What Cheese for a Raclette Grill?

What Cheese for a Raclette Grill?

As a professional food journalist, I understand the importance of selecting the right ingredients to bring out the best flavor in any dish. When it comes to raclette grilling, the cheese you choose can make all the difference.

Raclette cheese is the traditional and preferred choice for raclette grilling, originating from the Alpine region of Switzerland. This semi-soft cheese melts beautifully and has a rich, nutty flavor that pairs perfectly with various accompaniments.

Choosing the right cheese for a raclette grill can enhance the overall dining experience and take your dish to the next level. In the next sections, I will provide a guide to the different varieties of raclette cheese available, the best cheese for raclette grilling, pairing raclette cheese with accompaniments, tips for preparing raclette cheese, and variations of raclette grilling.

Key Takeaways:

Understanding Raclette Cheese

Before delving into the best types of raclette cheese for a raclette grill, it’s important to understand the different varieties available and how they contribute to the overall experience.

Raclette cheese originated in Switzerland and has since spread to other parts of Europe and beyond. There are various types of raclette cheese, each with its unique characteristics, depending on the region it comes from and the dairy breed used for production.

Raclette Cheese Variety Characteristics
French Raclette Has a smooth, creamy texture with a nutty flavor and a mild aroma. It is best paired with dry white wines.
Swiss Raclette Has a firmer texture with a sharp, tangy taste that pairs well with full-bodied red wines.
Alpine Raclette Is made from the milk of cows grazing on alpine pastures, giving it an earthy, floral flavor. It pairs well with fruity white wines.

Other types of raclette cheese include Italian and American varieties, with each having its unique flavor profile. It’s essential to choose the right cheese depending on your personal preference and the occasion.

Regional Variations of Raclette Cheese

Each region that produces raclette cheese has its traditional way of preparing and serving it. For instance, in Switzerland, raclette cheese is heated by placing a wedge of cheese next to a fire until the cheese begins to melt. In France, the cheese is melted in a raclette machine or under a broiler.

Some regional variations also include adding herbs or spices to the cheese before grilling, resulting in a unique taste. It’s always beneficial to explore different regional variations to find your perfect raclette experience.

Best Cheese for Raclette Grill

When it comes to selecting the best cheese for a raclette grill, there are several factors to consider. First and foremost is the consistency of the cheese- it needs to be firm enough to hold its shape when heated, yet soft enough to melt into a luscious, creamy texture. Secondly, the cheese needs to have the right melting properties- some cheeses may become stringy or oily when melted, which can detract from the overall experience. Lastly, the flavor profile of the cheese is crucial- it should have a rich, savory taste that complements the other ingredients without overpowering them.

One of the most popular types of cheese for raclette grilling is, of course, raclette cheese. This semi-firm cow’s milk cheese from Switzerland is specifically crafted for use in raclette, and has a nutty, buttery flavor that pairs well with a variety of accompaniments. However, there are several other types of cheese that also work well on a raclette grill.

Cheese Name Consistency Melting Properties Flavor Profile
Gruyere Firm Melts smoothly, without becoming oily Nutty, slightly sweet
Fontina Semi-soft Melts evenly, with a silky texture Mild, buttery, nutty
Emmental Firm Melts smoothly, without breaking down Sweet, nutty, fruity

Other great options include Comte, Appenzeller, and Tete de Moine. When selecting a cheese for raclette grilling, it’s always a good idea to consult with a cheesemonger or specialty food store for recommendations and guidance. Remember to experiment with different cheeses and accompaniments to find the perfect combination that suits your taste buds.

Pairing Raclette Cheese with Accompaniments

Pairing raclette cheese with the right accompaniments is key to enhancing the overall flavor and texture. The richness of the melted cheese pairs exceptionally well with certain fruits, cured meats, pickles, and condiments. Here are some recommendations:


  • Thinly sliced apples, pears, and grapes add a refreshing sweetness that balances the rich cheese.
  • Fig jam or compote is a decadent and fruity addition that complements the nutty and slightly sweet flavor of raclette cheese.

