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Tips & Tricks

The Lodge Sandwich Encyclopedia

By: Lodge Cast Iron / August 29, 2023

Sandwiches are pretty serious business around here. But even though we’ve been eating them since grade school, we could all stand to learn something new when it comes to this perfect combination of bread and, well, anything. From the ideal bread to the most delicious filling strategies, we’ve put together our favorite ways to pack layers of goodness into everyone’s favorite lunch. Read on: Sandwich class is in session, and there are no wrong answers.

Large Loaf Jalapeno Popper

Bread Basics

Sandwich Loaves
Our White Sandwich Bread is a classic that can be sliced up and used all week—bake it in our standard Loaf Pan or our new Large Loaf Pan. We’ve also modified it in this Jalapeño Popper Bread that has a delicate, cream-cheese infused crumb, plus studs of cheddar and jalapeño. The heat and flavor make this an excellent candidate for grilled cheese sandwiches and BLTs.

Country Loaves
We love to slice a hearty country loaf into big slices and make oven grilled cheese sandwiches. Given the shape and size of these loaves, they’re often best for pressed or griddled sandwiches that lay flat—think grilled cheese or a croque monsieur. 

Challah Bread
Braided Challah makes excellent sandwiches and adds a delicately sweet note to the proceedings, plus the loaves are baked “freeform” on a sheet pan or pizza pan. Day-old challah makes a wonderful base for toasted sandwiches and a true all-star for “battered” sandwiches like a Monte Cristo.

Buns, Rolls & Hoagies
Bust out your favorite small-scale breads for sandwiches that are hand-held and stacked. Hoagies are great for holding a lot of stuff, from chopped salads and meats, to entire meatballs. We reach for rolls when we’re doing individual chicken or eggplant parm sandwiches, and also for cheesesteaks.

Biscuits are an art in these parts. These are a favorite for breakfast sandwiches of all kinds, whether they’re simply topped with a sausage patty or piled high with an egg, cheese, and breakfast meat. Serve them open face for a Southern eggs benedict. And there’s no problem a chicken biscuit can’t fix!

This Italian take on sandwiches also makes an excellent New Orleans Muffaletta. Slice your focaccia horizontally and fill with toppings. Resist the urge to overfill your focaccia sandwiches: a few, thin layers of meats, cheeses, or vegetables will deliver a lot of flavor without ripping the delicate bread.

A bagel can do it all: open-face sandwiches, egg-wiches, a stacked lunch sammy, or simply a landing place for a snacktime shmear. Whether you get them at the deli or bake them at home, chewy bagels have a way of making simple fillings feel both comforting and cool. How does she do it?

Here us out: donuts as bread. This 2023 National Cornbread Cook-Off recipe for Cornbread Donut Brunch Burgers leans into the sweet and savory of it all by sandwiching a sausage patty between two donuts. We can imagine a smashburger, ham sammy, or turkey sandwich getting the same treatment.

Grilled & Pressed Sandwiches

Grilled Cheese and Patty Melt. Cuban and Reuben. Philly Cheesesteak. French Dip. Meatball Sub. Talk about some grade A entries for the sandwich school roster. Check out our top sandwich hacks when something toasty is in order.

  1. We always start our grilled cheese sandwiches and paninis on a preheated skillet: it makes it easier to consistently toast the toasty parts and melty to gooey parts. Plus a sizzle is always a good sign that your food will taste great.
  2. Mayo obviously has a very special place between the bread slices, but we also use it on the outside of a grilled cheese as a tangy alternative to butter. It’s nonstick, will help brown the bread, and has great flavor.
  3. Reach for the press—or if you’re in a bind, the skillet. We use a panini or burger press to get wonderfully flat grilled sandwiches, but if you don’t have one, you can always use a small skillet. Either way, be mindful that the press or skillet will get hot even if it isn’t making direct contact with a heat source.
  4. Season your grilled cheese before hitting the heat. Sprinkle salt, pepper, or a Lodge Sear Blend in your sandwich and let the ambient cooking heat unlock that flavor as things get melty.
  5. Use cheese as filling AND a glue. Whether you’re making a ham and cheese grilled cheese, a meatball sub, or an egg and cheese sandwich, the cheese component can act as a binder between filling and bread.

Grilled Cheese Matrix

One of our all-time favorite sandwiches is a classic grilled cheese. But like any classic, it also benefits from some zhuzhing up. Select one (or more!) items from each list to create a perfect grilled cheese sandwich that’s exactly to your liking.

Grilled Cheese Matrix

Packed Sandwiches

Chicken salad. Turkey and swiss. And don’t forget the PBJ. From lunch bags to picnic baskets, these sandwiches are made to be eaten when hunger strikes—no cooking necessary. Check out our top sandwich tips when you’re looking for something quick and cool.

  1. Chop your fillings! This is a good bet when you’re making an egg, chicken or tuna salad, but it’s also true for your standard cold cut sandwiches. Put your veggies, meats, and cheese all together on the cutting board and chop them down; dress the mix with oil and vinegar and then pile it on a roll.
  2. Get creative with textures. Add potato chips to an otherwise soft sandwich for a bit of crunch; pack a side of extra crispy dill pickle chips for a bit of bite; or layer in fresh, firm fruits like apples.
  3. Mayo and mustard are classics for a reason, but we also love to add less common condiments when we’re making packed sandwiches. Think pesto, chili crisp, avocado, sriracha, cream cheese, or even just butter when you’re building your ‘wich.
  4. Give leftovers new life. We especially love to chop up roasted vegetables, last night’s pickle platter, or simply that extra chicken cutlet from dinner and turn them into a new sandwich. 
  5. Keep it sweet and reach for sandwiches for those midnight cravings, too. We’ve been known to butter a slice of bread and top it with chocolate shavings, top a honey loaf with nut butter and a bit of fruit, or just go classic with a PBJ.

Shop grilled sandwich must-haves

Contributed By: Lodge Cast Iron

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