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For me, there’s no meals extra nostalgic than a traditional grilled cheese sandwich. The mix of melty cheese and crispy, buttery bread immediately stirs up blissful reminiscences. The sandwich was (and stays) a go-to for straightforward lunches in my family, ideally paired with roasted tomato soup, or actually nearly any scrumptious soup.

In the case of cooking grilled cheese, I instinctively attain for butter, as do many different residence cooks. However is butter actually the most effective? To search out out, I experimented with many alternative fat to see which one created the final word grilled cheese — crispy, salty, melty, gooey, and tacky. Right here’s the way it all went down.

So, What Is the Greatest Option to Make a Grilled Cheese?

My pursuit the most effective cooking fats for making grilled cheese resulted in a really tight race. I found advantages to a number of completely different strategies. Ultimately, the most effective cooking fats for making grilled cheese is definitely two fat mixed: butter and mayonnaise. Learn on to seek out out why this mixture works so properly and to study extra about different strategies you may need to attempt. 

A Few Notes About Methodology 

Grilled Cheese Prep: In an effort to concentrate on how every of the cooking fat carried out, I standardized the entire different components. I used the identical model of pre-sliced white sandwich bread, the identical sort of prepackaged yellow American cheese, the identical stainless-steel skillet, the identical steel spatula, and the identical cooking temperature (medium-low) for making every sandwich. I additionally used the identical complete quantity of cooking fats — one tablespoon — per sandwich. For instance, if it was only one ingredient, like softened butter, I used one tablespoon complete. If the strategy concerned each butter and olive oil, I used 1/2 tablespoon of every. 

Methodology: To make every grilled cheese, I heated the skillet to medium-low, unfold (or brushed) 1/2 tablespoon of the cooking fats on one facet of a slice of bread, and put it into the new skillet, fat-side down. I instantly put two slices of cheese on it, and popped a lid on the skillet. In the meantime, I unfold the opposite 1/2 tablespoon of cooking fats on one facet of one other slice of bread. As soon as the cheese began to soften (after about three or 4 minutes), I eliminated the lid, positioned the second slice of bread on the cheese, fat-side up, and instantly flipped the sandwich with a spatula. I continued cooking the grilled cheese uncovered till the cheese was fully melted and the bread was golden brown, about two to 3 minutes. 

Score: Strategies had been rated totally on the crispiness of the bread and the meltiness of the cheese. Different important determinants of every of the scores included whether or not or not the bread burned, and naturally, the general taste, with the aim being a wealthy, toasty, barely salty taste that allowed the style of the cheese to shine via.

Grilled Cheese Cooking Methodology: Mayonnaise

About this methodology: Many cooks on-line have begun advocating cooking a grilled cheese in mayo somewhat than butter, so I needed to put this to the take a look at.  To make this grilled cheese, I adopted the strategy described above, utilizing 1/2 tablespoon of mayonnaise unfold immediately on either side the bread (for a complete of 1 tablespoon).  

Outcomes: This was, definitely, probably the most disappointing methodology of the bunch. It’s price noting that I truly love mayonnaise, which made this failure much more of a bummer. The flavour of the grilled cheese was sort of blah (shocking since I like a grilled cheese with mayo inside), the bread was barely crisp, and it had probably the most lackluster browning of all of the strategies.

Grilled Cheese Methodology: Butter 

About this methodology: I caught to the fundamentals with this methodology. I adopted the steps described above, spreading one facet of every slice of bread with 1/2 tablespoon of softened unsalted butter. 

Outcomes: This methodology is arguably the commonest for making grilled cheese — and it’s the way in which I’ve all the time cooked grilled cheese myself. It wasn’t unhealthy, nevertheless it wasn’t superb both. The butter made the bread brown earlier than the cheese had an opportunity to soften, and I truly set my smoke alarm off making the sandwich. Granted, my alarm could also be delicate, however I might positively see wisps of smoke coming from the pan earlier than I eliminated the lid. This wasn’t tremendous shocking, although, since butter by itself tends to burn simply. All in all, this methodology produced a sandwich that tasted good, however I needed to deduct factors for the overcooked bread and the smoky state of affairs. 

Grilled Cheese Methodology: Olive Oil

About this methodology: Whereas olive oil is frequent in plenty of kitchens, it’s not what most individuals attain for when cooking grilled cheese. One of many predominant attracts for utilizing olive oil is that it helps with browning however doesn’t burn as simply as butter.

