Step-by-Step Guide To Making The Best Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Note: This article may contain commentary or the author's opinion.

As far as sheer culinary perfection goes, it’s hard to beat a grilled cheese sandwich.  Reliable, comforting, and appealing to old and young alike, the grilled cheese sandwich and its variations appear in many countries and cultures. It’s crisp and gooey, it’s dip-able (a magical pairing with tomato soup) and it’s oh-so-easy to make.

Because it is a breeze to make, you might think there is no need for a step-by-step guide. But I assure you there are some tricks that you should incorporate into your process the next time you or a loved one has a hankering for this delectable sandwich.
Step-by-Step Guide to the Perfect Grilled Cheese Sandwich:
Step 1: Use grated cheese instead of sliced cheese.  Take the time to grate whichever cheese you are using (and shell out for a box grater if you can) as the piled-on-the-bread cheese melts more evenly and more quickly than slices of cheese. Because of this, the bread will be completely toasted and not half-done in parts. Grated cheese stays put with the bread and doesn’t really bubble or leak over the edges as sliced cheese does.  Aim for about 1/4 cup of grated cheese per sandwich.
Step 2: Melt the Butter. Melt butter in a small saucepan and rub each piece of bread in the melted fat before you make the sandwich.  This is a real time saver as you don’t have to wait for the butter to soften.

Step 3: Cover the Pan. In order to ensure the cheese melts and the bread toasts at the same time, cover the pan or skillet the sandwiches are sitting in with a lid while they cook. The cheese melts a little more quickly this way. Worried about the steam making the bread soggy? Do what The Kitchn’s Emma Christensen does: To avoid any potential sogginess from steam trapped under the lid, I leave the top off the sandwich, cover the pan until the cheese is melted, then add the top and finish the sandwich as usual, uncovered. Works like a charm.

Make sure you have a skillet (non-stick, stainless steel, or cast iron), a lid that fits over the skillet (a baking sheet works well), and a spatula.  In no time you will have this ultimate comfort food to tuck into!

INGREDIENTS

  • slices bread
  • tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup grated cheese, like cheddar, Monterey Jack, or any other melting cheese

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Melt the butter in the skillet: Place the skillet over medium heat and add the butter. Let the butter melt completely. When the butter begins to sizzle, that means your pan is hot enough for the sandwich. Spread the butter around the middle of the pan with the spatula.
  2. Rub the bread in the butter: Rub the bread in the melted butter. You only need to rub one side but feel free to butter both. Remove one of the slices and keep it close by.
  3. Pile the cheese on the bread: Pile the grated cheese in an even layer over the entire surface of the bread. It’s ok to go right up to the edge.
  4. Cover the pan: Cover the pan with a lid. Let the cheese melt until it’s almost entirely melted, but you can still see some distinct cheese pieces, 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Top the sandwich and flip: Uncover the pan and top the sandwich with the other piece of bread (buttered side out). Squish slightly so the top adheres to the melted cheese. Flip the sandwich over.
  6. Continue cooking until both sides are toasted: Let the sandwich cook on the other side until toasted golden brown, another 1 to 2 minutes. If the first side wasn’t as toasty as you like, flip the sandwich again and toast until golden brown.
  7. Transfer to plate: Transfer the sandwich to a plate, cut in half, and eat immediately!

For an elevated grilled cheese sandwich, watch Gordon Ramsay make one here.

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