This grilled cheese sandwich recipe delivers that perfect flavor and crunch, with ooey-gooey cheese all the way through!
What's more comforting than a grilled cheese sandwich?
Pair it with with some homemade tomato soup and you're in heaven!
While it seems like a grilled cheese sandwich should be a simple thing to make, many folks are still getting it wrong.
There are two things a perfect grilled cheese sandwich must have...
One, there needs to be a little crunch in bread.
I am talking a uniform golden brown crust that delivers that slight crunch as you bite through.
And two, the cheese needs to be melted all the way through.
This seems obvious, but there is a method for getting this done properly.
Every bite should have us wiping gooey, cheesy goodness from our chins.
Achieving these two characteristics in a grilled cheese sandwich isn't hard, if...
...you follow a couple key instructions, which I outline below.
So stick around and before you know it, you will be making perfect grilled cheese sandwiches...EVERY TIME!
Best bread for grilled cheese sandwiches
You need to start with a good bread.
My rustic bread is perfect for this sandwich. But any artisan loaf will do, just make sure it has plenty of airy holes in it.
These breads have great flavor and equally importantly, their edges develop a great crunch after you grill them. Plus, the cheese sometimes oozes through the holes...pure heaven...
These days, I use my homemade rustic bread. It's incredibly easy to make and it costs me only about $0.50 a loaf (recipe coming soon!).
With that being said, you can absolutely use basic white bread or Texas toast as well.
It will still come out really good!
Best cheese for grilled cheese sandwiches
What is your favorite cheese? Use that...as long as it melts well.
And don't be afraid to mix them. I love cheddar and provolone together.
Below are some other good cheeses:
How to make a perfect grilled cheese sandwich
Allow for a grill time of 6 to 12 minutes per sandwich (after pre-heating your pan).
First, prepare your ingredients
Have your bread slices, cheese slices and butter at your fingertips, near your stovetop.
Pre-heat your grill pan
It's important to first pre-heat your pan for 5 minutes before grilling your sandwich.
(Be sure to use a pan that can pre-heat without any fat or cooking spray)
Use a heat level that is ⅓ your hottest setting.
For example, If your burner goes from levels 1 (lowest) to 9 (hottest), set it at level 3.
Using lower heat allows the cheese to thoroughly melt without burning the crust!
After 5 minutes of pre-heating, add a ½ tablespoon of butter to the pan and spread it around where your sandwich will be cooking.
Buttering the pan and NOT the bread itself ensures perfect coverage on the bread, resulting in a uniform golden brown crust.
Build your sandwich
After the butter has melted, start building your sandwich.
- Place the bread on the melted butter;
- Add the cheese;
- Top with another layer of bread.
(You can also build the sandwich on a cutting board first, then just lay your sandwich in the buttered pan)
Cover the pan and let the sandwich cook.
Covering the pan traps the heat inside and ensures that the cheese melts thoroughly.
Let the sandwich cook UNDISTURBED for a full 3 minutes.
After the 3 minutes are up, take a peek to see how the crust it is coming along.
Continue to let it cook until the crust has browned to your liking. This could take up to 1-2 minutes longer, since all burners run a bit different.
Once you are satisfied with the color, remove the sandwich from the pan but...
DON'T FLIP IT YET!
Set the sandwich aside for the time being.
While the sandwich is temporarily resting, add another ½ tablespoon of butter to the cooking area of your pan.
This additional butter ensures the second side will get the crunch and adequate browning that is needed.
Once this butter melts, add your sandwich back to the pan to grill the other side.
Again, cover the pan and wait 3 more minutes before checking for doneness.
Once browned to your liking, remove your sandwich and ENJOY!
Grilled cheese additions
While a grilled cheese is a great sandwich on its own, there are times you want a bit more.
This is where adding another ingredient or two can crank it up a notch.
Now we are talking about a grilled sandwich like the ones below:
|Using leftover Corned Beef
|Hot Ham & Cheese:
|Using leftover Ham
|Add hamburger with fried onions
|Prime Rib Melt:
|Using leftover Prime Rib
Making a grilled sandwich follows the same process as making a grilled cheese.
Only now, just add your favorites meats and veggies into your sandwich.
Other popular additions include:
|roasted red bell pepper
|your favorite condiment
Troubleshooting common grilled cheese issues
There are really only two issues you could have with making your grilled cheese.
The sandwich is either cooking too fast (improper cheese melt) or too slow (bread not browning).
Both of these can be solved by adjusting the heat.
When you're making a grilled cheese sandwich, shoot for a cook time of 3-6 minutes per side.
Cheese hasn't fully melted
This assumes you have the crust browned to your liking but the cheese still hasn't fully melted.
This means you need to turn your heat down a bit more. It needs more time in the covered pan to melt the cheese.
The lower heat also slows down the browning of the bread.
Cheese is melted but bread not browned
Here, the opposite is true. Your heat needs to be increased somewhat.
Other popular comfort foods
- Chicago Style Hot Dogs
- Hand Tossed or Pan Pizza
- Smoked Pulled Pork, Ribs, or Brisket
- Ultimate Chili Cheese Dogs
- Grilled Italian Sausage Sandwiches
I hope your family enjoys these perfect grilled cheese sandwiches as much as we do!
- 2 slices of bread
- 3 oz cheddar cheese (see Recipe Note #1)
- 1 tablespoon butter, salted
- Preheat a skillet for a total of 5 minutes. Set the heat level to ⅓ your highest setting.
- While preheating, assemble your cheese sandwich on a cutting board or plate.
- After the pan has preheated, add a ½ tablespoon of butter to the pan and spread it around where your sandwich will cook.
- Once melted, add your sandwich to the buttered pan.
- Cover and allow it to cook undisturbed for 3 minutes. At which point, take a peek to see how the crust looks. Allow this to continue to cook until you have the color you are looking for.
- Once the first side is browned, remove from the pan but do not flip it yet. Instead, add another ½ tablespoon of butter to your skillet.
- Once this butter has melted, add the sandwich back to the pan to grill the other side.
- Cover and allow this side to cook undisturbed for 3 minutes. At this point, check for doneness.
- Once this second side is browned to your liking, remove it from the pan and enjoy.
- Or use your favorite combination of cheeses: just be sure that they melt well! (See post above for our favorite combinations)
Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 611Total Fat: 42gSaturated Fat: 24gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 115mgSodium: 951mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 25g
Nutrition data provided here is only an estimate: if you are tracking this information for medical purposes, please consult a trusted external source. Thanks!