Though history tells us they go back as far as Ancient Rome, grilled cheese sandwiches are one of America’s great loves. The invention of sliced bread in the 1920’s came on the heels (no pun intended) of American cheese aka processed cheese slices in 1914. So, by the time The Great Depression hit in the 1930’s, America was off and running with this cheap but filling comfort food.
BTW, heels make for fantastic grilled cheese sandwiches! You can put the crusts on the inside of the sandwich with extra cheese if you want to pretend you haven’t reached the end of your loaf, or turn the crusts to the outside and butter ‘em up for extra crunch.
As kids, most of us seem to prefer our grilled cheese straight up with no fuss. Some of us become more adventurous as we grow up, but it’s never wrong to go with the standard issue white bread, butter or margarine or mayo and a slice of American cheese inside, and more butter on the outside. Who among us hasn’t had answered a late-night stomach growl by quickly (and quietly) wolfing down a slice of bread topped with a slice of cheese that we broiled into bubbly goodness in a toaster oven? It just soothes the craving.
According to 11,000 votes on Ranker, American cheese is the no. 3 most preferred cheese for grilled sandwiches today with cheddar and Monterey Jack at no. 1 and no. 2 respectively. Limburger holds the very last spot of all 36 cheeses ranked. (It’s important to live alone if that happens to be your fave.) The ranks include some spicy ideas, too! Horseradish cheese? Onion cheese? Pepper Jack? Pepperoni cheese made the list with 74 votes. That’s a salty delicious but unusual one Mom used to find sometimes in the Army Commissary when we were kids!
If you’re into your OG air fryer (and who isn’t?), have you made a grilled cheese in it? You should!
How to Make a Grilled Cheese Sandwich in Your Air Fryer
Step 1) Preheat your air fryer to 325°
Step 2) Place cheese (grated or sliced) between two slices of bread
Step 3) Butter one side of your sandwich and place in the fry basket butter side up
Step 4) Air fry your sandwich for approx. 3 min.
Step 5) Flip your sandwich so the unbuttered side is up
Step 6) Butter the dry side of your sandwich and replace the fry basket
Step 7) Air fry your sandwich with the newly butter side up for approx. 3 min.
Once you’ve got the hang of it, adjust the recipe as necessary. How about some Limburger and a slice of pickle loaf? Pimento cheese and banana peppers? Comment with your favorite grilled cheese recipe invention.