Choosing the right cheddar cheese for your burger can make all the difference and take your burger from good to great.
But with so many types of cheddar cheese available, how do you know which one to choose?
Cheddar gives burgers a tangy character and enhances the umami flavor of beef. Whether you prefer a mild, medium, sharp, or extra sharp flavor, in this guide, we’ll explore the different types of cheddar cheese and recommend the best ones to use on your burgers.
Related: Top 3 American Cheeses for Burgers
Types of Cheddar Cheese
Cheddar cheese comes in a range of flavors and textures, depending on how long it has been aged.
The longer the cheese is aged, the sharper and crumblier it becomes. Here are the most common types of cheddar cheese:
- Mild cheddar: This cheese is aged for 2-3 months and has a mellow flavor and smooth texture. It’s a good choice for those who prefer a more subtle cheese flavor.
- Medium cheddar: Aged for 4-6 months, medium cheddar has a slightly sharper flavor and firmer texture than mild cheddar. It’s a versatile cheese that works well on burgers.
- Sharp cheddar: This cheese is aged for 9-12 months and has a bold, tangy flavor and crumbly texture. It’s a popular choice for burgers because it adds a lot of flavor.
- Extra sharp cheddar: Aged for 18 months or more, extra sharp cheddar has an intense, complex flavor and crumbly texture. It’s a great choice for those who want a strong cheese flavor on their burger.
What melts better: sharp cheddar or mild cheddar?
Sharp cheddar has a bold and tangy flavor, but it can sometimes become crumbly and tough when melted. Mild cheddar has a milder flavor and a creamier texture, making it a popular choice for melted cheese on burgers.
Best Cheddar Cheeses for Burgers
Now that you know the different types of cheddar cheese, let’s explore the best ones to use on burgers:
1. Tillamook Cheddar
Tillamook cheddar is a popular choice for burgers because of its rich, creamy flavor and excellent melting ability.
Tillamook cheddar is made with high-quality milk from cows that are not treated with artificial growth hormones. This ensures that the cheese has a pure, natural flavor that works well with beef.
It’s aged for at least 60 days: Tillamook cheddar is aged for at least 60 days, which gives it a unique flavor profile that is both tangy and sweet. This flavor profile works well with the savory flavor of beef and adds depth to the overall taste of burgers.
Tillamook cheddar has a smooth, creamy texture that melts easily and evenly. This makes it perfect for burgers, as it can be added as a topping or melted on top of the patty to create a delicious layer of cheesy goodness.
2. Cabot Cheddar
Cabot cheddar is a great choice for burgers because of its sharp, tangy flavor, excellent melting ability, high-quality milk, and reputation.
Cabot cheddar has won numerous awards for its quality and flavor, including the World Championship Cheese Contest and the American Cheese Society Competition. This recognition confirms that Cabot cheddar is a top-quality cheese that is sure to elevate any burger.
Cabot cheddar is aged for at least 9 months, which gives it a sharp, tangy flavor that pairs well with beef. The longer aging process also gives the cheese a crumbly texture that adds a nice contrast to the juicy patty.
3. Kerrygold Cheddar
Kerrygold cheddar is made with milk from grass-fed cows, which gives it a unique flavor profile that is both rich and creamy. The grass-fed milk also contains more omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins than milk from grain-fed cows, making it a healthier choice.
Kerrygold cheddar is aged for at least 12 months, which gives it a sharp, tangy flavor that works well with beef.
Kerrygold cheddar has won numerous awards for its quality and flavor, including the World Cheese Awards and the International Cheese Awards. This recognition confirms that Kerrygold cheddar is a top-quality cheese that is sure to elevate any burger.
How To Melt Cheddar Cheese on Burgers
To get the most out of your cheddar cheese on burgers, here are some melting tips.
- Grate the cheese: Grating the cheese before adding it to the burger will help it melt more evenly and quickly.
- Add the cheese during the last minute of cooking: Adding the cheese too early can cause it to overcook and become tough. Instead, add the cheese during the last minute of cooking and cover the burger to help it melt.
- Experiment with different types of cheddar cheese: While the cheeses listed above are great choices for burgers, don’t be afraid to try other types of cheddar cheese to find your favorite.
Best Melting Cheeses for Burgers
There’s nothing quite like the gooey, melted cheese between the buns.
Cheddar is the best melting cheese for burgers. Here are some other great melting cheeses to try.
Swiss cheese is another popular option for burgers, and it’s known for its nutty, mild flavor.
When melted, Swiss cheese forms large, gooey pockets, making it an ideal choice for burgers that need a little extra something.
Swiss cheese is also a great option for those who are looking for a cheese that won’t overpower the taste of their burgers, as it has a mild flavor that blends well with other ingredients.
Provolone cheese is a semi-soft cheese that is known for its mild, slightly sweet flavor.
When melted, Provolone cheese becomes smooth and gooey, making it an ideal choice for burgers.
Provolone is also a great option for those who want a cheese that will complement the flavors of other ingredients, such as bacon, onion, or mushrooms.
Pepper Jack Cheese
Pepper Jack cheese is a spicy cheese that is made from Monterey Jack cheese and seasoned with jalapeno peppers.
