I’m An Avid Grilled Cheese
With winter in full swing, warm and ooey-gooey comfort food is the way to get through the cold days, and grilled cheese is the perfect option. It’s crisp on the outside, melted on the inside, and warm all over. I’m an avid grilled cheese-eater, and the “fancy” ones with Gruyere cheese or caramelized onions or fig jam overjoy me. So do I order them at restaurants every chance I get? Absolutely. But do I make them for myself at home? Not really.
However, I was really craving a fancy grilled cheese so I looked up recipes from celebrity chefs. Of course, Gordon Ramsay’s “Ultimate Grilled Cheese Sandwich” recipe from 2020 popped up … as did headlines bashing it. I fought the urge to read the reviews so I could make up my own mind. Instead, I read Ramsay’s recipe, watched a tutorial he filmed while in Tasmania, and went straight to the store to pick up the ingredients.
Ramsay’s written recipe and the video of him making the grilled cheese slightly differ. I took notes from both. Follow along to see if Ramsay’s recipe is worth the hate.
How To Make Grilled Cheese
How long to cook grilled cheese? Total cooking time for grilled cheese over low to medium/low heat is 6-7 minutes. That is enough time for the exterior to crisp and brown and allow the cheese to fully melt.
Is Baking In A Toaster Oven The Same As A Regular Oven
Many people believe that toaster ovens cook faster because they are smaller, but this isnt the case. Conventional ovens are better insulated, so they get up to temperature quicker and hold the heat better. A toaster oven can accommodate about a half-pan of cookies, muffins, scones, and other treats.
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Delicious Cheeses You Should Throw On The Grill
The look of confusion is priceless. Every time I mention to someone that I’m going to be “grilling cheese,” I watch them slowly try to parse what I’m saying. He surely meant to say ‘grilled cheese,’ right? Nope, I’m not talking about making a sandwich with melted cheese in it. I’m talking about taking a slab of cheese, throwing it on the grill, and cooking it until browned on the outside and softened on the inside.
The concept often seems impossible to the uninitiated, but ever since I first set eyes on grilled halloumi at a gyro shop, it’s been a crucial element of my grilling repertoire. The magical hard cheese sears beautifully while retaining its shape over high heat I love cooking it up for guests who first marvel at the notion that cheese can be grilled, and then fall for its salty flavor and chewy texture.
Although halloumi has long been my go-to, it’s not the only grill-worthy cheese out there. So, without further ado, meet our five grill-able cheeses:
Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipe
Theres Grilled Cheese and theres GREAT Grilled Cheese. Learn how to make the best Grilled Cheese Sandwich with a crisp, buttery exterior and gooey cheese center.
Try this combination of cheeses and the process for buttering and cooking the toast and you will be known for your Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. All you need is a Creamy Tomato Soup to dunk your sandwich into.
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We love hot sandwiches from our Crispy Chicken Sandwich to Philly Cheesesteak. This Grilled Cheese recipe is well-loved by the whole family. Who can resist that impressive cheese pull? Watch the video tutorial and see how easy it is. All you need is a skillet and a spatula.
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Things To Add To Spice Up A Plain Old Grilled Cheese Sandwich
A grilled cheese sandwich is great, as is, but if you want to make it a bit more exciting, there are lots of tasty options. When you pile these on your sandwich, you get something you love, while also trying something new. If you want to really impress someone, a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich is just the thing youâve been looking for. Here are some super yummy ideas. The only problem will be choosing which one you want to try first.
Bring Ingredients To Room Temperature
Cold butter will tear up the bread and cold cheese will take too long to melt. If additional ingredients are being used, they may not heat all the way through. If you use ingredients straight out of the fridge, your grilled cheese may be golden brown on the outside but cold and unappetizing in the center. So make sure all ingredients are room temperature before starting.
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Pantry Staples Like Tomato Or Bacon Jams Are Delicious In Grilled Cheese
Many people might have jams floating around in their pantries without knowing how to utilize them. To add a ton of flavor to a simple grilled cheese, adding ingredients like chutney, pepper jelly, tomato jam, or bacon jam can totally change the flavor profile.
“Any jam, any chutney, even dijon mustard, almost any condiment will lend itself to a grilled cheese sandwich,” Werlin said.
“If you’ve got sweet or savory condiments like pepper jelly or onion relish sitting in the back of your fridge, those work great in a grilled cheese,” Gibson said.
Why You Need To Add These 20 Ingredients To Your Grilled Cheeses Immediately
Even the best grilled cheese sandwiches need a little love to go beyond just kid stuff. Don’t get us wrong, we love the classic melty American-and-white-bread-with-a-buttery-crust good stuff , but grilled cheese sandwiches are also great for playing with some of your cheeseboard favorites or using up the last of little bits of leftovers that always seem to be hanging around the fridge.
