The Trick For Perfectly Crisp Grilled Cheese Without Buttering Your Bread

A few classic comfort foods always seem to hit the spot — and a perfectly-crafted grilled cheese sandwich falls into that category. The juxtaposition of the gooey melted cheese and its crisp, buttery exterior makes it an irresistible dish. Butter (or some other spread, like mayonnaise) is necessary to get that decadent, crisp exterior on your grilled cheese sandwich. It also helps ensure your sandwich doesn't burn and adds some serious flavor at the same time. However, if your butter isn't room temperature or easily spreadable, you'll risk tearing the bread while spreading a layer of this flavorful fat on each piece. This can be even more difficult if you like to use very soft bread, like classic white sandwich bread.

So, what's the solution if you have a craving for grilled cheese but your butter is fresh from the refrigerator and still too hard to spread? A TikTok user shared a video in which they tried an alternate approach to the classic grilled cheese process. Instead of spreading the butter on the bread, they melted a butter pat in the pan, then placed the dry bread on top of the melted butter. After cooking one side, the sandwich is flipped to a freshly-buttered spot to cook on the opposite side and finish melting the cheese. This simple video received over 7,000 likes from people intrigued by the switch in technique, although several individuals commented that they tried this approach before.

Does a buttered pan deliver the same results?

There's no denying that tossing a bit of butter into a pan and letting it melt is arguably quicker than spreading butter onto bread slices — and it certainly solves the issue of too-cold butter tearing your bread. However, does it deliver the same results as the standard approach? There's no right or wrong answer. However, there are a few things to consider.


Definitely cooks faster. Have to keep that in mind! #simplyimperfect #foundinmydrafts #grilledcheese #grilledcheesehack

♬ original sound – Mac

Buttering your bread allows for more precision, as you can ensure every square inch receives an even coating. For those who value uniform browning on their sandwich's exterior, this might determine which technique to use. Since you can control the exact amount you use when spreading butter onto bread, you can use this ingredient more sparingly if you want something a bit lighter. Or, if you want a more decadent version, slather on a thicker layer.

When you're melting butter in the pan, you run the risk that some portions of bread will get a heftier dose than others, which could result in some extra-buttery, greasy patches. If you plan to make a big batch of grilled cheese sandwiches, buttering the pan first will cut down your prep time and allow you to get each sandwich in the pan a little faster. Although, in that case, you may want to consider the sheet pan method instead.