5 Mistakes That Could Be Ruining Your Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Making a grilled cheese sandwich feels like it should be simple, and sometimes it is. But, simple doesn't mean no-brainer, and there are some common missteps that are all too easy to make.

You've been waiting for this. You've put in the work. Now's the time. You pick up the grilled cheese sandwich you just made. You take a bite. It's . . . fine?

Sometimes, even a mediocre grilled cheese sandwich will do the trick, but you deserve better than mediocre. Next time you're making a well-deserved grilled cheese sandwich, here are a few mistakes to avoid.

Most Common Grilled Cheese Mistakes

1. Slicing Your Cheese Too Thickly

Of course you want (and deserve!) plenty of cheese on your grilled cheese sandwich. But slicing the cheese too thickly will make it impossible to melt all the way through. Slice your cheese thinly or, better yet, grate it for more even melting.

2. Using Cheeses That Don't Melt

A grilled cheese sandwich is about enjoyment, which means that you can and should include your favorite cheeses. But, not all cheeses melt well — Parmesan, blue cheese, and Goudas or Cheddars aged more than a year usually won't get that oozy stretch so necessary in a good grilled cheese.

Younger Cheddars and Goudas, on the other hand, melt beautifully, as do colby, Monterey Jack, pepperjack, Gruyère, or Comté. If your favorite cheeses isn't a great melter, simply use a grated meltier cheese as a base and grate your favorite cheese into the base. The flavors you love will be incorporated into the beautiful melty texture you were hoping for.

3. Not Greasing Up Your Bread

Grilled cheese is not the time to start scrimping. It's important to coat your bread with some fat in the form of butter, mayo, or a bit of both to allow for a crispy, toasted exterior. Otherwise, you're left with dry, unevenly cooked bread. It doesn't matter whether you spread it on the outside or melt it in the pan as long as there's plenty on both sides.

4. Firing Up the Heat Too High

A proper grilled cheese entails beautifully toasted bread encompassing a melty pool of cheese. When you try cooking it over high heat, you end up with either toasty bread and not-quite-melted cheese, or burnt bread with melted cheese inside.

Instead, cook your grilled cheese over medium or medium-low, allowing your bread to slowly toast while your cheese melts.

5. Being Impatient

You've committed. You've assembled your sandwich. It's on the stove. Now comes the waiting.

The process from start to finish shouldn't take much longer than 20 to 30 minutes, but that said, the most common grilled cheese mistake is thinking the whole process should take five minutes. A proper melt takes time! You're going for melty cheese perfection with a golden, toasty exterior.

This a balancing act that, as discussed, happens best between medium and medium-low heat, and it also takes some patience. Wait five to seven minutes per side and you will be rewarded (with a darn good sandwich). If you're having a hard time being patient, pour yourself a glass of wine to sip as you wait. You deserve it!

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