When melted, Pepper Jack cheese becomes smooth and creamy, and the spicy flavor of the jalapenos provides a bold contrast to the mild flavor of the cheese.
Pepper Jack is a great option for those who like their burgers with a little extra kick, and it’s also a great option for those who want to add some extra flavor to their burgers without having to add extra ingredients.
Blue cheese is a tangy, sharp cheese that is made from mold-ripened cheese.
When melted, blue cheese becomes smooth and creamy, and the sharp, tangy flavor of the cheese provides a bold contrast to the mild flavor of the burgers.
Blue cheese is a great option for those who like their burgers with a little extra flavor, and it’s also a great option for those who are looking for a cheese that will stand out on its own.
You can’t beat the classics! American cheese is the most iconic melting cheese for burgers. And for good reason.
The secret? American cheese is designed to melt smoothly and evenly.
A great burger is so much more than just beef, and two patties, and American cheese proves it!
Classic Cheddar Cheeseburger Recipe
To demonstrate how to use cheddar cheese on a burger, here’s a classic cheddar cheeseburger recipe:
- 1 lb. ground beef
- Salt and pepper
- 4 slices of cheddar cheese
- 4 hamburger buns
- Lettuce, tomato, onion, and condiments of your choice
- Preheat a grill or skillet over medium-high heat.
- Divide the ground beef into 4 equal portions and shape into patties. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
- Grill or cook the burgers for 4-5 minutes per side, or until they reach your desired level of doneness.
- During the last minute of cooking, add a slice of cheddar cheese to each burger and cover to help it melt.
- Toast the hamburger buns on the grill or in the skillet.
- Assemble the burgers with lettuce, tomato, onion, and condiments of your choice.
Did you know?
America’s #1 cheese is cheddar. Scroll ahead for more cheese FAQs.
What cheese melts creamiest?
There are several cheeses that are known for their creamy texture when melted, including fontina, gouda, and brie. Additionally, American cheese and processed cheese products are specifically formulated to melt smoothly and provide a creamy texture, making them a popular choice for cheeseburgers.
What cheese melts at a higher temperature?
When it comes to cheese melting, temperature is an important factor to consider. Some cheeses, like mozzarella and Monterey Jack, have a high melting point and can be melted at high temperatures without separating or becoming oily. Other cheeses, such as brie and camembert, have a lower melting point and will break down more easily at lower temperatures.
What cheese is on In-N-Out burgers?
In-N-Out is famous for its burgers and its secret menu. According to the fast-food chain, the cheese used on their burgers is a high-quality American cheese.
Do cheeses with a high moisture content melt easily on a burger?
Cheeses with a high moisture content, like mozzarella and fontina, tend to melt more easily on burgers. These cheeses have a creamy and gooey texture when melted, which makes them a popular choice for burgers.
Is Colby cheese good for melting?
Colby cheese can be good for melting, but it may not be the best choice for everyone. Colby cheese has a mild flavor and a creamy texture, but it may not melt as smoothly as other cheeses with a higher fat content.
Why is my cheddar cheese not melting?
There can be several reasons why your cheddar cheese is not melting. Some factors that can affect melting include the age of the cheese, the temperature it is heated to, and the type of heat source used. If the cheese is old or has been stored at a low temperature, it may not melt as well. Additionally, if the heat source is too high, the cheese may burn before it has a chance to melt. To avoid these issues, it’s best to use freshly shredded cheese and heat it gently over low heat.
How do you melt cheese so it doesn’t clump?
To prevent cheese from clumping when melting, it’s important to shred or chop it into small pieces before heating. This helps the cheese melt more evenly and reduces the risk of clumping. Additionally, stirring the cheese frequently while heating can help prevent clumping and ensure that it melts smoothly.
What does Bobby Flay put in his burgers?
Bobby Flay, the famous chef and restaurateur, is known for his creative and delicious burger recipes. In some of his burger creations, Bobby Flay incorporates ingredients like bacon, avocado, and caramelized onions to enhance the flavor and texture of the burger. He also often uses different types of cheese, such as blue cheese or goat cheese, to add a unique twist to the classic cheeseburger.
What cheese is not good for melting?
Crumbly cheeses like feta or ricotta can break down into a grainy texture when melted, and can make for a less satisfying cheeseburger experience. Additionally, some cheeses that are high in moisture content, such as mozzarella, can become too watery when melted and can make the burger soggy.
Is provolone cheese good for hamburgers?
Provolone cheese is a semi-hard cheese that is often used on sandwiches, and can also be a great choice for a cheeseburger. When melted, provolone cheese has a mild, slightly nutty flavor and a smooth, creamy texture that can enhance the taste of the burger. Additionally, provolone cheese has a high melting point, which helps it to retain its shape and texture when melted, making it a great choice for cheeseburgers.
What cheese melts at a higher temperature?
Cheeses with a higher fat content generally melt at a higher temperature than cheeses with a lower fat content. For example, cheeses like brie and fontina, which have a high fat content, will typically melt at a higher temperature than cheeses like cheddar or Swiss, which have a lower fat content.