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Maybe it's called something else, but to me a grilled cheese sandwich with extra stuff in it is an "ultimate". The extra stuff I'm referring to is generally tomato, onion (thin sliced raw or grilled) and bacon (already cooked).

The problem I'd like to correct is that often the cheese has difficulty fusing the sandwich together because it doesn't stick well to the other ingredients. I've tried a few different placements of the ingredients but they all usually end with on slice of bread not really "attached" the way a proper grilled cheese should be. For example: Bread, Cheese, Other, More Cheese, Bread : this tend to give me two separate slices of bread with cheese and some ingredients in the cheese.

Is there any special technique to keeping this thing together as one piece?

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In my book, it's not a grilled cheese sandwich if it has tomato, onion, and bacon in it. That makes it a grilled tomato, onion, bacon, and cheese sandwich. – Bob Dec 1 '10 at 14:19
I'm with @Bob: a grilled cheese sandwich consists of bread, cheese, and butter, period. An ultimate grilled cheese sandwich consists of the same ingredients, just with more cheese. :) – Marti Dec 1 '10 at 14:46
You're all wrong. An ultimate grilled cheese sandwich is bread, butter, cheese, and bacon. – Aaronut Dec 1 '10 at 15:11
@Aaronut: nope, that's a bacon melt. Or a BLT with cheese, hold the LT. :P – Marti Dec 1 '10 at 19:59
@Marti: Sure, and for my next meal I'll be having a bacon double cheeseburger, hold the bacon, patties, cheese, and bun. I reject your strange and frightening definition of a bacon melt, a dish which God has commanded is to be made with a foundational layer of deli meat, mayonnaise, and either Swiss or American cheese. – Aaronut Dec 1 '10 at 21:15
up vote 14 down vote accepted

Ignore the purists. If it's got cheese in it, and you're grilling it, it's grilled cheese.

The problem is this: your cold ingredients are keeping the cheese from properly melting through. The cheese is what binds the whole thing together. If there is not enough cheese, or if the cheese hasn't transitioned completely to gooey deliciousness, the sandwich is going to fall apart.

The solution is to heat your cold ingredients (at least to near room temp), and to cook the grilled cheese longer, at a lower temperature, so the heat has time to penetrate before the bread gets overcooked.

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I prefer this definition of grilled cheese, but somehow I think this could become a holy war if it is all about the definition. – justkt Dec 1 '10 at 15:09
@justkt: That's cool. God is on my side in this. – Satanicpuppy Dec 1 '10 at 15:37
This analysis makes sense to me; as I mentioned in another thread about grilled cheese I might also try heating the inside of the bread in the pan first to help facilitate the cheese melting. But I would think heating the other ingredients should do it - the times I add tomato, I also add bacon (which is of course quite hot), so I haven't encountered this issue too often. – stephennmcdonald Dec 1 '10 at 15:53
Holy war schmoly war, if you put tomato in my grilled cheese sandwich, I'm gonna hurt you. Ruining a perfectly good sandwich that way ought to be illegal. ]:) – Marti Dec 1 '10 at 20:04

What if you grate the cheese and mix the (chopped) bacon and onions into it before putting it on the bread? Then you would have melted cheese with little pockets of deliciousness.

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There is this place in my town that does a fried pimento cheese and bacon sammich that reminds me a little of this. It's deadly. – Satanicpuppy Dec 1 '10 at 15:55
@Satanicpuppy: Deadly good or deadly deadly? Because it sounds deadly good to me... – Mrs. Garden Dec 1 '10 at 17:13
Deadly good. They make their own bread, own cheese, own pimento's for all I know. It's obscenely rich. – Satanicpuppy Dec 1 '10 at 20:17

Change up your approach to the grilling: get a hobo iron and make your grilled cheese that way. With a hearty bread bread, you'll be able to put anything you want in there and with enough spinning it will all settles into a beautiful nest of cheesy goodness.

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These things are awesome, but how do you heat one inside? – justkt Dec 1 '10 at 21:03
@justkt unscrew the poles, drop the cast iron part into the oven on broil, or maybe just 550? I am guessing with the oven temp, since a campfire is around 1000 degrees F; but direct heat from the broiler might help speed up the cooking. – mfg Dec 1 '10 at 21:08
I'm surprised this did not come up more readily. In the UK, a grilled (or we would say toasted) cheese sandwich is almost always sealed, made in a special "toastie" maker. Like the above, but electrically heated like the grills you get. – Orbling Dec 1 '10 at 21:37
I've never heard of one of those. We have Forman and panini grills, but these cast iron sealed griddles are typically used over a campfire and filled with anything a good 'toastie' could hold. I'd love to find an electric one if it had similar functionality. – mfg Dec 1 '10 at 21:58
they used to be popular in the 90's in the US, before the Foreman Grill hit the market. They were usually sold as a sandiwch maker (linked for the example, not because I know that one's a particularly good model) – Joe Dec 2 '10 at 14:33

With marmite underneath the cheese. Pepper and a smear of humous added post grilling.

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BLASPHEME! HEATHEN! – Chris Cudmore Jun 25 '12 at 18:02

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