The Best Way To Freeze And Reheat A Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Most people would agree that the best time to eat a grilled cheese sandwich is when it's fresh out of the pan. The cheese is gooey and melted, and the bread is crispy on the outside yet soft on the inside. If you let the sandwich get cold and the cheese solidifies, however, the bread will also become mushy and the whole thing will be one big disappointment. This is a big reason why people don't typically make grilled cheese sandwiches in advance. However, the truth is, as long as you freeze and reheat them properly, you can enjoy the treat long after you take it off the stove.

The key to effectively freezing and reheating a grilled cheese starts with the container you put it in. To preserve the quality, you'll need to wrap it well in plastic wrap or, better yet, a sealed airtight container, which will minimize any freezer burn. When you're ready to reheat the sandwich, don't stick it in the microwave or let it gradually reach room temperature, because it'll never get crispy with those methods. Instead, reheat it in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for five to seven minutes, or in a 325 degree Fahrenheit air fryer for two to four minutes for the ideal temperature and texture.

Everything depends on the type of cheese

Any time you make a grilled cheese sandwich, the type of cheese you use will make all the difference. It mainly comes down to personal preferences, for example you might pick American if you want something creamy and mild, or mozzarella if you want something more stretchy.

However, it gets a little more complicated if you're going to freeze your grilled cheese sandwich, because you have to be mindful of not just the taste and texture you prefer, but also the cheese's moisture content. High moisture cheeses like young cheddar and American are often used for grilled cheese because they melt well. Unfortunately, they don't freeze well. Any moisture in the cheese will separate and turn to ice, causing irreversible damage to the texture. When you reheat it, the cheese should still be edible, but it may not be as creamy. Hard cheeses like Parmesan freeze the best, but they aren't ideal for grilled cheese sandwiches, so for best results opt for semi-firm cheeses such as gouda and colby Jack.

Other tips to maximize the quality of your sandwich

Before freezing your grilled cheese sandwich, there's a preventative measure you can take to maintain the best possible texture and taste. Aside from starting with a semi-hard cheese that freezes well, wait for your sandwich to cool down completely before freezing it. Otherwise, when you wrap it up while it's still hot then stick it in the freezer, you'll be trapping all the steam inside. This extra moisture will turn to ice and make your grilled cheese soggy when you reheat it. By letting your sandwich cool down first, you keep that moisture to a minimum so it can crisp up better.

Freezing grilled cheese can extend its shelf-life, but like any food, it'll taste better if you reheat it well before any freezer burn sets in. Bread can stay in the freezer for up to six months before that freezer burn taste sets in, while cheese will keep up to 12 months. For a grilled cheese sandwich, it's best to reheat it within two months even though you can technically leave it in the freezer for a longer period.