Find out whether Alton Brown, Jamie Oliver or Chrissy Teigen has the best famous grilled cheese recipe.
Much of my early cooking experience came from logging long hours in the kitchen with my mother when I was young.
Fast forward many years and I was a college senior living in a tiny little apartment where the pipes froze frequently all winter long.
All the same, rent was expensive so eating in was necessary. And so began my love affair with Food Network.
It was there that I followed along as Ina, Bobby, Alton and Giada helped me to finesse my cooking skills one meal at a time.
I watched them model something before quickly printing the recipe on my clunky printer and then replicating it in my own kitchen.
While now I've gone on to turn my love for food into an entire career, those building blocks are part of what made me the cook I am today.
Trying a famous, hyped up recipe, adapting a chef's recipe or trying out a viral food trend is something that I find incredibly fun.
So, was I game to try out three famous grilled cheese recipes to decide which one is the best? Yes, yes I was.
The Grilled Cheese Challenge
We decided to try 3 famous grilled cheese recipes to decide which one is actually the best. Why? Because it sounded like fun.
Chosen for each recipe's relative internet fame, but also for their reasonably simple ingredients, I placed an Instacart order and got to work.
To test them out, I made each famous grilled cheese recipe as precisely as possible per original recipe. Then I asked some friends to help taste test.
I didn't give them much by way of judging criteria - I just asked them to tell me if they liked it, how it tasted and if they'd make it again.
Admittedly, this was not a scientific experiment, but that's ok because we're all just here for the cheese anyway.
@foodfanatical I tried 3 famous grilled recipes - which one is best?! #tiktokfood #CorollaCrossStep #viralfood #foodietok #foodfanatic ♬ Love You So - The King Khan & BBQ Show
Keep reading for my full analysis, but don't miss my review on Food Fanatic's TikTok, too!
Chrissy Teigen's Grilled Cheese Recipe
Decidedly the most unique of the bunch, Chrissy Teigen's jalapeño and parmesan crusted grilled cheese recipe is featured in her most recent cookbook, Cravings: Hungry For More.
While words like "parmesan crusted" may sound fancy and complicated, this recipe is actually very simple to make, but also totally elevated.
Thin slices of fresh jalapeño are pushed into buttered sourdough bread and then the whole piece of bread is pressed into shredded parmesan before cooking.
The cheese inside is extra sharp cheddar cheese which adds loads of flavor and pairs great with the parmesan on the outside.
My very official tasting panel agreed unanimously that this grilled cheese is seriously delicious. Would we make it again? 100% yes.
While the jalapeños may be too spicy for some, my taste testers found the flavors to be well balanced. The salty cheese and the peppers were just right.
It's also worth noting that this recipe would still stand on its own even without the addition of the jalapeños.
A bit reminiscent of a jalapeño popper with a crispy crust to the bread, this grilled cheese recipe is one worth making.
When you want a grilled cheese recipe that feels a bit special, while also not trying to be too fancy, this is our pick!
Alton Brown's Perfect Grilled Cheese Recipe
One of my favorite OG Food Network stars, Alton Brown has taught me a lot about food over the years. Have I watched every episode of Good Eats? Pretty much.
While Alton has a few famous grilled cheese recipes, I chose this one to try because it's a pretty simple recipe, with a couple of notable tweaks.
An otherwise classic grilled cheese recipe, Alton adds dijon mustard to his sandwich and presses it between two hot cast iron skillets to cook.
That list bit had me especially intrigued so out came my cast iron skillets.
Alton's recipe also calls for a unique blend of cheeses, with a few suggestions. I went with smoked gouda and sharp cheddar.
Honestly? This one fell apart with the cooking method for me. I followed the instructions, double checked them...and two times my grilled cheese stuck to the underside of the second cast iron skillet.
Not to be outdone, I followed the recipe for a third time, this time cooking it the traditional way in a skillet with butter. The results were incredible.
The mix of cheeses combined with the dijon mustard is a lot like your classic everyday grilled cheese recipe only one hundred times better.
Made on a hearty white bread, the final sandwich is crisp and golden and loaded with ooey gooey cheese flavor. It's a certifiable hit.
The taste testers were again unanimous in their approval of Alton's grilled cheese sandwich. (But it would be pretty hard to screw up grilled cheese, if I'm honest.)
When you think of grilled cheese, this is exactly what you think of - buttery, toasted bread wrapped around a thick layer of melted cheese.
One of my taste testers even went so far to say they'll add dijon mustard to all of their grilled cheese sandwiches from now on so there you have it!
Jamie Oliver's cheese toastie recipe, which is just another way of saying grilled cheese, had to be a contender in this challenge.
This sandwich recipe is famous for it's so-called "cheese crown" encasing the sandwich and it's easy to understand why people go nuts for that crust.
Jamie butters both sides of each slice of bread, loads them up with cheese and cooks each side until nice and golden.
Here's where it gets different. With this recipe you then remove the sandwich from the skillet, sprinkle cheese across the skillet and let it melt.
Once it has melted, you place the sandwich back into the skillet on top of the cheese and melt it together. Cheese on cheese on cheese.
When it's time, you lift the sandwich up and let the cheese "crown" drip toward the pan, holding it until it cools a bit before plating.
The result is a ring of crispy cheese forming a crown around the grilled cheese sandwich...which turns out, is the best part of the sandwich.
While the cheese crown was a hit, this one fell a bit flat with my panel of esteemed grilled cheese judges. Or, heavy as the case may be.
There is a lot of a lot of cheese with this recipe and it was all a bit overpowering. It was still quite delicious but begged for a bit of acidity to break it up.
I may try it again in the future but with the addition of fresh dill pickles inside the sandwich and maybe trying Alton's trick of adding dijon mustard.
The Grilled Cheese Challange Winner
It probably won't come as much of a surprise that we declared Alton Brown's grilled cheese recipe the overall winner of our challenge!
This sandwich has it all. The classic flavors you think of, loads of cheese, crispy bread with a little something extra to put it over the top.
Our honorable mention goes to Chrissy Teigen's grilled cheese. We can't get enough of that parmesan crust and the jalapeños.
What should we try next?
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Cyd is a native of Upstate New York, born to a family of women who love to cook and host parties. She shares her love of all things food, home and entertaining on her blog, The Sweetest Occasion and on Instagram.Tags: Grilled Cheese, Cheese, Sandwiches, The Best of Recipes