I’ve made enough mediocre grilled cheeses in my life. Unevenly cooked, dry, not nearly melty enough—I’ve seen it all. It turns out that I’ve been making a similar mistake all along, and it has to do with cheese texture.
As a kid I was often served grilled cheeses made with processed American singles. Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and a place for prewrapped American cheese, and that time and place is on a smashed burger on my grill. American singles melt pleasantly and make for a great cheese pull. But when it comes to grilled cheese—when cheese is truly the star of the show—I find American singles to be a bit bland and rubbery, without the complex flavors offered by a sharp cheddar or even a Gruyère.