The #1 Dormmate – 4 Cheese Grilled Cheese using an Iron

I don’t know about you but my dormitory experience was absolutely awful. I lived in a little allergen-infested cubbyhole with a girl that spent almost every night instant messaging until three in the morning. This wouldn’t have been that bad, but you see, she always kept the volume turned all the way up. Do you remember that little ba-ding noise that happened EVERY SINGLE TIME you sent or received a message? Well yeah, it sort of drove me crazy. Oh and not to mention, she had a huge obsession with Sponge Bob. Our tiny cage, i mean, dorm room had it all: a Sponge Bob comforter, Sponge Bob pillows, Sponge Bob posters, the whole package. She had it and I was not having it.
She was a great girl though. Really. 
Anyway, beyond being stuck with an 18-year-old female version of the 8-year-old boy I used to babysit, I was also without a kitchen for the first time in my life. This was a hard adjustment for me. I didn’t get a meal plan because I thought the cafeteria was gross so I was forced to adapt. For the first few months I lived off of Pabst Blue Ribbon, copious amounts of cereal (Smacks and Lucky Charms if you can even consider those sugar concoctions cereal) and far too many peanut butter and jellies sandwiches (aka Pea-nutter-jel-andwiches). This was definitely a fun and exciting time in my life. Living on my own, having no curfew, and doing whatever the eff I wanted was wonderful. But my palette and reputation were suffering; one can only go through the TacoBell drive-thru so much before they start to know you by name. That was, until one day, I discovered this beautiful gem.

Here’s some simple ingredients that changed my dorm life and probably my slammin’ teenage figure.


– 1 iron
– about a 1 square foot of tin foil
– 2 pats of butter
– 2 slices of hearty whole wheat (mine was seeded)
– a little under 4 tbsp of shredded serious cheeses
    – 1 tbsp grated Comte
    – 1 tbsp grated Gruyere
    – 1 tbsp grated Ossau Iraty
    – .5 tbsp crumbled Stilton (or some yummy blue)

To begin, Plug in your iron and put it in a safe spot. I know you probably don’t have a lot of room, but this is very important, burns are the worst. If it has a steaming option, turn it off and set it to the highest heat setting (which is usually labeled cotton).

From here, lay out your tin foil and butter one piece of bread. Flip it so the butter is face down.

Now pile on your cheeses! I know I definitely didn’t have enough money to buy fancy cheeses like these while I was enrolled in college (and to be honest, I still don’t have enough money!) and I’m not even sure if they had these delicacies available in Tallahassee (besides Sweet Grass Dairy which I didn’t even know about until I was a senior..sad face).

I should have totally thought about this before I did this post… BUT OH WELL. I think it would be just as good with a Kraft single, some provolone and swiss, and maybe even a slice of muenster if you’re extra fancy or go to an ivy league school or something like that.

Now simply place the other piece of bread on top and butter it!

Now fold up the tin foil to create a little alien spaceship home for your sandwich. These silver packets can function as really fun and playful weapons to use when your suite-mates* are getting out of hand. You can chuck it at them in anger without hurting them and as soon as they realize what hit them in the back of the head – you’re forgiven because of the warm gooey cheesy mess that’s about to grace their state college oh-so-refined palette.  

*Why do they even call them suite-mates? There is nothing sweet about it.

Now when your is iron piping hot go ahead and place it on top and apply some pressure. After about five minutes, carefully (it’s freaking burning hot) check to see if the bread is starting to crisp up. It took me about 5-6 minutes for each side. 

I’ve heard you can also do this without the tinfoil, but at the time when I learned this method I didn’t want to risk having any my beautiful Forever 21 garments spotted with butter stains. But to be completely honest, this was probably the most action my iron got during those days. And to be even more honest, I couldn’t even tell you the last time I ironed anything. I really love the wrinkle release spray stuff. It saves my life or at least my appearance.

After it’s all cooked up, go ahead and gently open up your packet. I think it’s best to take out the grilled chee
se right away because it gets kind of soggy if it stays all cooped up.

Now this method isn’t only for dorm room residents. It also works really well in hotels, apartments with gross kitchens, bus stations, train terminals, dive bars and so on. As long as you have a plug, you can bring your sandwich pre-wrapped and cook it anywhere. Well almost anywhere, I’m sure the cashiers at Forever 21 might have a problem with it.

Stay tuned for next week, where I present another new and exciting way to cook up a yummy grilled cheese sandwich!




  1. I wish I had known about this when I was a freshman in college – I was living off of granola bars, peanut butter (or nutella) and dominos.

    I might still try it out, just to try it, even though I have a kitchen….


  2. You should have opened cafe seating in the hallway. Your fellow dorm mates would have cued up round the clock. Your ironed grilled cheese looks WAY better than most of what I ate in the cafeteria freshman year. And I bet it smelled heavenly in your cage, I mean pineapple under the sea.

  3. would have gone great with the slice and bake cookies we used our extra iron for! Thanks for bringing back some great memories — and it looks delish

  4. You know, when I was a culinary school student (I wrote about it here, if you're interested: “Culinary School: Three Semesters of Life, Learning, and Loss of Blood,” on Amazon Kindle – we never made simple food like this, but the reality is, more often than not, this sort of comfort food is what brings people the greatest pleasure. That's why we turn to these foods when we are cold or tired or miserable. That's why they are wonderful!

  5. How could you not have referenced Benny & June in this?! That movie started and totally represents the ironed grilled cheese! But I like how you do the tinfoil, definitely smart.

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