Master the Art of Air Fryer Grilled Cheese: A Flavorful Twist on a Classic Favorite

Crispy on the outside, warm and gooey on the inside. Making the perfect grilled cheese is enough to brighten your whole day, and this decadent sandwich is fairly easy to accomplish. However, it’s also just as easy to mess up. You can easily burn the bread or undercook the cheese inside, resulting in a frustrating defeat. But what if we told you there’s a foolproof way to make a grilled cheese, and that all you need is an air fryer?

You can make just about anything in an air fryer, and a super crispy, extra melty grilled cheese sandwich is no exception. Because the air fryer works by cooking food with hot air circulation, it’s the perfect method for this type of dish because it will cook the cheese on the inside and leave the bread on the outside nice and crispy.

To learn the best and most delicious way to cook up an air fryer grilled cheese, we talked with Chef Chris Nirschel with New York Catering Service, who’s previously taught us how to air fry everything from baked potatoes, to chicken wings, and even a Thanksgiving turkey.

Read on to learn more, and for more cooking tips, check out the 11 Best Air Fryer Recipes for Weight Loss.

Ingredients:

When it comes to making grilled cheese, you can use just about any combination of cheese and bread that you desire, but Chef Nirschel has his own preferred recipe when making air fryer grilled cheese. To make it his way, which makes four sandwiches, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 8 slices of your favorite artisanal bread (sourdough is my personal favorite)
  • 4 oz of creamy brie
  • 4 oz of sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 4 oz of gouda, thinly sliced
  • 4 oz of mozzarella, shredded
  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, softened
  • Optional add-ins: caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, or crispy bacon.

Once you have your ingredients set aside, it’s time to get your air fryer ready.

Preheat your air fryer to 375ºF and butter your bread.

spreading butter on bread

You can use any type of air fryer to make grilled cheese, but Chef Nirschel says his favorite is the Fritaire Self-Cleaning Transparent Air Fryer. Whichever fryer you choose, go ahead and set your air fryer to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and let it preheat.

To prepare your bread, “Lay out the slices of bread on a clean surface, and spread a generous layer of softened butter on one side of each slice,” says Nirschel. “This will ensure a golden and crispy exterior.”

Assemble the cheese medley.

cheese

Layering your cheese is an important part of the grilled cheese-making process, and Chef Nirschel suggests this step-by-step process for doing so:

  • Begin with the brie, placing thin slices evenly on four slices of the bread.
  • Sprinkle shredded sharp cheddar on top of the brie.
  • Lay thin slices of gouda on the remaining four slices of bread.
  • Finish off with a generous sprinkle of shredded mozzarella on the gouda.

If you’re craving even more flavor, this is when you can layer in your additional ingredients, like onions or mushrooms. “I love bacon on mine!” Nirschel says.

Cook for 6-8 minutes, flipping halfway through.

air fryer grilled cheese

The key to air frying your grilled cheese is to make sure you’re not overcrowding the sandwiches and to flip halfway through.

“Carefully place the sandwiches in the air fryer basket, and cook the sandwiches in the preheated air fryer for 6-8 minutes, flipping halfway through,” says Chef Nirschel. “Keep a close eye to ensure they get that beautiful golden brown color and that the cheese melts into an ooey gooey consistency.”

Serve and enjoy your air fryer grilled cheese!

air fryer grilled cheese

Once your sandwiches are done, you can carefully remove them from the air fryer (they’re going to be hot!) and “let them cool for a minute,” says Nirschel.

For serving, he recommends “Pairing your grilled cheese with a side of tomato soup, a drizzle of balsamic glaze, or a handful of fresh greens.”

This story has been updated to include additional images, fact-checking, and updated links. 

Samantha Boesch

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