Stellar Sammies: 5 Tips to Make Better Sandwiches
Dress it up. Dress it down. The sandwich is a staple that calls back to childhood. From memories of your third-grade lunch box to your family's dinner table, a sandwich can be kept simple or loaded with layers for a sophisticated twist.
At Crane's Country Store, we tend to keep our sandwiches classic—one meat, one cheese and a spread of Miracle Whip or mustard. We like things plain and simple, but we know a great sandwich can also include juicy tomato slices, crunchy lettuce leaves and pickled veggies—or maybe just some extra meat and cheese.
Sandwich-making is an art. A sandwich can be a satisfying meal or a soggy flop. How do you make a great sandwich? That’s up to you. The perfect sandwich is subjective, but we have a few tips on how to layer a sandwich to get the most out of every bite.
1. Choose the Right Foundation
A good sandwich starts with a strong foundation. Proper sandwich construction is like building a house. You need a sturdy frame to hold all of your ingredients, or everything inside will slide away. We prefer our sandwich filling between bread—not on our plate!
Softer breads tend to catch ingredients, whereas denser breads don’t. When using soft bread, you must be cautious. There’s a fine line between delicious and disappointing.
Your Filling Informs Your Bread Choice
The Food Network’s rule of thumb is that moist fillings don’t pair well with soft, fluffy bread. The moister your filling, the drier and denser your bread should be to avoid a soggy sandwich.
Toasting your bread helps juicy and slippery ingredients stay put. (We're talking about you, tomatoes.) The toaster firms the slices, so moisture is less likely to ruin the bread. And you get an added crunch.
The Bread-to-Filling Ratio Is Crucial
Bread takes up the most real estate on a sandwich. Good bread makes for a good sandwich, so choose a bread you love. If you don't have good bread handy, you can toast or griddle your bread with butter to make the sandwich extra special.
Be wary of thick bread. Too much bread can limit you from reaching your filling. No one wants bread-only bites. If you are working with thick bread, you can pull some bread from the middle of the slice for less bread per bite.
2. Spread the Love Around With Condiments
The best way to add flavor to a sandwich? Spread the bread with condiments and sauces. Sandwich spreads add moisture and creaminess to your creation. To spice up your ordinary meat and cheese, you can try mayonnaise, mustards, pestos, BBQ sauces, chutneys, jams and salsas.
Jam goes great with ham or slathered on grilled cheese. Horseradish is the perfect complement to roast beef, and tapenade can take your tuna to the next level. There's a condiment or sauce out there for every protein.
Add Flavor & Seal Off Wet Ingredients
Dry sandwiches aren't fun to eat. Don't be afraid to use multiple sauces for a nuanced flavor or an extra kick. Well-distributed condiments insulate your sandwich against watery ingredients. When you make a sandwich, we recommend spreading your condiments of choice to the edge of each slice. This method creates a seal to ward against wet ingredients.
Waterproofing your sandwich can be done by adding fatty condiments. Spread mayonnaise or butter to protect your bread from soaking up moisture.
Get Creative With Mayonnaise
Mayonnaise can be mixed in so many ways. While we love mayonnaise and Miracle Whip at our store, you may want to try these creative combinations at home. Jazz up your mayonnaise by adding garlic, turmeric or other flavors.
- Garlic + cilantro + lime + mayo
- Garlic + capers + lemon juice + mayo
- Frank’s RedHot + mayo
3. A Sandwich’s Centerpiece Is Protein
Protein is your sandwich's main character. All other ingredients play a supporting role. Ham, turkey, roast beef, pepperoni and salami are lunch meat staples. Add them to a sandwich in thin slices for the best outcome.
Deli meat slices should drape over one another gracefully. Be sure not to cut the meat too thin. Slices that are too thin will stick together, creating an unwanted and hard-to-eat wad of meat.
Most experts agree sandwiches are better when you heat the meat. Warming meat brings out its flavor, making the sandwich more satisfying. If you can't heat the protein, let it come to room temperature before using it for a sandwich.
While many people enjoy meat on their sandwiches, all-veggie sandwiches and PB&Js are just as delectable. Hummus, tofu, eggs and cheese serve as tasty proteins for vegetable-based sandwiches.
4. It’s Alright to Be Cheesy
Cheese provides a unique texture and enhances the sandwich's flavor profile while offering vitamins and protein. American cheese is a classic choice that's even better melted. Want more spice on your sandwich? Go for pepper jack. Making a veggie sandwich? Try feta.
- Pepper Jack
- Colby jack
5. Fill It With Toppings
We love a meat and cheese sandwich. It’s comforting. But we don’t discount the joy that toppings can bring to each bite.
