Grilled Cheese Trials

Unless it’s for medical reasons, I don’t trust people who don’t like cheese. I mean, I would be friends with a non-cheese lover but I wouldn’t let them babysit my children. Cheese is just amazing.

I’ve been battling for years the idea of the perfect grilled cheese. There is the simple question of what kind of cheese would go on such a thing, but there are more subtle questions regarding bread, other fillings, toppings, and accompanying drinks.

It’s all very complicated and I figure there is no better way than just to try a bunch of different kinds. I’ve made many different kinds in my years, but now it is time to get scientific. So these are the grilled cheese trials. Let’s start with:

Bacon and Caramelized Onion with Sharp Cheddar

There isn’t a recipe per se for grilled cheeses which is one reason why I like them. I used French bread for this which was a decent choice, but I’m not sure that I grilled it to a crispy perfection. I might give the bread a second try though.

I went with a basic New York Sharp Cheddar. It’s impossible to go wrong with this cheese: Melty and tasty. I want it right now even though I just ate it. With bacon and caramelized onion, it was a full sandwich.

Not everything was positive about this sandwich. There is definitely room for improvement. First, I needed to crisp the bacon more. I thought it was good, but you need it crispy if you are putting it in this sandwich (which is tough for me because I like my bacon a bit chewy typically.) It wasn’t crispy enough though so when I took a bite I would rip out a whole piece of bacon. When this happened that particular bite would be delicious, but the next few bites would be lacking bacony goodness.

So if I’m being scientific about all of this, I need a good rating system. I’m going to try to measure these sandwiches using the following ridiculous ratings (1-10 scale):

Cheesiness: How good was the cheese? Did it melt appropriately? Was it well distributed?

Bread: Did the bread toast well and hold up to the fillings? Was it crunchy yet giving?

Fillings: Did the filling compliment or overpower the cheese? Did they make the sandwich hard to eat?

Overall: This could include variables like ease in making, situation, and my general mood.

So how would the first sandwich of many, the bacon and caramelized onion with sharp cheddar rate?

Cheesiness: 7
Bread: 7
Fillings: 5
Overall: 6 (kind of a pain to make the onions and bacon. A lot a planning. Not the best payoff. Could have been better with crispier bacon.)

Keep in mind I’m being extremely hard on this sandwich. It was freakin’ good. I just think there is lots of room for improvement. Be on the lookout for more Grilled Cheese trials.

3 comments on “Grilled Cheese Trials

  1. Yum! A suggestion on the bacon —
    we’ve recently gotten one of those Hamilton Beach breakfast sandwich makers that’s making the rounds, and as a result I’ve wanted bacon for sandwiches without making it every single time we use the sandwich maker. Instead, I’ll cook up a big batch on a cookie sheet in the oven, and then cut it into small squares when cool…that way you don’t have the issue of big strips coming out of your sandwich, but it gets evenly distributed. You can stash the bacon pieces in the fridge and use throughout the week in sandwiches (or whatever else) — I have found there is no need to reheat.

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