How to Make a Perfect Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Geek!This is Thomas Tomeo’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:

Let’s start with the ingredients! The bread is pivotal for the success of your sandwich. White bread has the best butter-soaking abilities of any bread I have tested, though you can substitute it for a healthier alternative. The same goes for butter; nothing beats the taste of buttery toast – but if you’re trying to keep a healthier diet, buttery spreads can often rival in taste. You will need the following to make a single sandwich:

  • two (2) slices of bread
  • two (2) teaspoonfuls of butter
  • two to three (2-3) slices of your favorite sliced cheese
  • two (2) slices of tomato
  • butter knife
  • small pan
  • pan cover
  • spatula
  • sharp knife

First, lay out your two slices of bread onto a plate. Next, cover one slice of the bread with a single layer of cheese making sure that the cheese does not break the boundaries of the bread. Doing this will prevent cheese overflow while it is grilling.

Following the cheese layout, it’s time to slice that tomato! Make sure the cuts are thin. This helps combat the tomato-cheese slide effect while moving the sandwich in the pan. Following the tomato, lay your remaining cheese on top of the previously sliced tomato. Again, take caution not to break the bread boundaries, the smell of burnt cheese isn’t very appetizing!

Now that you have your sandwich built, it is time to prepare the pan. Oven temperature varies, and is hard to pinpoint the optimal heat setting. A good rule of thumb is to have the flame rise (if using a gas oven) about a centimeter away from the pan. Let the pan heat up for about 15 seconds, then apply the butter. Try to spread it around quickly, and place the sandwich on top before the butter bubbles. Glide the sandwich over the butter to make sure it absorbs it evenly.

Next, place the pan cover over the pan. Doing this helps evenly distribute the heat to the sandwich for optimum melting. Typically, grilling the first side of your grilled cheese should only take about six minutes, give or take. Always make sure you’re standing by in case severe bread burning should occur, you can quickly take steps to minimize the damage!

After the first side turns a golden brown, remove it from the pan using your spatula and place it back on your plate. Take the remaining amount of your butter, and spread it into the pan. Quickly put the sandwich back into the pan and return the cover on top.

The second side grills much faster than the first, typically 1 – 2 minutes. So we really need to stand guard this time to reduce the chances of having a cheese tragedy! After the second side is crisp and golden, remove it from the pan and place it back on your plate. Make sure to turn off your oven, or else you may grill your home!

And there you have it, the perfect grilled cheese. Enjoy! Also note that adding ham, or any other deli meat is possible to create a delicious grilled sandwich! Any other ideas?

38 thoughts on “How to Make a Perfect Grilled Cheese Sandwich”

  1. Pingback: DogReader
  2. Oh cheese…how i love thee.

    I personally feel Velveeta, while ridiculously unhealthy, makes for the BEST grilled cheese sandwiches. I’ve never tried anything but American and Velveeta but a mild provolone might work…or it might be horrible.

    Sometimes I add ham like it says at the end of the article but instead of butter i use mustard as the base spread.

    I’m hungry now.

  3. I enjoyed this article! I never thought of so many different ways to enhance my grilled cheese eating experience, and you helped with many different areas. I never thought about the importance of thinly sliced tomatoes before!

  4. I love grilled cheese. I actually lived off it for about three months, due to some things. I recommend grilling country white bread with a slice of cheddar, pepper jack, and colby jack, along with a bit of ham, or, for an even more artery-clogging monstrosity, salami. Any way you do it, the sandwich will be delicious!

    Great how-to! 🙂

  5. Oh wow! I’m hungry! This is my lunch tomorrow! It’s so easy to make, no wonder everyone likes to make AND eat Grilled Cheese! (Of course, IMO and in fact to myself, There is no “Perfect” in the world!)

  6. Those are proficient instructions for grilled cheese. I’m sure college kids around the nation are thanking you for your culinery skills. The tomato is a perfect touch!

  7. first of all, i will second mr. eric crawford on the velveeta. it melts so nice and gooey. if you want healthy, go get one of those bland turkey wraps that taste like wet shoelaces.

    also, i agree with alicia on adding ham. if you put some nice mustard on it.. you got yourself a croque-monsieur. tasty.

    i’ll have to try the salami on it sometime.

  8. ‘Kay, so that well-done and all, in great detail. I would recommend this how-to on grilled cheese to friends who have not yet mastered the art of grilled cheese making. Well done. [: And, the ham was just a perfect extra bonus!

  9. Ham & mustard? Those are quite possibly the grossest things you could put on a grilled cheese sammie.

    I do love tomatoes, however, I think grilled cheese is best without all the additional fixins’. The best grilled cheese with one stacked with cheese (as long as you like cheese, any kind will be delish) on white bread or maybe even wheat, but that’s a matter of debate.

    The most crucial aspect of making grilled cheese is making sure the cheese melts in exactly the right way. If it’s not melted enough or even if it’s too melty, you’re in for a messy time without as much savoring.

  10. see i have been told i make the best grilled cheese sandwich, but honestly how hard is it to f*ck up a grilled cheese? the only thing u can really do is burn it and even then it is still edible. i would have to say velveeta does make the best grilled cheese. u cant use too much butter and u must leave the heat on a lower setting so the cheese melts on the inside but the bread still browns. mmm and u must dip it in ketchup! that is the best! if u havent tried it then u MUST!

  11. Costco sells a sliced cheddar (maybe Tillamook?) that makes the perfect grilled cheese sammich, IMO. Now STFU and make me a sammich, beeyotch!

