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Grilled Cheese

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hi. I'm not an experienced cook, by any means, and I was wondering what I'm doing wrong when I make my grilled cheese sandwiches. I put butter on one side of both pieces of bread, cheese in middle obviously. I always spray non-stick spray into the pan before I put the sandwich in. Every time I cook one, the cheese melts into the pan and starts smoking. It smokes up the whole house and the smoke alarm goes off if I let it cook. So usually my grilled cheese sandwiches aren't totally grilled because I hurry up and try to get it out of the pan before it smokes up the whole house. I know this is basic but what am I doing wrong? I appreciated any help. Beth :confused:
post #2 of 20
First, do you butter the inside (cheese side) or outside (cooking side) of the bread? IMO, you should butter both -- for flavor. :lips: And skip the spray.

Also: what kind of pan are you using? thin aluminum? heavyweight metal? cast iron? If your pan is too thin, the heat will not be evenly distributed.

Finally: what kind of cheese are you using? Real cheese is sooooooooo much better than processed. And a soft or semi-soft will melt faster than a medium or harder cheese. My faves are a good extra-sharp cheddar or a Gruyere/Emmenthaler/Comte type. Or havarti. A really creamy cheese is too soft.

But: two possible reasons why you're having trouble:
1. The heat is too high. Especially a problem if you're using a thin pan. The cheese will melt and the bread can burn too quickly.
2. Maybe you're using :suprise: too much cheese or placing it too near the edges. The part near the edges of the bread will melt first, especially if the heat is too high.
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post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hi. I butter the outside. I'll remember next time to butter both. I'm not sure what kind of pan it is. I know it's a thin crappy one I bought when I got my first apartment. The cheese I normally use (don't hit me!) is Kraft American singles. I've tried mozzerella for something new and it was pretty good. I'm a college student and I live at home with my mom so I don't have the resources to get the good stuff. I put the cheese in the middle of the bread but when I flip it the first time the bread slips and some cheese is in contact with the pan. How long should I wait to flip it when I first start to grill it? My mom says I cook it too high so I think that may be a problem as well as my crappy pan. Thanks for your help.
post #4 of 20
A nice cheddar works well. Even an inexpansive supermarket brand but please not the processed kind. Grate the cheese instead of slicing it and keep the heat on med low to give the cheese time to melt without burning the bread.

Jock
post #5 of 20
What's that blue veined brie cheese called? That's awesome in a grilled cheese sandwich.
post #6 of 20
The butter or mayo inside will keep the sandwich from slipping when flipped. Kind of glues it all together.

Phil
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #7 of 20
I personally think a thin crappy pan is ideal for grilled cheese. I'm going to dissagree with previous responses(as usual). I think your pan is not hot enough if your cheese is melting before your cooking the bread. I usually get my crappy pan pretty hot, then throw in my GC to hear it sizzle. This goes quickly, so be ready to flip. After flipping I turn it out onto a rack so as to let the cheese finish melting and not have the bread sweat.
I usually don't used processed by my son does and his come out great. One more thing, when you are buttering your bread, leave your cheese in the ice box until the last minute.
happy grilling
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #8 of 20
Kuan, are you talking about Cambozola?
post #9 of 20
I generally wait until the cheese is melted when cooking on the first side and then I flip it. Set your range on about medium, this will give you a delicious golden brown color when you first flip it instead of smokey black. :o
post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks everybody for your help! I'll make a grilled cheese sandwich this weekend using your suggestions and let you know how it turns out. :lips:
post #11 of 20
Yeah, I think that's it. I love blue cheese, I love brie. This is IMO the perfect cheese. ;)
post #12 of 20

flip?

Flip cheese toast? I just lay it in the sandwhich maker that does both side at once. Is there any other way to do it?
Don't overfill your sandwhich, that way the cheese won't fall out and burn
post #13 of 20
Just a silly question Bethap.

Are you heating the pan before you put in the sandwich?

Have made grilled sandwiches for many years and a hot pan will sear the bread and allow it to toast before the cheese melts.

As far as the type of cheese goes, use what you like. Love cheese, have at least a dozen in my fridge. But a grilled cheese sandwich with good old American cheese always is tasty. :beer:
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hi auntdot. No, I don't heat the pan first. I just put the sandwich in a cold pan and turn on the heat. I'm going to use everyone's suggestions and see how it turns out. Thanks for the suggestion. Beth
post #15 of 20

electric burner, right?

After 30 years of making my own grilled cheese sandwiches (starting at yes, age 4), I learned that you can read the butter reaction first, and then perfect (verb not noun) your grilled cheese. The butter should seperate, then brown slightly. Don't try to cook it too fast. As with anything in cooking, timing is everything. When the butter begins to brown (before smoke point) add the well buttered first side of the grilled cheese. As far as your cheese melting into the pan, you're going to heavy on the cheese, and as per your other post, I think fat is one of your concerns. Fat carries flavor, so it doesn't take muck to make a great (grated or not) grilled cheese. Check the first side carefully, and look for the ideal even golden brown color. Make sure the other side is well buttered, then flip it. The second side cooks much faster, so don't leave the kitchen after you flip it. Just like cooking meat, you should rest your grilled cheese for a minute or two (obviously longer with meats) before cutting and plating. I really like the cold butter suggestion, and that's a new one to me, but it makes sense, and remember, anyone can learn how to cook anything better (even Ferran or Keller looks at their results and learns from them).
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post #16 of 20
would have suggested brie too

got a nice wheel from costco ($10/lb) and enjoyed it so many ways
post #17 of 20
What? Nobody suggested the old college student method of wrapping the sandwich in foil, then ironing it?? :eek:
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post #18 of 20

Internet access in prison

I didn't think there was internet access in prison, thus, no discussion of a DIY hot-plate either...
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post #19 of 20

oopsie

Not very long ago, as I was making the transistion from at home cook to pantry cook / salad spinner extrodinaire, I was given the once a week task of staff meal/family comida. It must have been early on, because I remember still being flustered by having to cook for 30 odd people. Which is much more that I ever did around the house. The meal that I'm having trouble recollecting was probably something like tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches.

Time was running out on me and the hordes of servers akin to a Capital One commercial were giving me the eye about being fed. I buttered up some 60 sandwiches and the oven must have been pretty low, because I remember thinking out loud where can I find the hottest heat source to brown these ******* sandwiches. The grill. Mind you I was still very new to this and the grill was a lot hotter than the ole Weber at home. Well, they never got very smoky, just straight into a roaring flame up. Lots and lots of laughs. Lots and lots of carbon sandwiches. At least the soup didn't suck.

The grill certainly seemed logical, after all why is a grilled cheese sandwich named such.
post #20 of 20
Probably because "Griddled Cheese Sandwich" just doesn't sound good.

Seriously, though. We have a real vocabulary problem with such things. "BBQ" can mean anything from true low-heat, long-cooking smoked food, to high-heat grilled over a direct heat source food to foods that have been braised in a tangy sauce. "Grilled" can mean foods that were cooked on a grill over direct heat or foods that were cooked on a griddle. Go figure.
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