Patty Melt is a delicious sandwich that has a tantalizing combination of flavors and textures. This mouthwatering goodness is often overlooked in favor of its more famous cousin, the burger.
In this post, we’ll delve into the world of patty melts, exploring their history, ingredients, how to make them at home, and much more.
What Is A Patty Melt?
A patty melt is a savory sandwich consisting of a juicy burger patty, caramelized onions, and melted cheese, all sandwiched between two slices of toasted bread.
What sets the patty melt apart from a regular burger is the use of grilled bread slices, usually rye or sourdough, and the addition of caramelized onions, which add a sweet and savory dimension to the dish.
It’s essentially a hybrid between a grilled cheese sandwich and a hamburger, offering the best of both worlds.
The patty melt’s exact origin is somewhat debated, but people believe it emerged in the United States during the mid-20th century. It quickly gained fame for its comforting and hearty qualities, making it a staple in American cuisine.
- Burger Patty: Ground beef is the traditional choice, but you can use other meats or plant-based alternatives if you prefer.
- Onions: Yellow onions are usually used, but sweet onions can add an extra layer of sweetness.
- Cheese: Swiss, cheddar, or American cheese are popular choices as it’s easy to melt with a nice flavor.
- Bread: Rye or sourdough bread slices are classic, but you can experiment with other bread varieties.
- Butter: For grilling the sandwich and achieving that perfect golden-brown crust.
(Note: Full recipe is at the bottom of the post)
How To Make A Patty Melt At Home
- Form the ground beef into a patty and season it with salt and pepper.
- Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and cook the patty to your preferred level of doneness. Remove the patty from the skillet and set it aside.
- In the same skillet, add a tablespoon of butter and sauté the sliced onions until they become caramelized and golden brown.
- On one slice of bread, place a slice of cheese, followed by the cooked patty, caramelized onions, and another slice of cheese. Top with the second slice of bread.
- Butter both sides of the sandwich and return it to the skillet.
- Grill the sandwich until both sides are golden brown, and the cheese is gooey and melted.
- Slice in half and serve hot.
Tips For Cooking The Perfect Patty Melt
- Use a cast-iron skillet for the best results.
- Experiment with different cheeses and bread to find your favorite combination.
- Don’t rush the caramelization of onions; slow and steady wins the flavor game.
- Butter the bread generously for that irresistible crunch.
Patty Melt vs. Grilled Cheese: What’s The Difference?
While a patty melt and a grilled cheese sandwich may seem similar, the key distinction is that there are additional burger patty and caramelized onions in a patty melt.
A grilled cheese consists solely of bread and cheese, making the patty melt a heartier and more substantial option.
Additionally, you can swap out beef for turkey, chicken, or even a veggie patty to suit your dietary preferences.
Best Cheese For Patty Melts
The best cheese for a patty melt is one that melts well and complements the flavors of the beef and onions. Swiss, cheddar, and American cheese are top choices, but you can get creative with gouda, pepper jack, or provolone for a different twist.
Best Bread For Patty Melt
Rye and sourdough bread are classics, but you can use any bread you like. Experiment with whole-grain, brioche, or even pumpernickel for a unique flavor profile.
Patty Melt Sauce Options
While the classic patty melt doesn’t usually include sauce, you can add condiments like ketchup, mustard, or mayonnaise to your taste. Alternatively, serve it with a side of Thousand Island dressing for a tangy kick.
Serving And Pairing Ideas
Patty melts are a meal in themselves, but they pair wonderfully with a side of crispy fries, coleslaw, or a simple green salad. For beverages, try a cold soda, a classic milkshake, or a craft beer to complement the flavors.
Patty Melt Toppings And Garnishes
What does a patty melt contain?
A patty melt usually contains a burger patty, caramelized onions, and melted cheese sandwiched between two slices of grilled bread.
What is the original patty melt?
The original patty melt is believed to have emerged in mid-20th century American diners, featuring beef patty, caramelized onions, and cheese on grilled rye bread.
What’s the difference between a patty melt and a burger?
The main difference is that a patty melt includes grilled bread and caramelized onions, while a regular burger is served on a bun with various toppings and condiments.
Can I use turkey or veggie patties in a patty melt?
Yes, you can use turkey or veggie patties in a patty melt for a healthier or vegetarian option.
What condiments are typically used in a patty melt?
While patty melts don’t traditionally include condiments, you can add ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, or thousand island dressing according to your preference.
How many calories are in a patty melt?
The calorie count of a patty melt varies depending on the ingredients and portion size. On average, it contains around 500-800 calories.
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The Perfect Patty Melt Recipe
- 1/2 pound ground beef
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 slices rye or sourdough bread
- 4 slices Swiss cheese
- 1 large onion thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- cooking oil
- Season the ground beef with salt and pepper and form it into two patties.
- In a skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and a splash of cooking oil. Add the sliced onions and sauté until they become soft and caramelized, about 15-20 minutes. Set aside.
- In the same skillet, add a bit more oil if needed and cook the beef patties for about 3-4 minutes per side for medium doneness. During the last minute of cooking, place a slice of Swiss cheese on each patty to melt.
- While the patties are cooking, butter one side of each bread slice.
- Once the patties are done, transfer them to a plate. In the same skillet, add the remaining butter and place two slices of bread, buttered side down. Quickly assemble the sandwiches by placing a patty on each slice of bread, followed by a generous portion of caramelized onions and the remaining bread slices, buttered side up.
- Grill the sandwiches for 2-3 minutes on each side or until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is fully melted. Serve hot and enjoy!