For us, the cornerstone of sandwich artistry is knowing how to make the perfect BLT recipe.
A BLT is basic, easy to make, and it should be something that you can whip up in your kitchen anytime you’re craving a good sandwich.
BLTs are great as a quick snack or a light meal, and you’ve probably got everything you need to make one in your pantry and fridge right now.
Biting into a perfectly constructed BLT sandwich will give you THE perfect bite because you get a little bit of everything!
In each bite, you’ll get a bit of bread, a bit of veggie, a bit of meat, and spread, so you’ve got all the flavors and textures you could want in a sandwich.
However, as with any other “simple” dish, there’s actually an art when it comes to making the perfect BLT.
So, butter your bread and griddle your bacon because we’re about to teach you how to make a BLT that will ruin every other BLT out there for you!
Table Of Contents
- 1 What does BLT stand for?
- 2 How do you layer a BLT sandwich?
- 3 What is the best tomato for a BLT?
- 4 What is an heirloom tomato?
- 5 What kind of tomatoes can I substitute for heirloom tomatoes?
- 6 What to serve with a BLT
- 7 What is Bibb lettuce?
- 8 Is Bibb lettuce and butter lettuce the same?
- 9 What can I substitute for Bibb lettuce?
- 10 Our CookingChew Cooking Tips
- 11 Easy and Delicious BLT Sandwich Recipe
- 12 How To Make The Perfect BLT
- 13 Cook Your Bacon in the Oven!
- 14 To cut or not to cut … that is the question
What does BLT stand for?
Let’s get this out of the way: BLT stands for the most important ingredients in this sandwich: bacon, lettuce, and tomato.
Since these ingredients are literally the namesake of the sandwich, you know that you should pick high-quality ingredients to come up with a great sandwich.
However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t put the same amount of care and thought into picking out the other ingredients of this sandwich, particularly the bread and the spread that you’re going to use.
How do you layer a BLT sandwich?
To get that perfect texture and bite from your BLT, you should know how to layer the sandwich properly.
Got your cooked bacon ready? Check. Have your thick, crusty bread at hand? Great!
You can’t just throw on the ingredients willy-nilly!
And always start with clean hands!
Here are our steps for layering a BLT sandwich:
- First, begin with a thick slice of your bread for the base. Like it hot? Toast or grill two slices of bread and start with one of these, hot side down.
- Add some of your preferred spread on the surface of the bread. This can be mayonaise, avocado spread, dijon mustard, one of those many saved packets of Chick Fil-A sauce, or even just a good quality butter.
- Break apart (crumble) the cooked bacon before adding to the sandwich. This way it doesn’t tear and then flop off the sandwich in one go. If you like bacon plus ultra, this is where you can break apart four full strips of bacon and crumble them, then add to this side with spread, where the pieces will stick.
- Lettuce or other greens go next. Bibb lettuce and butter lettuce work well for a softer bite, but I prefer the sturdy crunch of iceberg or romaine but I’ve had a lot of sandwiches that use salad greens or arugula. Your choice.
- Thin slices of red, ripe, beefy tomato comes next; ensure the tomato slices go edge to edge.
- Add spread to the next piece of bread.
- Add some seasoning on top of the spread-bread, at least freshly cracked black pepper. But some crushed red pepper, steak seasoning, or garlic & herb works great too.
- Bring the top toast down onto the tomato and press lightly. If cutting, use a long serrated knife to help get through the layers with the least likelihood of tearing the bread.
- Tuck in any stray pieces of bacon, or nab them for yourself. Cook’s rights.
What is the best tomato for a BLT?
For BLTs, you want to use tomatoes that are ripe, thick, juicy, and firm.
After slicing, I scoot the seeds and pulp away to compost or trash and just use the remaining flesh on sandwiches.
We love using either beefsteak or heirloom tomatoes because they hold up well in a BLT sandwich.
Romas and the ones still attached to the vine work just fine.
Ripe is the key.
What is an heirloom tomato?
When you hear the word “heirloom”, you probably think of those antiques that are passed down in a family through the generations.
Well, this is kind of the same idea behind heirloom tomatoes.
For heirloom tomatoes, it is actually the seeds of the tomatoes that are “passed down”.
After the tomatoes are harvested, farmers would save the seeds from mature tomatoes and use these seeds to plant tomatoes for the next harvest.