Cured meats:

  • Prosciutto, salami, and speck add a savory saltiness that cuts through the richness of the cheese.
  • Smoked meats, such as smoked ham or turkey, bring a smoky depth that enhances the nutty flavor of the cheese.


  • Cornichons and pickled onions provide a tangy acidity that balances the richness of the cheese.
  • Pickled beets or radishes add a bright pop of color and flavor that elevates the overall experience.


  • Mustard, especially whole grain or Dijon, adds a sharp tang that complements the rich cheese and cuts through its heaviness.
  • Honey or maple syrup drizzled over the cheese bring a sweet contrast that enhances the nutty and earthy flavors of the cheese.

Tip: When selecting accompaniments, consider a variety of textures and flavors to create a well-rounded and balanced plate.

Tips for Preparing Raclette Cheese

Preparing raclette cheese for grilling requires some attention to detail to achieve the desired cheese consistency, texture, and flavor. Here are some tips and techniques for getting the most out of your raclette cheese:

Choose the Right Cheese Thickness

When slicing raclette cheese, it’s important to consider the thickness of the slices. Thin slices melt quickly but can become overly gooey, while thick slices may take longer to melt and become rubbery. The ideal thickness is around 1/8 inch, which allows the cheese to melt smoothly and evenly.

Achieve a Smooth and Even Melt

The key to achieving a smooth and even melt with raclette cheese is to maintain a consistent temperature. This can be done with a raclette grill or a separate heating source such as a fondue pot or stove. Be sure to melt the cheese slowly and stir it frequently to prevent clumping or burning.

Maintain the Right Temperature

To prevent the cheese from getting too hot or burning, it’s important to maintain the right temperature. Raclette cheese should be heated to around 150-160°F (65-70°C) for optimal melting. If the cheese gets too hot or starts to burn, remove it from the heat or turn it down to low.

By following these tips and techniques, you can prepare raclette cheese that is perfectly melted, smooth, and flavorful. With a little practice, you’ll be able to create delicious raclette dishes that are sure to impress.

Variations of Raclette Grilling

While raclette grilling is traditionally enjoyed by melting cheese on individual trays under a heating element, there are many variations to this classic Swiss dish. The versatility of raclette cheese allows it to be incorporated into various dishes, from savory to sweet. Here, I provide recommendations on the types of raclette cheese that work best for each variation.

Raclette-Topped Burgers

Adding melted raclette cheese to a juicy burger takes it to the next level. The creaminess of the cheese complements the meatiness of the burger to create a rich, flavorful experience. For this variation, I recommend using a semi-hard raclette cheese like Raclette de Savoie. Its nutty and buttery flavor profile pairs well with red meat.

Raclette Fondue

Raclette cheese can be used to create a creamy fondue that is perfect for dipping bread, vegetables, or fruits. For this variation, I recommend using a softer raclette cheese, such as Raclette du Valais. Its melt-in-your-mouth texture and fruity undertones make it a great choice for a sweet or savory fondue.

Raclette Pizza

Raclette cheese can also be used as a creative and unexpected topping for pizza. The combination of the cheese’s flavor, texture, and meltability, make it a perfect addition to any pizza. For this variation, I recommend using a firm raclette cheese like Raclette Suisse. Its assertive and complex flavor profile pairs well with a variety of pizza toppings, from vegetables to cured meats.

These are just a few examples of how versatile raclette cheese can be. Experiment with different cheeses and variations to discover your own unique raclette experience.

Raclette Cheese: From Tradition to Modern Dining

Raclette cheese has a rich history that dates back hundreds of years. This cheese was originally made in the Swiss canton of Valais and was known as a peasant dish due to its simplicity and affordability. Raclette cheese was traditionally paired with potatoes, pickles, and onions, and then melted over an open fire.

