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.
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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!
In n Out is one of the things I miss over here in the UK – animal style burgers were always so good and yours looks just as amazing!
Thanks Sarah! I hope you try the recipe, you’ll feel like you’re back in CA enjoying it again!
Man I wish I could have hamburgers. That looks so good.
This is my sons absolute favorite fast food burger! 🙂
Oh my goodness that’s a burger! Reminds me of the Dagwood Blondie comic strip from my youth. 🙂
I LOVED reading Dagwood! His sandwiches always looked crazy!
There is no In N Out near me. That looks absolutely delicious! My family is a huge burger fan, I need to try this.
The best recipes make the extra steps worth it. This burger sounds incredible!
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.
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.
I heard that putting mustard on the beef was one of In and Out’s secrets. I must say, I don’t eat beef but those burgers look great!
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!
AHHH Thank you for posting this! We just moved away from In n’ Out and I am craving it bad!
Animal Style? How have I not heard of this before. My hubby is going to be in heaven!
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! 🙂
Oh wow! This burger looks amazing! I know my hubby would LOVE to have one. I will definitely have to try this!
This cheeseburger looks SO GOOD! My mouth is seriously watering!
OMG! This looks sooooo good! Nicely done!
that burger looks yummy. I don’t eat meat but I am still salivating over here
That is a huge compliment! Thanks!
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
Shauna, you have to go try it there too! It is so good!
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!
Yay! Please try it!
In-n-Out Burgers are amazing! I cannot wait to make my own at home!
Oh my! DIY In N Out? This could be very dangerous! I am blessed to live near three In N Outs, but I still love cooking at home.
Isn’t it the best? I love their food 🙂
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!
I’ve seen this pic about 4 times today and can’t stop drooling. We have no in and out here so I have to make this!
Wow, you saw it in multiple places?! That is exciting! Please do try it, you’ll understand the hype!
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.
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.
This burger looks so yummy. Thanks for the recipe, I can’t wait to make some In-N-Out burgers.
That looks absolutely delicious. My burgers look nothing like that.
Yum, that is one big burger! I bet it’s amazing, juicy and fresh!
Yours looks spectacular. I am so hungry….
I love In-N-Out . I usually get the Animal Style. I’ll need to use this recipe and see if I can make it.
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!
Awesome! I hope you guys totally make it!
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.
Hahaha Toni, you’re awesome. Thanks for the kind words!
Ohhhhh man this looks AMAZING! I always try to make it there whenever I’m in California or Arizona since we don’t have them here in the PNW but I’ve never made one at home. So. Much. Yum.
If you try it you’ll dance in your chair while eating it if you’re anything like me 🙂
I have never eaten at In and Out Burger, but have heard they are delicious. I truly think your Copycat looks better tha the original!
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.
Yup! They are JUST THAT GOOD!
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!
My husband grew up on the west coast and LOVES In-n-Out! This is such a fun idea that would be so perfect for him.
Wow does this burger look amazing! I love yellow melty cheese on my burgers too so this is really appealing!
I have never actually had in-n-out before. This sounds really tasty though.
That may be a blessing too! You don’t know what you’re missing!
I don’t think we have In N Out in my area. =( At least I have this awesome recipe, though. Thanks!
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.
That’s probably why I hear people talk about how awesome their food is! They never freeze it!
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.
Looks amazing. The mustard on the raw side was a surprise as I’ve never seen this but I am excited to try it!
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.
I’ll have to share this with my husband. He always orders Animal Style at In and Out!
Oh I will be sharing this with my brother! He is obsessed with In-N-Out but now that he lives in South Carolina he doesn’t get to enjoy it very often
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)
We have an In-N-Out about 5 minutes away but the line is always super long, glad I can make them at home now! 🙂
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!
Wow, yours looks even better than the original In-&-Out burger, way to go Sabrina! If my husband has it his way I’d be making these every night! Looks like a delicious recipe Sabrina!
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! 😉
Awesome!! I hope you guys love it!
This looks fantastic, another hit! Well done!
These are insane!! You would have the happiest guests ever when you served these 🙂
Haha I know right? They were so good we were giggling while eating. We’re such food nerds.
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!
Oh they would love these!!
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.
Awesome! I have to say the method for the onions and the sauce alone is so good. Kenji is amazing 🙂
Agreed, I used to live right by an In and Out and now we are so far away. This may help with my cravings!
Looks completely amazing, especially compared to the poor actual In-N-Out burger…
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!
“Cemented it together”, lol!
Haha, it did! I wanted to give it a primping session but I was too late!
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.
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!