Besides, who can resist melty, gooey cheese when it has a little bit of extra heat or maybe even something a little sweet? It doesn’t have to be fancy or anything wild just a little bit of something extra to push a grilled cheese to greatness.
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Roasted Or Sauteed Peppers Also Add A Lot Of Flavor And Texture To Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Bell peppers can be used in a number of different recipes, so they’ll never go to waste in your fridge. However, if you’re using them in a grilled cheese sandwich, Laura Werlin recommends cooking them a little bit before adding them.
“Bell peppers should be a little bit softer when you put them in, so you might want to roast them,” she said.
“The key with vegetables is getting the water out, otherwise you end up with a watery grilled cheese,” Heidi Gibson told Insider.
Delicious Ways To Get Creative With Your Grilled Cheese Sandwich:
1. Switch out your boring bread and try something different such as pumpernickel, rye, French bread, sourdough, or any of the whole grain breads. Make sure its not too thick or hole-y. Note: You can use bread like ciabatta if you choose, but youll have to add some thing to it so the cheese doesnt ooze all over the pan.
2. Play around with different cheeses. Try Swiss, Gouda, brie, mozzarella, pepper jack, Havarti, sharp cheddar, etc. for a scrumptiously cheesy difference. Stay away from non cheese!
3. Add different condiments to your grilled cheese sandwich. Give your cheesy goodness some extra oomph. Try spreading jam on one slice of bread. It will add an extra layer of flavor to the cheese. Some suggestions: grape jelly, strawberry, apricot, tomato jam, red pepper jelly, honey mustard, chipotle mayonnaise, cranberry relish, pesto, buffalo wing sauce, and so forth. A little cream cheese never hurt anyone either!
4. Take an ordinary grilled cheese sandwich and add protein to it. Sky is the limit here: sausage, pepperoni, lunch-meat, thinly sliced steak, chicken, tuna, corned beef, etc. The list goes on and on
5. Whats a sandwich without veggies? Avocado slices, tomatoes, caramelized onions, spinach, arugula, mushrooms, zucchini, and peppers work well.
6. Fruit can also work well with a grilled cheesesuch as thin slices of apples, pears, strawberries, peaches, or kiwi. Even dried cranberries, raisins, and currants are great options.
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The Best Bread For Grilled Cheese
When it comes to bread, any loaf that you like will work well. What matters most is how you prepare if. For the best results, toast your bread first. A quick toast will help your bread develop the golden edges and luscious crisp that youre after. Itll also help prevent the bread from getting soggy, no matter how many fillings you add.
Can You Put A Glass Bowl In A Toaster Oven
I would use Pyrex myself except that all my Pyrex dishes are large. If the stoneware is safe for an oven, it should be safe for the toaster oven as well. I think all theyve used in this toaster oven is the small metal pans provided. I know that if it is labeled oven safe it should be okay in a toaster oven.
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Favorite Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Sometimes only a grilled cheese sandwich will do. You know what I mean? Likewise, sometimes a grilled cheese sandwich is the only vegetarian option I can find.
Ive been disappointed by some grilled cheese sandwiches in my life, so I set out to create my ultimate grilled cheese recipe. I aimed for a favorite grilled cheese sandwich that I could make any time the craving strikes. I wanted gourmet flavor without any complicated ingredients or methods. Grilled cheese now, or bust!
I should also confess that I want to be famous for my grilled cheese sandwiches someday. Not internet-famous, but neighborhood-famous as the mom who makes the best grilled cheese. I want my future children to brag about my grilled cheese sandwich skills. Is that too much to ask?
So, here we are, and here is my favorite grilled cheese recipe. It is truly epic, as far as Im concerned. Keep on reading for my tips and tricks, because I have a few!
First I Had To Cut Mini Bricks Of Cheese
The recipe didn’t specify which cheese brands to use, so I bought the only option available at Foodtown, BelGioioso. Ramsay’s cheeses were more vibrant and marbled compared to my less-than-visually appealing pre-packaged versions.
Ramsay first cuts the Romano and Asiago into “mini bricks of cheese” in the tutorial. I found this slightly peculiar since they were hard cheeses and the thickness seemed daunting. I thought shaving or grating the cheese might be a better method to layer and melt it, but I followed the chef’s orders and cut them into quarter-inch slices.
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Dont Skimp On The Butter
You need enough butter to achieve the crackly-crisp, buttery, golden exterior that we all crave. If you always keep a stick of butter on the counter, you can simply spread the softened butter generously over the outside pieces of bread. If you dont , you can melt a pat of butter in the skillet before you add the bread.
