In-N-Out Double Double – Animal Style

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 The burger that has become a legend, the In-N-Out Double Double – Animal Style

The burger that has become a legend, the In-N-Out Double Double - Animal Style, with a homemade fry sauce, caramelized onions and mustard grilled patty. dinnerthendessert.com
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. 
The truth is I live about three blocks from the closest In-N-Out. And they are all as sweet as the shakes they sell. And the lines move quick. And the food is fresh. And they give my little ones stickers and hats. So why did I go through the effort of making this copycat recipe? Well…. A: I am a sucker for a good copycat recipe and B: Kenji from Serious Eats made it which makes me really eager to try it (like the Halal Chicken & Rice).

Kenji is a mad scientist genius and author of the not yet released cookbook The Food Lab which is already a best seller on Amazon even though it is almost a month from being released. Have you ever checked out his recipes? He is amazing and of the dozen or so I have made, I have not been let down a single time. 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, I followed it to the letter (ie, I cooked 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.

Here is a little side by side comparison. Actual In-N-Out on the left, my version on the right. My husband felt bad for the poor In-N-Out burger, he thought it looked deflated. Trust me when I say that even if it does not look advertisement ready, that burger is D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S!!The burger that has become a legend, the In-N-Out Double Double - Animal Style, with a homemade fry sauce, caramelized onions and mustard grilled patty. dinnerthendessert.com
There are quite a lot of steps in the process, so lets get started. I did actually photograph every step, so if you are hitting a snag anywhere in the recipe drop me a comment and I will upload a photo of the step for you. I also have more photos of the onions and sauce, but I am going to post them in the recipe for the Animal Style Fries that I am posting tomorrow.

Form meat into four 2 ounce patties, thin and slightly larger than the size of your bun. They are meant to be 1/4 inch thick. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions and 1/2 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.

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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 1/2 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 1/2 minutes. While they are cooking, spread about a tablespoon of mustard to the raw side. The burger that has become a legend, the In-N-Out Double Double - Animal Style, with a homemade fry sauce, caramelized onions and mustard grilled patty. dinnerthendessert.comFlip and cook the mustard side as well, another minute. The burger that has become a legend, the In-N-Out Double Double - Animal Style, with a homemade fry sauce, caramelized onions and mustard grilled patty. dinnerthendessert.comAdd the sauce to each half of the bun.
From the bottom up: Add four pickles, then one slice of tomato and lettuce. The burger that has become a legend, the In-N-Out Double Double - Animal Style, with a homemade fry sauce, caramelized onions and mustard grilled patty. dinnerthendessert.com
Top each meat patty with a slice of cheese and half the caramelized onions. The burger that has become a legend, the In-N-Out Double Double - Animal Style, with a homemade fry sauce, caramelized onions and mustard grilled patty. dinnerthendessert.comStack two patties together and add on top of the lettuce. Top with top bun. The burger that has become a legend, the In-N-Out Double Double - Animal Style, with a homemade fry sauce, caramelized onions and mustard grilled patty. dinnerthendessert.com
Enjoy! You’ve earned it and it is going to be AMAZING! The burger that has become a legend, the In-N-Out Double Double - Animal Style, with a homemade fry sauce, caramelized onions and mustard grilled patty. dinnerthendessert.com

If you prefer not to enjoy this animal style
1. Use a 1/4 inch thick slice of raw onion instead of caramelized onion
2. No pickles
3. No mustard on the patty

Recipe

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In-N-Out Double Double - Animal Style (Copycat)

  • Yield: 2 burgers
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Course: Main
  • Cuisine: American
The burger that has become a legend, the In-N-Out Double Double - Animal Style, with a homemade fry sauce, caramelized onions and mustard grilled patty. The perfect GOOD fast food burger as decoded by Kenji from Serious Eats.

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 1/2 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, I used local bakery buns)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 dill pickles chips
  • 2 quarter-inch-thick slices ripe tomato
  • 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 (I bought this from my grocer's deli case)

Instructions

Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Form meat into four 2 ounce patties, thin and slightly larger than the size of your bun.
  2. They are meant to be 1/4 inch thick.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.
  4. Add onions and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt to skillet.
  5. Reduce heat to medium low, and cook, tossing and stirring occasionally until onions are well browned, about 15 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  7. Once onions begin to sizzle heavily and appear dry, add 1 tablespoon water to skillet and stir.
  8. Continue cooking until water evaporates and onions start sizzling again.
  9. Repeat process, adding 1 tablespoon of water with each iteration until onions are meltingly soft and dark brown, about 3 times total.
  10. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside while leaving any residual butter in the pan.
  11. To make the burger and animal fry topping: Add mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, sugar, and vinegar to a small bowl and stir to combine.
  12. Place closed buns in preheated oven for 2 minutes until slightly darker and just the slightest bit crispy.
  13. using the butter left behind by the onions, press the buns into the pan and toast for a few seconds until crispy.
  14. If there is no butter left in the pan, add a 1/2 a tablespoon or so to the pan.
  15. Season the patties with salt and pepper.
  16. Preheat pan on high and add the patties to the pan.
  17. Cook without moving until well browned and crusty on first side, about 2 1/2 minutes.
  18. While they are cooking, spread about a tablespoon of mustard to the raw side.
  19. Flip and cook the mustard side as well, another minute.
  20. Add the sauce to each half of the bun.
  21. From the bottom up:
  22. Add four pickles, then one slice of tomato and lettuce.
  23. Top each meat patty with a slice of cheese and half the caramelized onions.
  24. Stack two patties together and add on top of the lettuce.
  25. Top with top bun.

