The legendary burger, the In-N-Out Double Double – Animal Style, with a homemade fry sauce, caramelized onions and mustard grilled patty.
When it comes to Copycat Recipes, capturing the flavors you love doesn’t get more authentic than this. If you can’t make it to your beloved regional fast food places, try making your favorites at home like Tommy’s Chili, Pioneer Fried Chicken, and of course Animal Style Fries to go with this amazing Double Double.
With a homemade fry sauce, caramelized onions and mustard grilled patty, the In-N-Out Double Double – Animal Style is the perfect GOOD fast food burger as decoded by Kenji from Serious Eats.
If you do live near an In-N-Out, you know they are all as sweet as the shakes they sell. The lines move quick, the food is fresh, and they give your little ones stickers and hats. So why go through the effort of making this copycat recipe? It can be a really fun project to make a favorite restaurant meal at home. It’s almost like decoding a hidden secret and unlocking a magic code. Plus, we are obviously suckers for a good copycat recipe around here. Also, Kenji from Serious Eats made it so you know it must be good! (like the Halal Chicken & Rice).
Kenji is a mad scientist genius and author of The Food Lab which is a best seller on Amazon. Have you ever checked out his recipes? He is amazing and if you try his recipes, you will not be let down. He is a total rockstar. Just like this recipe.
Kenji took a ton of time and effort in decoding the components of this In-N-Out Double Double – Animal Style and with only a couple of small swaps, this recipe follows it to the letter (ie, cooking the onions in butter instead of oil). If you take care to follow the instructions you will sit down to a meal that will make you feel like you brought In-N-Out Double Double into your kitchen. Don’t be discouraged by the steps involved. They are all easy. Lengthy, but easy. And really precise, just like Kenji.
Create a free account to Save Recipes
How to Make In N Out Double Double Animal Style
- Form meat into four 2 ounce patties, thin and slightly larger than the size of your bun. They are meant to be ¼ inch thick. 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.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. To make the burger and animal fry topping: Add mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, sugar, and vinegar to a small bowl and stir to combine. Place closed buns in preheated oven for 2 minutes until slightly darker and just the slightest bit crispy. Using the butter left behind by the onions, press the buns into the pan and toast for a few seconds until crispy. If there is no butter left in the pan, add a ½ a tablespoon or so to the pan.
- Season the patties with salt and pepper. Preheat pan on high and add the patties to the pan. Cook without moving until well browned and crusty on first side, about 2 ½ minutes. While they are cooking, spread about a tablespoon of mustard to the raw side. Flip and cook the mustard side as well, another minute.
- Add the sauce to each half of the bun. From the bottom up: Add four pickles, then one slice of tomato and lettuce. Top each meat patty with a slice of cheese and half the caramelized onions. Stack two patties together and add on top of the lettuce. Top with top bun. Enjoy! You’ve earned it and it is going to be AMAZING!
Frequently Asked Questions
Make the sauce and the onions the day before. You can also form the beef patties up to 24 hours in advance. If you’re also making fries, you can cut and soak the potatoes the night before. It eliminates a lot of the starch that prevents the perfect crispy fry.
To make a Double Double not Animal Style:
1. Use a ¼ inch thick slice of raw onion instead of caramelized onion
2. No pickles
3. No mustard on the patty
The classic vegetarian option at In N Out is a Grilled Cheese, which can also be ordered Animal Style. You’d simply omit the beef patties and double up on cheese, adding the caramelized onions to it while hot to melt the cheese. While In N Out currently does not offer any kind of imitation beef patty, you could also substitute your favorite meat substitute for the beef patty in this recipe.
How to Store In N Out Double Double Animal Style
- Serve: Just like the original It is best to serve this copycat burger fresh as soon as it’s grilled and assembled. Don’t leave any of the components at room temperature longer than 2 hours.
- Store: Store the burger components unassembled in the refrigerator up to 3 days. You can store the patties cooked or uncooked, and reheat in a pan with mustard to assemble a fresh burger before serving.
- Freeze: You can freeze the prepared burger patties, preferably uncooked, and defrost as needed. It is not recommended to freeze the sauce or other ingredients.
- 1/2 pound ground beef (Kenji recommends 60/40, I used 80/20 and it was perfect)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 large onion , finely chopped (about 1 ½ cups)
- 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
- 2 soft hamburger buns , (Kenji recommends Arnold, or use local bakery buns)
- freshly ground black pepper
- 8 dill pickles chips
- 2 ripe tomato , sliced quarter-inch-thick
- 2 leaves fresh iceberg lettuce , white core section removed, torn to bun-sized pieces
- 1/4 cup yellow mustard
- 4 slices deli-cut American Cheese , (you can ask for this at your grocer's deli case)
- Form meat into four 2 ounce patties, thin and slightly larger than the size of your bun. They are meant to be a ¼ inch thick.
- 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.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- 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 burger and animal fry topping: Add mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, sugar, and vinegar to a small bowl and stir to combine.
- Place closed buns in preheated oven for 2 minutes until slightly darker and just the slightest bit crispy.
- Using the butter left behind by the onions, press the buns into the pan and toast for a few seconds until crispy.
