Or, get this novel idea: Make your grilled cheese on an actual grill. Butter the bread the way you would if you were making it in a pan, then stick it right on the grill. Nothing beats the earthy taste of slightly charred bread and melted cheese. Trust.
Whatever method you're using to make grilled cheese, don't settle for a couple slices of pre-packaged American. Get real cheese and mix it up. Use a combo of mild and sharper cheeses as well as cheeses that melt well and those that don't. Some great combos include mozzarella, Parmesan and fontina or cheddar and Gouda. Soft cheeses like Taleggio and Brie work well too.
If you want to make a truly great grilled cheese sandwich, toss that Wonder Bread to the pigeons. While you don't want it to be too thick ”” that would prevent proper cheese melting ”” making sure you use a nice solid, crusty loaf of bread that will ensure optimum crunch and sandwich bliss.
Making the perfect grilled cheese requires more patience than you might think. If you're making it the old-fashioned way in a non-stick pan, keep the heat LOW. If you're using butter on each side of your bread, it burns very quickly. And you don't want burnt grilled cheese.
There are several advantages to using mayo on either side of your grilled cheese bread instead of butter. Since the primary ingredient in mayo is oil, it has a much lower burning point than butter. It will make your grilled cheese more perfectly golden brown than you ever thought it could be.
Mayo is also way easier to spread than that stick of butter you forgot to take out of the fridge so it could soften because, sorry, you don't plan your grilled cheese making three hours in advance like a crazy person.
Once your grilled cheese is in the pan, make sure you cover it for about two minutes. This will speed up the melting process and make sure your sandwich cooks evenly. You may be tempted to skip this part of the process. Do not skip this part of the process.
If you want to lift your grilled cheese game into gourmet territory, spread the insides of your sandwich with some sauce before piling on the cheese. A dash of dijon mustard or a layer of fig jam will make that sandwich mm-mm good.
If you're not the saucy type but still want to add a kick to your grilled cheese, sprinkle some spices right into the shredded cheese before melting it on the bread. Salt, pepper and mustard powder are great choices.
If you want to get ultra fancy, sprinkle some cheese on the outside of your sandwich and fry it in the pan to create a crispy cheese coating for your grilled cheese. It's called "frico," and it's totally worth it.
While some out there may be grilled cheese purists, we encourage you to go for the gold! Add whatever you want to that sucker, whether it's avocado and bacon (pictured above) or something a little fancier, like sliced apples and caramelized onions. Grilled cheese should make you happy, and if that means slapping on some meats or some veggies (or both), do it up!
Don't be afraid to get a little creative, either. Cheese goes well with fruit (particularly tart fruits like apples, figs, strawberries, cherries, etc.), jam, honey and even chocolate. This here is a roasted cranberry and Brie grilled cheese. Definitely don't feel like you have to stick to the basics.