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How To Make The Perfect Grilled Cheese

By Pajiba Staff | Food Porn | April 12, 2017 |

By Pajiba Staff | Food Porn | April 12, 2017 |

Today is National Grilled Cheese day, a day to sing the praises of one the simplest yet most satisfying culinary concoctions ever created. So just as we invited you all into the Overlords’ Kitchen for How To Make The Perfect PBJ, we’ve assembled to share the very best recipe for a grilled cheese sandwich. And then there are some questionable choices, because Kraft singles.

Jodi: Olive oil in the pan. Trader Joe’s caramelized onion cheese. Cook on a lower heat so the bread doesn’t toast before the cheese melts perfectly.

Sarah: I like grilled cheese with brie and pear. Also good with gouda.

Genevieve: I have one trick for grilled cheese and that is: microwave the sandwich for 15-30 seconds before putting in a very hot pan with bubbling butter. It gets the cheese all melty BEFORE it’s in the pan so you don’t have to leave it to cook so long the bread gets burnt. 15 seconds for softer or shredded cheeses, 30 for hard slices of cheddar.

Dustin: A pat of butter for each side. Kraft American singles. White bread, never wheat. If it cost more than $.40 to make, you have spent too much.

Seth: Dustin is correct, everyone else is wrong. #whiteTrashSolidarity

Rebecca: Grilled cheese is just about the only thing I know how to make. You have to go with quality ingredients: good cheese, good bread. I go an extra toasty route, too. Using the old butter+frying pan combo, grill one side of each piece of bread. Then put your cheese in between the two grilled sides, forming a sandwich with non-cooked outsides. Then you grill ‘er like normal, closing with a minute or so on the frying pan (no heat) with a saucepan lid over the sandwich so everything gets nice and melty. Toasting both sides of each piece of bread makes the crunch spectacular. And then dunk into tomato soup.

Hannah: Butter on the outside of the bread, mature cheddar, onto a hot dry griddle pan, push it down so it sticks together and doesn’t fall apart when you turn it over. But I probably prefer cheese on toast- toast the bread first, then top each piece with cheese, melt it under the grill and serve open face. A bit of Worcestershire sauce on the top makes it perfect. Or, Mexican toastie- flatbread with spicy cheese. No butter needed, just a hot pan. Yum.

Emily: Open faced sandwich broiled on crusty sourdough with sharp cheddar, caramelized onions, and tomato.

Kristy: Just as is true with PBJ, you want a simple white bread. All that grain fanciness will fuck with the texture. The bread is not a flavor as much as a conduit for cheese. Now, slather one side of each slice with butter to its very edges. Then, thinly slice off some wasabi cheddar cheese. Coat the entire piece of bread in it. Twice. Then on the other slice of bread, slather some fig jam. Be careful to not go to the very edges, so it won’t slime out the sides. Get your frying pan hot enough that a drop of water will dance madly. Then gently place your sandwich. Once the underside is brown, flip, and squish slightly with your spatula. Once both sides are crispy, remove and let cool just a bit, so the jam won’t burn your tongue. The combination of spicy and sweet is addictive. So be warned. Everyone else’s answers are wrong.

Lainey: I will *only* eat a grilled cheese on seedy grainy wheat bread. It toasts up so nicely and the seeds get all nutty tasting, mmmmm! The cheese can be either a chipotle cheddar or colby jack or a combination, but never any kind of Velveeta or anything that has the words “processed cheese food” in it. I am a snob about cheese. I will also sometimes put thinly sliced apples on it, but mostly I stick to just cheese in a grilled cheese. Thin layer of butter on the outside of both sides of the sandwich and on one side of the bread inside (so, basically one piece of bread is buttered on both sides). Medium-hot pan. Slowly cook until one side is a nice toasty brown, then flip. The cheese should melt at the same rate the bread is browning. When both sides are brown and crunchy and the cheese is melty, remove and place on a plate. Let it sit for a minute and then cut on the diagonal (YES, it makes it taste better that way!). If no apples on the sandwich, serve with tiny dill pickles and potato chips. If it has apples on it, serve with apple wedges and maybe tortilla chips. Could also be potato chips - that’s not a deal breaker.

Seth: Look don’t get me wrong, I love fancy-pants grilled cheese. Butter on both sides, good cheese, maybe a little truffle and tomato thrown in there. But white bread and Kraft, that’s a true and proper grilled cheese.

Genevieve: I can’t do kraft anymore. Just like I can’t do cheap ice cream anymore. I taste the fillers. Adulthood has ruined me and my grocery budget.

Rebecca: I love a good ol’ cheddar and sourdough combination. Not fancy, but good-quality stuff.

Kristy: Kraft singles is a non-starter.


Kristy: wnlwfnlwfn.gif

Jodi: My kid puts Mayo on the outside of the bread and then a couple slices of Kraft cheese. Then she cooks it quickly and somehow doesn’t burn it. She may be a wizard.

Seth: MAYO ON THE OUTSIDE? I’m sorry Jodi, but I think you may have to put your girl up for adoption.

TK: The answer to how to make a proper grilled cheese is this: two slices of wheat bread butter on the inside and cheese of your choice layered on the inside. Add ham and tomato if you so desire. Now, this is the important part: mayo on the outside of both slices of bread. the reason for the mayo on the outside is because it caramelizes and forms a perfect, crispy layer. Trust me. It will change your grilled cheese life. Slow cook over medium heat in a cast iron pan.

Rebecca: My brother puts mayo on grilled cheese sandwiches (inside, not outside, I don’t even know how that works) because he is a monster. Mayo is disgusting.

Genevieve: Also, I hate bread that’s TOO crunchy. If I’m risking lacerations to my soft palette to eat a grilled cheese, that is not an enjoyable grilled cheese.

Seth: …I’ve kinda always known the hill I would die on would be the Kraft singles hill.

Sound off with your perfect grilled cheese recipe below.

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Kristy Puchko is the managing editor of Pajiba. You can follow her on Twitter.