This copycat In N Out Burger recipe may just be better than the real thing! Give it a try and see!
I grew up with a mother who was born and bred in California and thus a huge fan of In-N-Out Burgers. I was raised in Wisconsin, a state with no In-N-Out within a 1,000 miles or more. It wasn’t until I was an adult myself on a trip to the west coast that I experienced my first In-N-Out burger. From that time forward anytime I am in a state with an In-N-Out, my internal hamburger radar manages to find one.
Given the fact that I live in Oregon I was pretty excited when I ran across a copycat recipe. Now, I know there are those of you out there that don’t think In-N-Out is so great and I respect that but for you fellow fans, today’s post is for you. I have no idea if this is how they really make their burgers but it is a good burger. In fact, my husband thought this in n out burger recipe was better than the real thing.
- Hamburger. The restaurant uses fresh beef chuck (at least 60 percent lean), no frozen meat. I have used an 80/20 hamburger blend also.
- Buns. Must be buttered and toasted. This is one of things that makes this burger so good.
- Cheese. The restaurant uses American cheese but I have substituted Cheddar Cheese.
- Lettuce. Iceberg Lettuce torn into pieces.
- Pickles. I always leave them off but if you are a pickle lover use dill pickles.
- Salt and Pepper
- Tomato. Fresh, sliced tomato
- Onions. One of my favorite parts of the burger. You are going to caramelize them in some oil!
- Special Sauce. See recipe below.
- Yellow Mustard
The first thing that makes the burger unique is the special sauce.
In N Out Burger Special Sauce Ingredients
One of the most important parts of an In N Out burger is the Special Sauce! It is so easy to make and so delicious that you will want to add it to all of your burgers! It is a combination of:
- Sweet Pickle Relish
- White vinegar
How to caramelize onions
The caramelized onions are an important part of an In n Out Burger!
- Finely chop your onion and add into a frying pan with oil. Stir and saute for a few minutes.
- Cover them and allow them to cook slow for about 30 minutes until they are golden and soft. Watch your heat and don’t let them burn.
- Uncover them once they have started to brown and caramelize and cook for about 5 more minutes uncovered.
- Add in 1/2 C water and simmer until the water evaporates.
These can be made ahead of time and set aside.
How to Make a Copycat In N Out Burger
After you have your In-N-Out Sauce made and your onions caramelized, it is time to start on the other ingredients to make the perfect Copycat In-N-Out burger!
- Toast the Buns. This is one of the things I love about an In-N- Out Burger! Heat up your electric griddle and brush it lightly with some vegetable oil. Place your buns split side down on the griddle and toast until golden brown.
- Form your hamburger patties. I made my patties thicker than In-N-Out, but you can make them thinner for a more authentic experience. Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper to both sides.
- Place your patties on your hot griddle (these hamburgers are not put on a BBQ grill)
- Cook for 3-5 minutes, depending on the thickness of your patty and your desired doneness.
- Spread the patty with 1 1/2 tsp of mustard on the uncooked side and then flip.
- Top the cooked side with a slice of cheese. In-N-Out uses American cheese but I used a nice slice of cheddar. Again, make it with the cheese you love, or use American for an authentic In-N-Out burger!
Assemble your Burger
- After cooking to your desired doneness you are ready to assemble your burger
- Spread some of the burger sauce on your bun.
- Add lettuce, tomato, hamburger patty and caramelized onions.
For a more complete experience you can even put it into a little paper container and pretend you are in California eating the real thing! But checkered paper or not, it will taste like you are there!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I grill the In n Out burger recipe?
The burger will have a different flavor to it if you grill it. The In n Out burger is cooked on a griddle. If you want a more authentic flavor, use a griddle.
What kind of hamburger should I use?
What is Animal Style Double Double?
A popular order at In N Out is the Animal Style Double Double. It has two beef patties, two slices of cheese, special sauce, pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, and caramelized onions, on a toasted bun.
For more delicious burgers try these:
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Copycat In-N-Out Burger Recipe
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil and more for brushing griddle
- 2 large onions finely chopped
- 1/4 cup mayo
- 2 Tbsp ketchup
- 1 Tbsp sweet pickle relish
- 1/2 tsp white vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp mustard
- 2 lbs. ground chuck 60%
- 4 hamburger buns
- dill pickles I left off
- 1 cup iceberg lettuce bun size pieces
- 4-8 slices tomato
- 8 slices American cheese I used cheddar
- Heat oil in pan and add onions.
- Cook onions covered, over medium heat for 30 minutes or until onions begin to turn golden brown and caramelize. Watch them so they don’t burn.
- Remove lid and cook for 5 more minutes and then add 1/2 C water. Allow water to evaporate.
- Set aside, onions can be made several days ahead of time and refrigerated.
- Mix together the mayo, ketchup, relish and vinegar in a bowl and set aside.
- Form meat into 8 patties about 4 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick.
- Heat griddle and lightly brush with vegetable oil.
- Toast the buns on the griddle, split side down.
- After they are toasted golden brown spread the bottom bun with 1 Tbsp of the mayo mixture.
- Top with tomato and lettuce.
- Salt and pepper both sides of hamburger patties and cook on the griddle for 3-5 minutes.
- Spread top of patty with 1 1/2 tsps mustard and flip.
- Top patty with cheese and allow to cook until desired doneness.
- Add hamburger to bun and top with caramelized onion.