The Biggest Mistake You're Probably Making With Grilled Cheese

Even just the word "grilled cheese" evokes the same feeling as a stellar report card or putting your feet up at the end of a long day. Grilled cheese might be one of the simplest go-to's in the kitchen (bread, cheese, and butter), but it's also a treat. White bread and American slices might have been your old reliable combo as an elementary grilled cheese-eater, but with all the variations and unexpected ingredients you can add to transform your sandwich (like pimento and red pepper), grilled cheese belongs at the adult table, too.

With all the fancy addition possibilities, it can be easy to lose sight of what makes such a simple dish stand out: technique. If you've ever slid your spatula under that sizzling bread, only to flip it and find a black, charred underside, you know what we're talking about. Luckily, there are some easy tips for honing your grill master chops. With these, you're in for a golden, crispy, gooey sandwich -– that won't set off the smoke detector.

Turn down the heat

Regardless of how delicious ranch dressing or even an Elvis style peanut butter and bacon grilled cheese can be, the most important ingredient in a good grilled cheese is temperature. Even if your bread-to-cheese ratio is perfect, a too-hot pan will leave you with charred bread and unmelted cheese, says the New York Times.

The main idea here is to keep the heat low and slow, but there are a few different methods of how to boogie once your pan is hot. Food Network recommends a consistent medium-low heat during the entire cook time to achieve a consistent golden brown. Patience is a virtue, and there are few things as worth the wait as a perfect grilled cheese.

Some aficionados recommend getting the pan hot and then reducing the heat once it's time to cook. HuffPost suggests preheating the pan over medium heat, then turning it down to low once you add your bread. For a small additional step with a big payoff, you might even consider pre-toasting the bread. Pre-toasting ensures a crispier sandwich with obscenely gooey cheese, via TODAY

To try it, butter both sides of the bread and add them to your hot pan, keeping the heat around medium-low. Then, once the bread just starts toasting, remove the slices, assemble your grilled cheese as normal, and pop it back in the medium-low heated pan. It's an extra slow roast that ensures your bread won't burn and your cheese will melt all the way through.