We've been on a grilled cheese kick at Eatocracy HQ, in pursuit of the best sandwich in all the land, from diners and haute eateries to toasters and home skillets.
When we saw cookbook author and cheese expert Laura Werlin in Aspen at the Food & Wine Classic, fresh from leading her monumentally popular seminar on just that subject, we just had to sit her down and get her top tips for a magnificent melt.
Agree with our grilled cheese guru, or do you have another method? Share with the rest of the class in the comments below.
Previously – Grilled cheese, please! and Grilled cheese and...grape jelly?
I have read through all these comment (now 2 1/2 years worth) and no one has hit the mark yet... The absolute key to best grilled cheese incorporates the combination of: melted butter (maybe a little Parmesan sprinkle), the cheese you prefer, perhaps a thin slice of tomato, bacon or ham... but most 'importante' of all: Salt Rising Bread. Salt Rising Bread people – it the gift of the gods!
I agree garlic toasty flavor= is good. My take. Sprinkle some Mrs Dash (garlic and herbs) on the cheese between the bread layers. It adds a nice garlicky pop to the filling without getting any burnt garlic flavor on the crust.
Yum. The best Grilled Cheese sammy – Smoked gouda with bacon on roasted garlic ciabatta, and some grainy brown mustard.
Before adding the cheese you MUST grill the inside of the bread in Crisco. After the inside is grilled, add the cheese (sliced super sharp cheddar is my fave) and grill the outside of the bread in a little more Crisco. Push the sandwich down with a spatula and soon as the cheese is melted and grilled on both sides, remove from the pan and cut into triangles. Serve with a bowl of tomato soup and enjoy!
Several people have already mentioned, but it's worth mentioning again:
DO NOT COOK ON HIGH HEAT.
I find that medium heat (4-6 on the cooking dial) gives the perfect balance: perfect texture (Crisp outer shell, smooth gooey inside), evenly cooked throughout, and it's done in just 3-4 minutes.
Though I would agree that you don't have to grate the cheese, I will admit that I like piling on the shredded cheese on the buttered bread already on the grill, if only for those "accidental" sprinkles that end up on the griddle as an extension of the sandwich and toasting to a yummy golden brown goodness. I will have to try that suggestion of putting some cheese on the griddle and then putting the sandwich on that. Sounds divine.
My family loves my caprese toasted cheese sandwiches. Mozzerella, tomatoes, and chopped fresh basil between two slices of whole grain bread buttered on both outsides. A little olive oil in the pan completes the familiar caprese flavor. Fried slow so the cheese melts. Fantastic!
I'm thinking that anyone (maybe everyone) will be making up some grilled cheese after reading this... I for one, will be trying a few different types now. What's the worst that could happen? You don't like it? Try another one! Off to the grocery store...
I have been reading everyones comments since this was posted. I went home and made a grilled cheese with some of these suggestions.
I didn't have white bread, I don't care for it.
So I used some wheat multigrain bread.
Put mayo on the outside, instead of grilling it in butter.
I put on one slice, veggie cream cheese and a little bit of shredded colby jack.
On the other slice, I used pepper jack and sargento provologne. And added a little slice of tomato.
The best is take 2 slices of white bread lightly butter both slices on the outside, on the inside of the slice lightly spread a spicy mustard (I use mister mustard) but any spicy mustard will work (you can add a little cayenne pepper to give it a extra kick) , a couple thinly sliced, slices of fresh mozzarella with 2-3 extra-thin slices of a Jersey tomato.
I love grilled cheese! How many calories and sodium in that grilled cheese that you showcased? Is it more calories than a McDonalds Hamburger? Mcdonalds is good food yet yuppies are biased towards higher caloried grilled cheese or overlook the high fat and sodiu
M in backyard bbq burgers when McDonalds is actually better and lower in calorie and sodium
The ultimate grilled cheese – butter the bread (bakery fresh is the best), sprikinkle with parmesan, layer cheddar with tomato slices, with feta in between.
As a chef I have to tell you don't try to make too much out of grilled cheese sandwich. It is what it is, Kraft, Deli American, but for God's sake not cheddar. If you haven't read White Trash Cooking you don't know how to make a real, country grilled cheese sandwich.
