Melted Perfection Grilled Cheese: All you Need to Know

5 April 2023|Global Cuisine


Man’s greatest invention, just 3 ordinary ingredients but the result? It hits the spot! The ultimate comfort food that takes all the pain away, mends a broken heart too. 

The one food that is so nostalgic, it’s like a time machine to our childhood.Crunchy bread crust on the outside, and gooey melty cheese on the inside oozing and bursting with flavor.This perfect combination of simple ingredients is magical.

As simple as it seems, grilled cheese can be customized to personal liking and by trying different techniques and ingredients which we are going to discuss in this post.

How is classic grilled cheese made?

You need 3 ingredients, cheese, spread and bread.Add cheese between two thick bread slices,spread the outside faces and grill it till golden brown.Flip over and grill the other side as well, till completeness. It’s that simple!

Cheesy pull
Cheesy pull

The best cheeses

The popular choices are; Sharp Cheddar,Smoked Cheddar,Swiss Cheese,Gouda,American Cheese,Emmentaler,Permasean,Havarti,Gruyere,Pimento,Fontina,Pepper Jack and Brie.Note that, the options are not limited to the mentioned types. The choice of cheese here is on how good they melt and how good you enjoy them.Especially one’s with low moisture content.

Combination of different cheese types is encouraged till you find your go to flavor profile and preference.For even better melting of cheese, you can shred it instead of using sliced cheeses.If using cheese slices, then ensure they are extra thin. Shreds have more surface area for the same volume,to melt evenly.Yeah, Science!

It is advisable to go with freshly shredded one, as pre-shredded cheese has anti-caking agents that make the cheese have different textures. Also please use real cheese and not cheese products if you want homogeneous melting result.

Gouda Cheese
Gouda Cheese

Bread choices

Bread used should be thick,sturdy and firm enough to hold the melting cheese, while being grilled as well as handle the heat.Using ultra thin bread will soak up,turn soggy and get dis formed. 

Using extra thick bread will make it hard to melt the cheese as the heat wont be conducted properly.Extra thick bread will be hard to  crisp up. Solid bread choices include; sourdough, rye bread, French bread,brioche,ciabatta, whole grain bread and thick sliced-sandwich white bread. 

Sourdough loaf
Sourdough loaf

Spread Choice

You should spread generously and evenly for good results. 3 choices here;butter,mayonnaise, or olive oil? This is all on basis of personal preference.However, i noticed majority of people call for mayo as it is light and easy to spread while others prefer butter for the crispiness it leaves to the crust.

For ease of spread for butter,let it out for a while till room temperature; to soften up and thus easy application.Feel free to experiment with either and choose your to go.While spreading, you can option to sprinkle garlic salt before grilling( if you used butter as a spread.). 

Other people say mayonnaise leaves it taste along and might overpower the sandwich.If you love the olive oil flavor, go with olive oil. You can try using both butter and olive oil as this will help prevent your butter from burning, while adding flavor.

Butter Chunks
Butter Chunks

Grilling 

You can either grill on a non stick pan,an iron skillet,stainless steel pan or a panini press.Heat is an important factor if you using a pan,maintain at low to medium. Higher heat will burn off your crust while lower heat might not hurt your grilled cheese but, it may take longer to melt the cheese.

If you want an even more crunch,then grill both sides of the bread with a spread before adding the cheese.This makes it double grilled.If using olive oil,fry one side of the piece on low medium,assemble the cheese with the grilled side goes on the inside then proceed to fry the other side.

You can also try “encrusting”. This involves toasting the bread and then toasting it on melted cheese added to the pan to add a layer of cheese crust. This is ideal if you love it extra crunchy. Also if good crust is all you’re after for, then option mayo as your spread of choice.Salting the crust while grilling makes it tastier too.

You can also cover the skillet with a lid to retain the heat that would have escaped and use it to melt the cheese more evenly and better.Cooking on low medium will take between 5 to 7 minutes depending on the bread and cheese used.

Grilled cheese sandwich on a pan
Grilled cheese sandwich on a pan

Serving

Place your sandwich on a flat board and cut diagonally(diagonal sandwiches hit different). Have tomato soup ready to go with optionally .Grilled cheese should be served warm before the cheese solidifies again. Leftover grilled cheese can be stored airtight and reheated when needed to melt back the cheese.

Tomato soup with grilled cheese in the background
Tomato soup with grilled cheese in the background

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