How to Make the Perfect Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Learn the best way to make this delicious comfort food.

from Reader's Digest, April 2011

Long before grilled cheese sandwiches were a trend and mobile trucks were selling them from L.A. to New Haven, we all knew they were the ultimate rainy-day comfort food, a baby boomer’s answer to the madeleine. Here are the general principles, adapted from Grilled Cheese, Please! 50 Scrumptiously Cheesy Recipes, by Laura Werlin (Andrews McMeel, $16.99).

1. Grate the cheese. It will melt more evenly and will more likely reach the desired consistency before the bread burns.

2. Use the proper bread-to-cheese ratio: 1/2-inch-thick slices of bread, roughly 4 by 5 inches, with 1 1/2 to 2 ounces of grated cheese per sandwich, depending on the recipe.

3. Melt the butter and spread it on the bread, not the pan.

4. Cook in a nonstick pan.

5. Use a spatula to flatten the sandwich slightly as it’s grilling.

6. Go low and slow: Figure 18 to 20 minutes total cooking time on medium-low heat for a golden-brown outside and a gooey inside.

Plus: 13 Cheeses You Need to Know

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  • Your Comments

    • ottomatic

      The best way I have found is to use my electric griddle, especially if making more sandwiches for your family.  There are five of us, so I can make 6 or 8 at a time that way.  I put the temp usually right on 300.  While griddle is warming up, I butter the bread on one side and stack it all up, then when I have enough buttered and ready, put them on, putting cheese in the middle and the other piece of bread on top, then they are all ready to flip at pretty much the same time.  With the nonstick surface, even heating, it is the best way to do them, usually ready in ten minutes or even less.

    • Annie Detroit

      Grilled Cheese, the King of Sandwiches…mmmmmm

    • Kataruba

         I use my belgium waffle maker. I use any bread other than store brand, depending on my mood. I’ve used a thicker,more dense bread if I’m making the sandwich with ham or bacon or tomatoes and shredded cheese. I can control the color of the bread and the doneness of the sandwich. I also get great results making Reuben sandwiches using the waffle maker.

    • Kittycat

      Why not use a toasted sandwich maker ? Put a slice of bread on the bottom, then the cheese goes on & then the top slice of bread . Close the sandwich maker & wait until the sandwich is cooked.

      Isn’t a GRILLE what a car has, and a GRILL what you cook on ?

    • Rwsevers

      This may no be new but I have had real good luck using a George Foreman burger grille.
      I do use a bit of non stick spray for easy cleanup and it makes a uniform good looking sandwich.
      I found that 4 minutes is adequate so adjust as to what works for you.  It gets both sides at
      once and the lid gives uniform pressure.