The Best Cheeses For Grilled Cheese According To People Who Truly Know
Warning: American cheese has no place in this story.
While its hard to deny the melty perfection of a diner-style grilled cheese sandwich made with slices of American cheese or even Kraft singles, most experts happen to think American cheese is pure garbage.
Its not really cheese to me, its some kind of weird plastic-y substance that should be banned from the face of the earth, Heidi Gibson, co-owner of The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen in San Francisco, told HuffPost.
While not everyone agrees with that, its not the only point of contention when it comes to making a good grilled cheese sandwich. You can use white or wheat bread, and you can slather it with either butter or mayo. You can grate your cheese or you can slice it, or you can get real controversial and put tomatoes in it. But what really matters in a grilled cheese sandwich is the type of cheese you use. And no one agrees on that, either.
But there are professionals who truly know how to turn cheese into magic. When you meet such a person, you should listen to them carefully. We did just that, asking three legendary cheese experts to tell us, in their opinion, the best cheeses for a grilled cheese sandwich.
Best Cheese For A Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Nothing is more satisfying than a hot, melty grilled cheese sandwich. The popular American kitchen cuisine is a subservient combo with tomato soup. The pair is a heavenly delight for many grilled cheese sandwich lovers. Its the ideal lunch menu for the pickiest eaters, making it a universally relished dish.
An ideal grilled-cheese sandwich is all about sturdy bread, flavorsome cheese, and a rich smear of butter or mayo or even both! It could be simple as that, or you can get a bit fancier by adding in tomatoes, smoked apple slices, bacon, or any other fillings of your choice.
There is no wrong way to make this classic lunchtime delight, but most connoisseurs agree that the type of cheese you use in your sandwich is what that really matters. Before we dig deeper into cheese types, lets first explore the other elements:
How To Choose Your Kitchen Utensils For Traditional And Modern Cooking
When it comes to choosing your fork knife and spoon grilled cheese, there are a few things you need to take into account. The type of cooking you want to do will determine the tools you need.
If youre into traditional cooking, youll need pots and pans, knives, cutting boards, and utensils. Youll need a blender, food processor, and mixer for modern cooking. Youll also need bakeware and serving dishes.
The size of your kitchen will also dictate the kinds of fork knife and spoon grilled cheese you need. If you have a small kitchen, youll need to be more selective about your chosen tools. You wont have much counter space, so youll need to choose smaller appliances. Youll also need to be more careful about the number of pots and pans you have. If you have a large kitchen, youll have more space to work with. You can choose any kind of appliance or gadget you want. Just make sure you have enough storage space for everything.
The kind of food you like to cook will also dictate the kinds of kitchen tools you need. If youre a fan of traditional Italian cooking, youll need a pasta maker and a pizza stone. If you like to bake, youll need an oven and baking pans. If youre into healthy cooking, youll need a juicer and a food processor.
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A Question Of Fats: Butter Or Mayonnaise
The key point here is to not just add fat to the pan, which will result in uneven browninginstead, you need to spread it onto your bread then add it spread-side down into a hot frying pan.
There are two key contenders for that essential, spreadable fat:
Butter: For easy spreading, make sure you butter is at room temperature so its easy to create a thin, even layer over the entire surface area of your slice. Butter can be a fickle friend in the frying panas its low smoke point can accelerate burning, so youll need to cook low and slow. If you want that buttery flavor, to help it along, drizzle a little olive oil into your hot pan, then place your bread slices, butter-side-down, and wipe them around the pan to mop up the oil.
Mayonnaise: Mayonnaise, in my mind, is the winner. If it sounds weird to slather the outside of your bread in the spreadlets just take a second to think about it: Highly spreadable mayonnaise is made of oil and eggs , two things that take very well to browning. Not only does it glide over the bread when you spread it onunlike fridge fresh butterit means you can cook your grilled cheese on medium heat, itll brown quicker, and youll have a nice contrast of crispy exterior and fluffy interior. If youre worried about the flavor, dont be, its not perceptible, but to be doubly sure, use European-style creamy egg mayonnaise rather than a sweetened, vinegary variant.
What Can I Add To My Grill Cheese
Honestly, what else can you think of to add?
Grilled cheese sandwiches may be elevated to an entirely new level by the addition of caramelized onions, thinly sliced apples or pears, bacon, and even crunchy peanut butter. Grilled cheese with pepperoni is delicious, as is Dill Pickle Bacon Grilled Cheese, which is my personal favorite.
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What Cheese Goes On Hamburgers
Start with a Classic Cheese
- Cheddar. One of the most popular cheeseburger helpers is Cheddar cheese, which gives a cheeseburger a nice tang with bold flavor.
- Cooking time: 20 minutes
- Calories: 436
Two slices of toasted golden bread are sandwiched together with melted cheese. It is the outcome of perfecting a classic that we have come up with: the ideal grilled cheese sandwich!