What kind of tomatoes can I substitute for heirloom tomatoes?
There are some places where you might find it difficult to find heirloom tomatoes.
If you can’t find them, you can use other substitutes such as the aforementioned beefsteak tomatoes or hothouse tomatoes.
Types of tomatoes we love:
- Kumato (Brown)
- Early Girl
- Big Beef
- Roma (easy to find and inexpensive)
What to serve with a BLT
Do you know how to make the perfect BLT just a little bit more perfect?
Find the perfect sides!
What is Bibb lettuce?
A Bibb lettuce is a smaller variety of butterhead lettuce.
They have large leaves that are thick yet soft, making them perfect for use in sandwiches.
Is Bibb lettuce and butter lettuce the same?
Yes, Bibb lettuce and butter lettuce are the same.
They are called butter lettuce because they have a “melt in your mouth” consistency like butter, but they are also called Bibb lettuce because the variety was developed by a man called John Bibb.
What can I substitute for Bibb lettuce?
If you don’t have Bibb lettuce, you can use other varieties such as Boston lettuce (another variety of butter lettuce but with larger leaves), Iceberg lettuce, or Romaine lettuce which are firmer and crisper compared to Bibb lettuce.
Want to learn how to make individual, mini BLT sandwiches? Of course you do!
Our CookingChew Cooking Tips
1. Toast your bread!
Always, always toast your bread when you’re making a sandwich.
Not only do you get that chewy texture and delicious toasted flavor, toasting the bread will also prevent the spread from getting absorbed into the bread and making it soggy.
Nothing ruins a BLT faster than soggy bread that’s falling apart.
2. Get your bread freshly baked, if possible.
If you’re lucky enough to live near a bakery, get your bread fresh!
Fresh bread will ALWAYS taste better compared to store-bought bread.
Get your baker to cut your bread to around ½-inch thick so that it’s sturdy enough to hold in all your ingredients.
3. Don’t skip the spread.
Always use a spread when making a BLT.
A fatty, oil-based spread will keep your sandwich moist and it brings out the toasted flavors of your bread even more.
4. Any bacon works, but be sure to crumble it.
For this recipe, we love thick-cut bacon, but I always crumble bacon before adding it to the sandwich.
Not only does this ensure that there’s bacon in every bite, it doesn’t require “tearing” into the sandwich, which can pull out a strip, leaving half the sandwich without bacon.
Easy and Delicious BLT Sandwich Recipe
You probably already know how to make a good, basic BLT sandwich.
That’s great and all, but what if you could tweak those ingredients just a little bit and make that good BLT sandwich into something that you’ll find yourself craving?
- 4 slices thick, artisan bread
- 2 T. melted butter
- 8 leaves sturdy lettuce like romaine
- 1 large tomato, sliced thin with seeds and pulp removed
- 6 slices of cooked bacon, drained and roughly crumbled
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat a grill pan on your stovetop on medium heat.
- Wash and thoroughly dry the tomato.
- Brush melted butter on one side of each piece of bread.
- Once grill pan has heated up, place bread, buttered side down, on the grill pan.
- Apply light pressure on the bread with a spatula, taking care not to move the bread. Toast until grill marks form on bread surface, approximately 2-3 minutes.
- Repeat until all pieces of bread have been toasted on one side.
- Allow bread to cool slightly.
- Spread mayo to desired thickness on the non-grilled side of each piece of bread.
- Add half of the crumbled bacon to the mayo layer.
- Add the lettuce then tomato.
- Add salt and pepper, if desired.
- Add the second piece of bread, grilled side up.
- Press down slightly on each sandwich and cut as desired.
- Serve with your preferred sides and enjoy!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 800Total Fat: 42gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 65mgSodium: 1606mgCarbohydrates: 81gFiber: 11gSugar: 10gProtein: 29g
Cook Your Bacon in the Oven!
Cook your bacon in the oven to help cook it without making it too crispy.
You can also put a weight on top to prevent the bacon from shrinking while cooking.
Place the bacon in a single layer on top of a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Add another layer of parchment paper on top and place a heavy tin on top to keep the bacon flat.
To cut or not to cut … that is the question
Some people like a single cut up the center, others a diagonal cut across.
But if I’ve got a sharp serrated knife, I’ll cut it into triangles.