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 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!! 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 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!
If you prefer not to enjoy this 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
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!