Grilled cheese sandwiches are one of the most comforting foods we can imagine. With a bowl of tomato soup, filled with turkey, spread with pesto—there are infinite variations on the classic theme. But there are a few tips to keep in mind, no matter how you prefer your sandwich.
1. Choose the right cheese. There’s a myriad of cheeses that work perfectly for grilled cheese (and many work well in combination, like Havarti and Brie), but you want to make sure that the one you end up with is a good melter, and won’t become separate and become greasy.
American is, we admit, iconic, and the cheese we usually associate with childhood grilled cheeses. But, in our opinion, using real cheese is just plain better. (Unless you need that processed cheese fix. We get it.)
Our favorite is Gruyére, which melts perfectly and has complex salty flavors. Cheddar is classic, and produces that stretchy cheese that you can pull all the way out and wrap around your finger, but mild Cheddar tends to melt better than sharp (it’s a science thing). Gouda, Manchego, Fontina, Swiss, Muenster, and Provolone are also ideal, and easy to find at the supermarket.
2. Choose the right bread. You need something structurally sound, not like white bread which is mostly air, and will become soggy instead of toasted and crunchy. Our favorite is sourdough, and we also love ciabatta, pumpernickel, and a hearty multigrain.
3. Spread the outside with mayonnaise. Trust us. For reasons beyond our comprehension, this is controversial for many butter purists. But it is the tried-and-true best method for achieving sublime, evenly browned crusts.
4. Cook it in butter. We bypass the mayonnaise/butter argument by using both. There’s no substitute for butter, even if we are talking about mayonnaise. It’s a grilled cheese—we’ve left healthy behind. This is about love.
Lastly, cooking your grilled cheese in a heavy bottomed pan is great. It’s what we usually do. But we got to try out this electric griddle made by T-Fal, called the Optigrill. And while it works for tons of different foods, we found it to be ideal for cooking our favorite sandwich.
Perfect Grilled Cheese Sandwich