The lengths people will go to for a grilled cheese sandwich are amazing. They'll use irons, wafflemakers, or whatever appliance that produces enough heat to produce the perfect combination of golden, grilled bread and oozy, melting cheese.
I personally favor my cast-iron skillet or the oven for making a really great grilled cheese sandwich. If I'm feeling lazy, then a toaster oven will do. But what if you're at work or in a dorm and the break room only has a toaster?
Anyone who's tried toasting bread, putting cheese in the center, and then microwaving the assembled ingredients to get the cheese to melt has had the experience of biting into a sad, soggy disaster.
Meanwhile, making a grilled cheese in a toaster itself seems like a pipe dream. There's no way to get the cheese to melt without ruining the appliance permanently, right? Wrong!
Turns out you can make a totally delightful grilled cheese sandwich in a toaster thanks to a few easy workarounds.
Toastabags are reusable, dishwasher-safe bags that hold one grilled cheese sandwich (two slices of sandwich bread plus cheese). All you have to do is assemble your sandwich, pop it in the bag, and then slide it in a single toaster slot. If your toaster has tiny slots, thinner bread will do the trick.
You can even butter the bread and get that crisp, golden finish that only butter can impart. Since you buy three toaster bags at a time, you can make two sandwiches at once, which is a real win-win, if you ask me.
This not only works for folks who have only a toaster to work with, but for anyone who wants a fast, easy grilled cheese without dirtying a frying pan. Boska, the company that makes Toastabags, points out that this is also a boon for anyone who has celiac disease or chooses to go gluten-free—you can be sure your sandwich won't be contaminated with gluten.
The one drawback I can see to using a Toastabag is that you can't get both sides of the bread nice and crunchy without doing a little prep work.
However, if you absolutely need toasty crunchiness on both sides, then you can place both slices of bread together without the cheese, butter the outsides, and then put them in the Toastabag. Once the bread's finished toasting, remove the slices from the slot and put the cooked sides together with the cheese between them. Then continue making your regularly scheduled grilled cheese.
Turning your toaster sideways and inserting a slice of bread carefully layered with cheese into each slot will totally circumvent the burning-cheese-falling-into-hot-toaster-wires issue and help you make a fast, easy, no-fuss grilled cheese sandwich. Just look!
Take heed when sliding out the finished product—you don't want your gooey cheese to catch on any toaster parts. It's a bitch to clean up.
Technically, this is not so much a grilled cheese sandwich as two slices of cheesy toast that you can either eat individually or choose to place together in a simulacrum of grilled cheese. However, as someone who has tried it and liked it (and then tried it and liked it again), I can tell you that a grilled cheese by any other name (or method) is still just as tasty.
Before you run out and try this, be sure to go to the end of the article and read the precautions to make sure your sandwich is a success.
There are those brave folks who use a toaster to make grilled cheese without the benefit of the toaster bag—they just slide the whole assembled sandwich in one toaster slot and let 'er rip.
Just make sure your toaster has wide enough slots to handle the bulk of a whole sandwich before you try this one!
Don't push the toaster's lever and leave the room. As Food Republic points out, doing so means that two slices of cheese-covered toast (or a whole grilled cheese sandwich) will shoot across the kitchen once the toaster is done and the pop-up mechanism comes into play.
Instead, you want to want to make sure to turn the toaster's setting to dark to make sure that there's plenty of heat to cook your goods. That way, you can control just how much your cheese melts and how toasty your bread gets. Once you're satisfied, and well before the toast finishes cooking, unplug the toaster, get something non-metallic, and slide out your finished cheesy toast onto a plate.