What Is The Origin Of Grilled Cheese
Try this recipe at home with Spring Brook Farm’s Reading Raclette.
No one knows who exactly did it first, but the version most Americans probably think ofcheese melted between slices of bread toasted in a pan with butter or another cooking fatarose with the development of sliced bread in the early 20th century. The sandwich really took off with the advent of Kraft processed cheese singles in the 1940s.
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Tips To Make The Perfect Grilled Sandwich:
Anybody can make a grilled-cheese sandwich, but here is some expert advice to become a pro at it:
· Set the heat right: keep the heat to the lowest level for the golden-brown crust and perfectly melted cheese. If the flame is too high or the pan is hot, then your bread will be entirely toasted before the cheese is melted inside.
· Use Mayo Instead of Butter: for perfect results, grilled your sandwich with mayo. Cover the outsides with a thin layer of mayonnaise to get a perfect golden slice that is crisp and grease-free.
· Go Open Face: if your grilled sandwich is fully loaded with cheese and other fillings, start the grilling without a top slice while covering the pan with a lid. The steam will melt the cheese but wont turn your bread soggy. Once the cheese starts melting, place the second slice, and flip the sandwich.· Cover the Corners: once you have decided on the cheese type, its time to hoard it on your sandwich. Grate it, slice or slather it but cover each and every corner of your bread for a cheesy-treat.
Materials Of Fork Knife And Spoon Grilled Cheese
When looking for a fork knife and spoon grilled cheese, it is important to consider the materials from which it is made. For example, tools should be made of a durable material like stainless steel to ensure that they can withstand regular use or silicone to prevent them from melting or warping.
Keep a keen eye on your cooking utensils and dishes to ensure that they do not affect your health or taste.
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Featured Recipe: Deluxe Grilled Cheese
We put the above tips and tricks into action with a simple yet luxurious three-cheese grilled cheese recipe that hits all the right notes! Savory, creamy, and definitely cheesywith just a hint of spicethis elevated grilled cheese sandwich is delicious to serve at even the nicest dinners. Try it for yourself:
Uplands Pleasant Ridge Reserve
This aged, alpine-style cheese has a complex, savory flavor profile that will remind you of French onion soup, says Browne, who keeps this award-winning Wisconsin cheese on hand at all times for both cheese boards and of course, grilled cheese.
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What To Put Inside Grilled Cheese
Grilled cheese is a great playground for all sorts of other flavors. Just add some meat and veggies, and youâve got a panini. It can take on fruit, like apple slices, or even nuts, like walnut chunks. Dip it in aioli, drizzle it with salsa, and enjoy it however you like it.
Grilled cheese is great with a bit of grilled, shredded chicken inside. Start by grilling up a couple of chicken breasts. When theyâre done, just shred the chicken and toss it between bread with your cheese of choice. You can add avocado and bacon to complete the sandwich.
How To Make A Perfectly Golden Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Its time to master the ultimate pantry snack
Theres a scene in the 2014 film Chef, where the main characterJon Favreau as a crabby fine dining chef turned Cubano sandwich peddlermakes his son a grilled cheese sandwich for breakfast. He liberally spreads butter onto the bread, drizzles a glug of olive oil onto the hotplate, then adds instantly sizzling bread, stacks each slice with 3 different cheeses, sandwiches them, and, flipping now and again, watches attentively for golden brown bread and oozing cheese.
The clip has almost a million views, which I think says a thing or two about the universal appeal of grilled cheese or maybe just the sheer amount of people out there looking for clues on how to make this perfect cheesy snack.
The allure of a grilled cheese lies as much in its simplicity as in the coveted, Instagram-able “cheese pull”. At a minimum, all it takes are three household ingredientsbread, cheese, and butterand a little help of the Maillard reaction and voilàa mid-morning pick-me-up or late-night snack. But if youre here, you probably know its the simplest things that are often the hardest to mastermaybe your bread burned before your cheese could even melt or maybe your pan was besieged by pools of acrid, blackened cheese.
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Q: What Ingredients Pair Best With Each Type Of Cheese
A: The short answer iswhatever you like! Mix and match different cheese and ingredients pairings until you find a favorite match. But the truth iseach type of cheese does have unique characteristics and tasting notes, and does tend to pair naturally with certain foods and flavors. A good rule of thumb is: dont let any one flavor overpower any other. Meaningif youre using a bold cheese, find an equally bold ingredient combo to match. Check out our Charcuterie Boards blog to see some popular ingredient pairings for many of the cheeses listed above!
The Easiest Grilled Cheese: Natashas Kitchens Ultimate Grilled Cheese
- Overall rating: 8/10
- Read more: I Tried the Internets Most Popular Grilled Cheese Recipe
What I appreciated most about Natashas recipe was the ease from both a cooking and cleanup standpoint. But while I was initially excited about not having to dirty a cheese grater, I found that the sliced cheese didnt melt nearly as well as grated. Grating the cheese would have also helped the flavors of the cheddar, Havarti, and Gouda mix together more seamlessly.
