What's The Biggest Mistake People Make With Grilled Cheese? We Asked An Expert

Grilled cheese sandwich on plate
Grilled cheese sandwich on plate - Burke/triolo Productions / Getty Images

To seasoned chefs, suggesting that a grilled cheese sandwich is more complicated than it appears might sound silly. It contains minimal ingredients, requires just a few simple preparation steps, and is overall straightforward to make. But achieving the perfect version of this classic sandwich takes more than you might think. You can make tons of mistakes with grilled cheese; fortunately, an expert told Mashed that one of these is easily avoidable.

According to Diana Manalang, chef and owner of Little Chef Little Cafe in New York City, the uneven browning of your grilled cheese has everything to do with your stove's heat setting. Essentially, high heat is grilled cheese's enemy. She explained that charring your bread on the outside doesn't give the cheese enough time to melt inside. Consequently, this prevents that "perfectly toasted and melty, gooey center."

Well-done bread can be a tasty addition to grilled cheese, but you can only do it right if you work slowly. Cranking up the heat will just make the edges excessively crispy and leave your cheese half-melted. Instead, Manalang advises cooking the sandwich over medium to low heat. Just brush both sides of your bread with butter and cook it "low and slow" for best results. Her technique allows the bread to toast evenly; it browns the butter and gives the cheese ample time to reach its ideal meltiness without burning the bread.

Read more: 41 Must Try Hot Sandwich Recipes

How To Evenly Toast Grilled Cheese

Grilled cheese sandwich in skillet
Grilled cheese sandwich in skillet - Rix Pix Photography / Shutterstock

Deciding how long each side of your grilled cheese needs at Diana Manalang's suggested temperature can be difficult, especially if your internal clock isn't super accurate. As a general rule, toast each side of the sandwich for about three to four minutes or until golden brown. Additionally, while constantly checking your sandwich's toast level may seem like a good idea, this disrupts the cooking process. Leave each side untouched for at least two minutes to ensure every section of the bread gets enough face time with the hot skillet. You can even add an extra bit of warmth by flipping it back to the first side for a few seconds before pulling it off the heat.

Before arranging your ingredients, you can also try placing the pan over a low flame until its entire surface is heated. A grilled cheese-ready pan deserves the same treatment as a griddle or oven to defeat splotchy toasting. Plus, preheating ensures that you won't be tempted to turn up the heat just to reduce the cooking time. You'll know you've succeeded in making a Manalang-approved sandwich if the cheese is oozing out of the sides and the outer crust makes that satisfying scraping sound when brushed with a knife. With Manalang's expert tips, smoke alarms will be the least of your worries when you tackle your next grilled cheese sandwich recipe.

Read the original article on Mashed