How NOT to make a Grilled Cheese Sammich

Oct 23rd, 2012 | By | Category: Retro Blog

tons of grilled cheese sammiches

tons of grilled cheese sammiches

6,000 recipes were entered in the Greatest Grilled Cheese Sandwich in America Contest.

Hopefully they had more than one judge.

Note: This blog entry was originally created in March of 2005, so the link to the Greatest Grilled Cheese Sandwich in America Contest has been removed. It disappeared some time ago. If you’re interested, here’s a more current (2012) article about the Best Grilled Cheese in the U.S.

Like most folks, I enjoy a grilled cheese sammich now and then, so last time I visited the local HEB (Founder: Florence Butt, Chairman and CEO, Charles Butt), I picked up all the necessary ingredients – white bread, margarine, and individually wrapped American cheese, the store brand.

Years ago, the store brand was clearly marked H.E. Butt, making it butt cheese. Glad they changed label. Now it’s American Pasteurized Process Cheese Food HEB Singles. Mmmmmm – sounds so much tastier.

Making the sammich is easy. Start by slathering margarine on each side of two pieces of white bread, and toss them on a hot griddle or pan.


Blackened toast

Tip 1: I can’t stress enough how important it is to NOT wander off during the process.


Crispy on one side only

If you do wander off, you may have similar results, crispy on one side and melty margarine on the other.


remove plastic

Tip 2: Don’t forget to peel the plastic off the cheese. This is very important.


cheese is grilling

This a better attempt. Once the bread is sizzlin brown, flip’em and apply cheese. I go with one slice due to budget considerations and a fondness for other kinds of cheese. If you like the goo squeezin’ past the crust, by all means use a creative number of slices (like 3 or 17, any prime number will do).



Tip 3: Don’t use a metal spatula with non-stick cookware, even if it’s commercial grade 5mm thick steel made by the same folks who build airplane engines.


squish the sandwich

Let me reiterate. Don’t squish’em with a metal spatula, either.


finished sandwich

If you can keep from wandering off, you’ll be able to check to see when one side is golden brown and flip that sammich. Like’em slightly crispier? Leave’em in the pan a while longer.

Holy crap! Is that a face in that sandwich? It could be a man’s face, with a beard. Anytime you see an image of a man’s face with a beard it can only be one person, and you know who that is.

sammich face

Ok, well maybe it isn’t Charles Darwin.


Haute Cuisine

Presentation is everything. Here’s a grilled cheese still life with grapes. I recommend fries and a pickle spear. It ain’t ain’t no grilled cheese sammich without a pickle spear.

Aficionados and frugal gourmets may be interested in how to make grilled cheese sandwiches with a clothes iron. While the movie Benny and Joon may have popularized this practice, it’s important to have input from scientific process, otherwise you really won’t know what setting is best for you – rayon or wool?

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