If you have ever enjoyed a gooey, cheese-filled sandwich on a cold day, there’s no doubt that you’ve had your share of grilled cheese and melts.
But what’s the difference between these two classic sandwiches? On the surface it might seem like they’re really quite similar– but if you look closer, you’ll see how varied these two dishes truly are.
In this guide we break down everything there is to know about grilled cheese vs melt – from what makes them distinct to the different ingredients each kind traditionally uses.
So grab a snack before getting comfortable for our cheesy investigation into these beloved culinary delights.
What is Grilled Cheese?
Grilled cheese – a classic comfort food. Loved by all ages.
Its simplicity and ease of preparation make it popular.
For the best grilled cheese, you need golden bread and gooey melted cheese.
Butter both sides of the bread.
Cook it on a skillet or griddle until it’s golden brown.
Then, the cheese melts inside.
You can use different types of cheese for various tastes and textures.
Go beyond simple grilled cheese.
Mixtures of cheeses add complexity to the flavor.
Add ingredients like bacon, tomato, or avocado – different layers of taste and texture.
Try out different breads – sourdough, rye – for an even better experience.
What is a Melt?
A melt, also known as a grilled cheese melt, is a tasty spin on the classic grilled cheese sandwich.
It takes the classic combo of melted cheese and bread to new heights by adding ingredients for flavor and texture.
Here’s what makes a melt stand out:
- Bread: Like a grilled cheese, melts start with slices of bread. But you can use different types, like sourdough or rye, to enhance the taste.
- Cheese: A range of cheeses can be used, from cheddar or Swiss to gourmet options like Gruyere or Brie. The cheese affects the flavor.
- Fillings: Melts add extras like sliced turkey or ham, sautéed onions or mushrooms, tomatoes, avocado, or jalapeños.
- Grilled vs Toasted: Melts are usually open-faced sandwiches broiled in the oven. This way, the toppings get hot and bubbly, with a crispy exterior.
- Presentation: Melts can be topped with herbs like basil or parsley for color and flavor. Plus, a drizzle of sauce or dressing can make them extra indulgent.
- Versatility: You can make diner-style classics like tuna melts or gourmet variations with artisanal ingredients. There’s a melt for every palate.
Melt popularity has spread across the globe.
Enjoy one at a cozy cafe or make one at home.
With melts, the flavor possibilities are endless.
Differences Between Grilled Cheese and Melt
Grilled Cheese and Melts – two similar, yet distinct sandwiches.
Grilled cheese and melts are a delicious treat.
The ingredients used can really make the sandwich special.
The bread, cheese, and fillings each play a role in crafting the perfect sandwich.
Sturdy bread like sourdough or ciabatta works best.
You can opt for thin or thick slices – this affects the texture. Cheese is key.
Classic choices like cheddar and Swiss are often chosen due to their melting capabilities and flavors.
Try Gruyere or Havarti for a unique taste. Or mix multiple cheeses for complexity.
Fillings can be simple, like tomatoes or bacon.
Or get creative with meats or vegetables like roasted peppers or sautéed onions.
Condiments like mayo, mustard, or pesto add extra flavor.
These layers enhance the overall taste experience and complement the other ingredients.
Grilled cheese and melt sandwiches – two sides of the same coin.
But cooking up these delicious treats is different.
Grilled cheese is cooked on a griddle or skillet.
Whereas, melt sandwiches need an oven or broiler.
Grilling a cheese sandwich gives it a crispy outside and ooey-gooey inside.
And melting it brings out a creamy, melty flavour.
So, these unique details make each variation special.
Flavor and Texture
Grilled cheese and melts differ in flavor and texture.
A grilled cheese has a basic, comforting taste.
The outside is crisp, and the inside is oozy melted cheese.
It’s creamy and smooth when you bite it. But a melt takes it further.
It has meats, veggies, or spreads, adding flavor complexity.
The texture can be tender and juicy, or crunchy and crispy.
Both are cheesy and yummy, but the melt has more diverse flavors and textures.
Similarities Between Grilled Cheese and Melt
Grilled cheese and melts may seem similar, but they have distinct differences.
Both use warm and gooey cheese between bread.
Yet, melts may include other ingredients like meats, veggies, or sauces.
Their cooking method is also different.
Melts require an extra step before assembly.
So, although some may say melts are grilled cheese, they are really their own entity.
Popular Variations of Grilled Cheese and Melt
Grilled cheese and melt are two unique takes on a classic sandwich.
Grilled cheese typically consists of bread and cheese, toasted together until the cheese is melted.
A melt, however, includes other ingredients like meat, veggies, or spreads with the melted cheese.
The beauty of grilled cheese lies in its simplicity.
Crispy bread and gooey melted cheese make it the perfect comfort food.
The classic uses cheddar or American cheese between slices of white bread.
Gourmet versions feature different types of bread, like sourdough or rye, and various cheeses like Gruyère or mozzarella.
Melt sandwiches offer plenty of possibilities.
With added ingredients, they can be customized to suit every taste.
Meat lovers can enjoy bacon melts or turkey club melts.
Vegetarians can enjoy melts filled with grilled veggies or portobello mushrooms.
Grilled cheese and melts differ in their cooking methods.
Grilled cheese is usually prepared on a stovetop or griddle.
Melt sandwiches must be baked or broiled in an oven, to ensure all ingredients are heated through, and the cheese is fully melted.
Serving and Accompaniments
For serving & accompaniments, grilled cheese & melts offer lots of options.
From classic tomato soup to pickles, these cheesy treats pair nicely with a range of sides.
It’s all down to your taste & desired flavor.
For a tangy twist, try relish. Or, go creamy with a dip.
It’ll elevate your sandwich experience.
To take it up a notch, serve your sandwich with a light vinaigrette salad.
The fresh greens & vibrant flavors contrast deliciously with the warm, gooey cheese.
Alternatively, savory broth-based soups like French onion or roasted red pepper make delicious accompaniments.
Plus, you can experiment with breads.
Sourdough & ciabatta add an artisanal touch, while whole wheat & rye are healthier.
For even more flavor, try different cheeses. They add complexity & depth.
After going through the difference between grilled cheese and melt sandwiches, it is clear that they do have many things in common, but there are also some key differences.
Grilled cheese sandwiches usually require butter to be cooked on a skillet whereas melts are usually in the oven which allows them to get hot enough for the cheese to completely melt onto all the ingredients.
Furthermore, compared to a grilled cheese sandwich, melts can generate more complexity of flavors which can result in a tastier sandwich.
Lastly, due to their unique cooking methods, melts will usually end up having an even nicer golden brown crust than what one would expect from a grilled cheese.
All in all, both meals make an excellent snack or meal and it really comes down to preference when deciding which one you’d like better.