What is an ‘inside out’ grilled cheese and how to make it?

What is an “inside out” grilled cheese? TikTokers say it’s all about getting the perfect cheesy crunch on the outside of the sandwich. (Photo: Getty Creative)

TikTok food trends are known to be a little out of the box … or, in this case, inside out. The “inside out” grilled cheese is one of the latest food trends popping up on for you pages across the app, but is this cheesy delight just for show? Or is the inside out grilled cheese truly a new twist on the classic sandwich that will add flavor and become a staple in your kitchen?

“It’s best described as an upgraded grilled cheese 2.0,” says Devan Cameron, a Canadian chef living in The Netherlands who works as a sous chef at Marres Kitchen. Cameron founded Braised and Glazed, a website with recipes, tips and inspiration for the home cook, and has tested inside out grilled cheese-making himself.

So what is an inside out grilled cheese?

“It’s just like a regular grilled cheese sandwich,” Cameron tells Yahoo Life, “except you add another layer of delicious cheese to the top and bottom which is then flipped and fried until golden brown. Overkill? Yes. Delicious? 1000%.”

Melinda Jameson a mom of two and home cook from Australia who founded parenting website SuperWAHM says when her grilled cheese-obsessed kids showed her the recipe on social media, she couldn’t resist giving it a try to make mealtime a little more fun and a lot more crunchy.

“It took a few tries to master,” Jameson admits of attempting to get cheese to coat both the outer sides of the grilled cheese bread, “the first couple of times I lost the cheese in the pan.”

With the encouragement of her children and plenty of TikTok videos to guide her, Jameson eventually figured out how to perfect the sandwich. “Finally, we landed on the perfect ratio of cheese and grill time and voila. Now, it’s a household staple and the kids’ friends can’t wait to come over for this cheesy snack.”

While the sandwich sounded delicious, it seemed a bit complicated to create, so I made a few in my own kitchen in an attempt to achieve inside out grilled cheese perfection.

The secret to getting the sandwich right the first time, thus preserving the most cheesy goodness possible? Make sure you have the right tools. Must-have kitchen accessories include a great non-stick pan, your preferred sprayable oil, a sturdy spatula and a pair of heat-safe tongs.

Start by making a classic grilled cheese: Don’t worry about the outer cheesy coatings until the original grilled cheese has been toasted on both sides. Once the bread is buttery and golden brown and the cheese between the slices starts to melt, cover the pan again liberally with butter or oil so the cheese you’re about to add won’t stick. Place about one-quarter cup of shredded cheese into the pan and put the sandwich on top — then wait for the magic to happen.

The buttery crunchy cheesy finished product.  (Photo: Josie Maida)

The buttery crunchy cheesy finished product. (Photo: Josie Maida)

Pro tip: The pan should be on medium heat. If the heat is too low, the cheese will simply melt. If the heat is too high, the cheese will burn. Wait until the cheese forms a crust and turns a golden brown: Only then will you be able to slide the spatula under the cheese-crisped bread to remove the sandwich from the pan. Next, repeat the entire process on the other side of the sammy.

For the sides of the sandwich, which pros like Cameron say you must cover as well for your grilled cheese to be truly “Inside out,” repeat the steps using your heat-safe tongs to pick up the sandwich and hold it in place on top of the cheese as the crust forms. If you want to encrust the entire sandwich, those tongs will truly be the MVP of kitchen tools.

Laura Burroughs, the Columbia, SC food blogger behind TheBadWife.net, says she saw the viral sandwich while scrolling through TikTok a few times before finally giving it a go. Her final verdict?

“With all of the great combinations of textures and flavors, this is definitely a TikTok recipe you should try,” she shares. “It’s a fun way to add a little more flavor and texture to an already amazing sandwich.”

When I finished cooking my sandwich and broke through that crispy cheesy crust for a bite, I discovered it was absolutely worth the additional effort. The buttery toasted flavor of the bread was complemented by the crisp texture and muted-yet-sharp flavor of the cheesy crust, and pouring out from the inside was soft liquid cheese that melted to perfection as the sandwich slowly toasted away inside its warm cheesy crust .

Cameron says while not all TikTok recipes are winners, the inside out grilled cheese sandwich is one worth giving a go. “Normally I do not find many TikTok recipes interesting, but this one is chef-approved,” he says.

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