There’s a method to the melty madness
Although the drool-inducing cheese pull originated with advertisements showing off the cheesiest slices of pizza, social media is now permeated with cheese pulls from oozing grilled cheeses to gooey lasagna. For those who eat cheese exclusively for the pull, a formula for generating a perfect cheese pull every time would probably be a lifesaver, so we’re here to help you out. Specific cheese selection definitely matters when looking for those delightful cheese strings, but there’s more to a cheese pull than mozzarella vs. brie. Through careful scientific testing making a crap-ton of grilled cheese sandwiches, we’ve discovered the secret to getting a perfect cheese pull every time. It involves specific cheese-slicing, cheese placement, and pan temperature. Here’s how it’s done.
Shred about ½ cup cheese (here we’ve used yellow cheddar). Although sliced may seem like the classic way to set up a grilled cheese, its large surface area can prevent even melting. Shredded cheese melts quickly and evenly, so buy pre-shredded or whip out the box grater when you’re going for a cheese pull.
Next, butter the outside of 1 slice of bread and place it in a cold nonstick pan. Load the shredded cheese onto the bread in a diagonal pile, with the peaks of the cheese mountain directly in the center of the bread.
Turn the heat on medium low and place a lid over the pan (yes, before the second slice of bread!). Let the pan get steamy and begin to melt the cheese for a few minutes. This will take anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes depending on the strength of your burner. Every minute or so, check the underside of the bread to ensure it’s not getting too dark, and that the cheese is beginning to melt. You’re looking for the pile to just begin to sink, and for the cheese to start getting shiny.
Butter another slice of bread and place it over the slowly melting cheese. Cover the pan with the lid again and cook until the underside of the bread is golden brown. Flip the sandwich and continue to cook on medium low heat until the second slice of bread is charred. If you find the bread is cooking quickly but the cheese isn’t fully melted, reduce the heat, leaving the pan covered.
When the cheese is melted, transfer the sandwich to a cutting board to cool for 30 seconds or so. Using a sharp knife, score the bread along the diagonal you piled the cheese. Flip the sandwich over and do the same to the opposite, making sure not to cut through the whole sandwich.
Slowly rip apart the sandwich. The cheese should pull out in gorgeous, gooey ribbons. Snap that picture!