Variations of bread-plus-cheese have been eaten for centuries, but the closest relative to the sandwich we know and love today started gaining popularity in the 1920s when pasteurized cheese was invented as a way to keep cheese from spoiling. With fresh, accessible cheese now available all across the country, people began enjoying open-faced grilled cheese sandwiches, until eventually it became common to add a second slice of bread on top for an easily grabbable, more substantial meal.
Today, the grilled cheese sandwich is enjoyed all over the country, with gourmet variations popping up at even the fanciest of eateries. To get your sandwiches on par with best, here are five ways to up your grilled cheese game.
Let’s get started by recognizing the different cheeses you can use to make delicious grilled cheese sandwiches!
• Colby: This cheese is often referred to as being the best for grilled cheese. It is soft and moist, making is perfect to melt.
• American: With a creamy consistency, American cheese is easy to melt and enjoy. This cheese is the most common used in grilled cheese because of its mild and salty flavor.
• Swiss: Swiss cheese is perfect for its mild savor and when paired fruits and meats.
• Monterey Jack: For a mild and sweet flavor choose Monterey jack cheese. It is great to mix with other cheeses and vegetables.
1. Mayonnaise v. Butter
Some people swear by a good, salted butter to lubricate their sandwich, but if you want a slightly different take, slather a thin layer of mayonnaise on both outside parts of your bread. This will create a crispy crust that is perfect for sealing in all the delicious flavors of your sandwich. If you just can’t quit butter, try a flavored variety like truffle or garlic for a fun and tasty twist.
2. Toast The Inside Parts Of Your Bread
Getting that perfect level of toastiness on the outside of your grilled cheese is key, but you can bring your sandwich to an even higher level of perfection by toasting the sides of your bread where the cheese goes before you put the cheese on. This ensures your sandwich will be crunchy all the way around.
3. Low & Slow
Start cooking your grilled cheese on low to medium heat for a sandwich that is the perfect level of melted crispiness. Cooking your sandwich too hot could result in a crispy outside, but a barely melted center.
4. Experiment With Different Bread/Cheese Options
Everyone loves a classic white bread and American cheese combo, but if you want to play with the big boys of the grilled cheese world, think outside of the bread box. We recommend goat cheese and walnut bread, or fontina on a good hearty multigrain.5. Add Bacon
There are tons of ingredients you can add into your grilled cheese sandwich to take it up a notch; tomatoes, deli meats, crab, grilled onions, and olives, just to name a few, but our favorite all-time grilled cheese addition has got to be bacon. Add in some crumbles to your cheese as it melts or just stick a thick slice right on top for the ultimate crowd pleaser.6. Grate the Cheese
You may have always thought grating the cheese takes more effort and isn’t as good as sliced cheese for a grilled cheese sandwich, but we have found that it is actually way better! Grated cheese melts quicker and more evenly than sliced. It also stays within the edges of the bread much better. Start with about ¼ cup of grated cheese and remember, you can always add more!7. Cover the Pan
If you feel like your grilled cheese sandwiches don’t ever cook perfectly, we have the game changer for you. Cover the pan. This will trap and concentrate all the heat, so the cheese is melting, and the bread is toasting at the same rate. This leaves you with a quicker melt and non-burnt bread!
Celebrate Grilled Cheese!
The good news is, it’s incredibly hard to mess up a grilled cheese. No matter how you choose to celebrate grilled cheese, be sure to try one, or more, or all of these tips and tricks in the recipes below and create a grilled cheese you and your whole family will love.