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Perfect Grilled Cheese

Cook Time:
5 mins
Prep Time:
5 mins

Chef notes

Grilled cheese sandwiches are serious business! After much debate in the TODAY All Day kitchen about what the perfect grilled cheese looks like, this was the winning recipe! We wanted to keep it classic, using a simple sliced bread (we all preferred Sara Lee's sliced whole wheat bread) and deli-sliced American cheese. Other important factors were cheese-tobread ratio, crispiness level of the bread and gooeyness of the cheese. We sliced our sandwiches into quarters (on a diagonal, of course!) so we could each taste as we were testing, and because, for many of us, that’s what mom used to do!

Technique tips: Use a burger dome or metal dome to trap the heat and melt the cheese. You can use a metal bowl if you do not have a burger dome, just be careful when removing the bowl from the griddle as it will be very hot! We prefer using a griddle because of the constant, consistent heat (and you can also make multiples at the same time!) but you can use a nonstick skillet. Just be sure to allow the pan to heat over medium heat for a few minutes and monitor the heat while cooking.

Swap options: Use your favorite sliced bread and melty cheese. You can substitute mayonnaise for the butter, which will result in a slightly more flavorful sandwich; however, the bread will not crisp up as nicely.


  • 1 tablespoon salted butter, softened
  • 2 slices sliced white or whole-wheat bread
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced American cheese (about 4 slices)



Preheat a griddle to 300 F.


Spread half of the butter over one side of each slice of bread.


Flip one of the slices over so it's butter-side down. Place the cheese over the "naked" side of the bread, making sure that it comes to the edges of all four sides.


Top with the other slice of bread, butter-side up.


Place the sandwich onto the griddle and cook until golden brown, about 2½ minutes.


Flip with a plastic turner and cover with a burger dome, cooking until golden-brown and the cheese is completely melted, about 2½ minutes more.


Remove the burger dome, transfer the sandwich to a cutting board and slice into quarters; serve immediately.