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How to Make Gourmet Grilled Cheese

A grilled cheese sandwich might seem simple enough, but they require patience and a little technique to get melty cheese and that just-right golden crust. The secret to this comfort-food classic is all in the timing. A small skillet on medium heat for about three to four minutes a side does the trick for golden, cheesy nirvana.

But if you’re making grilled cheese for a family, an electric grill or griddle can help get everyone’s hot cheese sandwich served up at the same time and take some of that guesswork out of when to flip. (Hint, you don’t need to flip them at all!) A small appliance like this also gives you more options for adding grill marks, making temperature-controlled, open-face sandwiches or adding more creative ingredients for paninis. To turn grilled cheese into an even more epic family dinner option, try one of these grilled cheese recipes for something totally unique. Here are the basic steps.

  1. Insert the Griddle plate into the Deluxe Electric Grill & Griddle for the sandwich you want to make.
  2. Set the grill to the level 4 position and select the setting and time. (See below.)
  3. Assemble the ingredients on the bread.
  4. When the grill is preheated, add the sandwich and close the grill; press the wheel to start the timer.

Now start thinking of flavors that sound yummy together, like goat cheese on multigrain bread, Havarti on potato bread, or portobello mushrooms, gouda, and pesto grilled cheese. Here are two of our favorite gourmet grilled cheese recipes.

Our Favorite Comfort-Food Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

These combos will work in any skillet you have, but we think that they’re tastiest when made on our electric griddle.

Plate & Position: Griddle—Level 4
Setting & Time: Custom 325°F (160°C) for 5 minutes

Bacon & Tomato Grilled Cheese

Bread & Spread Filling
  • 2 slices Italian bread
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) softened butter for the outside of the bread
  • 2 slices mozzarella cheese
  • 4 slices Campari tomatoes
  • 3–4 strips crispy bacon

Mac 'n Cheese Grilled Cheese

Bread & Spread Filling
  • 2 slices Texas toast bread
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) softened butter for the outside of the bread
  • 2 slices cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup (125 mL) mac 'n cheese, warmed

Now take your basic grill cheese and bring pizza flavors to it! Start by mixing minced garlic into your softened butter. Spread that garlic butter on Italian bread and sprinkle the bread with finely grated Parmesan. That’s just for the outside of this sandwich! For the filling, add grilled chicken tenders and two slices of mozzarella. Then place that assembled sandwich on a preheated griddle set to 165°F (74°C) for 3–4 minutes. When the sandwiches are golden brown and melty, cut them in thirds and use marinara sauce or ranch dressing for dipping sauce.

This is a great recipe to try when everyone likes something a little different. You can add grilled peppers, onions, or mushrooms and have build-your-own restaurant-quality sandwiches for each member of your family.

Butter or Mayo: It's Up to You

It’s a hot debate among grilled cheese lovers if you cover your bread with mayonnaise or butter. Mayo is easy to spread and browns up nicely with a crispy, crunchy texture. Butter also browns up so golden and delicious but can have a little drier, more crumbly outer crust. Some people think the mayo leaves a bit of tangy flavor on the bread that can pair well with cheeses like sharp cheddar or gouda or could be a total turn-off. Some home cooks use both—mayo on the bread and melted butter on the griddle. Our Test Kitchens only tested buttered bread for their grill cheeses. But test it yourself and find what you like.

What’s your favorite grilled cheese masterpiece? Do you add seasonings to your butter? What types of cheese mixes have you tried? Give us your most indulgent and delicious. The cheesier, the better.

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