.
- Mayo. Real, full-fat mayo is our preference for sandwich flavor!
- Garlicpowder. This is optional if you love garlic, youll love what this subtle addition does for the sandwich.
- Salt is cheeses best friend: If your grilled cheese doesnt taste cheesy enough, chances are its a salting issue. Try adding a touch more salt and see if that doesnt make a world of difference. Yes, even a sandwich needs salt youll be amazed at the difference this can make!
- Cheeses. We add three types of cheese! Whats the best cheese for grilled cheese? Our favorite combo is affordable and kids and adults alike love it: gouda, sharp Cheddar, and Muenster. Delish!
How To Make A Grilled Cheese On The Grill
Get a grill ready for direct grilling over medium heat.
Get out two slices of bread. Spread one side of each with softened butter or mayonnaise. . Flip the bread slices over. Put a couple of cheese slices onto one slice of bread. Invert the other bread onto it so that it is butter-side-up.
Transfer the sandwich to the preheated grill. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until grill marks appear. Shift the sandwich around, moving it 90 degrees. Cook for another minute or two, to get those lovely hash marks.
Flip the sandwich over and repeat on the second side, cooking for 2-3 minutes to get the initial grill marks and then turning the sandwich 90 degrees to create hashmarks.
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Common Mistakes That Ruin Your Grilled Cheese
The grilled cheese sandwich is a classic. Perfectly melted and rich cheese, sandwiched between two slices of golden, crispy, fatty bread its simple, comforting, and utterly timeless. It was one of the first things we learned to cook and one that we carried with us throughout the years.
But as basic as this sandwich is, there are a few hanging points that can stop you and the grilled cheese of your dreams. Dont let it happen to you.
To have a perfect grilled cheese sandwich you should avoid these mistakes
What Kind Of Cheese To Use In Grilled Cheese
This is where the fun starts. This recipe is a blueprint, and the sandwich that results is your creation and yours alone. Intermingling different kinds of cheese results in some very special combinations. If you use a stronger flavored cheese, like Stilton for instance, you may want to cut the flavor with a slice of milder cheese like muenster, so the sandwich isnt too intense.
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