August 16th, 2010
08:00 AM ET
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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?

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soundoff (212 Responses)
  1. Davwin

    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!

    April 3, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
  2. dan

    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.

    April 26, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
  3. Mare

    Yum. The best Grilled Cheese sammy – Smoked gouda with bacon on roasted garlic ciabatta, and some grainy brown mustard.

    April 1, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
  4. Valerie

    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!

    August 29, 2010 at 1:41 pm |
  5. JW

    Several people have already mentioned, but it's worth mentioning again:


    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.

    August 29, 2010 at 9:48 am |
  6. JJ

    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.

    August 29, 2010 at 12:10 am |
  7. Elinor

    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!

    August 28, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  8. JeezeySannich

    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...

    August 26, 2010 at 7:17 pm |
  9. JESSiCA

    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.

    August 23, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
  10. jerseyairman

    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.

    August 22, 2010 at 4:56 am |
  11. Brockxerox

    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

    August 20, 2010 at 12:53 pm |
  12. Xavier

    The ultimate grilled cheese – butter the bread (bakery fresh is the best), sprikinkle with parmesan, layer cheddar with tomato slices, with feta in between.

    August 18, 2010 at 6:59 pm |
  13. ed dugan

    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.

    August 17, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
  14. Janis

    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

    August 17, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
  15. debbie from kentucky

    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.

    August 17, 2010 at 2:15 pm |
  16. eva

    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.

    August 17, 2010 at 1:48 pm |
  17. j

    it dont matter as long as it's cooked on CAST IRON

    August 17, 2010 at 12:21 pm |
  18. jingo ba

    leave it to you hipsters to douche up the grilled cheese...ugh

    August 17, 2010 at 12:03 pm |
  19. Chad Blockley

    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.

    August 17, 2010 at 11:21 am |
  20. jenngg

    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 :)

    August 17, 2010 at 11:13 am |
  21. jmo

    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.

    August 17, 2010 at 11:03 am |
  22. Mitch

    Put a couple of tomato slices on the sandwich and then grill on both sides. Talk about good!

    August 17, 2010 at 10:35 am |
  23. thomas

    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.

    August 17, 2010 at 9:40 am |
  24. MrJayPatel

    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

    August 17, 2010 at 9:32 am |
  25. Maureen

    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.

    August 17, 2010 at 9:03 am |
  26. Florida Girl

    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!

    August 17, 2010 at 9:02 am |
  27. Josh

    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.

    August 17, 2010 at 8:23 am |
  28. Irony

    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.

    August 17, 2010 at 7:51 am |
  29. Alexa

    Worcestershire sauce!
    Just a few drops between the slices before you grill, adds the perfect little punch...thanks, Grandmommie! ;)

    August 17, 2010 at 7:48 am |

    Check this out.
    I use my George Foreman Grill to cook mine.
    Just butter both sides of the bread. (I use country crock lite).
    I put real shredded sharp or extra sharp cheddar.
    Put them together and lay them in the George Foreman, close the lid and AWESOME grilled cheese samich.

    August 17, 2010 at 7:31 am |
  31. charlie

    Thinly sliced tomato and onion make a great GC..another offbeat idea is to use real mayo instead of a french toast kind of taste..My fav is deli counter pepper jack with onion and tomato..all others are imitations.. :D

    August 17, 2010 at 7:13 am |
  32. Mandy

    My absolute favorite and a must for myself with grilled cheese is tomato soup! Love it! Dunking it too! YUUUMMMMM!!

    August 17, 2010 at 6:04 am |
    • Kate

      Whenever I feel like classing that up, I make the sandwich with olive oil and fresh mozzarella on a sliced baguette and the soup with roasted red peppers. It's grown-up comfort food.

      August 17, 2010 at 8:50 am |
    • DT

      I've never been tempted to dunk my grilled cheese into any soup, tomato or otherwise. Not interested in adding a "sog factor" into the mix, as it were.

      August 18, 2010 at 8:16 am |
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