activity

Why do some cheeses melt so much better than others? Stretch your brain with this tasty experiment.

safety
  • Uses a knife
  • Uses an oven
difficulty
  • Beginner
time
  • 30 minutes

It’s hard to argue with the fact that all cheeses are delicious, but when it comes to melting, not all cheeses are created equal. Some melt into smooth, gooey deliciousness, while others turn greasy, grainy, or just stubbornly refuse to melt at all. What gives? Find out—and learn which cheeses make for the best grilled cheese and pizza—in this easy experiment. (Bonus: delicious snack ahead!)

Prepare Ingredients

1
(10- to 12-inch) flour tortilla
2 tablespoons
shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons
shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons
shredded Parmesan cheese

Gather Equipment

Cutting board
Chef's knife
Rimmed baking sheet
Oven mitts
Cooling rack
1
 

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat the oven to 200 degrees.

 
2
 
1
(10- to 12-inch) flour tortilla

Cut 1 flour tortilla into thirds: Cut from the edge of the tortilla to its center in a straight line. Make two more cuts to the center of the tortilla, in an upside down “V” shape, dividing it into thirds.

 
3
 

Arrange 3 pieces of tortilla in a row on the rimmed baking sheet. If you’d like, line baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper to speed cleanup. You can use masking tape and a marker to label where each cheese will go.

 
4
 
2 tablespoons
shredded mozzarella cheese

Sprinkle the mozzarella in an even layer on the left piece of tortilla.

 
5
 
2 tablespoons
shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Sprinkle the cheddar in an even layer on the center piece of tortilla.

 
6
 
2 tablespoons
shredded Parmesan cheese

Sprinkle the Parmesan in an even layer on the right piece of tortilla.

 
7
 

Make a prediction: Do you think these 3 cheeses will melt the same way once they go in the oven? What, if anything, do you think might be different from 1 cheese to the next?

 
8
 

Place baking sheet in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. (Ask an adult for help.)

 
9
 

Use oven mitts to remove the baking sheet from the oven (ask an adult for help). Place the baking sheet on a cooling rack.

 
10
 

Observe your cheesy results! After 10 minutes in the oven, do all 3 cheeses look the same? How do they look different? Which would you choose to put in your grilled cheese sandwich or on your pizza? Why?

 
11
 

Eat your experiment! It’s fine to eat any (or all) of your creations! To punch up their flavor, try topping them with salsa, guacamole, or even some marinara sauce.