LOOKING for: Good melting cheeses for cheese sauce or macaroni

trsincSeptember 8, 2006

I know that velveeta and american cheese slices melt well. But, I try not to use them.

I've been using cheddar cheese, I prefer white cheddar, for cheese sauces and mac and cheese.

Can anyone recommend a good melting cheese for sauce and such, other than grated cheddar?

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I use Vermont Cabot for mac and cheese, comes in white or orange. To me it is the best, maybe because I grew up on it!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2006 at 9:18PM
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Emmenthal, Gruyere, Monterey Jack.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2006 at 11:02PM
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Muenster is a good melting cheese too! For a while I had trouble finding it in some of the local stores, but now I have a good source. I like it on cheese toast, pizza, and mixed with cheddar and Jack for mac and cheese.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2006 at 11:08PM
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All "real" cheese melts well.
When you start with the low fat and the pasteurized processes this and that, you run into problems.
Chedder,Swiss, gruyere, parmesan, jack, edam, gouda, brie, blue, gorgonzola, stilton, fontina, provolone...all melt very well...
But "lo-fat" and "lite" won't do it...
And as much as it pains me to say it....Velveeta, Kraft singles also melt well.
Linda C

    Bookmark   September 8, 2006 at 11:57PM
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Thanks everyone!

I've tried a couple of different ones before and wound up with a stringy mess. I'll be trying a different cheese each time I make sauce or mac, etc. Thanks! And Linda C, I feel your pain lol.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2006 at 8:09AM
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I use various cheeses. My favorites are fontina, monterey jacks, cheddars (sharp especially for us), gouda, edam, gruyere, mozzarella, parmesan, romano, and provolone. I have melted asiago once and it came out okay too.

The trick is to make your white sauce first and then add the cheese as the milk warms in small chunks or shred it. Stir contantly and don't whisk it, just easy stirs. Velvety sauce everytime is my experience.

If you aren't making a sauce, or adding it to other ingredients, then almost anything will do I would think, but fresh cheeses like goat cheese can separate on you, I've had that happen once. Most cheese have a huge fat content and have salt. The fatter the cheese, usually the easier it melts I would think.

We eat a LOT of cheese in our family, but we like it fresh cut or in a sauce best. Cheddar and mozzarella are the basic toppings for pizza or like tuna melts.

Our favorite cheeses for macaroni and cheeses when I do it homemade is a mixture. I will do tomato sauces or white sauce based cheese sauces based on what tag ends of cheese, or cheese I need to use are in the fridge. Fontina is a favorite white cheese around here for melting. And, I think I forgot plain swiss in my list. But, baby swiss to nice ripe swiss cheese always tastes good mixed with beef. Try fontina cheese mixed in with ground veal, and don't forget to use feta cheese with lamb!!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2006 at 7:46PM
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Thank you, potpie! I needed the tips. I find that cheese is a difficult thing, for me anyway. Funny you mentioned whisking! I always whisk the dickens out of my sauce!! Maybe that is why it sometimes doesn't turn out? I really appreciate your input.

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   September 11, 2006 at 9:13PM
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For a non stringy cheese melt, one must add flour and mix well and cook until smooth. Start with a basic recipe for a bechamel sauce and add wharever cheese you like bext or a combination of cheeses, grate all the cheeses well or break them into small pieces and blend into the basic bechamel sauce and whisk until smooth, then add macaroni, pour over vegetables, place in fondue pot under mild heat, or whatever the intended use of the melted cheese was to begin with. You won't fail, use patience and don't rush the process. To cook out the flour taste always cook the sauce and then the cheeses for at least ten minutes. Don't forget the seasonings, a little cayene, some nutmeg, not much and the things you like. Properly melt cheese, Otherwise you got Pizza!

    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 12:46PM
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I think Joe meant to cook the sauce to cook out the flour taste, THEN add the cheese....but after you add the cheese don't cook...as in "boil" or the cheese may separate into strings and chewey clods.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 1:05PM
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One cheese that no one has mentioned is "Cooper's Sharp". I like to use it with steak sandwiches, hamburgers, and for mac & cheese. For the mac & cheese I use it in combination with a milder tasting orange colored, or even American cheese. The two give a nice cheesy flavor to the pasta dish!

    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 6:02AM
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The melting technique is important to all cheeses. Cheese is high in fat, so it responds quickly to heat, but itâÂÂs also high in protein, so high heat, or exposure to heat for too long, denatures the proteins and toughens cheese; too much heat can also make cheese stringy.

Cheese should be shredded, grated, sliced, or chopped into small pieces before you melt it. (Please, please, donâÂÂt use preshredded cheese! It is a matter of a few quick swipes against a grater to shred your own, and the packaged stuff you buy often has preservatives in it.)

Reduced fat cheeses melt decently in some instances, but fat-free cheeses wonâÂÂt melt anywhere near as nicely as will full fat types, because fat, in addition to providing some protection from heat, allows for the beautifully smooth viscosity, or thickness, of melted cheese.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2010 at 6:15PM
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I also don't want to use Velveta, or sliced American, cause they don't have that tang, or bite.

Have tried Cheddar and it end up stringy (YUCK)

I don't want to try what others have already and have the same failure, there has to be some one who is in the culinary arts that can help me.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 6:50PM
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Make a rue, add cheese and melt SLOWLY... Most people try and melt cheese to quickly and then you end up with a clunky mess. Once I have my sauce established is when I add extra heavy cream if it needs to be thinner. Also if you are adding extra flavor to your cheese, wait until your sauce is melt together.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 3:48PM
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Shred your cheeses beforehand. Make a medium White sauce. Then set the cooked white sauce aside to cool slightly.

Add your shreded cheeses (all at the same time). Stir until everything is incorporated

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 12:14PM
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