10 Tips For the Greatest Grilled Cheese

Written by Laura Werlin

It’s the childhood favorite you never outgrow, the most comforting comfort food of all time — the?grilled cheese sandwich. American, cheddar, gouda … whatever your pleasure, follow these ten tips from Laura Werlin, author of Great Grilled Cheese, and?have yourself a slice of melted heaven.


1. Good to grate

Don’t slice your cheese when you can grate it (the bigger the?grater, the better). This ensures evenly melted, gooey cheese in every bite.

2. Get cheesy

Don’t be shy — plan on about two ounces of cheese per sandwich. Use your palm to press the grated cheese onto the bread so it doesn’t fall out.

3. Embrace the ooze

Don’t fret if the cheese oozes out of the sandwich. The toasty bits at the bottom of the pan are the best part!


4. No need to Wonder

Don’t just assume that white is the only way. If you love focaccia or whole-wheat, go for it.

5. Size does matter

Don’t slice your bread more than 1/4″ thick or it’ll overwhelm the cheese.

6. Smush your bread

Flatten sandwiches with a spatula or a heavy pan to ensure oozing cheese and crisp rather than doughy bread.


7. Butter le pain, not le pan

Spread room-temperature butter on the bread (on the side you’re grilling, not the inside of the sandwich) before you grill. That way, you’ll get evenly buttered, evenly browned bread with a little crunch. ?

8. Salted butter is best

Just trust me.


9. Stick with nonstick

Although a cast-iron skillet is the traditional fave, a nonstick skillet is your best bet for easy flipping and no sticking.

10. Put a lid on it

Cover the skillet while cooking the first side of the sandwich for maximum cheese melting.

And now for the ultimate grilled cheese recipe, from Laura Werlin’s Great Grilled Cheese:

The Best Grilled Cheese

8 slices sourdough bread (1/4 inch thick)

2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

6 ounces best-quality cheddar cheese (orange or white), coarsely grated

To assemble: Butter one side of each slice of bread. Place 4 slices on your work surface, buttered side down. Distribute the cheese evenly over the 4 slices. Place the remaining 4 bread slices on top, buttered side up.

Stovetop method: Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Put the sandwiches in the skillet (in batches if necessary), cover, and cook for 2 minutes, or until the undersides are golden brown and the cheese has begun to melt. Uncover, and turn the sandwiches with a spatula, pressing firmly to flatten them slightly. Cook for 1 minute, or until the undersides are golden brown. Turn the sandwiches again, press with the spatula, and cook for 30 seconds, or until the cheese has melted completely. Serve immediately.

Sandwich maker method: Preheat the sandwich maker. Follow directions for sandwich assembly, and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Gas grill method: Brush the grill rack with oil and preheat the grill to medium-high. Follow directions for sandwich assembly. Put the sandwiches on the grill and follow directions for the stovetop method.

Makes 4 sandwiches.

8 thoughts on “10 Tips For the Greatest Grilled Cheese

  1. Eric Anderson

    I remember many years ago, my mom had a trick to make an extra delicious grilled cheese. She would sprinkle the cheap parmesan (ya know, that green canister stuff) on the butter before putting it down on the pan. It would crisp and man was it good.

  2. podunk

    A properly seasoned cast-iron skillet is as non-stick as Teflon, and ideal for heating and pressing on _top_ of the sandwich while in the bottom skillet – browning both sides at once, better than any counter-top electric-press gizmos.

  3. nitemare

    its also ok to add extra ingredince, exparement, i’ve tried things such as adding mustart to the inside of the bread, and it gives it a bit of kick

  4. Michael

    Grill BOTH sides of the bread. After grilling one side of both slices, flip it and add the cheese to the warm grilled side.

  5. Michael

    Grill BOTH sides of the bread. After grilling one side of both slices, flip it and add the cheese to the warm grilled side.

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