The Grilled Cheese Air Fryer Hack Professional Chefs Swear By

When you're craving something simple and savory for lunch, grilled cheese is a great go-to. Each sandwich can be customized with different breads and cheeses. You can go with a childhood classic of American cheese on white bread, or elevate the experience with some brioche bread and gruyere. Some may even want to add proteins, jams, caramelized onions, or fruits to the mix.

If you don't feel like starting up the stovetop, you can use your air fryer to cook up the perfect grilled cheese. While cooking the sandwich on a stovetop might require butter or oil to get that perfect, crunchy exterior on your bread, air fryers can crisp it up without them for a healthier alternative. Plus, the fryer can cook up your food a little faster, making it perfect for a quick and easy lunch.

One chef shared her favorite air fryer recipes, and grilled cheese made the list of the best air fried foods.

There's a specific method for the perfect sandwich

U.K.-based chef Aefa Mulholland explained in an Insider article that she is "obsessed" with her air fryer, though she initially resisted buying one. After bringing the appliance home, she was "delighted" by its ease of use and the variety of foods she could cook with it — she even owns two now.

One of her favorite meals made in the air is a grilled cheese sandwich. Her go-to recipe combines apple slices, brie, and cranberry sauce on bread. She notes that this quick and easy lunch can easily fit inside an air fryer. If you're making multiple sandwiches at once, she advises slicing them in half and arranging them to fit better.

To cook the grilled cheese, she allows the sandwich to fry at a low temperature for three to five minutes. This allows the cheese to start melting. Then, she turns up the temperature for another few minutes, which gets the bread extra crispy.

The cheese could make a bit of a mess

However, not everyone agrees that cheesy snacks should be air fried. Reader's Digest states that ultra-cheesy foods, including mozzarella sticks and grilled cheese, could melt, drip down, and make a huge mess inside the air fryer. If you'd rather not risk spending extra time scrubbing melted cheese out of the air fryer, it may be best to avoid cheesy foods altogether. However, there may be a few ways to minimize messes.

One method is to stick a toothpick in each sandwich to keep the bread slices and cheese together. If the sandwich is left unsecured, the bread could slide off once the air frying starts, allowing cheese to ooze out everywhere. You could also try using air fryer liners when cooking messy foods. These cover the air fryer basket, catching a majority of the messes that might be produced with melty cheese.

Although you do run the risk of making a little mess when cooking a grilled cheese in your air fryer, the delicious, cheesy result might just make it worth it.