Why Padma Laksmi Will Never Put Mayonnaise On Her Grilled Cheese

It began sometime in 2011 when chef Gabrielle Hamilton recommended swapping out butter with full-fat mayonnaise when making a grilled cheese sandwich (per The Kitchn). The mayo was not to go on the inside of the sandwich but on the outside. The swap was meant to help the bread develop a crisp, golden crust. Southern Kitchen explains that it takes more to heat up the condiment, which means the grilled cheese sandwich can be toasted at slightly higher temperatures and for longer to get the perfect textures: crisp outside and fluffy inside. The grilled cheese sandwich hack also comes recommended by other esteemed food and lifestyle publications including Southern Living and Bon Appétit.

But model-turned-cooking celeb Padma Lakshmi is having none of that. In a recent Instagram post, she asked fans whether their preference was for "butter or mayo on the outside of a grilled cheese," before explaining where she stood and why. She said, "I know some people ... like to put mayonnaise on the outside of their grilled cheese, and I have to be honest, yes, it gives you a really crispy grilled cheese but it also smells like burnt egg which is not what I want my grilled cheese to smell like. So, I still prefer butter, sorry." It turns out she's not alone in this opinion.

Padma Lakshmi's preference is chef-approved

This grilled cheese opinion isn't unique to Padma Lakshmi. It's hard to forget that epic scene in the 2014 movie "Chef," where Jon Favreau is seen cooking up what is arguably the most delectable grilled cheese sandwich in movie history (via YouTube). The scene even spawned an entire episode on "The Chef Show," where Favreau cooked up "The Perfect Grilled Cheese" with Roy Choi, who acted as a consultant in the original movie, Newsweek reports. Fans of the movie and the spinoff show will know that chef Choi also prefers butter and doesn't hold back — butter not only goes directly on the grill, it's also spread on top of the sandwich before it is flipped (via Facebook).

Cook's Illustrated weighed in by trying out both methods, and pronounced that both methods yielded "sandwiches with crisp, well-browned exteriors." It also pointed out that while buttered sandwiches tasted, well, buttery; those spread with mayo had a bit of a subtle tangy undertone. It also advised readers to stay away from reduced fat mayo, lest you be left with a soggy mouthful of disappointment. So while Lakshmi swears by the butter method, you can probably go ahead and pick the spread that's right for you. Just make sure you end up with a mouthful of golden, crisp, cheesy goodness.