So, how do us Brits make a Grilled Cheese Sandwich and how is it different from the American version?
Find out in this post and also how it compares to a traditional British Cheese Toastie.
Table of Contents
Learn how to make a Grilled Cheese Sandwich the British way in this short video and also be surprised at just how much butter I use.
The Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Growing up in the UK during the 80’s and 90’s I watched a lot of American Kids TV shows and one food item that always showed up was the Grilled Cheese.
It seemed to be a comfort food option provided by one of more grownups whenever the star of the show was heartbroken or missed out on the top spot in the sports team etc.
The next scene would have them enjoying their grilled cheese while having wisdom imparted on them and solving all of their problems.
I wondered when I was young if a Grilled Cheese Sandwich has some magical properties and like so many things we watched on TV back then there was no sign of it in the UK. Especially, the orange American cheese that would sit at the heart of the dish.
But times have changed and if the UK we know have a huge range of cheeses at our disposal and this means each and every one of us can enjoy a classic American Grilled Cheese.
However, with so much choice of cheese I couldn’t help but take a different option.
What is a Grilled Cheese Sandwich?
A grilled cheese sandwich is essentially a fried bread sandwich. You make up the sandwich and then fry each side in oil or butter until golden in colour.
What’s the difference between a Grilled Cheese and Cheese Toastie?
A grilled cheese sandwich is a fried sandwich with open sides made in a frying pan. A Cheese Toastie is traditionally a closed, sealed, toasted sandwich cooked in a toasted sandwich maker.
These are the ingredients I used to make my British version of a Grilled Cheese Sandwich.
- Two slices of bread
- Two or three slices of Gouda cheese
- Lots of salted butter
Two slices of bread
You can use either white or brown bread for this recipe but choose either medium or thick cut bread.
Rather than use a classic American cheese I opted for the smooth smoky Dutch Gouda cheese. I did this as it has a stronger flavour and melts really well in the sandwich.
Salted butter is the key ingredient here and what makes this so different from a cheese toastie. It isn’t just about buttering the bread on the outside like you can with cheese toastie, but the act of frying the sandwich in (more) butter that really permeates the sandwich and gives it a lovely salted crunch that is offset wonderfully by the smoky Gouda cheese.
While it might be, slightly, better for you don’t be tempted to use unsalted butter. You really want that salted taste to come through. However, if you only have unsalted butter available then just add a generous pinch of salt to each side on the sandwich before you cook it.
Here is how to make a Grilled Cheese Sandwich.
- Heat a large frying pan and add some butter
- Lay out your bread and butter one slice
- Put that slice butter side down in the pan
- Add two or three slices of cheese to the bread in the pan
- Butter the remaining slice of bread
- Place on top of the cheese with the butter facing up (not touching the cheese)
- After five minutes flip the sandwich and continue to cook in until both sides are golden brown
You need the following equipment to make a Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Heavy based frying pan
To make a really good grilled cheese sandwich you need a large frying pan that evenly conducts the heat.
Serve it with
Two classic combinations to go with a Grilled Cheese Sandwich are tomato soup or a nice crisp side salad.
Grilled Cheese vs Cheese Toastie
On taste then the grilled cheese is better than a cheese toastie and it is all thanks to being fried in generous amount of salted butter.
On convenience it is a tie as both a grilled cheese and cheese toastie are simple to make and require little effort.
On cost it is another tie as they require the same ingredients.
Therefore, thanks to its buttery taste the Grilled Cheese Sandwich is better than the classic Cheese Toastie.
More Grilled Cheese Fun
Upgrade your Grilled Cheese
If you want to take your grilled cheese to the next level then check out these 10 ways to upgrade a grilled cheese sandwich.
The history of Grilled Cheese
If you are interested in learning more about the history of Grilled Cheese and how it is tied into the development of Kraft pasteurised cheese then check out this interesting article from TripSavvy.
The largest Grilled Cheese
Find out just how big the worlds largest grilled cheese was and marvel in some giant grilled cheese creations.
Grilled Cheese the British Way
- Frying Pan
- 2 Slices Bread
- 2-3 Slices Gouda cheese
- 50g Salted Butter At room temperature
- Heat the frying pan and place a small knob of butter into it
- Generously butter one slice of bread and place in the frying pan butter side down
- Lay the cheese on the bread in the frying pan
- Generously butter the next slice of bread and place on top of the cheese with the butter facing up (not touching the cheese)
- After five minutes flip the sandwich and add a bit more butter to the pan
- Cook until both sides are golden brown and crispy