After reading all of these ideas I had to have a grilled cheese. I used soft wheat bread, butter and Boar's Head Vermont White Cheddar. Cooked slowly in a pan so the outside was nice and brown and crunchy and the cheese was melted perfectly. I sprinkled just a bit of garlic salt on the buttered sides of the bread as I use unsalted butter........................OH YUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
My dad, who is 83, makes the best grilled cheese – hands down! Just before you take the sandwich out of the pan, pull the bread apart and sprinke a little sugar on the melted cheese, press back together. yum yum... Serve with a glass of iced tea and dill pickle.
Sourdough bread, with Colby Cheddar cheese. Then eat it with Bread and Butter sliced pickles on the side. Skip the mayo. this is the best combo I've found.
it dont matter as long as it's cooked on CAST IRON
leave it to you hipsters to douche up the grilled cheese...ugh
What a wasted of a video clip on grill cheese. Every kid in America knows this formula to making grill cheese. She has taught us nothing we already know.
The BEST grilled cheese sandy is prepared using high quality bread, 2 slices of your favorite cheese (mine just so happens to be high quality American cheese- processed or not, American melts like a dream!), real butter and most importantly a cast iron pan! Forget smooshing it with a spatula- a cast iron pan will leave your sandy perfectly crisp, crunchy, and golden brown.
Sooo good :)
The real Kraft cheese that is NOT the individually plastic wrapped "cheese food product" is pretty good, imo. I always use rye bread, melt real butter in the pan, cover it and cook it slowly. Sometimes I'll add slices of tomato and oregano, or green olive slices...yum.
Put a couple of tomato slices on the sandwich and then grill on both sides. Talk about good!
I had always agreed with butter on both side of the bread on a grilled cheese until one day I found I had no butter and used Mayo instead. Now I only use Mayo for my grilled cheese.
Best topic I'v read on CNN in a while.. But you rookies have a lot to learn:
1) Gently take 2 slices of Pepridge Farm White Bread and butter both sides on all 4 slices while talking to it.
2) Cut up thin slices of tomotates and cut long strips of Kraft WISCONSIN AGED SHARP CHEDDAR cheese and place them over the slice of bread.. This cheese defines the sandwich so its a must.
3) Grind some black pepper on top (larger peices then normal) of the cheese and tomato
4) Add KETCHUP on all four corners and the middle or draw a smiley face on it
5) Sprinkle Chili Powder or add some Huy Fong Sriracha Chinese Hot Sauce to get kick
6) Cover bread over all this and cook/flip/turn and enjoyy
I think I will steal the garlic and corriander recipes from reading these comments.. Cant wait to try this .. Enjoyy
The key to the ultimate grilled cheese sandwich is to cook it slooooowwwwwlllllyyy so the cheese fully melts but the bread doesn't get burnt. I put the burner on a low setting and use a lid to cover the pan. What kind of cheese is used is a personal preference, but that Kraft "cheese product" is the ultimate sin. It's not even real food.
My husband makes wonderful grilled cheeses, and he learned a trick in the US Army. Just before the thing is finished, put a small ice cube in the pan and put a lid on it. Crisps it really nice! Sounds dumb, and that it shouldn't work, but it does! He also uses breads from the deli, a mixture of Gouda and Swiss cheeses, crumbled (as in the video), real butter, and an iron skillet. Sweetie, I love you! PLZ make me a grilled cheese sandwich, PLZ!
I still remember in the movie "The Devil Wears Prada", the boyfriend who is supposed to be an excellent chef, making a grilled cheese sandwich for Andy, that was BRUNT BLACK. Come on, a prefect grill cheese sandwich is supposed to be golden brown, NOT BLACK.
Just last night I tried a very different kind of grilled cheese. I put marinara sauce on each slice of italian bread. Then I used sliced mozarella for the cheese. This was a "pizza" grilled cheese. Maybe I'll put pepperoni in there next time. The cheese is stringy, like mozarell should be.
Just a few drops between the slices before you grill, adds the perfect little punch...thanks, Grandmommie! ;)
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