Up until I realized that we could make Air fryer Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, I was doing it the old fashioned way, grilling them in a frying pan or on our griddle and trying not to get distracted by day to day life so they didn't burn. Now, however, I am 100% on board with doing these in the air fryer going forward. Why? Because you set it, forget it and flip it when it beeps at you. That's it! The perfect grilled cheese every time! If you love this recipe, try my Air Fryer Eggs too (it's amazing how well they peel!)
Air Fryer Grilled Cheese
Obviously, when making a grilled cheese, you can use any bread (or cheese) you like, that's what makes them great. I personally am a rye bread or sourdough bread kind of guy but our kids, on the other hand, prefer good old junky white bread for their grilled cheese. When preparing to use the air fryer, I decided I'd do both a marble rye version and a white bread version in this recipe to show you the slight differences depending on the bread you use. In this recipe, I used marble cheese slices as the kids tend to prefer those over straight cheddar.
Ingredients for Air Fryer Grilled Cheese
This is just a quick list of the ingredients, intended to serve two people or make two sandwiches, please see the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post for the exact amounts.
- 4 slices of your bread of choice.
- 4 slices of marble cheese (or your cheese of choice).
How to Make Air Fryer Grilled Cheese
Spread mayonnaise thinly on one side of the four slices of bread. Place two slices mayonnaise side down in the bin of the air fryer, top with two slices of cheese each and then place the top on (mayonnaise side up!) just like you were going to fry it in a pan.
Close the air fryer and select 375 degrees for 3 minutes if using white bread or 375 degrees for 4 minutes if using rye or a similar heavy bread.
When it finishes, flip the sandwiches and repeat for the same amount of time. Serve with a pickle and slice diagonally or in half.
Why use mayonnaise and not butter?
Chances are, you are wondering why there is no butter in the ingredient list above right? Let me tell you a trick – grilled cheese (whether in an air fryer or a frying pan) is better made with Mayonnaise. I know, it sounds crazy but a chef friend of ours shared this trick many years ago and we've never gone back. As it was explained to use by our chef friend, Mayonnaise has a higher smoking point than butter meaning you can cook / fry it longer before it starts to burn.
This means you can melt the cheese more inside of your grilled cheese than you'd be able to accomplish with butter alone. Furthermore, it's easier to spread most of the time. Have you ever ripped your bread to shreds with butter trying to spread it? It's a thing you won't have to do anymore. This doesn't mean you can't use butter if you want to, but I challenge you to try it this way first to see what I mean.
How to Prevent the Top of the Grilled Cheese from Coming Loose
I've read in some other posts that some people have experienced the top of the sandwich coming loose in the air fryer and not staying on top of the sandwich. The solution is simple, plop a toothpick in the middle of the sandwich before starting the air fryer to ensure everything stays together. I haven't experienced this problem myself, but I have seen other people mentioning it so I thought I'd share a quick solution.
Once you've flipped everything and completed the cooking in the air fryer, pull out your sandwich and serve with a pickle!
Now if you decided you wanted to use white bread instead, remember to only fry them for 3 minutes per side to make sure the bread doesn't burn. This ensures a nicely browned sandwich with a gooey cheese inside like the picture below.
I hope you find yourself using your air fryer more often now that you know how easy it can be to whip up a quick Air Fryer Grilled Cheese!
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Air Fryer Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
- 4 slices bread white, rye, work well
- 2 tablespoons butter or mayonnaise
- 4 slices cheese of choice
- Spread mayonnaise thinly on one side of the four slices of bread.
- Place two slices mayonnaise side down in the bin of the air fryer.
- Top with two slices of cheese each and then place the top on (mayonnaise side up!) just like you were going to fry it in a pan.
- Close the air fryer and select 375 degrees for 3 minutes if using white bread or 375 degrees for 4 minutes if using rye or a similar heavy bread.
- When it finishes, flip the sandwiches and repeat for the same amount of time. Serve with a pickle and slice diagonally or in half.
- 6 minutes for white bread, flipping at 3
- 7-8 minute for rye and dark breads, flipping at 4 minutes
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.