Cheese: What are good melting cheeses?

A reader e-mailed the Kitchen Shrink to ask, “Which cheeses can be melted and poured?” While most people know that processed cheeses melt smoothly and easily into sauces, selecting a natural cheese that behaves as well isn’t always easy. Many hard grating cheeses don’t melt well and those known for their stringiness and chewy texture tend to maintain that texture when warmed, but the list of those that do melt well into sauces gives pretty much choice at the cheese counter. If you follow the tips below, you can count on a smooth sauce when you use Asiago, Cheddar, colby, fontina, Gouda, Gruyère, Havarti, Monterey Jack, or Muenster. Blue cheeses and soft cheeses such as Brie and Camembert also melt well if you remove the rind. When melting cheese, the following tips will help insure a smooth sauce. Bring the cheese to room temperature before using, grate or finely chop the cheese, thicken the sauce before adding the cheese, and heat only until the cheese has melted. Overheating can make the cheese harden and release fat creating a lumpy sauce.

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16 Responses to Cheese: What are good melting cheeses?

  1. Laurie says:

    Can’t wait to try tonight and then I’ll let u know.

  2. To get that melty, pull apart texture, I like to use a good melting cheese in the egg bake: my favorites are cheddar, provolone, and swiss. You can also experiment with more.

  3. Ron L says:

    You missed goat cheese. I use it all the time for rose sauces or even cream sauce for gnocchi.

  4. Valerie says:

    Thanks for the tip. I’m cooking from scratch because my husband is on a low sodium diet and I just made a pasta and cheese dish that is stringy!

  5. Brittany says:

    cheez it cheddar jack 2019

  6. Fran Mattre says:

    I bake a mac & cheese loaf (that can be sliced). I precook the mac (5 min). While this is hot, I add in chopped Longhorn, Montery Jack and Cheddar, Then I pour over an egg beaten in milk with my seasonings. I top with panko and romano cheese and dot with butter and bake. My husband loves this with stewed tomotoes and will even slice it and eat it cold.
    I would like to melt the cheese 1st with the milk, but I worry about the egg. Does anyone have any suggestions?

  7. James says:

    You mentioned thickening the sauce before adding cheese. What is the sauce?

  8. Tom says:

    Does the rind on Gruyere melt in sauces?

  9. dorlyn brown says:

    Will havarti cheese pair well with a steak sandwich ??

  10. Deborah Kemp says:

    Love your recipes!

  11. Paul Miller says:

    Say, for 10oz of cheese, First: melt two tbls. butter in a sauce pan. Whisk in two tbls. flour. When it becomes smooth and bubbly, continue to cook and stir for about 3 minutes. This will cook the “raw flour taste” out of it. Add in your shredded cheese and stir on a low heat until melted. This will give you a nice smooth melt, for most cheeses.

  12. Gary Scott Jr. says:

    Love this. The best article out…

  13. Gary Scott says:

    One more Comment. Cream cheese, and mascarpone. Cream cheese, will work okay in a sauce. Though Mascarpone, or Italian Cream cheese, works so much better.

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