In-N-Out Animal Style French Fries (Copycat)

Animal-Style French Fries are fried golden brown, topped with melty American Cheese, buttery melted caramelized onions and a signature fry sauce. Serve with a fork or eat with your fingers if you dare, these fries are a cult favorite!

 Animal-Style French Fries are fried golden brown, topped with melty American Cheese, buttery melted caramelized onions and a signature fry sauce. Serve with a fork or eat with your fingers if you dare, these fries are a cult favorite!

Kenji’s delicious recipe for the Double Double Animal-Style Cheeseburger was such a spot on hit, I’ve carried it through to the next day to recreate the Animal Style French Fries to accompany it. Kenji declined to make the French fries because he declared that In-N-Out has never really been known for their fries. This, I hate to admit, is pretty true. The French fries were always the weakest link in the very short chain of a menu with only a double cheeseburger, cheeseburger, hamburger and fries on the menu.

The animal style French fries however are another story. They are wonderful, but with a fault. Because In-N-Out French fries are only fried once before serving you don’t get the ultra crispy fries you are used to in a fast food place. Any other burger shop you go to is going to fry frozen pre-fried potatoes so that they get the elusive double fry.

So I did what any self respecting fry enthusiast would do. I took the idea of the animal style French fries and fixed the only flaw it had, the single fry and instituted the important double fry. The result are a more crispy french fry that doesn’t immediately get soggy under the weight of its toppings.

Animal-Style French Fries are fried golden brown, topped with melty American Cheese, buttery melted caramelized onions and a signature fry sauce. Serve with a fork or eat with your fingers if you dare, these fries are a cult favorite!

Keep the sliced potatoes in a bowl of cold water while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions and ½ teaspoon kosher salt to skillet.
Reduce heat to medium low, and cook, tossing and stirring occasionally until onions are well browned, about 15 minutes.

Once onions begin to sizzle heavily and appear dry, add 1 tablespoon water to skillet and stir. Continue cooking until water evaporates and onions start sizzling again. Repeat process, adding 1 tablespoon of water with each iteration until onions are meltingly soft and dark brown, about 3 times total.  Transfer to a small bowl and set aside while leaving any residual butter in the pan.

To make the animal fry spread: Add mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, sugar, and vinegar to a small bowl Animal-Style French Fries are fried golden brown, topped with melty American Cheese, buttery melted caramelized onions and a signature fry sauce. Serve with a fork or eat with your fingers if you dare, these fries are a cult favorite!

and stir to combine. Animal-Style French Fries are fried golden brown, topped with melty American Cheese, buttery melted caramelized onions and a signature fry sauce. Serve with a fork or eat with your fingers if you dare, these fries are a cult favorite!Dry the potatoes. Heat oil to 365 degrees. Fry for 3-4 minutes or until the fries start turning a bit whiter. Animal-Style French Fries are fried golden brown, topped with melty American Cheese, buttery melted caramelized onions and a signature fry sauce. Serve with a fork or eat with your fingers if you dare, these fries are a cult favorite!
Remove with slotted spoon and do the next batch. To double fry, put the potatoes back in the hot oil after they’ve cooled and fry a second time for 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown. Animal-Style French Fries are fried golden brown, topped with melty American Cheese, buttery melted caramelized onions and a signature fry sauce. Serve with a fork or eat with your fingers if you dare, these fries are a cult favorite!Salt the fries when they just come out of the oil
Animal-Style French Fries are fried golden brown, topped with melty American Cheese, buttery melted caramelized onions and a signature fry sauce. Serve with a fork or eat with your fingers if you dare, these fries are a cult favorite!
 Now put them in a plate Animal-Style French Fries are fried golden brown, topped with melty American Cheese, buttery melted caramelized onions and a signature fry sauce. Serve with a fork or eat with your fingers if you dare, these fries are a cult favorite! cover with slices of American Cheese Animal-Style French Fries are fried golden brown, topped with melty American Cheese, buttery melted caramelized onions and a signature fry sauce. Serve with a fork or eat with your fingers if you dare, these fries are a cult favorite!
 melted onions Animal-Style French Fries are fried golden brown, topped with melty American Cheese, buttery melted caramelized onions and a signature fry sauce. Serve with a fork or eat with your fingers if you dare, these fries are a cult favorite! and the animal style spread Animal-Style French Fries are fried golden brown, topped with melty American Cheese, buttery melted caramelized onions and a signature fry sauce. Serve with a fork or eat with your fingers if you dare, these fries are a cult favorite!
Serve immediately! Because why would you want to wait to dig in to this… Animal-Style French Fries are fried golden brown, topped with melty American Cheese, buttery melted caramelized onions and a signature fry sauce. Serve with a fork or eat with your fingers if you dare, these fries are a cult favorite!

