Three hundred million. That’s the number of sandwiches Americans eat every day. Actually, they eat just a little over this amount.
This might seem surprising. But on further contemplation, it shouldn’t be, as a sandwich is one of the simplest meals to make. It’s easy, quick, and you can create one that perfectly suits your taste.
However, sometimes the simplest meals are the easiest to mess up. Don’t let this happen to you. Here are a few sandwich making mistakes you can avoid.
8 Sandwich Making Mistakes You Should Avoid
It’s the sheer simplicity of a sandwich that can give you the false impression that it’s impossible to ruin it. But it’s more than just ingredients between two slices of bread. You can even go so far as to describe sandwich-making as an art.
Getting each element of a sandwich just right will ensure you create an enjoyable meal. Here are some important things to avoid to keep you on the right track.
1. Using Badly Sliced or Stale Bread
Using stale bread to make a sandwich is a non-starter. It’s one way to ensure the end result won’t be a good one. Regardless of the types of bread you like or choose to use, fresh bread is always the best choice.
Using fresh bread is the first step to making sure that you have a good chance of creating a great sandwich.
Improperly sliced bread means the ratio of bread to sandwich fillings will be skewed. This can affect how the finished product tastes. Always slice bread rolls at the center.
In the case of an unsliced loaf, you can eliminate the ends or use them for something else. But every subsequent slice should be as close to the same width as possible. A great sandwich usually has the right amount of bread at the top and the bottom.
2. Putting Condiments or Spreads Directly on the Bread
If you’re including your favorite condiments or spreads in your sandwich, don’t place them directly on the bread. Doing this helps to avoid getting the bread soggy and ruining your sandwich.
When making your sandwich, it’s best to put the cheese or lettuce, or another ingredient other than condiments or spreads, on the slice first. This creates a barrier between the condiments or spread and the slice of bread. The condiments or spread will adhere to the lettuce or cheese instead of the bread.
This is especially important if you’re packing a sandwich for lunch or an event and won’t be eating it right away. In these situations, it might be best to take condiments in disposable packets so that you can add them just before you’re ready to have your sandwich. This allows you to enjoy a fresh sandwich without any sogginess.
3. Not Drying Your Greens After Rinsing
There are several types of greens you can use when making your sandwich. However, regardless of which type you choose, if you don’t dry them after rinsing, it’s another way you’ll add unwanted moisture that can ultimately ruin your sandwich.
The temptation to forego rinsing your greens may be great. But don’t give in to this urge. It’s always a good idea to rinse them to remove dirt, unwanted chemicals, germs, and even the occasional bug.
When using greens in a sandwich, whether lettuce, arugula, or spinach, pat them dry after rinsing. This will not only ensure they’re crisp but that your sandwich won’t get soggy because of the additional moisture.
4. Overstuffing Your Sandwich
It’s great to include all the ingredients you like in your sandwich. After all, one of the reasons sandwiches make such a great meal is because you can have it the way you want it. But, ironically, overstuffing it with your favorite ingredients can sometimes ruin it.
Rule of thumb to prevent overstuffing: ensure that biting into your sandwich is easy and doesn’t require a procedure that might include having your jaw unhinged to enjoy it. Evenly layer your ingredients so your sandwich is easier to manage when eating.
It’s also good to have a well-balanced meal and that begins with portion control. If you can’t eat your sandwich on the go because the stuff falling out of it will create a mess, chances are you’ve overstuffed your sandwich.
5. Missing Opportunities to Add More Flavor
There are some ingredients you may use in your sandwich that provide the perfect opportunity to add flavor. This is definitely the case when it comes to the types of greens you can use. Adding cracked black pepper, white pepper, or salt can give your onions, lettuce, cucumbers, or even avocado extra flavor.
You also don’t have to stick to traditional condiments. Olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, ketchup, and mustard are great flavor enhancers. But you can also consider different types of salad dressings, hummus, yogurt, or get creative and make your own concoction to incorporate the flavors you love.
6. Using Too Much of One Ingredient
A well-balanced sandwich starts with the portions of each ingredient you use. This is particularly true regarding the amount of cheese and meat you include. You might like a stronger taste of one ingredient over another, so you can adjust your sandwich accordingly.
However, four to five ounces of cheese or meat usually provides just the right balance of each to make your sandwich tasty. This ensures there isn’t any ingredient that overpowers your sandwich that might result in an unpleasant taste.
This is also true for simpler sandwiches, such as peanut butter and jelly (PB&J). It’s important to get the right ratio of peanut butter to jelly and vice versa. If you’re adventurous and decide to use flavored peanut butter, you may need to adjust the ratio.
Many companies provide a variety of peanut butter flavors with various textures that can make your PB&J sandwich more interesting. Find out more here.
7. Not Adding Texture
You shouldn’t overlook the importance of texture in creating a great sandwich. Texture makes many dishes even more enjoyable and sandwiches are no exception.
Potato chips are a safe, tasty choice if you want to experiment slowly. It’s especially delicious with a roast beef sandwich. Crispy wontons are also an option for a sandwich with a lot of veggies or greens.
There’s no limit to the ingredients you can use to add texture. You might be pleasantly surprised by the difference the addition of your favorite nuts or seeds can make.
8. Forgetting Some of the Key Elements When Grilling Your Sandwich
Grilled cheese sandwiches are a great twist to an ordinary sandwich. But as with any sandwich, there are certain sandwich-making mistakes you should also avoid when choosing a grilled option.
For a grilled cheese sandwich, don’t slice your cheese too thick. This affects how well the cheese will melt, which defeats the whole purpose of having the sandwich grilled. Certain cheeses don’t melt very well, so they’re not the best option when choosing to grill. These include cheddars aged more than a year, parmesan, Gouda, or blue cheese.
Choosing the right bread is also important, as well as greasing it adequately. The addition of mayo or butter or both will give you a toasted, crispy sandwich exterior.
Cuban sandwiches are a delicious twist to a grilled sandwich. It’s made with roasted pork, ham, Swiss cheese, mustard, pickles, and sometimes salami placed on Cuban bread and then pressed. It’s a perfect example of why you shouldn’t be afraid to add other ingredients to the traditional grilled cheese sandwich for a tastier treat.
There are so many types of sandwich possibilities. Here are a few ideas to help get you started.
Types of Sandwiches
Here are a few types of sandwiches you can start with:
- Chicken Sandwich
- Egg Sandwich
- Ham Sandwich
- Meatball Sandwich
- Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato (BLT) Sandwich
This list isn’t exhaustive, but remember whatever you choose, you can make each your own unique creation. Start by using different types of bread, such as a baguette, brioche, croissant, challah, or ciabatta. Add the perfect greens for sandwiches, which can include spinach, lettuce, cucumber, avocado, or sprouts.
Explore different cheeses, such as Brie, Gruyere, mozzarella, muenster, provolone, or Havarti. And you don’t have to stick to traditional condiments. Experiment when and where you can. Even if it means creating something from what’s available in your refrigerator. What you discover may surprise you!
A Simple Meal Made Well
When it comes to making sandwiches, the possibilities are endless. There are various types of sandwiches that allow you to choose from different types of bread. You can make it even more interesting with one of the many greens for sandwiches, topped with any type of meat and cheese. It all depends on your preference.
If you avoid the sandwich making mistakes above, you can create a simple yet enjoyable meal. Sandwiches definitely don’t need to be boring. Get tips from Life With Heidi to give your sandwich that extra delicious kick. You can also check out our other recipes that can help you make mealtime more interesting.