A Toast To Grilled Cheese
A feel-good classic, the grilled cheese sandwich can be simple, elaborate, or totally offbeat. At its core are two slices of bread, sliced or grated cheese, and a little butter. The basic steps: Butter each slice of bread on one side, place in a nonstick pan butter side down, top with cheese, cover the pan, and cook over medium heat until the cheese starts to melt and bubble. Flip one slice of bread on top of the other, press them gently together, flip the sandwich over, and it’s done. Here are 19 ways to make this iconic comfort food even better.
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The Best Cheese To Use
My top choice is sharp cheddar cheese because its combination of firmness and flavor. This cheese has a solid structure that holds together and stretches nicely when heated, and during its aging process, it undergoes complex flavor development as it ripens. Other fallback options with similar firm characteristics are swiss cheese, gruyere, gouda, Monterey jack, pepper jack, and mozzarella.
Plastic wrapped American cheese is a convenient choice, although its flavor tends to be saltier. Kids usually dont mind, but this may turn off some adults. Soft and spreadable brie while delicious, can get a bit greasy when melted. For a stronger flavored sandwich, you can sprinkle on Parmesan or blue cheese in combination with one of the mild-flavored firm cheeses.
It Was Time To Cook The Monstrously Tall Sandwich
While Ramsay cooked his sandwich over an open flame in a brick oven, the recipe recommends the more standard stove-top cooking method.
Following the directions, I drizzled some olive oil into my cast-iron pan and turned the flame onto medium-high heat before placing the sandwich in. The buttered bread and oil immediately started to sizzle. After about a minute, I pressed down on the sandwich with a spatula to meld all the ingredients and crisp the bread. After a couple of minutes, it was time to flip the sandwich.
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Roasted Butternut Squash Adds A Ton Of Flavor To A Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Heidi Gibson explains that part of the magic of making a gourmet grilled cheese is taking the flavor combinations you love and figuring out how to incorporate them into a grilled cheese sandwich.
“If you look at Italian dishes like butternut squash and sage ravioli, you can make that into a grilled cheese,” she told Insider. “It’s reformatting those beloved flavors. Butternut squash, Fontina cheese, and sage are great in a grilled cheese. You can make sage butter, roast slices of butternut squash, play with it, and voilà, you’ve got a really interesting grilled cheese.”
Start With Quality Ingredients
Use a hearty slice of bread, but not too thick. I find that 1″-1.5″ is best depending on the type of grilled cheese that I am making. Anything less than 1″ will make a flimsy, soggy grilled cheese and anything too thick will not allow the cheese to melt properly.
Thick-cut classic white bread that you find in the super market can work, but avoid Wonder Bread or similarly squishy bread. Some of my favorites include sourdough, brioche and farmer’s bread.
You may be tempted to grab those individually wrapped little processed orange cheese slices. They are quick and easy, but will not give you the best-tasting grilled cheese. Go for a block of natural cheese that tastes good and melts well.
My favorites are sharp cheddar, Gouda, Gruyere, and Havarti. Be sure to thinly slice or shred the cheese so that it melts evenly. DO NOT use pre-shredded cheese. It contains a coating that prevents the cheese shreds from sticking to each other, which is not ideal for melting.
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Don’t Forget The Butter
Be sure to butter the outside of the bread. Use real butter, preferably salted. Butter adds great flavor to your grilled cheese and helps to create that golden brown exterior. Some people may opt for mayonnaise instead because they believe that butter will make their grilled cheese soggy.
As long as you use real butter, a substantial slice of bread, and follow my directions below, this will not be the case. While mayonnaise does create a nice crust, if you love butter as much as I do, there is no comparison.
Trying to be a little more fancy? Make a compound butter for your grilled cheese. Try mixing butter with herbs, honey, mustard, ranch, etc. to bump up the flavor.
And The Best Cheese For Grilled Cheese Is
Were partial to regular old cheddar cheesesharp or medium, depending on your preference but a great grilled cheese sandwich can be made out of lots of different cheeses, and our grilled cheese recipe will work with almost any cheese you favor. Here are a few great melters to try:
- Monterey Jack. This mild, creamy white cheese is an even better melter than cheddar, and is extra lovely mixed with a little sharp cheddar.
- Gruyère. Nutty and delightfully salty, Gruyère is an Alpine-style cheese that is widely available in the U.S. and makes for a richly flavorful grilled cheese.
- Raclette. Another gorgeous Alpine-style cheese that is quite literally made for melting. This washed-rind cheese is funkier than Gruyère and will definitely take your grilled cheese into grown-up territory.
- Blue / Chevré. Tangy chevré or sharp blue cheeses can be delicious additions to a grilled cheese, but we like to use them sparingly and coupled with mild, melty cheeses like Jack or cheddar.
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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.