The Next Time You Make Nachos, Shred The Cheese Yourself

Whether you're settling in to watch a football game or just craving something crispy and cheesy, there's no wrong time to eat nachos. While they're a great starter to share with the table at a restaurant, you can also make them at home. If you choose the homemade route, your nachos will benefit from putting in some elbow grease to achieve perfectly melted cheese. One of the mistakes everyone makes with nachos is using the pre-shredded stuff. Opt for manually shredding a whole block of cheese when you're making nachos for the creamiest outcome.

Pre-shredded cheese does offer a convenience factor. It comes in bags ready for you to use without doing any work. But your nachos will definitely suffer from improper melting caused by preservatives. For the best nacho cheese, use whole varieties that are flavorful and melt easily. To achieve something that mimics what you might buy at a baseball game, opt for American cheese. Otherwise, go for cheeses with a moisture content that's around 45%-60%. Gruyere, fontina, stilton, muenster, and camembert also all meet the criteria, which makes them prime for melting. Whatever cheese you decide to use, be sure to buy it in a hunk and grate it yourself for the best results.

Pre-shredded cheese contains additives that inhibit melting

The cheese section at the grocery store is a house divided. On one side, there are chunks of solid cheese wrapped up and ready to be grated. On the other, bags of pre-shredded cheese are lined up at the ready with no prep needed. When shopping for ingredients to make your game day nachos, it's best to stay away from the latter.

Pre-shredded cheese contains several additives, like potato starch, natamycin, and cellulose. These ingredients serve a purpose. They help prevent the cheese from clumping and melting inside the bag before you get it home. They also prevent mold from building up and keep the cheese tasting fresh. Those are all important services, however, they prevent the cheese from melting smoothly, which is why you should think twice about choosing pre-grated cheese for your nachos.

Creating perfect nachos hinges almost completely on the cheese. The other toppings are important, but the melty, stretchy cheese is the star of the show. Next time you're assembling this treat for a crowd, it's best to spend a few extra minutes grating your favorite cheeses.