Don't Just Slather Mayo On The Outside Of Grilled Cheese — Put It On The Inside Too

Mayonnaise might be one of the best ingredients to incorporate into a grilled cheese sandwich. This condiment has a higher smoke point that allows it to toast up on the stovetop at higher temperatures, and unlike butter, you can spread it on a slice of bread without the need to warm it up in advance. Many home cooks are already aware that slathering mayo on the exterior of a grilled cheese yields a crispier, tangier toast, but you're actually missing out on a lot if you're not using this condiment in the interior of your sandwich as well.

Grilled cheese sandwiches are all about contrasts: creamy, oozy cheese held between two crunchy slices of toast bread. Adding mayonnaise to the inside of a grilled cheese not only adds some further smoothness to the melted cheddar but complements it with its rich, subtly tangy flavors. You don't have to take the time to make this condiment from scratch either, as store-bought versions of this dish will be enough to fortify your sandwich.

To keep things even creamier, grate the cheese for your sandwich and mix it into a dollop of mayonnaise before spreading it onto the bread. This not only gives you more control over how much you'll be using but allows it to soften much faster than any slice of cheddar.

Combine mayonnaise and butter to make your grilled cheese even better

The most basic version of a grilled cheese only requires three ingredients at most: bread, cheese, and an optional slather of butter or mayonnaise. Exactly which of the two you select as the spread for this sandwich usually gets left up to taste, as they toast up differently and have distinct flavor profiles. However, you can get the best of both worlds by combining butter and mayo to take your homemade grilled cheese to the next level.

Combining butter and mayonnaise allows you to mix the nutty undertones of the former with the tangy notes of the latter. This creates a creamy spread that has subtle, complex flavors that will not distract from the melted cheese, but still acts as the lead ingredient in your sandwich. That mayo will give you the cheese pull of your dreams. You'll want to use a butter-mayo combination on the outside of the bread as well, as it will help it toast more evenly.

If you prefer your grilled cheese on the tangier side, dollop the softened butter onto the skillet instead of the bread. This will still let your sandwich crisp up and get some of those deliciously toasty flavors, but remember to use a low temperature. Butter does not need high temperatures to start burning, so try to toast and melt everything without cranking up the stovetop.

Other ways to spruce up a grilled cheese sandwich

When most people make grilled cheese, they either use grated cheddar or a slice of yellow American cheese. These are undoubtedly some good and classic options, as they melt easily and have bold, savory flavors. However, using only a singular kind of cheese might be one of the biggest mistakes most home cooks commit when making this sandwich. For example, mozzarella or Gruyere are excellent options that can give lots of pull. However, you'll want to stay away from only using dry, crumbly cheeses like blue, cotija, or feta, as they do not turn gooey under heat. You can, however, take an aged cheese, like Pecorino, and grate a little on the outside of the bread to bring extra crunch.

Fillings are another great way to boost the flavor of a grilled cheese sandwich even further, as they can bring an infinite array of sensations and textures that bread and cheese cannot provide. For example, a little mustard can add some much-needed acidity to this hearty, rich recipe — while a slice of ham or bacon delivers some protein and umami overtones. Some people even like to drizzle a little maple syrup on their grilled cheese to bring a little sweetness in as well. A flavored mayonnaise will also do the trick here, as you can easily fortify a jar from the store with hot sauce, scallions, and even curry.