Over time, raclette cheese has become a staple in modern cuisine, with chefs around the world experimenting with new ways to incorporate this delicious cheese into their menus. While traditional raclette grilling methods are still popular, raclette cheese is now being used in a variety of dishes, from raclette-topped burgers to raclette fondue.

As raclette cheese has gained popularity, an increasing number of cheese varieties have become available. From the classic Valais raclette to the French raclette du pays, there are now numerous options to choose from. Each variety has its unique flavor and texture, making them suitable for different applications.

Raclette Cheese Varieties Flavor Profile
Valais Raclette Smooth and nutty
French Raclette du Pays Mild and buttery
Swiss Raclette Sharp and bold

Whether you prefer a classic raclette experience or want to experiment with new cooking methods, raclette cheese offers a versatile and delicious addition to any dish. With so many cheese varieties to choose from, there is no shortage of ways to enjoy this beloved cheese.


In conclusion, choosing the right cheese for a raclette grill is paramount to achieving a delicious and satisfying dining experience. Raclette cheese, with its smooth consistency and excellent melting properties, is the preferred choice for raclette grilling and comes in a variety of types and flavors.

When selecting a raclette cheese, it is important to consider factors such as consistency, melting properties, and flavor profile. Some recommended types of raclette cheese include Swiss raclette, French raclette, and smoked raclette.

To enhance the raclette experience, consider pairing the melted cheese with various accompaniments such as cured meats, pickles, and condiments. Wine and beverage pairings can also elevate the flavors of the cheese.

Proper preparation of the raclette cheese is crucial, including achieving the ideal thickness, a smooth melt, and maintaining the right temperature. Avoiding common pitfalls will ensure a successful raclette grilling session.

While raclette grilling has its roots in traditional Swiss cuisine, it has evolved and gained popularity worldwide, with modern dining incorporating it into various creative dishes. Overall, raclette cheese is a versatile and delicious cheese that can elevate any dining experience.


Q: What kind of cheese should I use for a raclette grill?

A: The recommended cheese for a raclette grill is raclette cheese. It has the perfect consistency and melting properties for a delicious raclette experience.

Q: What is raclette cheese?

A: Raclette cheese is a semi-hard cheese that originated in Switzerland. It has a rich, nutty flavor and melts smoothly, making it ideal for grilling and melting.

Q: Can I use other types of cheese for raclette grilling?

A: While raclette cheese is the traditional choice, you can experiment with other cheeses that melt well, such as Gruyere, Emmental, or Fontina. However, raclette cheese provides the authentic flavor and texture for a classic raclette experience.

Q: How do I choose the best raclette cheese?

A: When selecting raclette cheese, consider its consistency, melting properties, and flavor profile. Look for a cheese that melts evenly and has a good balance of nuttiness and creaminess. It’s also helpful to read reviews and recommendations to find a reputable brand or variety.

Q: What accompaniments pair well with raclette cheese?

A: Raclette cheese pairs well with a variety of accompaniments. You can enjoy it with cured meats, such as prosciutto or salami, as well as pickles, roasted vegetables, or crusty bread. Additionally, fruits like apples or grapes can provide a refreshing contrast to the richness of the melted cheese.

Q: Are there any specific tips for preparing raclette cheese?

A: To prepare raclette cheese, ensure that it is sliced to an ideal thickness for even melting. It’s also important to maintain the right temperature on the raclette grill to achieve a smooth and creamy consistency. Avoid overheating the cheese, as it can become greasy or develop a burnt taste.

Q: Can I use raclette cheese in other dishes?

A: Absolutely! Raclette cheese can be used in various dishes beyond raclette grilling. You can top burgers with melted raclette cheese, create a decadent raclette fondue, or even melt it over pizzas for a unique twist. The possibilities are endless!

Q: What is the historical significance of raclette cheese?

A: Raclette cheese has a rich history, originating in the Swiss Alps as a traditional dish. It was a way for shepherds to melt and enjoy their cheese during the colder months. Over time, raclette grilling gained popularity and is now enjoyed in many countries as a delicious and sociable dining experience.

Michael Davis
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