All the Ways to Make Grilled Cheese (without a Stovetop)

Rachel Tepper Paley
February 5, 2014

It’s February. Those two words alone can strike fear into hearts, but there is a balm for winter’s bane: a bowl of something cheesy, cozy, and soul-satisfying. Welcome to Comfort Food Week!

Photo credit: StockFood

Sometimes, you’ve just gotta have a grilled cheese. But what if the  hankering strikes when you’re in a hotel room without an oven? Or you’re in the wilderness with nothing but a campfire, two slices of bread, and some cheese?

Chillax, dear readers. We’ve got you covered. Here’s how to make like MacGyver and whip up a grilled cheese sandwich—or, well, a melty cheese sandwich that looks like grilled cheese—with everything but your trusty stovetop.


Photo credit: Getty

Legend has it that the croque monsieur, the French version of grilled cheese (plus ham!), came into existence when some early 20th-century workmen in France left their ham-and-cheese sandwiches next to a hot radiator all morning. If it was possible then, it’s possible now—although we have a feeling that the method might leave the bread a bit soggy. But hey, it’ll melt your cheese in a pinch. We just recommend wrapping it in tin foil first.

Also important: Phil Leotardo, a fictional character in “The Sopranos,” ate radiator grilled cheese while he was in the hoosegow.

Hotel Iron

If this video is to be believed, you can make a pretty decent grilled cheese sandwich by using an iron. We may never order over-priced late-night room service again. Thanks, Crazy Russian Hacker. (That’s not an insult, that’s what the guy who uploaded this video goes by!)


Photo credit: Getty

If you’re sitting around a campfire and craving something more substantial than a marshmallow, you can roast a cheese sandwich over an open flame. All you need is a stick that forks into two or three branches, on which you’ll carefully balance the sandwich. Roast the sammie for two or three minutes on each side, but be sure to keep it far away enough from the fire that it doesn’t scorch.


Photo credit: Getty

This is too simple: Make a grilled cheese sandwich in a toaster by turning the contraption on its side, letting gravity do the work to transform it into an ad hoc toaster oven. Place a slice of bread topped with the cheese of your choice into each slot. Just be sure not to pile on too much, which could spill over as it melts and make a mess. Slap together two slices of bread prepared in this fashion, and you’ve got grilled cheese.


We find it strange that one might find herself in possession of a blowtorch but not a stovetop… but we’ll go with it. In the above video, one dude melts his cheese using one. A Searzall would work, too!

But hey—if all else fails, just hit up your local diner. Barring catastrophe, they probably have a working griddle. Sorry, MacGyver, but we have a feeling some of these methods aren’t worth the trouble.

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