Outcomes: The browning on this grilled cheese was nice! The olive oil helped give each side of the bread a stunning quantity of crispiness, the cheese melted properly, and there was a faint olive oil style, nevertheless it wasn’t overpowering. Though the flavour was nice, it was a bit one dimensional, and subsequently this wasn’t probably the most attention-grabbing of all of the sandwiches.

Grilled Cheese Methodology: Bacon Fats

About this methodology: Bacon fats is a superb bonus that comes together with a pan stuffed with crispy, scrumptious bacon. Many cooks stash the flavorful fats for cooking up eggs or veggies, however I believed, why not attempt it for grilled cheese?

When it was time to make the grilled cheese, I unfold the bacon fats onto the bread and proceeded as described above for the opposite strategies, letting the sandwich prepare dinner till the cheese was melted and the bread was golden brown.

Outcomes: This methodology was tasty! The bacon fats made the bread good and toasty and golden, and it didn’t burn in any respect. Moreover, the salty, smoky bacon fats provides slightly additional taste to the bread, which is nice.

The one attainable draw back to this methodology is that it does require making bacon. So, as an added take a look at, I made a sandwich with jarred pork fats (aka lard), and whereas that sandwich was nice, it lacked the salty, smoky goodness of the one cooked in bacon grease.

Grilled Cheese Methodology: Coconut Oil

About this methodology: Whilst you not often see a grilled cheese recipe that requires cooking in coconut oil, I used to be curious to do this fats, particularly as a result of, like butter, it’s strong at room temperature. To check it, I unfold refined coconut oil onto the bread with a butter knife, and adopted the identical cooking methodology as the opposite sandwiches.

Outcomes: This methodology shocked me — in the absolute best manner. The coconut oil created probably the most stunning browning on the bread. Moreover, the cheese melted very properly and there wasn’t even a faint style of coconut. Just like the olive oil, the coconut oil carried out properly and made for a really photogenic sandwich, however the taste was missing slightly one thing additional. It didn’t style coconutty, nevertheless it didn’t style actually wealthy and salty both.

Grilled Cheese Methodology: Olive Oil & Butter

About this methodology:  Utilizing a mix of olive oil and butter is among the many superb suggestions from Ina Garten I’ve picked up over time. Ina encourages utilizing a mixture of butter and olive oil as a result of butter provides a wealthy taste to dishes whereas the olive oil helps stop the butter from burning. I utilized this identical logic to the normal grilled cheese and was desperate to see how it might prove. I first brushed the bread with olive oil after which unfold the softened butter on with a butter knife, then adopted the cooking methodology outlined above. 

Outcomes: Let’s simply say Ina has by no means let me down! This mix was actually nice on many fronts. The bread browned excellently with out burning, and there was no smoking from the pan. The cheese melted amazingly and was almost oozing from the perimeters — that’s a great factor, by the way in which. And the combination of olive oil and butter had a scrumptious taste with simply the correct quantity of richness and saltiness.

Grilled Cheese Methodology: Butter & Mayonnaise 

About this methodology: Many proponents, together with Bon Appétit, The Trendy Correct, and Tasty, declare that this mixture of fat makes for probably the most scrumptious grilled cheese, so I needed to put it to the take a look at. To attempt it out, I unfold one facet of every slice of bread with equal elements softened butter and mayonnaise, after which adopted the identical course of I used for the remainder of the sandwiches.

Outcomes: The rumors are true. This grilled cheese had the most effective of all the things. The bread was completely browned, nevertheless it didn’t brown too rapidly, so the cheese had time to soften superbly. The flavour was scrumptious and multidimensional — the mayonnaise wasn’t too “mayo-y,” nevertheless it gave the bread a pleasant richness. The butter taste got here via properly and didn’t style scorched. Total, this combo made for a really improbable sandwich — it’s positively my new go-to. 

Cory Fernandez

Affiliate Meals Editor

Cory is the Affiliate Meals Editor at Kitchn. Beforehand an editor at Meals Community Journal, Cory loves making chilly brew at residence, attempting out new soup recipes, zhuzhing up Dealer Joe’s finds, and placing all the things seasoning on one thing. When he is not within the kitchen, yow will discover him in search of a brand new crime doc to observe with a glass of Invivo X, SJP’s sauvignon blanc close by.



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