Mayo Vs. Butter: Which Makes A Crispier Grilled Cheese?

Whether you're 12, 22, or 102, a high-quality grilled cheese never goes out of style. Because duh, what's not to love about melted cheese on crispy bread? As delicious as they are, making a high-quality grilled cheese sandwich is deceptively complex. Although it seems simple, making a bad grilled cheese is actually pretty common. Among the many mistakes people make when preparing a grilled cheese sandwich is not getting the bread crispy enough.

A great grilled cheese sandwich has gooey cheese at its center that's held together by two, evenly-crusted, crispy slices of bread. For most people, getting the perfect crisp on the bread means using plenty of butter over medium heat. But did you know that mayonnaise can provide the same effect as butter?

As it turns out, both butter and mayonnaise have the potential to give your sandwich an irresistibly crunchy finish! But whether or not one ingredient is better than the other for a crispy grilled cheese is ultimately up to the chef.

Mayo offers some benefits, but both options are great

Making a sandwich with mayo on the outside sounds like a culinary faux pas. On the contrary, mayo is actually a versatile ingredient that works not only as a condiment inside sandwiches but also as a hack for crispier grilled foods.

Mayonnaise initiates a scientific phenomenon called the Maillard reaction, which transforms not only the surface of an ingredient but also its chemical makeup. When you grill bread that's been coated in mayo, the amino acids and simple sugars that make up its structure are chemically altered, leaving you with a crispy finish that's more than skin-deep. Because most mayonnaise is made with lemon or some other acid, using it in place of butter can also add a subtle tang to your grilled cheese.

While mayonnaise can certainly enhance your grilled cheese bread, butter is still a great option. Butter acts as a moisture barrier, keeping your bread crunchy and crispy long after it's left the griddle — perfect for a packed lunch. Butter also boasts a uniquely creamy and distinctly familiar flavor that can mask the artificial flavor of a cheap slice of cheese. And since there are so many choices for butter flavors (see: vodka butter), you might have more versatile options with butter.

Whether you opt for mayonnaise or butter, as long as it's crispy, you'll have the perfect grilled cheese on your plate.