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Perfect In-N-Out Burger Double Double Animal Style

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Missing your favorite burger during these trying times? Try this spot on Perfect In-N-Out Burger Double Double Animal Style hack to satisfy your cravings! For more great recipe favs see my Foodie page.

Perfect In-N-Out Burger: Double Double Animal Style

In-N-Out is a California based institution. If you’ve had it, you know. If you haven’t, you’re missing out. Unfortunately, if you don’t live in California, Arizona, New Mexico, or a very small segment of Utah or Texas then you likely won’t get a taste of these fabled hamburgers. Until now!

Fortunately for you, my husband has been experimenting with homemade In-N-Out burger recipes and he’s finally perfected it. My daughter even prefers the homemade version over the real In-N-Out.

If you didn’t know, In-N-Out is also famous for its (not so) Secret Menu items. One of the most famous items is the Double Double Animal Style burger. It comes with two beef patties that have been mustard-fried, American cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, grilled onions, and extra spread on a toasted bun.

This is the creation that my husband has mastered. There are a couple of tweaks in here because, why not! If you can improve on perfection then there’s no reason not to! Here is our copycat In-N-Out Burger version of this cult classic treat.

Perfect In-N-Out Burger: Double Double Animal Style

You can skip the commentary and tips and go to the recipe card at the end of the post. Let’s talk about tips and tricks first!

The Spread:

It is actually called “spread” at In-N-Out. Think of it as your typical burger sauce that you commonly find at burger joints like Shake Shack and others, as well as on a McDonald’s Big Mac. This spread is real simple to make.

DIY in-n-out spread sauce, DIY big mac sauce, DIY special sauce for hamburgers
  • 2/3 part Mayonaise
  • 1/3 part Ketchup + Sweet Pickle Relish
  • Stir to combine
DIy big mac sauce, Hamburger special sauce

You really want to go by looks on this. Once it hits that pink-ish color, you’re there.

The Onions:

Slice ½ or a whole onion depending on how many burgers you are making. Make it a real rough dice. You don’t want them finely chopped or diced.

how to caramelize onions for hamburgers,

Add the onions and a little olive oil to a frying pan and heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally so they don’t burn.

caramelizing onions

Once the onions start carmelizing and cooking down, add a little water and stir and continue cooking until it’s a real brown, soft, gooey, mess.

the best caramelized onions,

Think of it kind of like an onion jam. Set aside.

The Meat:

In-N-Out makes their burgers in 2oz patties. On the Double-Double there are two patties, so a ¼ pound per burger total. Now here is the first tweak on the recipe. If you’re going to make it at home and you’re going to make it even better, you might as well make it bigger!

Meatball for hamburger patties, how to make thin burgers

We use 1/3 of a pound per burger, so two 3.33oz patties. Roll each 3.33oz burger into a small meatball. Now, smash it down on a cutting board or baking pan to make it nice and thin. You’ll want it to be about the size of your burger buns.

how to make smash burgers

The difference between these burgers and other “smash burgers” like Five Guys or Shake Shack is that they smash the burger before placing it on the grill or pan. The other guys place the meatball on the pan and then smash it while cooking. It really makes a different texture and flavor so if you want the real In-N-Out experience then press those burgers first.

How to make thin hamburgers, smash burgers at home

Once you have your burgers smashed season one side only with a little salt and fresh ground pepper. Since the burgers are so thin you will only need to season one side.

Add mustard to hamburger patties, season hamburgers with mustard before cooking, in-n-out secret meat seasoning

Heat a non-stick frying pan or griddle over med to med-high heat. Place the burgers seasoned side down in the pan and then spread some plain yellow mustard on the uncooked side of each patty. This is one of the secrets to Animal Style. Yes, they are mustard fried, and they are delicious!

pan fried cheeseburgers, in-n-out cheeseburgers

Once the burgers are done on one side, flip them over and add the slices of cheese to each patty. When the cheese just starts to soften and a portion of the grilled onions to one patty. This will be the bottom patty on your completed burger. Cook until the cheese is melted and the burger is done. It does not take long since the patties are so thin. Watch carefully so you don’t overcook them.

Assembling the Burger!

Toast your hamburger buns however you choose, on your pan or griddle, in your oven, toaster oven, etc. In-N-Out uses plain white bread hamburger buns but another one of our tweaks is that we like to use fresh Brioche hamburger buns from our local grocer’s bakery. Huge upgrade.


