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Waffle Iron Grilled Cheese

Waffle Iron Grilled Cheese: Pinterest Fail?

How often do you see a great idea on Pinterest, pin it, then never try it? I'm guilty of that too. Maybe one in a thousand pins seems so awesome, I'm willing to get down to business immediately to see if I can re-create it myself. I love a good hack, especially when it involves a unitasker, so when I saw this waffle iron grilled cheese, I had to have one. With its melted cheese and crispy, honeycomb pattern, the waffle iron grilled cheese made me weak in the knees, and I was determined to know if it really worked.

Since my own waffle iron's demise due to gluten-free waffles, I had to borrow a waffle iron from another editor. As she handed it over to me, I promised I would take very good care of it. Though I secretly feared the starchy/cheesy combo would result in the same catastrophic cleanup ruin of 2011. I gave up on cleaning the glued/burnt batter in between the grates. It was a lost cause.

Anyway. Returning back to waffle iron grilled cheese, how did it go?

My mistakes: let's just get those out of the way shall we? Just like the original waffle iron grilled cheese recipe states, I buttered my bread and stuffed it with cheese. Then I had the wild idea of adding a bit of sautéed greens (first mistake). Then I started waffle pressing, literally pressing (second mistake). I didn't read the recipe carefully enough (d'oh!), so I pressed the top down onto the grilled cheese to flatten and sear it more, thereby releasing some of the juices from the greens. Once all that cheese looked melty and the pancake iron had completely flattened the bread, I thought, "Hey, let's lift it to take a peek. Why not?" Some of the bread didn't thoroughly sear, so it tore off of the grilled cheese and stuck to the grates of the waffle iron (third mistake).

When the bread had caramelized completely, I did my best to pry it off the waffle iron, but the combo of melted cheese and partially wet bread contributed to a sticky, finger-burning experience, leaving most of the bottom piece of bread and parts of the top behind. Due to my mad skills as a food stylist, I've managed to make this thing look palatable and not so mangled, but I assure you it was a hot mess. Despite this, I unplugged the contraption and forgot about the horrible cleanup yet to come for a moment so I could enjoy my waffle iron grilled cheese in peace for a few moments. Oh, I must say, that waffle-y texture is so unbeatable and special. It was good, but not good enough to make up for the fact that the cleanup took longer than making the meal itself. I scrubbed and soaked and soaked and scrubbed, until finally every remaining bit of bread and cheese released from the waffle iron. I was able to return it to its owner intact and remnant-free. Phew.

Admittedly, I strayed away from the recipe and should have stuck to butter, bread, and cheese. I'm going to call my experience a Pinterest fail, but if you try it at your own risk, please tell me how it goes! As for me, I vow never again in my life will I ever make anything other than standard waffles on a waffle iron. Not cinnamon rolls, or cookies, not even hash browns. OK, maybe I'm willing to stuff cheese in my waffles (I turn into a big, teary-eyed anime character when I see this pin for pizza waffles), but that's it!

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