4 Tips on How to Build the Best Sandwich Ever
Updated: May 10, 2022
While the invention of the recipe can still not be attributed with full certainty to either John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, Hillel the Elder, a Jewish leader and rabbi, the farm laborers in rural France, or the Greeks, Turks, and other Mediterranean people, the definition of a sandwich is pretty simple and straightforward: any food type, be it meat, vegetables, or cheese, served between two or more slices of bread, constitutes as a sandwich.
As cooking traditions and practices have evolved over time, the wholesomeness and portability of a sandwich have lent the dish various names, shapes and forms. Now that a sandwich is no longer just a filling between two pieces of plain bread, no one really cares as to who made the first sandwich. How do you make the best sandwich is the more important question to ask. You might think that with just two core ingredients - bread and something to put on it, what could possibly go wrong? Well, we’ll have you know that despite the recipe being quick and simple, a great sandwich is just one wrongly-placed tomato slice away from turning into a soggy and slippery mess. Relax. We have collected tips and hacks from our kitchen team at Back to Grills, on how to assemble a sandwich that doesn’t fall apart, and is well-balanced and flavorful at the same time. Here’s what they had to say. 1) Get your bread right. If you’ve chosen the right bread for your choice of ingredients in a sandwich, it’s really half the battle won. As a general rule, use dry and dense breads for hot, juicy fillings like stewed meat or stewed vegetables. A crisp, crunchy, and toasted bread will keep the ingredients together, and you will be able to eat your sandwich without all the good things inside it squeezing out. Cold sandwiches with soft fillings taste better when served on softer, thinner breads. 2) Avoid soggy ingredients, or keep them to a minimum.
If possible, ditch vegetables with high water content such as tomato, cucumber, and lettuce altogether, or add them last, for they begin to release their juices, if kept for long. Roasted bell peppers, sauteed onions, and carrots can be better alternatives. You can also use shredded spinach or cabbage instead of lettuce, if you like your sandwich to be on the fresher, crunchier side.
On the off chance that you absolutely cannot skip the traditional, soggy ingredients, use them sparingly. Else, you may coat the insides of the bread with some oily food substance, such as mayo, soft butter or olive oil.
The fat will create a protective layer between the bread and vegetables, and prevent a possible soggy sandwich situation. For cooked wet fillings like egg or chicken salad, either let them cool to room temperature before you spread them on a sandwich bread. This is because the heat will cause condensation, and in turn, destroy the bread. However, if you want to eat a warm sandwich, put lettuce in between to prevent the bread from falling apart as you bite into it. When building a multi-layered sandwich with more than two bread slices, our chefs suggest the watery vegetables and condiments be placed towards the middle of the sandwich between other layers, to avoid spillage.
Better still, pack all the wet ingredients and bread separately and assemble your sandwiches as and when you are ready to eat.
3) More is not better.
While its “structural integrity” largely depends on what ingredients go inside it, how much (or how many) of them you put can also make or break the best sandwich! Yes, oftentimes, even the most delicious, piping hot sandwich, oozing with the gooey goodness of melted cheese is not going to taste as good, if it feels soggy or drippy, due to too many tomatoes, or too much sauce. Although you should never over-fill a sandwich, you can easily get away with a lot of soft components (like egg salad, cheese, etc.) on softer, thinner bread slices, but not very much so, on crustier, stiffer breads. That said, a dry sandwich is just as bad and underwhelming, if not worse. Like with every other dish, one of the keys to a great sandwich is the right amount of ingredients. If you are using a standard recipe for a sandwich, it’s better that you stick to the same proportions of ingredients, and adjust them only if you want a more personalized version. Sprinkle some herbs or seasoning for an extra bit of flavor. But still, make sure that you don’t throw off the ingredient balance completely.
4) Build the sandwich from bottom up. Don’t worry. There is no rocket science to it! Apply mustard, marinara, or guacamole, or any non-creamy spread of your choice on the bottom slice.
Next, stack up the meat or green, leafy vegetables such as arugula or lettuce. Always pat the lettuce dry before adding it to a sandwich. Make sure this layer is a bit wider than the bread. You’ll find out why two sentences later. Now, place one to two cheese slices.
Lay the slippery vegetables, and add a dollop of your favorite condiment.
While the wide meat or lettuce layer saves the moisture from the slippery vegetables on the top from seeping to the bottom, the cheese underneath keeps them from sliding around. Cut the sandwich into halves, thirds, or quarters, and insert a toothpick to hold them firmly. Remember - it’s always best to serve sandwiches immediately after they are assembled. They won’t reheat to be as nice, juicy, and flavorsome as they were when they were fresh. Too lazy to make a great sandwich? Why not taste one from our selection of scrumptious sandwiches? Order now.