How Long Should You Cook Grilled Cheese?

Grilled cheese sandwiches are delicious on their own, and they are an excellent complement to soups. Although making grilled cheese is a simple process that only takes minimal ingredients, mastering the perfect grilled cheese can be a bit tricky. The first question that probably comes to mind is, how long should you cook grilled cheese? We've researched the grilling methods to get an answer.

For the best results, allow grilled cheese to cook for 10-15 minutes over medium-low heat. This time allows for the bread to become evenly browned and for the cheese to thoroughly melt. 

Knowing how long to cook grilled cheese is the first step in ensuring the best results. Now, we'll look at the steps needed to prepare grilled cheese sandwiches and how to know when grilled cheese is ready to eat. Keep reading to find out this and the answers to more questions.

Grilled ham and cheese sandwich, How Long Should You Cook Grilled Cheese?

What Are The Steps Needed To Prepare Grilled Cheese? What Tips Do You Need To Know?

Steps For Preparing

The best part about making grilled cheese is that it only takes three ingredients: butter, bread, and cheese. Make the traditional sandwich with white bread and American cheese, or get creative with sourdough bread and Colby Jack; the possibilities are endless! No matter which bread and cheese combination you choose, the process for preparing them is the same.

  1. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat.
  2. Spread one side of a piece of bread with butter.
  3. Place the bread, buttered side down, in the hot skillet.
  4. Put a slice of cheese on top of the bread in the pan.
  5. Butter one side of another piece of bread.
  6. Place bread on top of the cheese, buttered side up.
  7. Allow the sandwich to cook for about 2 minutes, then carefully flip with a spatula.
  8. Let the other side cook for another 2-3 minutes, then flip. Allow each side to cook for 2-3 minutes more, and voila!


  • Don't allow your pan to get too hot, as this will cause the bread to burn.
  • Use enough butter to thoroughly cover the bread so that it'll brown nicely and evenly.
  • Try using mayonnaise in place of butter. Mayonnaise has a higher smoke point and is easily spreadable.
  • If you like your bread extra-crisp, lightly brown it in the toaster before adding it to the pan.
  • For the ultimate gooey grilled cheese, stick with cheeses that melt well, like American, Colby Jack, and cheddar.
  • Allow your butter to come to room temperature for easier spreading.
  • Use shredded cheese to speed up the melting process.

How Long Do You Cook Grilled Cheese On Both Sides?

Grilled Cheese Sandwich-Photographed on Hasselblad H3D2-39mb Camera

For bread that's browned just right and cheese that's super gooey, cook grilled cheese for a total of approximately 4 minutes on each side. Allow one side of the sandwich to cook for 2 minutes, then flip. The bread will only be slightly browned at this point. Cook the other side for an additional 2 minutes, flip and repeat for a total cook time of about 10-15 minutes.

There are also various grilled cheese appliances on the market, like panini presses, sandwich makers, and sandwich toasters, allowing you to customize the toasting settings to take the guesswork out of cooking time.

Click here to see this grilled cheese sandwich toaster on Amazon.

How Do You Make Grilled Cheese Evenly?

Cast Iron Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Tomato Soup

The trick for making grilled cheese evenly is to allow your pan to heat up slowly. Although your sandwich will be ready at a much faster rate if you turn the heat up to high, it's best to have patience when it comes to making the perfect grilled cheese. Let the pan heat over medium-low heat for even heat distribution, which will allow for a golden brown exterior and melty cheese center.

It's also essential to make sure your bread is covered edge to edge with butter so that each side of the sandwich browns evenly.

How Do You Know When Grilled Cheese Is Done?

Toasted crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside hot grilled cheese sandwiches

Grilled cheese is ready to eat when the bread is golden brown, and the cheese has melted in the center. Some people prefer the bread to be only lightly toasted, while others like a deeply browned finish; there's no wrong answer! However, no one likes cold cheese or burnt bread, which will ruin the taste and texture of a grilled cheese sandwich.

Check out this YouTube video on how to make a picture-perfect grilled cheese by using shredded cheese:

What Temperature Should You Cook Grilled Cheese At?

Photo of a grilled cheese sandwich cooking in a large frying pan.

When it comes to perfecting grilled cheese, slow is the way to go. Let's look at some different cooking methods and the temperature you'll need to use to achieve the best results.

  • Stovetop - Heat the pan over medium-low heat when cooking on the stove.
  • Electric griddle - The ideal temperature for making grilled cheese on an electric griddle is 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Oven - If you're making grilled cheese sandwiches for a crowd, try the oven! Preheat oven to 450 degrees, cook for 5 minutes, flip and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Panini press - Set the panini press to medium heat for deliciously crispy bread.

Why Does My Grilled Cheese Stick To The Pan?

A grilled cheese sandwich on sprouted multi-grain bread in a cast iron skillet

Grilled cheese that sticks to the pan is downright frustrating! Luckily, we've researched to find out why it occurs and how you can prevent it from happening.

Temperature Is Too High

Resist the temptation to cook grilled cheese over high heat, as this will cause sticking and burnt bread. Instead, keep the heat set on medium-low to allow for slow, steady heating.

Too Cheesy

Sometimes there really is too much of a good thing. In this case, it's the cheese. It's perfectly fine to add 2-3 slices of medium thickness cheese to your sandwich, but if you go overboard, the cheese will ooze and cause a sticky mess in your frying pan.

Not Enough Butter or Oil

We've already established that you should use plenty of butter on the bread, but if you're having issues with grilled cheese sticking to the pan, you may need even more. Try adding butter or cooking spray to the pan in addition to the buttered bread, and your sandwich will slide from skillet to plate beautifully.

You're Using The Wrong Pan

Use a nonstick pan or a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet when making grilled cheese on the stovetop for the best results. The nonstick interior will brown the bread just right and allow you to flip the sandwich easily.

Click here to see this nonstick griddle pan on Amazon.

How Do You Make Grilled Cheese Without Burning It?

a frying pan with two burnt grilled cheese sandwiches

The best tip for making grilled cheese without burning it? Keep a close eye on it. Don't walk away from the pan, but rather watch it closely to ensure it doesn't burn. After one side of the sandwich has cooked for about 2 minutes, lift one corner of the grilled cheese to make sure it's golden brown. If so, flip and cook the other side until it's browned to your liking.

Final Thoughts

Although making the perfect grilled cheese takes patience, the end result is well worth the wait. After all, it's hard to beat buttery, toasted bread, and melty, gooey cheese. We hope that this information will help you prepare the best grilled cheese yet!

Thanks for reading! For more useful information on cheese, be sure to read:

Can You Cut On A Marble Cheese Board?

How Do You Keep Cheese From Sticking To The Knife?

Is A Cheese Knife Sharp?

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