Now To Make A Perfect Grilled Cheese Sandwich Every Time

In a world where everything is everything and the kitchen sink, it sometimes serves us well to do the basics.

I’ll save a tomato sandwich for next week, but here we have a most basic, simple grilled cheese.

It takes three elements:

  1. bread
  2. butter
  3. cheese

The rest is technique.


The white bread is lightly toasted, minimum setting. Pop!


So that the butter doesn’t roll the bread. It’s a very light crust where you can spread soft butter.

Then, you scrape off all excess (observe my scrapings on the end of the stick). This is not a browned butter sandwich. The only purpose of the butter is to get a light crust (the cheese is the primary fat), and you want to retain the soft bread doughiness in the middle.

…Put your pan to high for a few minutes. Make sure it’s hot.

Place one slice butter side down, place the cheese, then the other slice of bread, butter side up.

Turn the heat to low and cover the pan (raises internal heat while not burning your bread).

About two minutes.

…The point of this is you want a light crispy outside, doughy inside, and creamy melted cheese middle.

Then, you flip it and cover again. About a minute.

Uncover, bring heat to high, and touch up in terms of crispy exterior, flipping as needed.


Enjoy simple things.

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Richard Nikoley

I started writing Free The Animal in late 2003 as just a little thing to try. 20 years later, turns out I've written over 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from diet, health, philosophy, politics, social antagonism, adventure travel, expat living, location and time independent—while you sleep— income by geoarbitrage, and food pics. I intended to travel the world "homeless," but the Covidiocy Panicdemic squashed that. I became an American expat living in Thailand. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. ... I leave the toilet seat up. Read More


  1. Wilbur on October 12, 2016 at 12:59

    Grilled cheese sandwiches are probably the best thing I make. I saw the title of your post, and had the standard human reaction: Mine is better. Ha! I learned an improvement in my technique with the very first sentence of yours! Great idea! I melted the butter and dipped one side of the bread in it. Yours is better.

    Mine is otherwise slightly different. I have the pan on low and covered throughout. It takes longer though. It’s amazing how crispy it gets. I was never able to get the right amount of crisp and melted cheese without covering the pan.

  2. Resurgent on October 12, 2016 at 20:01

    Richard – The post by Jonas Mikka Luster, at this link, is worth a read on this topic.

  3. thhq1 on October 13, 2016 at 12:56

    I’m not as careful with the bread as I am with the cheese. Sharp cheddar. I sometimes pretoast the bread, then broil the cheese open face. Especially if I have a topping on the toast like crab or tuna.

  4. Tom on October 14, 2016 at 12:09

    Try making with mayonnaise some time, instead of butter. Gives it a subtle tanginess, good crisp, and no down time while softening butter.

    • Richard Nikoley on October 14, 2016 at 12:50

      Nope. Never do cooked mayo, unless it’s your own and made from saturated or mono fats.

      Store mayo is very high PUFA and cooking it oxidizes it badly. I do very, very little of it, but I’m not taking that step.

  5. pzo on October 16, 2016 at 14:56

    Room temperature butter spreads just fine on the bread w/o toasting.

    If I have none, I put butter in the pan, melt it, lay down bread, let it absorb it. Prepare the second piece the same way, then make your sandwich.

    And it as to be American cheese.

    • Richard Nikoley on October 16, 2016 at 15:47

      Nope. Have done it that way. Prefer the butter spread on the bread.

      Also, I use actual cheese, always.

  6. thhq on October 17, 2016 at 12:43

    Richard, here’s a new diet hack to work on. Beets. I thought about them while cutting chard this morning. To my surprise, the chard plants have produced small beets. Come to find that chard IS a beet. And boiled up the little chard beets taste like baby beets. But I’ll leave the rest alone to generate more highly nutritious green tops – they’re not nicknamed “spinach beets” for nothing.

    Here’s the hack. I’ve been reading John Yudkin’s 1958 popular diet book This Slimming Business, which on its own would make a good thread. John’s diet methodology is a carb counting system to restrict sugary and starchy carbs. He uses a big set of tables giving CU’s (5 gram carb portions) for various foods, and limits a day’s portion to 10-15 CU’s. Beets are advantaged over other starchy foods, counting half the CU’s of potatoes, yams and cooked rice for equal portions. Compared to other tubers, you can fill up on beets and still stay low carb. Eat a side of beet greens or chard and get your vitamins and fiber. The all-in-one vegetable. Up with borscht!

  7. Rob on October 18, 2016 at 14:00

    I do this:

    1. Butter both sides of each slice of bread.
    2. Cook inside of bread until very lightly browned.
    3. Assemble sandwich with sharp Cheddar. In the US that’s probably Kerrigold Cheddar
    4. Cook outsides of sandwich until a nice golden brown on each side.

    I’m not sure why this works but it does. I’ve tried the mayo thing and it just didn’t do it for me.

    I think a little Worcestershire sauce inside with the cheese makes it even better but that’s a matter of taste.

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