An amazing grilled cheese sandwich is simple, and yet in that simplicity, so rife with potential disaster. There are few things as sacrilegious as a failed grilled cheese sandwich. There’s nothing worse than biting into a grilled cheese sandwich and finding that the bread isn’t properly caramelized and crunchy and that, for the love of all things cheesy, the cheese isn’t melted all the way through. Are you kidding? Seriously?
To avoid failure and to achieve grilled cheese perfection you have only to keep five things in mind: a sufficiently but not overly grilled exterior, correct cheese-to-bread type, correct cheese-to-bread ratio, use of butter, and cheese that is melted all the way through. For more tips, check out this primer on How to Make the Ultimate Classic Grilled Cheese Sandwich.
In a small pan, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter. Brush evenly on the exterior of each slice of bread. Bring the cheese to room temperature, or better yet, par-melt 2 slices of cheese in the microwave for 10-15 seconds on a piece of plastic wrap and then turn over onto the non-buttered side of the bread. Repeat.
Get a pan set up over medium-high heat. Depending on the size of your tomato use 1 or 2 slices. Just make sure there’s even tomato distribution in each bite. Combine the halves.
Add the remaining butter to the pan and make sure the bottom is coated evenly. Put the sandwich in the pan and cover. Cook until the surface of the bread is golden, dark, and creates a crisp, solid exterior that won’t bend, about 1 minute. Flip, cover, leave for 1 minute and retrieve. Let sit for 20 seconds, slice. Eat.