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In 'n Out Animal French Fries (Copycat)

Animal-Style French Fries are fried golden brown, topped with melty American Cheese, buttery melted caramelized onions and a signature fry sauce. Serve with a fork or eat with your fingers if you dare, these fries are a cult favorite!
Yield 4 servings
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Side
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder

Ingredients
 

  • 1 large onion , finely chopped (about 1 ½ cups)
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 4 slices deli-cut American Cheese
  • 2 lbs russet potatoes , peeled and cut into ¼ inch fries

Instructions

  • Keep the sliced potatoes in a bowl of cold water while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.
  • Add onions and ½ teaspoon kosher salt to skillet.
  • Reduce heat to medium low, and cook, tossing and stirring occasionally until onions are well browned, about 15 minutes.
  • Once onions begin to sizzle heavily and appear dry, add 1 tablespoon water to skillet and stir.
  • Continue cooking until water evaporates and onions start sizzling again.
  • Repeat process, adding 1 tablespoon of water with each iteration until onions are meltingly soft and dark brown, about 3 times total.
  • Transfer to a small bowl and set aside while leaving any residual butter in the pan.
  • To make the animal fry spread: Add mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, sugar, and vinegar to a small bowl and stir to combine.
  • Dry the potatoes. Heat oil to 365 degrees
  • Fry for 3-4 minutes or until the fries start turning a bit whiter.
  • Remove with slotted spoon and do the next batch.
  • To double fry, put the potatoes back in the hot oil after they've cooled and fry a second time for 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • Place fries on plate, cover with slices of American Cheese, melted onions, and the animal style spread.
  • Serve immediately!

Notes

Sauce and Onions adapted from Kenji at the Serious Eat's Food Lab.

Nutrition

Calories: 343kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 29mg | Sodium: 479mg | Potassium: 1025mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 310IU | Vitamin C: 14.9mg | Calcium: 255mg | Iron: 2.1mg
Keyword: copycat recipes, In-N-Out Animal Style French Fries (Copycat), In-N-Out fries, In-N-Out special sauce

Animal-Style French Fries are fried golden brown, topped with melty American Cheese, buttery melted caramelized onions and a signature fry sauce. Serve with a fork or eat with your fingers if you dare, these fries are a cult favorite!

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.

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Comments

  1. This recipe is amazing!!! I made this with my daughter and they turned out exactly like In N Out. Very happy I found this recipe.

  2. The recipe was good. I soundly say that the spread tastes like in n out spread thou, it different. But the onions were like them. I didn’t try to make the fries I used waffle fries instead. It was pretty good after all but, the animal style French fries at in n out are better but it good. I eat in n out very often so I could tell the differences but if you never had in n out or don’t eat it very often then this recipe is an ok replacement.

  3. For me the “Spread” is the best part. You say “To make the animal fry spread: Add mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, sugar, and vinegar to a small bowl and stir to combine.”
    I am not a Chef, but I want to make this, how much of each item to I use? Cup of this? Teaspoon of that? I just want to know so I don’t mess this up. Thank you!

  4. I made these and they were delish! I’ve never been to a In n’ Out but heard about it from a colleague and had to try it.

    I do find it difficult to believe that only one large onion was used for this recipe – I used three large onions and by the time they were done caramelizing it was still way less onion than shown.

