How Not to Ruin a Grilled Cheese: Essential Tips

Food & Wine

What's complicated about a grilled cheese sandwich? Nothing, especially. But, like all culinary classics, one wrong step and your sandwich is toast (so to speak). Pass this along to your friends, your husband, and your kids because life is too short for a bad grilled cheese!Food & Wine tackled some of the basic don'ts for grilled cheese, including a proper bread to cheese ratio and buttering the bread before placing the sandwich in the pan, along with one tip involving shredded cheese that is just plain messy (ever try flipping a sandwich with shredded cheese?). Here are several additional tips for avoiding grilled cheese disaster:

Use a lid: If you've ever watched a grill cook make a grilled cheese you've seen the lid they place over the sandwich. Covering the pan helps melt the cheese before the bread burns.
Choose your cheese wisely: American cheese may be the classic, however, using a cheese with more flavor will make for a tasty grilled cheese. Avoid very mild cheeses unless you plan on adding condiments or other fixings (such as mozzarella paired with tomato, and basil).
Transfer to a rack: Unless you're serving straight from the pan, let the grilled cheese sit on a rack rather than a plate, where the bread will steam and lose its grilled crispness.
Switch up the bread: Just because you grew up on Wonderbread and American cheese doesn't mean you have to stick with it! Try using English muffins, cinnamon raisin bread, or rosemary focaccia.

What are your favorite tips for stellar grilled cheese?

Read more: How to Ruin a Grilled Cheese at Food & Wine

Related: Salty and Sweet: Grilled Cheese on Raisin Bread

(Images: Flickr user Maggie Hoffman licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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