Does Swiss Cheese Melt? (Answered With Images)

Yes, Swiss cheese does melt. It is not the best melting cheese out there but it will certainly melt relatively easy under the right heat. It is commonly melted on top of classics like patty melts and ham & swiss sandwiches at many homes and restaurants around America and beyond.

To prove it, we melted two types of Swiss cheese to give you an idea of how well this cheese melts. Here are the results with images!

Melting Sliced Swiss Cheese

170°F Oven Temperature

We picked up the sliced Kroger Swiss cheese pictured above at the grocery store to see how well it melted under various temperatures. This is a cut off the block Swiss made with part-skim milk, cheese cultures, and enzymes.

To assess the melting characteristics of this cheese, we pre-heated our oven to its minimum temperature of 170°F. Subsequently, we placed a slice of Swiss cheese atop a piece of bread and placed it into the oven.

The following images showcase the outcome of this cheese’s performance in melting under an exceptionally low temperature.

5 minutes at 170°F

The Swiss began to sweat around the edges after 5 minutes. The cheese had not melted yet and it was not sticking to the bread in any manner.

10 Minutes at 170°F

The heat clearly had an impact on the cheese as more moisture emerged on the cheese’s surface after 10 minutes. The cheese was still not sticking to the bread and was not melted.

25 Minutes at 170°F

The Swiss cheese was clearly starting to melt at this point even at the low 170°F temperature. The cheese was getting gooey and stared to attach to the bread.

1 Hour at 170°F

The cheese was clearly melted to a degree and lightly sticking to the bread after an hour. It could have used more time in the oven to melt more but for the sake of time and energy we stopped after an hour.

If you learned anything, you now know that 170°F is an extremely inefficient temperature to melt Swiss.

Melting Sliced Swiss Cheese

350°F Oven Temperature

Using the same sliced Kroger Swiss as above, we attempted to melt this cheese at a more efficient 350°F. This is likely one of the more popular temperatures to melt cheese in the oven given 350°F is the default temperature when many ovens are turned on. The pictures below show how well sliced Swiss melts at this temperature.

5 minutes at 350°F

While a bit difficult to tell, the Kroger sliced Swiss is began to melt after 5 minutes.

10 minutes at 350°F

After 10 minutes at 350°F, the cheese melted and was sticking to the bread. It probably needed a few more minutes in the oven but we didn’t want to burn the already well toasted bottom.

Melting Block Swiss Cheese

350°F Oven Temperature

Next we melted the above block Swiss cheese on toast at 350°F. On the back of its packaging, one of its recommended uses was for grilled cheese. Reading this before popping the cheese in the oven, we were pretty confident that this cheese would likely melt nicely.

This is what the cheese looked like out of its packaging. This is a close up image reflecting a couple holes as we expect from real Swiss cheese.

We cut off several somewhat thin slices from the block and placed them on a piece of bread as shown below. The bread with cheese was then placed in the oven that was set to 350°F.

5 minutes at 350°F

You could see the cheese slices starting to melt and bond together after 5 minutes at 350°F. Additionally, its texture began to change as the heat quickly started to break down the proteins.

10 minutes at 350°F

You can see how the block Swiss melted beautifully after 10 minutes in the oven. The bread was nicely toasted at this point similar to a properly baked garlic bread. This was such a delicious snack and better tasting than the sliced cheese version featured above.

Cheese Melting Factors

These are the majors factors that influence the ability for a cheese to melt:

  • Fat Content – Cheese with higher fat content helps release the protein structure causing the cheese to melt better compared to lower fat cheeses. Try to avoid reduced-fat Swiss cheese and opt for the full fat variety for the best melting properties.
  • Moisture – The moisture content of cheese helps loosen the protein to aid in the melting process. Swiss cheese is general composed of about 40% moisture which is sufficient for it properly melt. Something like an extra hard Parmesan might have moisture content of around 30% which can produce an undesirable greasy cheese when melted.
  • Age – Generally, younger cheeses melt better than aged ones. Essentially, the aging process breaks down the protein strands to the point where the cheese can become too runny. Aging also reduces moisture which can causes melting issues as discussed above.
  • Acid Content – Cheeses with very low or high acidic levels, generally, do not melt properly. For example, Feta with an approximate pH of 4.7 (a lower acidic level) does not melt as well as Swiss with a pH of around 5.5. Generally, cheeses with a pH of about 5-5.6 will melt the best. This includes cheeses like fresh mozzarella, Cheddar, and Colby.

Swiss Cheese Melting Point

Swiss cheese, like many other cheeses, contains proteins that undergo changes when subjected to heat. The proteins in cheese are composed of long chains of amino acids, and when heated, these chains begin to break apart. As the temperature rises, the proteins start to denature and coagulate, resulting in the cheese softening and eventually melting.

The melting point of Swiss cheese is slightly higher than that of some other cheeses due to its lower moisture content, protein structure, and other factors. Where cheeses like milk cheddar and fresh mozzarella can melt around 125°F, Swiss tends to melt around 140-150° F. However, as we demonstrated above, low temperature melting of cheeses like Swiss is not ideal and is inefficient.