  5. Okay we get it commenters this looks good, it tastes great to people who’s never had the original, etc. lol Can someone who actually has made this and had had the original as well comment and tell me how accurate this is? An entertainer I like is in love with animal fries but I love nowhere NEAR and In and Out so want to ft as close of a copy cat as humanly possible. 

    1. Wolf,
      I tried this recipe I live in Los Angeles and In-n-out is my fav and these were so good and it tasted exactly just like it. Just try it for fun and let me know what you think

    2. Right how many people have actually tried this and not just saying it looks good. Did you try it? Is it good? We need more comments on that not that it looks good. Okay it looks good….Thank you Sabrina for posting you recipes the are the best could you try chick-fil-a nuggets?

  6. Looks soooo good! I really miss In-n-Out.. Makes me want to live in Cali again! Quick tip: ask for your fries to be “well done” next time – they come out super crispy and wonderful.

      1. But the best oil for frying french fries is peanut oil. If you’re gonna go through the effort of making french fries, might as well do it the best you can, rather than trying to replicate In-N-Out’s rather inferior version exactly. And that also means adding the cold water soak before the first fry.

  7. These look so yummy. I only had In-N-Out once in San Francisco, now I can make the fries at home.

  8. I have never tried fries like this before. They look so good. My kids are going to love them. I love trying new recipes.

  9. These fries look so delicious. I wish i could make some right now. I will have to save this recipe to try on the weekend.

  10. Well somebody likes to play with fire – don’t they? These would be dangerous in my house – might have to double the recipe!

    1. YES! I had to leave the room while my husband ate the rest of it and I made him bring me food upstairs so I wasn’t around it anymore. THEY ARE THAT GOOD.

  11. I am so grateful that you posted this. I love these fries but don’t have an In and Out anywhere near me! yay for the recipe!

  12. Those look delicious! I need to try these out very soon. Sounds like they’re pretty simple to make too. I can’t wait to try them! I’ve actually never heard of In N Out, so it must not be in my area, but I’m glad you’re sharing this recipe.

    1. It is so amazing how they are just a part of everyday life for everyone here but not at all part of life outside the West Coast.

  13. I am scared of deep frying anything myself but I bet the sauce for the fries would be great on thinly sliced and baked fries. I am going to have to add relish to my shopping list!

    1. Yeah, on oven baked fries they would also be amazing. I should totally do that too! I am not a huge fan of frying in the house either.

  14. Oh my gosh this would be such a treat!I think going with the double fry was a good move. I’d love to make some for the family!

    1. The double fry is essential! That is why people complain about their fries, the single fry makes for wimpy fries after five minutes.

  15. I’ve never heard of anything animal-style, but boy after seeing this I want to try both the hamburger and the fries. We actually hamburgers tonight for dinner so this would have been perfect.

  16. These look incredible! You definitely get best food blogger of the year award in my book! These fries look amazing!

    Paige

    1. You and I should be best friends, that is exactly how I feel too! I joke if I were ever a contestant on the biggest loser or some show like that and they had one of those temptation challenges with desserts I would ACE it. A temptation challenge with fries? I’d be passed out with a stomach full of fries on the floor hugging what fries I couldn’t finish.

  17. I have never eaten at a In n Out Burger before and really never had the desire to until now. (They don’t have them where I am from.) Now thanks to you, I know I am missing out. But hey, I can make your at home version which look scrumptious. But really, now I’m sad I have no In n Out.

    1. My husband is the same way! He is pretty good with Animal style burgers but prefers his fries plain. I LOVE the fries animal style 🙂

    1. Yup! It is so good. Funnily enough you can ask for Animal Style Burgers for no extra cost, but getting the fries animal style literally doubles the cost of them!

  18. This looks SO good! I honestly didn’t know that there is a secret menu with this on there until my brother told me about it. It looks SO good!

    1. I remember in high school when someone told me I thought I was part of a secret club! But now when you order the fries they come in a special “Animal Style Fries” box, way less secret!

  19. Awesome! You shared the burger yesterday and the fries today! I may not live in California, but I’ll have an In N Out meal this weekend.