  12. i love grilled cheese. bernice makes the best grilled cheese ever. it’s so tasty. i think this is so very helpful. thank you.


  13. This how-to was wonderfully written. It was worded in the perfect way to captivate the audience no matter their demographic. Anybody can chuckle knowingly at the “tomato-cheese slide effect,” and the fact that Thomas reminded readers to turn off the stove “or you may grill your house” makes the article kid friendly, as well.


    Well, I’m craving a grilled cheese now.

  14. First of all…I recently made a grilled cheese and was brutally rebuffed when I tried to make it in a similar fashion as the one instructed. I was told that it is best to get both pieces a golden brown simultaneously and then put them together.

    And…I like mine with bacon. And tomato. And mustard.

  15. Wow. Just…Wow.

    Who could have thought that a how-to on one of the easiest foods to prepare would actually be intresting? Very thorough and extremely descript, yet with plenty of comic relief. I would recommend this how-to to anyone who knows or doesn’t know how to make “the perfect grilled cheese sandwich”.

    I wish I could put this newly-discovered methodology on trial, but I am out of some of the ingredients. Also, I am not hungry at all, but I will keep it fresh in mind when I get cheese in a few days.


  16. I think it sounds good, but throw some bacon on there and ooh perfection! keep grillin my friend!

  17. If I don’t have tomatoes, then, as in an earlier posting, ketchup for dipping is imperative. (Don’t drown it though, as less is more in this case!) I should also mention that a couple times a month I get a craving for tomato soup, which must be accompanied by a cheese only grilled sandwich for dunking purposes. Crackers?!? Those are meant for vegetable beef and chicken noodle soups! Thanks for the refresher course, it was both entertaining and informative! Done with this posting just in time, as the timer just went off for my grilled cheese sandwich! Bon Appetit…

  18. Your last name sounds like Tomato….is that why you include them in your how-to?

    I think you guys are being silly. THe perfect grilled cheese only has grill + cheese!

    This other stuff is messing with the integrity of the sandwich.

  19. Personally, I tend to stump for edam when it comes to grilled cheese sandwiches. In fact, I tend to stump for edam in all cases, it being clearly the connoisseur’s choice. 😉

    Having read your recipe, I have to say that I think I’m a bit of a grilled cheese sandwich luddite – I can’t be doing with all the extras, just wholegrain bread, slathered in proper butter and a veritable mountain of cheese. Oh, and ketchup. Can’t forget the ketchup. Alternatively Lea and Perrins also works.

  20. I’ve never actually seen someone put tomatoes on their grilled cheese, although I could certainly see how that would be delicious. I would put some oregano and some sliced ham on there, and make myself a… Pizza sandwich. 😀

  21. This is, most definitely, *the* mother of all grilled-cheese howtos! Many thanks for these, you saved lunch from another amateur cold bread + raw cheese approach I would have attempted otherwise. I’m still rocking in awe at this marvelously made morsel!

    Ho hum. Such a modern world these days… The just don’t make sandwiches the same anymore. Oh well.


  22. Candace’s Grilled Cheese:
    2 slices wheat bread
    1 slice cracker barrel cheddar cheese (the kind for sandwiches not the little square blocks)
    Goldens spicy mustard


  23. I do have a question though.

    If you put tomato on it…is it still just grilled cheese?

    If you go to a restaurant and order grilled cheese you get cheese and bread. Most of the time they have Grilled cheese and tomato on the menu as well. But I’ve never ordered a grilled cheese and had it come with tomato on it without asking. I think that makes it a whole different type of sandwich altogether. I mean if we are going to make a whole new sandwich then how about this one:
    Bread, Cheddar cheese, Bacon, Avocado, and some ranch dressing…. 🙂

  24. mmm so delicious. i’m definitely going to go home and make a grilled cheese today. thomas, you surely have a way with words and you write and extremely enticing article. good luck in the future my friend. keep on keeping on.


  25. This thing is tasty! Im a grilled cheese fiend…..Great how to,Im trying some new grilled cheese recepies. I think im gunna deep fry a grilled cheese one of these days.good artticlevery informative. I hope you win!

  26. Thomas! An exquisite article. Nothing hits the spot like a quality grilled cheese concoction. I must say…i am a rather large fan of yellow cheese on my grilled cheese. You know what also tickles my fancy…cutting my delectable little meal into four (4) triangles. This can be done by making two (2) diagonal incisions. Just the way my mommy used to.
    Thank you very much for your insight on creating this age old favorite.

  27. I just tried the well-explained steps in the guide without a hitch! My previous attempts to make a grilled cheese sandwich were, unfortunately, somewhat unsuccessful, but this tutorial seems to have remedied my problem. Thanks!

  28. HEY! i love grilled cheese! it’s one of my favorite foods! YUMMY! just reading this makes me hungry! haha! i’m going to follow these exact instructions next time i make a grilled cheese!!! YAY!

  29. Ughh this is making me hungry. I seriously am in love with grilled cheese! I’ve never had tomatos on my grilled cheese, but that sounds so good! I’m definitely going to try that like tomorrow

  30. reading this made me hungry…but like, with ham too. yeaaa. even tho im sick, i think ill still go make one…or get my mom to make me one. 🙂
    i loved the words you used. it added deliciousness to the “how to”. i didnt know that tomato on grilled cheese was that popular, but apparently it is.
    Great job, Thomas. Keep up the great work. 🙂

  31. these are really good instructions on how to make grilled cheese…i live off of grilled cheese so this is perfect! (: whenever i need to eat something quick, grilled cheese saves me hah. so i will definitely use these instructions.

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