There are many paths to an ideal grilled cheese sandwich, but a cast iron skillet (plus a lid) will always be the least perilous. Nothing rivals cast iron for an evenly heated surface, which ensures an evenly browned sandwich, and covering the skillet speeds up the cheese-melting process, which avoids the most-common grilled cheese misfires: under-melted cheese or over-browned bread.

Grilled cheese aficionados fall into two camps: mayo or no mayo. We’re advocates for the former, spreading a thin layer of the emulsified fat on the outside of the sandwich before it’s cooked, which further encourages even browning and adds a subtle tangy flavor we love. If you’re not a mayo maniac, simply leave it out and add extra butter to the skillet as needed.

recipe

Cast Iron Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Yield: 2 sandwiches

Ingredients

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Mayonnaise
4 slices sandwich bread (pullman loaf, country white, etc.)
4 slices American or cheddar cheese
Flaky sea salt

Instructions

1.

Heat the butter in a No.8 (10 ¼”) cast iron skillet over medium-low heat until melted. Spread 1 side of each slice of bread with a thin layer of mayonnaise.

2.

Place two slices, mayo-side down, in the skillet, and divide the cheese between them. Place the other slices of bread, mayo-side up, on top. Cover the skillet and cook until the bottom of the sandwiches is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes.

3.

Flip the sandwiches over, cover the skillet again, and cook until the second side is golden brown, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer the sandwiches to plates, sprinkle with flaky salt, and serve.