I did appreciate Natashas use of Texas toast, as I think thicker slices of bread are better for grilled cheese sandwiches. Next time, Ill keep the cheese selection the same but grate it instead of using the sliced stuff.
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Not All Gooey Melty Fromage Is Created Equal
The stuff of easy at home lunches and the ever-faithful sidekick to a cup of tomato soup, grilled cheese sandwiches are the ultimate handheld meal. A sandwich forged in childhood memories should transition beautifully into adulthoodwith some cheesy upgrades, that is.
So, which cheeses are best between two slices of butter-grilled bread? We asked certified GC OG Matt Fish, founder of Cleveland’s famous Melt Bar and Grilled, to rank the best of the best. After cautioning against any smoked slices , he gave us the nine best options. Your taste buds will thank you later.
Once youve narrowed down your fromage of choice, weve got grilled sandwich recipes to try. And when you dont want to compose your own sandwich at all, there are plenty of places to find a great grilled cheese.
The Best Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipes
Whether youre working with a flavorful artisan cheese or a go-to melter like American cheese, a little inspiration can go a long way into building the grilled cheese of your dreams. Here are some of our favorite grilled cheese recipes weve developed over the years.
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The Best Ever Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Using mayonnaise and butter to spread on the bread results in a deliciously crunchy crust with the well-known, lovely flavor of butter that one would anticipate from a grilled cheese sandwich. Get the recipe from Josh Rink, Taste of Home Food Stylist
From Comfort Food To Gourmet Delights
The Spruce / Bailey Mariner
A grilled cheese sandwich can be simple, using just bread, butter, and one cheese. Or, it can be a bit fancierthink blue cheese with apples and smoked bacon. Whatever type of sandwich you prefer, choosing the type of cheese you’re going to use is the important first step.
For convenience, you may use pre-sliced cheese. It is easiest to find pre-sliced cheddar, Colby, Monterey Jack, Havarti, Gouda, mozzarella, Muenster, provolone, and Swiss. You won’t need a knife and cutting board and the slice will be flat and of approximately the right dimensions.
However, using cheese that is too soft to package pre-sliced or is less common can make a delicious grilled cheese sandwich. Here are some choices.
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What Can You Add To Grilled Cheese
Theres something pure and uniquely delicious about a grilled cheese made with just cheese and bread. But when it comes to gourmet grilled cheese, you can use a plethora of different ingredients to switch things up. Heres a rundown of the best condiments and add-ins for grilled cheese.
A good rule of thumb to follow is: If you serve it on a cheese board, you can incorporate it into a grilled cheese sandwich. That means fruit preserves like jam, fresh fruit, pickles, olives, cured meats like ham or prosciutto, mustards, and even spicy Turkish pepper paste are fair game.
Of course, some of our favorite breakfast foods are right at home in a grilled cheese sandwich, including fried or scrambled eggs, juicy fresh sausage patties, or crisp, umami-rich bacon.
To make your grilled cheese healthier and more of a meal, you can incorporate fresh veggies and herbs, like a handful of arugula, thin slices of fennel, or a chiffonade of fresh basil. Grilled cheese is also a great way to repurpose cooked veggiesthink last nights garlicky kale, sliced roasted butternut squash, roasted mushrooms, or caramelized onions. You can even incorporate unique produce like summer squash blossoms into a grilled cheese.
Watch How To Make Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
This is a prank that my grandma Mimi used to do on me when I was younger. Perhaps you have come upon it in a restaurant and were curious about how it works. Depending on how non-stick your pan is, it may be a bit difficult to do this. Its worth a shot if you have a well-seasoned cast iron pan on your hands. Alternatively, you may sprinkle some more grated cheese over the surface of the greased pan before flipping the heated sandwich over. Listen carefully, and once the cheese has ceased to sizzle, wait a few more seconds before flipping it back over.
Notes about using a nonstick skillet: Ive always advocated for the use of cast iron or stainless steel skillets wherever practical, because they are non-toxic and easy to clean.
Im not suggesting this pan any more, despite the fact that it was non-stick enough to create these sandwiches with no problems.
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Gruyre Comt And Other Hard Alpine Cheeses
Take inspiration from fondue, another Swiss melted cheese tradition, with this cheese family. Younger and longer-aged Alpine cheeses are often blended together to create the perfect combination of gooey stretch and savory in the fondue pot.
Between slices of bread, you can use just about any Alpine cheesekeeping in mind that very hard, crystalline varieties should be blended with something softer and milder to create the perfect texture. Add in peppery arugula, slices of tart apple, or a dollop of pepper jelly for contrast.