Review: Microwave Grilled Cheese

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Those of you who read The Shameless Consumer will know that I have a simple list of foods that should never be microwaved, or you would if I had ever brought this list up before. The list is simple: breads, seafood, meats, and probably just about everything else. Poptarts, toaster strudel, vegetables, fruits, ice cream, plastic, leftover coffee, etc. It’s not out of concern for your health, trust me if you scald your mouth on a hot pocket deep within the cup of coffee that you reheated in a microwave, my mantra is that you probably deserved it. Coffee doesn’t go in the microwave, folks. Food that goes in the microwave tends to come out disgusting, rubbery, chewy, stale, insert your own word here. This isn’t a trailer park. Unless it is, in which case carry on.

Today’s review comes from Chef M.J. Brando, a food company that makes grilled cheese sandwiches, stuffed potatoes, appetizers, and nothing else. I bring this up because the company’s Facebook page says “over the last 20 years, the line has expanded from just a few frozen products to a complete selection of scrumptious quality cuisine – with something for everyone.” Twenty years and all you have to show for it is grilled cheese, five types of stuffed potatoes, and a couple of appetizer “bites?” I managed to beat their menu choice in the span of a half hour, but as you viewers put it, I am “just some random loser on the internet who needs to validate himself by make stupid jokes about successful businesses.” Thanks to Shelby from Sheboygan Wisconsin for your glowing review. I haven’t read it personally, but my editor says it is “definitely the most positive” of the bunch.

At least they’re right about the healthy part, I had a look at Chef Marlon Brando’s cheddar bacon potato skins and each one contains 230mg of sodium. I can eat two of those and still not have consumed as much sodium as a single loaded potato skin from TGI Fridays. That’s disgusting, and I am still processing all of the sodium from when I wrote that review nearly four years ago.

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This is just nitpicking on my part, but what is a “microwave minute?” The box for Chef Michael Jackson’s Grilled Cheese says “pan grilled taste in about a microwave minute.” I couldn’t figure this out until I looked at the instructions and saw that it takes one minute thirty seconds to cook. I guess “microwave minute” is kind of like “baker’s dozen,” as in to say not a minute at all. The box advertises that “our cheddar grilled cheese is easy to make anytime,” which I suppose is true as long as you have a microwave and electricity.

While Chef Milla Jovovich advertises three types of grilled cheese sandwiches on the website, I couldn’t find Swiss anywhere in my neighborhood. So I picked cheddar over American, or as it is more popularly known as, “cheddar for people allergic to flavor.” The sandwich itself is pretty simple: Three slices of cheddar cheese between two pieces of bread. You have to hand it to Chef Mick Jagger for going the extra mile and pre-searing bread, the fact that no two slices are the same goes a long way toward separating a big chain to a company that actually cares about quality.

Once you take the sandwich out of the bag, now it’s time to stick it in another one of those ridiculous proprietary microwave “sleeves,” and into the microwave it goes for 90 seconds. If you don’t know, microwave sleeves are the crowning achievement of taking things that otherwise should never see a microwave and making them somewhat edible, so Stouffer’s can sell inferior paninis to the gullible and lazy. Microwave sleeves are to frozen foods what Ave Maria is to opera singers, everyone has to have their own version and a lot of them are terrible.

As for the sandwich itself, the results are pretty satisfying if not all that realistic because at no point in the cooking process did I suffer second degree burns or almost burn the house down. The bread came out surprisingly well, crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. The cheddar cheese is hardly what you would call “sharp,” and scares me to think of how bland the American version must be, but otherwise I have nothing to complain about. There really isn’t much to talk about, it’s a grilled cheese sandwich.

Ultimately you should stop being lazy and make your own damn cheese sandwich, but since you won’t, Chef Magic Johnson’s sandwiches aren’t a bad alternative. The sleeve actually scorched the bread a bit during the cooking process. I give this sandwich an approval out of oh crap I messed that line up. Can we go back? How do I turn off the speech to text program? Turn off.

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