How To Prevent Soggy Club Sandwiches, According To A Chef

club sandwich with fries on a plate surrounded by veg
club sandwich with fries on a plate surrounded by veg - Tom_young67/Getty Images

The club sandwich — that crispy triple-decker delight found on diner and deli menus nationwide — is a standard lunch staple. Formed with the support of three pieces of bread, the classic club sandwich includes turkey or chicken, bacon, lettuce, tomato, cheese, and a healthy spread of mayonnaise. Whether served with chips or a pickle, this sandwich makes for the ultimate quick snack or meal.

The one problem that repeatedly plagues an otherwise scrumptious club sandwich? Soggy bread. In an interview with the Daily Meal, chef John Politte shared a few thoughts on how to stop this common sandwich catastrophe. Over the last 40 years, chef Politte has found himself in all corners of the kitchen operation, from dishwasher to executive chef. The owner of the popular YouTube channel It's Only Food, Politte offers cooking tutorials on everything from fast food sauces to Thai entrées. When it comes to preventing soggy sandwiches, he believes the most important trick is to first toast the bread.

Read more: 11 Of The Best Cooking Tips From Bobby Flay

Keep 'Em Toasted

Two slices of toasted white bread on a white background
Two slices of toasted white bread on a white background - innakreativ/Shutterstock

Crafted on white or wheat bread that's responsible for holding together juicy tomatoes and creamy mayo, the club sandwich is notorious for becoming mushy. "The best way to keep a club sandwich from getting soggy," Chef John Politte told the Daily Meal, "is to toast the bread." A crisp outer layer will help repel the moisture from the mayo, which coats nearly all bread surfaces. This is particularly important given the sandwich's unique architecture. Because this snack utilizes three pieces of bread, it towers higher than an average sandwich. If any of the three pieces of bread become overly soggy, the sandwich becomes very difficult to hold due to its size. Plus, a golden-brown toast will give the sandwich a delicious crunch that juxtaposes the softness of the meat and cheese.

Besides toasting, home cooks can focus on using the appropriate ingredients. "Be sure the lettuce is dry," Politte says, "and don't use overly ripe tomatoes." The moisture from a recently washed leaf of lettuce or a pulpy tomato will be enough to penetrate the outer toasted layer of bread. Finally, Politte notes that a club sandwich shouldn't be made "too far in advance." If a sandwich sits out, it will begin to turn mushy over time, regardless of your precautions. So, if you plan to serve club sandwiches on a buffet or as an appetizer, it's best to assemble them right before serving.

Variations On The Classic Club

Avocado club sandwich on a plate
Avocado club sandwich on a plate - Leigh Loftus/Shutterstock

The original club sandwich ingredients — deli meat, bacon, lettuce, tomato, cheese, and mayo — are classic, and for good reason. However, that doesn't mean you can't try out some fun variations. The Mexican club sandwich substitutes sour cream and salsa in place of mayo and adds a hefty helping of fresh guacamole. Swap the traditional cheddar and Swiss for slices of pepper jack, which will add a peppery kick. Instead of bread, you'll pile the ingredients onto crispy tortillas before cutting them into the signature triangles.

The turkey-mango club sandwich offers a healthy take on the original, with a surprise added ingredient. In this variation, you'll swap out the mayo for a tasty avocado spread made by blending avocado, greek yogurt, and lime juice. You'll build the sandwich like a classic, but add thin slices of fresh, juicy mango. This addition will add a sweet layer to the sandwich that pairs perfectly with the creamy avocado spread. Secure the final product with toothpicks before cutting it into four perfect triangles.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.