RECIPE for an imitation In-N-Out Burger “Animal Style” Recipe



Here’s a random but cool recipe to try in case you’re fixin’ for some In-N-Out Burger but live nowhere near one. Its courtesy of Leigh Anne Wilkes of YourHomeBasedMom. And one quick note though, be sure to make the patties a little smaller if you want the “true” In-N-Out feel.


2 pounds ground chuck (60%)
4 Hamburger buns (if making doubles; 8 buns if making singles)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large onions
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
1 cup shredded iceburg lettuce
4-8 slices tomato
8 slices American cheese
Black pepper


1. Heat oil in pan and add onions. Cover onions and cook 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; add 1/2 cup water. Allow water to cook out. Set onions aside; they can be made several days ahead of time and refrigerated.

2. Mix together mayo, ketchup, relish and vinegar in a bowl and set aside.

3. Heat griddle and lightly brush with vegetable oil. Toast buns on griddle, split side down. After buns are toasted golden brown spread each bottom bun with 1 tablespoon of mayo mixture. Top with tomato and lettuce.

4. Form meat into 8 patties about 4 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick. Season both sides of hamburger patties with salt and pepper and cook on griddle for 3-5 minutes. Spread 1 1/2 teaspoons of mustard on the top, uncooked side of each patty and flip. Top patty with cheese and allow to cook until desired doneness.

5. Add hamburger to bun and top with caramelized onion.

Personal Input From Leigh Anne Wilkes

You start with the secret sauce – a combination of mayo, ketchup, pickle relish and a little white vinegar.

You must have the sauce. I use to order my burger without the sauce because I can be a bit of a plain jane. For years I ordered my burgers “dry” – that means only meat and the bun. Yes, I know, boring. But once I tried the sauce, I have never gone back!

Next I made the caramelized onions that go on top – unfortunately my photos for that got deleted – oops! Finely chop your onion and then cook them in vegetable oil. 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 h ave started to brown and caramelize and cook for about 5 more minutes. Add in 1/2 C water and simmer until the water evaporates. These can be made ahead of time and set aside.

Next you will want to toast your buns. This is one of the things I love about an In-N- Out Burger – the buns are toasted. 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.

Then spread a tablespoon of the special sauce on the bottom bun.

Set these aside and it’s time to cook the burgers. The recipe calls for ground beef chuck (at least 60% lean) This is different than regular ground beef.

I made my patties thicker than In-N-Out does so if you want a more authentic experience, make then thinner.
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 and I just couldn’t bring myself to do that so I used Tillamook Cheddar Cheese. You decide how authentic you want to be.

Cook to your desired doneness.

Top the buns you have set aside with lettuce and tomato. Add the hamburger patty and top that with your 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.

Yea, I’m a happy camper! In-N-Out whenever I want. Maybe you could even eat it sitting in your car.

This recipe originally appeared as In-N-Out Burger Copycat Recipe on


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