Mayonnaise: The Key to Better Grilled Cheese

Rachel Tepper Paley

Photo credit: Getty

America is obsessed with grilled cheese, and our collective fervor for it has helped inspire a national day of homage: National Grilled Cheese Day, which is around the bend on April 12th.

Our adoration has even led one Chicago restaurant to serve a grilled cheese sandwich costing $100. (It’s made with gold flake–infused Cheddar, black Iberico ham, white truffle aioli, foie gras, and a duck egg.) And it’s why we’ll figure out a way to make a grilled cheese sandwich at all costs, even if that means using a hotel iron to create one.

But guys, we are overthinking things. Sure, one can go the sophisticated route, but there’s a shortcut to pure gooey, cheesy joy: mayonnaise.

Yes, that jar of Hellmann’s, Duke’s, or even Miracle Whip hanging out in the refrigerator. But mayonnaise doesn’t go in your grilled cheese sandwich, it goes on top of it. Chefs of all stripes swear by this trick (Gabrielle Hamilton and Paula Deen both approve), which involves slathering the top and bottom of a grilled cheese sandwich with the creamy condiment—just as one normally would use butter—before sautéing the sammie in a hot pan. 

The web site Consumerist tried out this variation earlier this year, to much success: “The result was a nice, even browning that had a bit of crunch to it, similar to the crust on French toast.”

Business Insider gave the preparation a whirl, too, and proclaimed it the way to achieve “the best grilled cheese you will ever have.

We’re on board with trying a mayonnaise-y grilled cheese sandwich. You know, for research purposes. We’re selfless like that.