Vegetables add moisture to dry sandwiches and satisfying layers of texture, including crunch. Before you pile on fresh veggies, wash and season them to enhance their flavor and give each ingredient an edge.
Popular sandwich fixings are tomatoes, lettuce, onions, slaw, pickles, spinach and cucumbers. Watery veggies like tomatoes should be added to sandwiches immediately before serving because they could make the bread soggy over time.
Commit to a Layering Strategy
Sky-high toppings and slippery ingredients that squeeze out between bites deprive you of an enjoyable eating experience. Bites that are too big make a mess, and it's no fun to replace slick avocado slices every time you pick up your sandwich.
Layering becomes tricky when you add veggies and other toppings. That’s when you need a set strategy.
The sequence you add ingredients affects your experience. Some people prefer to layer the featured element—usually meat—at the bottom of the sandwich. Then they work their way up to smaller toppings and garnishes. Others enjoy alternating hot and cold ingredients for an evenly distributed temperature.
Stacking ingredients by texture helps keep everything inside the sandwich. Place opposing textures on top of each other. What about that pesky tomato slice? The best place to put tomatoes is the upper or lowermost portion of the sandwich.
Crane’s 1 Meat, 1 Cheese, $2 Sammies
A sandwich tastes better when someone else makes it. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon found that the more people imagine a food, the less they want to eat it later. You're more likely to enjoy a sandwich someone makes for you because you spend less time thinking about it.
Get your sandwich fix at Crane's Country Store. We'll happily make you a one meat, one cheese, $2 sammie. We're a great place to stop on a family road trip or visit on a Saturday afternoon. Grab a sammie and a soda. Sit on our front porch and enjoy the day.
Our Favorite Sammie Selections
What sandwich should you get on your next visit? We have plenty of yummy combinations to choose from. Stick with our best-selling sammie, bologna and American cheese (it's only $1!), or explore a new flavor palate with liver cheese.
David Crane, the owner of Crane's Country Store, loves the roast pork and hot pepper cheese plain.
For former employee William Eckert, a Crane's sammie brings back memories. William enjoys the buffalo chicken and smokey cheddar sammie, but he will always remember the way Bill Crane never took the red wrapper off bologna.
Everyone has a sandwich they come back to again and again. Check out our current employees’ favorites:
|David (owner)||Roast Pork||Hot Pepper Cheese||Plain|
|Kennon||Buffalo Chicken||Colby||Miracle Whip|
|Lydia||Buffalo Chicken||Smokey Cheddar||Miracle Whip + Mustard|
|Mitchell||Roast Chicken||Pepper Cheese||Hoff's Smoking Ghost Ketchup|
|Jodi||Hard Salami||Swiss||Miracle Whip + Mustard|
|Emily||Pepper Turkey||Colby Jack||Plain|
|Emma D.||Ham||Provolone||Miracle Whip|
|Warfield||Hard Salami + Chicken||Buffalo Cheddar||Plain|
|Paula||Pickle Loaf||Onion Cheese||Miracle Whip|
|Brittney||No Meat||Swiss + Smokey Cheddar||Brown Mustard + Yellow Mustard|
After leaving Crane’s to pursue new adventures, many of our former employees come back to say hello and grab a bite. These are some of our former employees’ top sammie choices:
|Shanellen (Eckert) Sullivan||Buffalo Chicken||Pepper Cheese||No Bread|
|Katerina Roesner||Roast Beef||Smokey Cheddar||Miracle Whip|
|Jake Anderson||Hard Salami||Pepper Cheese||Dirty Mustard|
|Jordan (Anderson) Zerr||Pepper Turkey||Smokey Cheddar||Plain|
|Carolyn Bernicky||Roast Beef||Swiss||Miracle Whip|
|William Eckert||Buffalo Chicken||Smokey Cheddar||Plain|
|Garrett Portra||Roast Pork||Pepper Jack||Spicy Mustard + Miracle Whip|
|Grant Portra||Roast Pork||Sharp Cheddar||Spicy Mustard|
|Ivan Roesner||Pepper Turkey||Swiss||Miracle Whip|
|Eliza Smith||Roasted Chicken||Provolone||Miracle Whip|
|Cori Miller||Bologna||Colby Jack||Miracle Whip|
|Madalynn O'Donley||Ham||Buffalo Cheddar||Plain|
Are you hungry yet?
We have the cure for a rumbling stomach. You may have to get more than one sammie when you stop by with this many choices and combinations!
Contact us for more information about our old-fashioned general store, and be sure to visit us at 10675 Old U.S. Highway 40 in Williamsburg, MO.