Why do people flatten grilled cheese sandwiches?

Asked at the behest of the lady we’re staying with, but we’re both curious as well – often when people cook grilled chees sandwiches, especially at diners, some heavy metal object is put atop them, pressing them down. We have no clue why they might do it; does anyone know?

I assume so that the cheese will stick to both sides of the bread. I assume it they put one slice of bread down, put the cheese on it and place the other slice on top. The press pushes the bread into the cheese. Just my guess.

My understanding is that the heavy metal object has been sitting on the grill, so it cooks the top and the bottom evenly. Similar to using a sandwich press or those Foreman Grills.

Grilled cheese sandwiches just don’t taste right unless they’ve been smashed all to hell. I can’t eat 'em any other way. Just one of those fundamental laws of the universe.

It cooks them quicker that way. This is much preferable to the other common short-order trick for making grilled cheese, where the cook leaves the sandwich open while it’s cooking, and only assembles it at the end (I had a manager once at such a job who couldn’t comprehend the notion that this ended up not melting the cheese).

It’s also done to compress the bread–making the sandwich less doughy and more crusty. Yum.

I don’t smoosh my grilled cheese sandwiches, I cook them on a cast iron griddle pan, it holds heat exceptionally well, and cooks thoroughly, no need for squishing

Ah, but even better is to heat two cast iron pans, which will fit “into” each other.

Assemble the sandwich, spread the bread on the outside with mayo, drop into the larger pan, and cover with the smaller pan, creating the “smush.”

Turn off the heat, and wait a couple of minutes.

Even cooking, perfect melting, and both sides are crispy & evenly cooked.

I think the pressure helps caramelize the bread, making it sweeter.

I use a sandwich-maker, myself.

It makes the cheese melt into the bread, blending the flavors and textures properly. Otherwise it’s just two slices of toast and a slice of cheese.

Their mothers did it that way.

I used to have that attitude, but some of my friends said it made me seem somewhat two-dimensional.

butler1850 said:

Mayonaise? MAYONAISE? On a grilled cheese sandwich?

Except for the mayo (he uses spritzed olive oil), this is essentially Alton’s recipe (just saw it last night). In his case, it is clearly done this way to cook both sides of the sandwich at the same time.

You’ve gotta have some kind of fat, or the bread will just char. I use margarine usually, but I’ve used mayo when I didn’t have any margarine.

I use butter or (more often) margarine. Spray margarine works exceptionally well.

For my sandwiches, I like to have mustard in addition to the cheese. I’ll also sometimes put some onion in it, as well.

It’s great with tomatoes and spinach as well. (I also use pepperjack and cheddar on the same sandwich)

How else do you get the picture of Jesus on the sandwich?

I believe that artistic application of abrasive materials will provide you with a cooking surface that will reliably provide Jesus-faced toasted cheese sandwiches on demand.

Bread burnt with cheese is delicious what is wrong with you

kneadToKnow’s problem probably lies in the fact that fatty burnt bread with cheese is more delicious than dry burnt bread with cheese.