The Definitive Trick For An Extra-Crispy Tuna Melt

As autumn approaches and cooler weather starts to set in, it's only natural that our cravings start to shift from fresh salads and cold watermelon slices to warmer, heartier fare. Given that the change in season can impact our mood, Well + Good explains that this might cause many to adapt a sort of seasonal eating pattern rich in dopamine-triggering foods like carbs and fats, which is why it's a great time to perfect comfort foods like the always iconic, tuna melt. With a secret trick to create an extra-crispy tuna melt, you'll be making these bad boys all autumn long.

Believed to have been invented by accident, the New York Times reports that the tuna melt was the result of a bowl of tuna salad falling onto a grilled cheese sandwich at a Woolworth's lunch counter in Charleston, South Carolina. An ideal marriage between the rich, creamy tuna salad sandwich and the ooey-gooey grilled cheese, the tuna melt has become a staple comfort food, but only if prepared properly.

Choosing good quality tuna and the right type of cheese are detrimental when constructing the sandwich, notes Simply Recipes. A good tuna melt should also have varying textures from creamy tuna filling, smooth melted cheese, crispy toasted bread, and maybe some diced shallots or pickles for an extra crunch. That said, ratios matter — there's nothing worse than a soggy sandwich. However, there's a foolproof way to make the crispiest tuna melt ever, and it involves a certain creamy condiment.

Forget butter and instead slather on mayonnaise

While butter might be the fat that you reach for when toasting bread, it might not be the best option. Rather than use butter, Epicurious suggests swiping a layer of mayonnaise onto the outside of the bread before building your melt, making sure to cover with a lid so that the trapped heat will allow the cheese to melt down the sides of the bread and create a cheesy skirt.

Given that the condiment is an emulsification that's made primarily of oil, Allrecipes notes that mayonnaise can work wonders in ensuring an ultra crisp and stunningly golden tuna melt. Likewise, because oil has a higher smoking point than butter, it means that your tuna melt won't burn as easily, confirms Southern Kitchen. Instead, you can toast your melt over higher heat without running the risk of drying out the sandwich's interior.

If that weren't enough, mayonnaise is also a lot easier to work with. If you keep your butter in the fridge, it can be incredibly difficult to spread on bread. Mayo, on the other hand, is lusciously light and creamy, making it super easy to slather onto bread. When in doubt, reach for the mayo.