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?