When I was a child, grilled cheese was one of my favorite foods. There’s just something comforting about that delicious gooey cheese oozing from between two slices of golden and crispy bread. It warms your heart and sometimes burns your mouth and just tastes like heaven. And, even better, grilled cheese is one of this ridiculously simple dishes that is always a hit with kids. Most adults won’t turn one down either, and anyone can make one. You really can’t go wrong.
However, if you’re a grilled cheese fan like myself, then you don’t want to just make a grilled cheese sandwich–you want to create the world’s best grilled cheese sandwich. And fortunately it isn’t actually that much harder or different than what you’re probably already doing.
Here are some tips to make the best grilled cheese ever:
Use better bread
Although most people are accustomed to using storebought pre-sliced bread, the truth of the matter is that the better your quality of bread, the better your grilled cheese will be. Instead of using tasteless white bread try using some french bread, cibatta, or even just homemade bread. Remember, though, that you want to make sure the bread isn’t too porous.
Cook with the right heat
The amount of heat and method for cooking is going to change depending on what bread and cheese you’re using. For prewrapped American cheese and storebought bread, you’ll be fine with medium-low heat. If you’re using hard cheddar and homemade bread that is sliced a little thicker, then you’ll need to use slightly lower heat and cover the sandwich for a bit to help the cheese melt. You may have to experiment a bit to get it right, but remember that the heat has to penetrate the bread to melt the cheese, so the thicker it is, the longer it may take.
Shred your cheese
I personally love using sharp cheddar on my grilled cheese. That’s what we grew up with at my house, as my parents didn’t like prewrapped American and didn’t keep it in the house. However, the harder cheeses are a bit slower to melt. While you can simply cover the pan and cook it slower, shredding the cheese is a great way to help it melt in a more timely manner. Just avoid pre-shredded as it often has corn starch or flour additives that taste odd.
Add some extra seasoning
Adding some seasoning to the bread will help give it a zing. However, while some people will tell you to put it on the outside as it cooks, I find that tends to make it messy to eat. Instead, butter the insides of the bread and sprinkle some seasonings in there. I prefer oregano and garlic, myself, but I imagine you could use just about any seasoning your heart desired. Some places will suggest salt, but I wouldn’t recommend it–you’re probably going to get enough salt from your butter.
Be creative with your cheese choices and try mixing different types for the best flavor! Make sure that the cheeses you’re using are meltable, though. You can use use a dry cheese like Parmesan if you add it to something that will melt well. My personal favorite is white cheddar and feta.
If you’re looking to get the outside of your sandwich that beautiful golden brown, then try adding some mayo to your butter before spreading it on the sandwich. It does change the flavor a little, but with the right cheese, it can be absolutely delicious. And as an added bonus, your sandwich won’t burn as quickly as it would with just butter on the outside.
Add in extras
From bacon to veggies, lunch meat, avocado, chips, fruit… the possibilities for mixing up your grill cheese masterpiece are absolutely endless. Personally, I love bacon and tomato in my grilled cheese, but my roommate used to love frying an egg and adding that and some avocado. Cheese goes great with a lot of things, so your imagination is the limit!
Let it rest
This is easily the hardest part of cooking really good grilled cheese–waiting! But if you’ve added in some extra things or changed up your cheese and breads, then it’s extremely important that you let it sit for a minute or so to set. Otherwise you’ll end up with cheese all over your plate and a burnt tongue, which makes enjoying that delectable sandwich difficult.