The sandwich is perhaps the most celebrated form of food in America. If you count a hamburger- nature’s most perfect food- as a brand of sandwich, then it isn’t even close. Wraps? You’ve got to be kidding me. No one likes wraps.

Sandwiches are easy, even for college kids to make. But sadly many college students don’t maximize their sandwich skills. Fortunately, I live in the same house with the great Ben Kochman who is a professional sandwich reviewer as well as a sandwich enthusiast. Living with him I’ve picked up some tips for you too.

Together, we’re going to take our sandwiches to the next level. The next layer, if you will.

1. Bring The Heat

A rookie mistake is to keep the sandwich cold.

Yes, the beauty of the sandwich is you don’t have to cook. I get that. But you’ll get sick of it before long if you’re essentially eating cold food for your meals. So, when possible, bring the heat.

Take a peanut butter/nutella sandwich. It’s good, a classic, but maybe you’re sick of it. Now: stick it in a toaster. Use the “oven” setting and keep an eye on it. Pop it out and bite it. What is it? Glorious. Use the heat for some variety in your ingredients and the sandwich as a whole.

2. Get Weird

Get a different sort of turkey. Try to pair it with goat cheese. Add onion and pesto. And honey mustard. Will it work? Maybe. But you’ll be getting closer to making the ultimate sandwich.

Goat cheese, honey mustard, onions and pesto are the secret forgotten ingredients in any great sandwich. Not necessarily together, but any of these can spice up a plain choice.

3. Quality

Don’t be afraid to shell out a little extra for what you want. It’s a sandwich; it’s cheaper to make than almost anything else, so treat yourself. Get the best sliced turkey you can: it’s still only $2.30 per sandwich. If you try to go with Honest Jeff’s Turkhey* Brand Meat-Slice you might save thirty cents, but you’re going to hate your sandwich. It’s not worth it.

4. The Sides

You’re going to want barbecue chips and pickles. That’s just gangster, man. That’s what elevates a sandwich from a large snack to a meal, and it serves another purpose too: you can put the sides on the sandwich itself. So skipping out on the sides isn’t just going to take you out of the meal: it’s going to take you away from what the perfect sandwich could be.

5. The Stars

You’re going to need peanut-butter and nutella sandwiches, toasted ones. Honey BBQ Turkey goes with goat-cheese: Mesquite Turkey goes with pepper-jack. Heat both in your toaster. Make grilled cheese, but put pesto or spicy mustard under the cheese before you cook it and thank me later. An onion bagel, eggs, and cheese, and then you toast the bagel again. Add blue cheese to a roast-beef sandwich and suddenly it’s like you’re eating steak. Add bacon to all these sandwiches, even the peanut-butter nutella one too. Ta dah! You know how to “cook” now, all for cheap and without cooking.