- If there is no butter left in the pan, add a ½ a tablespoon or so to the pan.
- Season the patties with salt and pepper.
- Preheat pan on high and add the patties to the pan.
- Cook without moving until well browned and crusty on first side, about 2 ½ minutes.
- While they are cooking, spread about a tablespoon of mustard to the raw side.
- Flip and cook the mustard side as well, another minute.
- Add the sauce to each half of the bun.
From the bottom up:
- Add four pickles, then one slice of tomato and lettuce.
- Top each meat patty with a slice of cheese and half the caramelized onions.
- Stack two patties together and add on top of the lettuce.
- Top with top bun.
Photos used in a previous version of this post.
The Buns are grilled with the mustard on them for animal style burgers.
Arnold Bread is the same as OroWheat on the West Coast.
Is there a reason In-N-Out Burgers puts the tomato on the bun instead of on the lettuce?
This recipe calls for sauce to be spread on each side of the bun. The sauce acts as a barrier to prevent the tomato juice from making bun soggy.
Thank youuuuuuuuu for posting this recipe!!!! My husband and I have made this about 20 times in the last six months (just made it for lunch today, haha) and we can’t get enough of it!! It’s In-N-Out version 2.0 because we’re able to use all organic ingredients to make these burgers and they tastes just like In-N-Out. All hail Sabrina! Keep ’em coming please xoxo
I have to say I was skeptical about In-n-out recipes, the last one I made the sauce tasted very vinegary. This sauce was perfect though. I used leaner meat (93/7), and it still turned out super juicy. Thank you so much for this recipe. Have been living in El Paso for about a year and have not been able to enjoy my favorite fast food.
Just finished making them for supper,the onions are the ultimate best part.I was very leary about the mustard on raw burger but it worked out fine.It is a huge burger but I did it.Sauce was very good. Well done.
Thanks for trying it out! So glad you enjoyed!
The double double doesn’t have pickles. But I love pickles. So I’m not mad about it.
Animal style has pickles
no they don’… I only order “animal style” at In-and-Out and they Don’t have pickles other then the relish added to their sauce
Plan on making this tonight! Question though , so do you only put mustard on one side of the patty?
Yes, mustard in only on one side of the patty. 🙂 Enjoy!!
My family and I visited California last August and tried In-and-Out for the first time. This burger tastes so much like the orginal! It wasn’t too hard to make and it was delicious. Thanks!
It definitely is a California classic! So glad you enjoyed it!
Can’t wait…..We are all from the West side of the country and always found reasons to go to California for In-n-Out. Now, most of us live in North Carolina, so we have felt deprived. Now our only son left in Colorado is headed here this weekend with his new fiancé so we are whipping these us as a surprise. Should be great. Will be making at least ten of them, complete with fries…and of course…animal style!
I hope they work out well for you! We lived on the East Coast for a few years and our first stops when visiting home were always In-N-Out.
I am planning to make these tonight. It doesn’t specify the pan but the pictures look like cast iron. Do you have a recommendation on the skillet used? I will buy a cast iron one today if I need to!
Sorry I just saw this comment! Any nice heavy skillet will work, I just love any reason I get to use a cast iron skillet. The crust on the sear is so good and it keeps heat well. One of my favorite kitchen tools!
There just happened to be a cast iron skillet on sale at the grocery store that day!! I made it and it was amazing. I haven’t had In-N-Out in years but it was so similar, I can’t say enough good things about this recipe. Everything was perfect and I will be making this again and again!
YAY! I am so glad to read this! You totally just made my day!! 🙂 I’m so glad you enjoyed it, everyone deserves In-N-Out in their lives.
Mmm, I love those burgers. It’s been awhile since I’ve had one though.
Now is the time to make some 😉
I really want to try In and Out. We don;t have them in my area 🙁
Try this recipe! It is identical except for the bun. 🙂
Living on the West Coast In-N-Out is my favorite non-health food. It’s so yummy. Your burger looks pretty darn tasty too!
Your burger looks amazing….gosh now I am hungry! We will be making these!
Oh, I may have to try this! In n Out burgers are one of Chuck’s and my must-eats when in CA. As much as our DC friends claim Five Guys is just as good, it IS NOT.
Oh Molly, I need you to try it. I know you would be totally honest about it. Then you can make some for Monica, I think she had some when she came out for conference. But I love spreading the word about In N Out. Forget Five Guys or Ray’s!
Molly Pissula Five Guys is way better than McDonalds, Burger King, Jack and the Box. PERIODT. So yeah! Don’t hate! And I know some people can agree that they are way better than McDonalds, Burger King, Jack and the Box.
You are amazing for sharing this, it looks SO good. Can’t wait to try!
I have never had an In and Out burger. It does look like a burger my husband would really enjoy.
Seriously looks better than the original! I’ve seen so many delicious In n Out burgers but never have had one.
I hope you get to try one someday! They’re amazing!
Wow That looks so amazing. We don’t have in n out here in Canada, but these? Need to come here asap. These look incredible. I’m starving now.
You need to come visit us in California!
Show More Comments