Perfectly Crispy Grilled Cheese Sandwich

The grilled cheese plays varied roles in our lives–it may be the lunchtime diner order: two slices of white bread with gooey American cheese. It may be the late-night snack: leftover whole wheat with slices of Swiss eaten after a stressful day, à la The Devil Wears Prada. And, more and more often, it maybe be gourmet: great artisan bread, imported cheese, and fresh vegetables.

That’s the situation here. We matched slices of sourdough bread with Danish fontina cheese, which melts into an extraordinarily gooey filling. We’ve also stuffed summer heirloom tomatoes, spicy leaves of rocket, and rings of red onion in between the bread.

Delicious as they are, the ingredients aren’t everything in a grilled cheese. There’s technique too. You’ve got to get the bread crispy at the same rate as the cheese melts. You’ve got to use enough fat–butter or olive oil–in the pan so that the bread gets really golden. Below, we’re rounded up our tips for making great grilled cheese sandwiches. As if that weren’t enough, we asked our facebook fans for their tips on crafting the perfect grilled cheese. Read on to become a sandwich pro!

Grilled Cheese Toppings & Pan Grilling

Our Tips for Making the Best Grilled Cheese

The Best Cheese for Grilled Cheese

Cheese is arguably the most important ingredient in this sandwich. Use a melty cheese for the best results. For a flavor, fontina and gruyere are two of our favorite options. For pure meltiness and nostalgia, American Cheese is the answer. Avoid soft cheeses like goat cheese and feta, which don’t melt easily.

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 you’re after. It’ll also help prevent the bread from getting soggy, no matter how many fillings you add.

Apply Pressure

Press down on the sandwich with your spatula. This flattens the exterior against the hot pan, ensuring even cooking.

Fillings for Grilled Cheese

Add flavor with great filling ingredients, like fresh or sautéed vegetables, avocado slices, bacon, or pesto. Hearty fillings can transform this simple sandwich from snack into dinner. Try the recipes below for inspiration.

Recipes

Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese with Butter Lettuce Salad & Creamy Fig Dressing

Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese with Butter Lettuce Salad & Creamy Fig Dressing

Sweet Pepper & Fig Grilled Cheese with Butter Lettuce & Peach Salad

Sweet Pepper & Fig Grilled Cheese with Butter Lettuce & Peach Salad

Muffuletta-Style Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Baby Romaine & Pistachio Salad

Muffuletta-Style Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Baby Romaine & Pistachio Salad

Fan Favorite tips

  • The best grilled cheese has a THIN layer of mayo on the grilled-sides of both pieces of bread instead of butter. No grease, crispier bread, and meltier cheese! -Alyssa Kevlahan
  • Melt butter in the microwave, then brush the bread before putting it on the pan. Makes for the perfect medium browning throughout. Can use olive oil, in place of butter. But butter is better! -Christopher Perusse
  • Sounds weird but bread and butter pickles and potato chips- on the sandwich. Yum! -Danni Skaricki
  • Dijon mustard and multi-grain or sourdough bread. -Jane Rizza Scammon
  • My son’s grilled cheese trick, at the age of 8, was to toast his bread in the toaster. Butter both sides of both bread slices, place cheese between the bread slices and microwave for 40 seconds. He made me one once, it was actually pretty good. -Doug Riggle