Jaw size

Sandwiches, Structurally


Sandwiches are meant to be eaten. Most human beings cannot unhinge their jaws without injury.

Primary Claim

Sandwiches should not be too tall.

Supporting Evidence and Development

I'll start with a hypothetical. The owner of a neighborhood sandwich shop is beyond excited about his new creation. He gathers his employees into the kitchen and tells one of them, or maybe all of them, “you’re gonna flip.”

“I’m calling this one ‘The Ultimate.’ Corned beef, Monterey Jack, black forest ham, horseradish, honey mustard, three thick slices of tomatoes, salami, some red onions, and iceberg lettuce,” he says.

Since this is hypothetical, I’m going to put myself in the room as one of the employees in charge of serving this sandwich.

I am fired for angrily groaning when my boss gets to the tomatoes.


I understand that tall sandwiches are exciting, but I also think that tall sandwiches are very impractical. My hope is that science will show us the best way to make a sandwich.

Let's embrace the ubiquity of STEM fields and adopt an interdisciplinary model for the sandwich. Let's apply craniomandibular science to establish a vertical threshold for sandwich height.

The average Maximum Mouth Opening is about 1.9 inches for adults. I don't want people straining their mouth trying to eat a sandwich, and no one should have to forcibly squash a sandwich just to eat it. So, here's my figure: 1.75 inches. That's the tallest that the leading edge of your sandwich should be, give or take a few millimeters to account for bread or buns that might be a little taller in the middle. Basically, at the spot where you are going to take your first, next, or last bite, the height of the sandwich should not exceed 1.75 inches. 

Tall sandwiches are hard to eat. If you are worried that a sandwich will not satisfy your hunger, instead of ordering or making something that is "piled high," would it be so strange just to get a second one?

Summary of Main Points

Do not make your sandwich too tall. 

Concluding Remarks

I have not measured the height of Gomez BBQ's many different and delicious sandwiches, and I am in no way connected to the culinary decisions of Gomez BBQ. HOWEVER, based on my love for Gomez BBQ, it is safe to assume that their sandwich height is perfect.

Matt Bastnagel has served barbecue alongside Michael Gomez at many events, and he writes the blog on this website as a way to spread the spirit of Gomez BBQ and bring more people to our meats.