Copycat Recipe: Go Animal Style with an In-N-Out Double Double

We may not have an In-N-Out Burger in Houston yet, but that doesn't mean you can't take a walk on the wild side at home.

Check out how to make the juicy, oozy, gooey, mustard-grilled and secret-sauce-topped Animal Style Double-Double burger. (Hopefully, this can tide us over until one shows up in our hometown...and prevent us from crying on the morning news.)

First, some Pre-Production Tips:

The Meat: Buy a good-quality chuck steak with a nice amount of fat. Pick a steak with a ton of marbling and either grind it yourself at home or ask the butcher to grind it for you on the spot (to ensure the meat is fresh). The secret to perfecting the patties is spreading one side of the burgers with yellow mustard before flipping and cooking on a hot (cast-iron) skillet.

The Cheese: Get real, thickly sliced American cheese fresh from the deli.

The Toppings: Buy good-quality, ultra-fresh produce: fresh iceberg lettuce, leaves torn to fit the bun; a plump Hothouse tomato, cut into ¼ inch slices; a sweet onion, chopped and caramelized, using water to steam and keep them soft; and your favorite dill pickle chips.

The Bun: Rumor has it INO uses a sponge dough with shortening baked in; try making your own using this recipe (but making them a bit larger) or buy your favorite brand (suggestion: Arnold's), then bake to darken and set on an oiled griddle to toast the insides.

The Spread: Making a homemade Animal Style sauce couldn't be easier; we'll use ketchup, mayo, pickle relish, vinegar and sugar.

The Wrap: Wrap the burger halfway in parchment paper to lock in juices and make the last few bites that much better.

Ingredients recipe adapted from Serious Eats *yields two double burgers

  • ½ lb chuck w/ good marbling, freshly ground
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp + 2 tsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp ketchup
  • 2 tsp sweet pickle relish
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp distilled white vinegar
  • 2 soft hamburger buns
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 dill pickle chips
  • 2 slices ripe tomato
  • 2 leaves fresh iceberg lettuce
  • ¼ cup yellow mustard
  • 4 slices deli-cut real American cheese

    To Make Your Burgers:

    Brown onions:

    In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tsp oil over medium-high heat until simmering. Add chopped onions and ½ tsp salt. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions caramelize and turn brown, about 15 minutes. To make onions saucy, stir in 1 tsp water, simmering until the water has evaporated. Repeat the process, adding water and simmering about 3 times, until onions are soft and dark brown. Remove from pan and set aside.

    Meanwhile, make the "secret" sauce by combining the mayo, ketchup, relish, sugar and vinegar.

    Preheat toaster oven to 400 degrees.

    Place closed buns in toaster for 2 minutes until slightly browned. Add ½ tsp oil to skillet and bring to medium-high heat. Add buns face-down and toast until browned and crisp, about 1 minute. Set aside and cover to keep warm.

    Form ground meat into four portions, about 2 oz each, using damp hands to press into thin patties (about 4 inch diameter). Season generously with salt and pepper.

    Heat a cast-iron skillet to medium-high heat and add ½ tsp oil, swirling to coat. When oil begins to smoke, add patties, cooking until burgers are crusted and well browned on first side, about 2½ minutes.

    Before flipping, use a spoon to spread 1 tbsp of mustard onto the raw top side of each patty. Flip patties and cook, mustard side down, for another minute.

    Top each patty with a slice of cheese and let steam for 30 seconds. Divide onion mixture onto 2 patties and stack the other two patties directly on top of each, creating 2 double burgers with onion mixture in the middle.

    Spread the bottom half of each toasted bun with the secret sauce and top with 4 dill pickles, 1 slice of tomato and 1 leaf of lettuce. Add burger stacks on top of the lettuce and cover with top bun.

    Wrap halfway in parchment paper and be ready to dive into your juicy monster of a burger like an animal.


    And in case you missed them, check out our copycat instructions for Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits.

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    Brooke Viggiano is a contributing writer who is always looking to share Houston's coolest and tastiest happenings with the Houston Press readers.
    Contact: Brooke Viggiano