Have you ever had the pleasure of visiting the beautiful state of California? We went a couple years ago to see my mother-in-law in Ventura, and had the time of our lives! Everything that you’ve heard about it in books, movies, and television – is completely true. Gorgeous weather, sweeping vistas, sprouts galore, and rubbing elbows with movie stars…

Okay, maybe it was more like standing in line behind them at Magic Mountain, but whatever. For the record, Breckin Meyer is just as cute in person. We had a great time visiting the LA Farmer’s Market and Grand Central Market (very ethnic. Lamb head, anyone?), Pink’s Hot Dogs and all the other cheesy Hollywood stuff, the pier at Santa Monica, and of course no California trip would be complete without a trip to In-N-Out.

They are a small burger establishment, that has a bit of a cult following. And, for good reason. Their menu is limited; burgers, hand-cut fries, and shakes. If you’re looking for a chicken sandwich, salad or a Happy Meal, you won’t find it there. Nothing is frozen – everything is prepared fresh to order. They also have a “secret” menu, with things that are not found on the ordinary menu. One of which, and probably the most popular, is the “Animal Style”. A homemade special sauce similar to Thousand Island, dill pickle slices, lettuce, tomato, cheese, and mustard – which is seared directly onto the burger patty on the grill, and the pièce de résistance, plenty of grilled onions. “Double double” refers to two beef patties, instead of one. In the past few years, they’ve branched out to a couple neighboring states – but nowhere near here! I read their rule of thumb is it has to be within a day’s drive of corporate headquarters?

At any rate, I was in love – ate as many as we could before we had to return to the East coast. We came home, and I turned up pregnant a month or so later. Biggest craving of that pregnancy? You guessed it! Thankfully, the good people at Serious Eats had done a whole writeup about it. I bookmarked it, but never got around to making it. Last week, Maya at Alaska From Scratch posted them and it jogged my memory. I rearranged the menu plan for the week to make room for these burgers, and am so thankful that I did. They were spot on!  Going down in the recipe books for sure. While I can’t wait to get back to California for everything else under the sun, at least I’m not wanting for In-N-Out anymore!


  1. Posted May 4, 2012 at 9:20 AM | Permalink

    Oh no….. My husband would die for one of these. We’ve only recently heard of In-and-Out, so we never knew about these burgers the times we’ve been to cali. (sometimes we’re really clueless! LOL)
    Anyway, I will have to surprise him with these. They look delicious!

  2. Kathi
    Posted May 4, 2012 at 5:56 PM | Permalink

    Great post! One thing though, In-and-Out isn’t just a “small burger establishment”,
    it’s a chain. Still a great burger place though, and I miss it since we moved to NY!

    • Laura
      Posted May 4, 2012 at 8:05 PM | Permalink

      I mentioned that they are now also in neighboring states. A regional chain is still a small burger establishment, in my opinion – compared to it’s competition.

  3. Posted May 4, 2012 at 11:55 PM | Permalink

    I think this might just be the most delicious looking burger I’ve ever seen.

  4. Leigh
    Posted May 6, 2012 at 6:12 PM | Permalink

    I used to eat In-N-Out twice a week went I was at Arizona State. Miss it so desperately living in Atlanta…

  5. Posted May 6, 2012 at 11:45 PM | Permalink

    Thank you for this!! Seriously, I am over 6,000 miles away from an In-N-Out and I have been in a major depression over it (major might be an exaggeration, but I am really sad).

    Can’t wait to surprise my husband with these for dinner one night!

  6. EB
    Posted May 16, 2012 at 3:48 PM | Permalink

    A “Double Double” refers to Double meat/Double cheese. A “Double” is two patties, no cheese.
    You can also order your fries “Well Done”, in which case they will be fried extra crispy.

  7. Kim
    Posted May 17, 2012 at 3:24 AM | Permalink

    i love the animal style and somehow i always end up calling monster style at first lol. I just wanted to let you know that they grill mustard into the patty for the animal style burgers and of course plenty of grilled onions

  8. Posted May 22, 2012 at 1:33 PM | Permalink

    Um, YUM. I need this, like, right now.

  9. Posted June 18, 2012 at 1:56 PM | Permalink

    This is one burger I have been waiting to try! In & Out is not in Canada yet and not even in Seattle as far as I know and I have been dying to try one! Thanks for this great recipe can’t wait!

  10. Elizabeth
    Posted October 6, 2012 at 7:41 AM | Permalink

    We eat burgers a lot at my house, and I am no longer allowed to put them on the menu without this sauce. Thanks for the recipe!

  11. Danielle Strong
    Posted December 29, 2012 at 11:53 PM | Permalink

    I will have to try this sauce next time we have burgers (even though I just live about 5 mins from In & Out). My family love’s their burgers and I have tried to replicate there sauce but it always tastes like it’s missing something. I think it’s the vinegar. Thank you for sharing. Also In &Out is a family owned business not a franchise chain. I don’t know why you were corrected.

    • Laura
      Posted December 30, 2012 at 6:02 PM | Permalink

      Thanks, Danielle! Let me know how you liked it. It’s been so long since I’ve had the original – I forget what it tastes like. Enjoy! 🙂

  12. Donna
    Posted January 28, 2014 at 10:08 AM | Permalink

    I am going to try the Caramelized Onion & Bacon Pizza this weekend; and, that sounds like a game hit also !!!

    Love your receipes !


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