How to Make Grilled Cheese the Correct Way
Bread. Cheese. Heat. Though the dish is typically composed of simple ingredients, there are still plenty of home cooks who simply do not know how to make grilled cheese sandwiches.
Maybe it’s because practically everyone seems to have their own ‘secret’ grilled cheese recipe. Some insist that using mayo, instead of butter, yields a more flavourful and evenly browned sandwich. Others claim that grated cheese melts better than slices. And yet another sect will talk your ears off about infused oils, specialty cheeses, and artisan loaves.
Ignore them all. When it comes to making grilled cheese sandwiches, simplicity and a few easy-to-master techniques matter far more than fancy ingredients. Grab a pan and follow along:
How to Make Grilled Cheese
- Two slices of sandwich bread
- Two slices of cheese of any kind
Note: if you’re looking to replicate the type of grilled cheese sandwiches you’d get in an American diner, then American cheese is probably best. But other varieties should work fine, too. You do you.
- Butter (about a tablespoon should do it)
- Frying pan with cover (preferably non-stick)
- Melt some butter in the pan.
- Once the butter is hot, place both slices of bread in the pan and allow them to soak up some of the melted butter.
Note: a lot of people like to butter the bread before putting the slices in the pan, but I always find that makes for a soggier sandwich since I’m more inclined to really slather it on. If that’s your thing, go for it.
- Once the bread has soaked up enough butter, place cheese on one of the slices, and use the spatula to flip the other slice of bread on top.
- Lower the heat.
Because you’ve already browned both sides of the bread, you don’t have to worry so much about flipping. Putting the cover over the sandwich will help ensure the cheese melts thoroughly.
- After about a minute, check to see if the cheese has melted enough. If it has, give the sandwich a quick flip to ensure both sides are evenly browned.
- Eat. That. Sandwich.
Grilled Cheese Tips from Chefs
Once you've mastered your grilled cheese technique, learn how to elevate it with these tips and tricks from professional chefs.
Toast the bread first
Our experts recommend to toast the bread first to cut any risk of a soggy sandwich.
According to our experts, it’s best to use three different cheeses: one soft, one hard, and one pungent. Start with an international blend of american, provolone and gruyère, then experiment to find your favourite composition.
Bring in different breads
Some of our experts swear by hearty potato bread, instead of white, while others are team brioche for life.
Try clarified butter
One of our experts suggested using clarified butter, which has a higher smoke point than regular butter, thus minimising your chances of burning the dang thing. (We've all done it.)
Maybe go with mayo?
Oh, and remember that bit about using mayo? Some of our experts get the hype, adding that mayo works better inside the sandwich, where it adds a creamy texture and helps the cheese get hot and bubbly.
‘The mayo adds a creamy texture and helps the cheese get hot and bubbly’, our expert explains.
And if all else fails, our experts have an ingredient suggestion, which also happens to be just great life advice: ‘add bacon’.