This is the Secret to Making the Best Grilled Cheese Sandwich Ever

Slather bread with mayonnaise (instead of the expected butter) to cook up the best grilled cheese you’ve ever tasted.

Grilled cheese sandwichPhoto: Shutterstock / George Dolgikh
Photo: Shutterstock / George Dolgikh

Chances are, you love a good grilled cheese sandwich as much as we do. But by slathering mayonnaise instead of butter on the outsides of the bread, you can take the classic tomato soup pairing to new heights. This tasty trick gives the sammie a crisp, tangy outer crust, which complements the melted cheesy goodness bubbling inside. Here are tips for building a fantastic grilled cheese sandwich with all types of fillings—using mayo instead of butter.

Want to take your sammie up a notch? Here are some extra tips for best-ever grilled cheese:

1. Think beyond white bread

We prefer a dense, chewy Italian bread for our grilled cheese sandwiches, but it’s fun to experiment. Try ciabatta, pumpernickel, sourdough or multigrain. And if you’re hosting a party, cut each sandwich into smaller pieces, so guests can sample them all.

2. Try several types of cheese

Monterey Jack, Swiss and Colby are popular choices. We suggest a few wild cards. Cheese curds, for example, work well because they haven’t yet been pressed into shape and they get ooey gooey quick. Others to try: Gruyere (it pairs well with sweet and salty flavors like ham and raspberry preserves), extra-sharp cheddar (for the stretchy cheese experience) and fontina (for its smooth, nutty flavor).

3. Go full-on fat

This is no time for diet-think. Light mayo won’t crisp up, so use 1 tablespoon of the full-fat variety divided in half for each side.

4. Uncoated griddles and skillets are A-OK

You can certainly go with nonstick, but mayonnaise is fatty enough to prevent sandwiches from sticking to uncoated pans. Either way, you’ll flip with ease.

5. Ensure full contact

Place one piece of bread, mayo-side down, in a hot pan. Pile on the cheese. Top with the second slice of bread, mayo side up. Gently press the sandwich with a spatula to make sure the bottom slice of bread is in full contact with the pan. This helps ensure even browning.

6. Pay attention

Don’t get distracted by TV, kids, Instagram feeds or pets. When the bottom of the sandwich is well-browned, flip it over to toast the other side. Shoot for a lovely golden color before removing it from the pan.

Take a bite! We guarantee you’ll be pleased by the audible crunch and the piquant punch emitted by one of the best grilled cheese sandwiches you’ve ever eaten. And if you want to dress it up, check this grilled cheese recipe collection out for inspiration.

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