How do you make a Reuben not soggy?

Last Updated on May 24th, 2023

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Delis uses a few techniques and methods daily to keep their sandwiches and bread from soggy messes. Most recipes will use a spread, such as mayonnaise or toasted butter, to create a sort of barrier between the bread and the moist ingredients of the classic Reuben.

Not all recipes are the same for those just now learning what is in a Reuben. Some ingredients, like the choice of bread, can be swapped, but for the most part, these sandwiches are made with the following:


  • Two choice slices of bread (Russian Rye is recommended) 
  • Spreadable butter
  • Russian dressing
  • Swiss cheese
  • Corned beef, sliced.
  • Sauerkraut
  • Mayonnaise
  • Ketchup
  • Horseradish
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Granulated sugar
  • Paprika
  • Salt and Pepper
Ruben sandwitch served on a plate - How do you make a Reuben not soggy?

Why Does it Happen?

As you can see, there are going to be a few ingredients that are not dry foods by any means, such as sauerkraut or dressings. 

However, the consistency of these ingredients can seep or be soaked up by certain types of bread, which puts some emphasis on the bread you use when creating a classic Reuben. 

Another potential reason that is known to make the sandwich soggy the classic spilled beverage in the lunch pail is a usual suspect. 

This can only be fixed by using quality food storage bags or Tupperware that protects foods from daily mistakes, like sitting on your lunch. 


What Do You Need to Know Before You Start?

First, you need to know the ingredients, whether or not you or your guests are allergic to any of those in the recipe, and have a plan to time the toasting of the bread just right. 

In the list of ingredients provided earlier in the article, you can see there are many different kinds of sauces and condiments that are needed to get the flavor just right. 

Next, you will need to know which breads are best with these flavors. Below is a list of the best bread varieties used to make Ruebens:


  • Brioche – for those who like sweeter bread.
  • Rye – the classic go-to, comes in different kinds also.
  • Sourdough – close to rye, but with more tang because of the different fermentation process.


Should a Reuben be Pressed or Toasted?

This can come down to preference because there are going to be chefs’ opinions on how to make these sandwiches. One technique calls for the toasting of the bread separately for preparing and cooking the corned beef and sauerkraut. 

Others have a method that ‘toasts’ the bread and cooks the ingredients on a griddle or a specially designed sandwich grill press. 

This second method is closer to the grilled cheese sandwich technique, which crisps the bread to golden brown and melts the cheese into the corned beef slices. 

In addition to the niceties, there is going to be a higher risk of your sandwich going soggy. Eating this type of Reuben immediately will be recommended. 


Best Tricks for Preventing a Soggy Reuben?

The key to preventing soggy bread is to prevent the wet ingredients from having any contact with the grains, which can take the form of a spread or slice of cheese or veggie. 

For instance, sandwiches that require an element like lettuce will allow for leafy membranes to be added to the inner side of the bread on each slice.

This will, in effect, be like creating a soggy prevention barrier between the ingredients and the bread slices. Similarly, using mayonnaise or a similar spread on the bread will be a perfect supplemental barrier between the ingredients and the spongy slices. 


Common Mistakes you Need to Avoid

The most common mistake will be to add the ingredients to the sandwich, then store it to be eaten later without separating the ingredients from the bread. No matter how well made the sandwich, a plastic bag will be the undoing of most Reubens. 

Consider using Tupperware or other harder cases that provide better protection from falls and squishes. 

That being said, the next mistake will be not to toast the bread; this simple step can be the savior of your sandwich. Most top-class restaurants will have better examples of what your Reuben’s should end up looking like. 


Final Thoughts on How to Make a Reuben Not Soggy

The Reuben is one of those classic sandwiches that will change the way you see corned beef. Now let us tip the cap to the corn beef and hash, which can be an amazing addition to your breakfast platter. 

Next, the sauerkraut, melted Swiss cheese, and heated corned beef, in combination with the sauces. At least you should try the flavor combination, vegan or allergies preventing you from eating the original. 

The most fun will be finding the perfect bread for your taste pallet, like pairing wine and foods, as can the Reuben and bread selection process. 


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