Use A Second Cast Iron Skillet For An Unbeatable Grilled Cheese

Grilled cheese combines two of the most loved yet versatile ingredients; cheese and bread. There are an infinite number of combinations of the two that can be grilled or panini-pressed into the best grilled cheese sandwich. Another fantastic way to craft an unbeatable grilled cheese is to use a cast iron skillet, or more specifically, two cast iron skillets.

Like with any other preparation method for grilled cheese, the first skillet holds the sandwich. In this instance, though, the second skillet goes on top of the bread to consistently press and hold the sandwich down. Using another skillet to weigh down the sandwich ensures that all of the cheese inside gets melty and gooey without having to keep the sandwich itself in the skillet for that long as no one likes burned bread. Make sure to only use the skillet during the first half of the cooking process to guarantee the bread is the perfect level of toasty and crispy.

Things to know about cast iron skillets

Cast iron skillets are extremely useful kitchen tools that cater to several cast iron-specific recipes but some people shy away from using them because they come with some rules of engagement. Unlike your other pans, these skillets need to be what's called "seasoned" before use. Seasoning is super easy and the basics of it entail coating the pan in oil and baking it in an oven. The reason cast iron skillets need to be seasoned is that the process bonds the oil to the surface of the pan, reducing the likelihood of rust forming and food sticking.

To make sure this layer stays intact, there are also some things to keep in mind when cleaning your skillet, especially after making that delicious grilled cheese. As the name suggests, these pans are made of iron and therefore should never be soaked in water for long periods to avoid the risk of any rust. Additionally, don't use anything harsh or sharp to scrape the pan while you're cleaning it, like metal utensils or even steel wool. Any scraping or scratching can also damage the seasoning of the pan.

How else can the grilled cheese be perfected?

So you have your two seasoned cast iron skillets, but what else can you do to make sure your grilled cheese is beyond unbeatable? The first way to make sure your sandwich is above average is by picking the best cheese and bread. While store-bought bagged loaves of bread will do, homemade bread or freshly baked bread from a bakery, will always be better. Certain kinds of cheeses melt better than others, too. If you're aiming for that drool-worthy cheese pull, use cheeses like mozzarella, cheddar, fontina, or gouda.

Another good tip is to make sure your heat levels are just right and aren't too low or too high. For grilled cheese or any other grilled sandwich, lower heat over a longer period is the way to go. This especially applies when you're using a cast iron skillet. The heat should be in the range of medium to medium-low. You need to keep a watchful eye and make sure your pan isn't overheating and burning your bread throughout the cooking process.