Recipe Notes

The perfect Double Double, Animal Style as decoded by the genius that is Kenji from Serious Eats.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 2 burgers, Amount per serving: calories

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert, Inc.

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Dinner then Dessert TIPS Make the sauce and the onions the day before. I also cut and soak my potatoes the night before. It eliminates a lot of the starch that prevents the perfect crispy fry. And if the method is good enough for Balthazar NYC and their perfect fries, it is good enough for me!The burger that has become a legend, the In-N-Out Double Double - Animal Style, with a homemade fry sauce, caramelized onions and mustard grilled patty. dinnerthendessert.com

The burger that has become a legend, the In-N-Out Double Double - Animal Style, with a homemade fry sauce, caramelized onions and mustard grilled patty. The perfect GOOD fast food burger as decoded by Kenji from Serious Eats.
The burger that has become a legend, the In-N-Out Double Double - Animal Style, with a homemade fry sauce, caramelized onions and mustard grilled patty. The perfect GOOD fast food burger as decoded by Kenji from Serious Eats.
The burger that has become a legend, the In-N-Out Double Double - Animal Style, with a homemade fry sauce, caramelized onions and mustard grilled patty. The perfect GOOD fast food burger as decoded by Kenji from Serious Eats.

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Comments

  1. In N Out is always our first stop on the west coast, but since we don’t have any here in the east, we have no choice than to make our own.

    1. When I was in college on the East Coast I did the exact same thing every time I came home for visits! We went to the one right by LAX so there was no time wasted!

    1. I know, right? Poor burger. I wasn’t even trying to make it look bad but when I tried to adjust it the melted cheese had cemented it together as it was and it would tear the bun so I had to leave it!

  2. Wow…and YUM! I am SO impressed by your amazing looking replica. I lived near an In-and-Out for 12 years, and now we haven’t had one near us for 3 years. But your tutorial might just help me to get my In-and-Out fix for the first time in a long time.

  3. A double-double?! Oh. My. Goodness! I’m almost afraid to share this with our boys; what an animal-style sandwich indeed! That said, this looks other-worldly mouthwatering!! Nice job!

  4. Oh my goodness, I can’t wait to try this! We are from California and miss those tasty burgers! Thanks for sharing, I know this will get my son home from college for a weekend visit! 😉

    1. Yup! I had finished the whole meal prepping and cooking in the time it took my husband to get there and go through the drive through. We only live 3 minutes away from it!

    1. Yay! I hope he loves it! We did side by side taste comparisons and the only flavor difference was the bun (in n out has a company make theirs for them so they are not readily available)

    1. That is part of the signature to the animal style. If you were to order a normal burger, not “animal style” they don’t do the mustard grill part.

    1. Yeah they have a rule that in order to have a location they have to be within a single day’s drive from the distribution center here in CA. They don’t freeze food (ever, the locations have no freezers) so it is both cool and sucks for people further away.

        1. Yup! They never freeze it and there aren’t any additives. Buns are baked fresh for them, beef is fresh. When you are in the drive through you can see them peeling fresh potatoes… all quality.

  5. I know my boyfriend has always wanted to try one of those burgers. We’ll have to try this out and make some for ourselves!

  6. The last time we were in Cali, I had an In N Out burger. Holy moly. I have never tasted a burger so fantastically amazing. Ever.

  7. Sabrina you need a warning label on your blog post ‘Warning the deliciousness of this post may make you crazy’! I’m completely starving now and nothing will do except one of this amazing burgers! This is really fantastic.

  8. We absolutely love In and Out burger! It’s so delicious! This is actually the husband’s favorite item there! I need to show him this recipe! He can recreate it all on his own now!

  9. I am a west coast girl that has grown into an In N Out loving lady learning the secret behind Animal Style is equal to discovering a rare hidden gem. I bet your version is even better than the original and that is saying a lot.

    1. You’re awesome Marcie! When I found the recipe I did a serious happy dance because Kenji got super scientific about figuring out all the details.

  10. Oh. My. Goodness. We don’t have In and Out (I’m pretty sure) here in Atlanta, but I ate there all the time when I was in college in Utah! I’m going to have to make these asap to fulfill that IN and Out hole in my heart!

    Paige

  11. I have not been to this place, but I will gladly say how delicious this burger looks! Definitely a must try! Maybe I’ll attempt to make it with your recipe!

  12. you know, they just opened an in and out near us, but I haven’t been yet… This burger sounds amazing. I will be giving the recipe a try

  13. I have never been to an In-N-Out, they don’t have them here, so thanks for the copycat recipe idea I need to try this out! 🙂

    1. Yup, I’ve made it both ways and can’t even explain how the mustard affects it. I just know with mustard tastes SO much better!

  14. We don’t have any In-N-Out places near us but my friends RAVE about them. This sure looks delicious and we love to grill. Will have to try it soon.

  15. In-N-Out causes quite a stir. I know how incredible their burgers are, but yours does look even better. Can’t wait to try it.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

    1. 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!

  18. 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!

    1. 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!

      1. 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!

        1. 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.

  19. 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!

    1. 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.

  20. 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!