Jeff Mauro's Secret To Making The Best Grilled Cheese - Exclusive

This story starts with chip dust. Don't get ahead of yourself — Jeff Mauro doesn't lick dust off chips à la Andy Cohen or Chrissy Teigen. During an exclusive interview with Mashed, we asked him. "Isn't that something you probably want to do on your own?" Mauro retorted. "Like alone in a home, in a closet without any lights on or anybody else looking at you." 

Mauro may not lick the dust off chips, but barbecue chip dust is nonetheless "one of my favorite bites on the planet." That's why "The Kitchen" co-host seasons his Chicago cheesesteak with a bottle of spice mix that he designed to taste exactly like "shaking the end of a bag of barbecue kettle chips right into your mouth from the bag" (via Mauro Provisions).

Seasoning sandwich bread? We wondered, too. And that's how Mashed stumbled upon Mauro's grilled cheese-making secret. Turns out, you should season the bread you use for your grilled cheese, too. And, should you need a reminder of why Mauro's two cents are worth paying attention to, consider this. Guy Fieri might be Mayor of Flavortown. Jeff Mauro, however, is a king — the Sandwich King. No disrespect meant to Fieri, who makes a mean grilled cheese sandwich himself. When Jeff Mauro lets you in on sandwich-making secrets, you listen. 

Jeff Mauro's grilled cheese secret is surprisingly simple

Remember when Kylie Jenner turned the internet inside out with a wacky french toast hack involving Frosted Flakes? Relax. Jeff Mauro's grilled cheese secret is definitely not that. Chip dust — barbecue or otherwise — is not required to perfect a grilled cheese sandwich, either. Neither is stuffing it with mac and cheese  — although Guy Fieri might disagree (via Forbes). 

Instead, Mauro keeps things magnificently uncomplicated. To Mashed, he described his grilled cheese hack as "such a simple move that really gives back a lot." The Sandwich King wants you to season your grilled cheese sandwich bread with a surprisingly simple pantry ingredient: salt. "Right when you flip [the bread] and it hits that butter, give a little kosher salt on the outside," Mauro instructed. "It really does change the entire experience. But you know, people don't think in these terms of building layers of flavors like that." Guilty! 

What cheeses should you use? When the "Kitchen Crash" host gave the Today crew a tutorial in 2017, he opted for a mix of provolone "for stringiness," American cheese "for gooeyness," and sharp cheddar "for some sharpness and some funk." 

To catch even more of Jeff Mauro, new episodes of "Kitchen Crash" air Wednesdays on Food Network.