In-N-Out dresses their burger from the bottom up so all of your condiments will be under your hamburger patties on the bottom bun. First, you want to add the spread to your toasted buns. The Animal Style has extra spread so you want to add spread to both bun halves. We choose to keep it a little lighter on the spread and only dress the bottom bun.

Remember all of this goes on the bottom bun. Add four sliced dill hamburger chips/pickles on top of the spread. Then add the iceberg lettuce. In-N-Out cuts the lettuce into triangles and adds them facing up, like a little lettuce bowl. Then add two slices of Roma tomatoes. Stack the top patty on top of the patty with the grilled onions. Stack the two patties on top of the tomatoes. Top it off with the top burger bun and you’re ready to dig in!

Want it Spicy?

My husband really enjoys eating spicy food so there’s one more tweak that he adds to his Double-Double Animal Style. Another secret menu item is chopped chilies! Chopped chilies are just sliced pickled banana pepper rings that you can find on the pickle aisle at your grocery store. Add those to the lettuce, tomato, pickle mix in your burger stack for a spicy kick!

MAKE AHEAD: Place single servings in an airtight container and keep it in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. 
FREEZER: Place in an airtight container or freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost in a microwave or in the refrigerator overnight. Bake on 350 for 25 minutes or microwave for up to 3-5 minutes on high until done.

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In-N-Out Burger Double Double Animal Style

Create the perfect classic In-N-Out style burger at home. Get the flavor just right with our tips and tricks!
Servings: 1 burger
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Calories: 806


  • lb ground beef, divided
  • 2 American Cheese Slices
  • 1 Plain burger Bun, we used Brioche buns becase we like them better
  • ½ Onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Plain Yellow Mustard
  • Mayonaise
  • Ketchup
  • Sweet Pickle Relish
  • Sliced Dill Hamburger Pickle Chips
  • Iceberg lettuce cut into triangles
  • Sliced Roma Tomato
  • Pickled Sliced Banana Pepper Rings
  • Salt
  • Pepper


The Spread:

  • Add 2/3 part Mayonaise, 1/3 part Ketchup and 1/3 Sweet Pickle Relish to a small bowl.
  • Stir to combine. The sauce should look pink when blended. Set aside.

Grilled Onions:

  • Heat a frying pan over med-high heat.
  • Roughly dice 1/2 onion and add them to the pan with a little olive oil.
  • Stir occasionally until the onions start caramelizing.
  • Add a little water to the onions and cook down until they are brown. Set aside.

Burger Patty:

  • Heat frying pan on medium to med-high heat.
  • Take the divided ground beef and roll them into meatballs.
  • Smash the ball down to make it a thin patty.
  • Season with salt and pepper on one side of the patty only.
  • Place burgers seasoned side down into the pan.
  • Brush yellow mustard on the patty.
  • When burgers are done on one side flip them over and add slices of American cheese to them.
  • When the cheese just starts to soften add a portion of the onions to one patty. This will be the bottom patty of your burger. Cook until the cheese is melted and the burger is done.
  • Stack the other patty on top of the patty with the grilled onions. Set aside.
  • NOTE: Watch the burgers carefully not to overcook them. The patties are thin they will cook fast.

Assembling the Burger:

  • Toast the hamburger bun in the oven or pan.
  • Dress the burger from the bottom bun up. Add spread to the bottom and top bun.
  • Add 4 pickles on top of the spread.
  • Add lettuce on top of pickles.
  • Add Roma tomatoes on top of lettuce.
  • Add both patties and top bun.
  • To give the burger some kick add pickled pepper rings.


Serving: 1burger | Calories: 806kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 59g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 27g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 149mg | Sodium: 1018mg | Potassium: 597mg | Sugar: 6g | Calcium: 541mg | Iron: 5mg

The nutrition info provided is only an estimate. See my nutrition disclaimer for more info on how the data is collected for recipes.

COURSE :dinner
CUISINE :American
cheeseburger:copycat in-n-out burger:double cheeseburger:double-double animal style:in-n-out burger
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And that’s it! Now go enjoy that legendary In-N-Out Double-Double Animal Style burger no matter where you live!

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double double animal style in-n-out burger, cheeseburger

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