In-N-Out Style Burgers

In-N-Out Style Burgers

In-N-Out are undoubtedly some of the very best burgers around anywhere. Frequently the subject of fierce discussion and debate — which often devolve into coastal tribalism; these burgers have acquired a loyal, devoted following who travel far and wide for their fix. 

But few know how simple they are to make at home! Ok, not exactly the same. Who has perfectly formed beef patties lying around at home waiting to be grilled and topped with melted cheese and grilled onions? We don’t even try making the famed Double-Double. We make our patties larger than the ones at the restaurant, those perfect discs of ground meat which mysteriously never seem to shrink or deform. So a Double-Double would be well over a 1/2 pound of meat per burger, more than anyone in our family needs. We stick to the single cheeseburger model, with burger patties varying on each person’s specific preferences (making them too big/small will also lead to cooking issues, so it’s best to try and keep around the 1/4 pound mark per patty. Making burgers at home is a little messier, but if done right, no less satisfying. The key takeaway here is that you can recreate the taste, and make an extremely satisfying In-N-Out like burger in the comfort of your own kitchen!

Like many young high school or college students, In-N-Out was one of my first jobs, and while they never divulged the full recipe (the company was always notoriously secretive about their food), I was able to pick up enough clues to recreate the “secret sauce!” I’m sure it’s not the exact same recipe, but making something just as delicious is a lot easier than you’d think…

Suffice to say the key to this recipe is the sauce. That special tangy, smooth, creamy sauce spread atop the buns. And again, it isn’t the great mystery you’d think it’d be. Mayo, Ketchup, a splash of mustard, corninchorns/gherkins/sweet pickle, vinegar, and you’re off to the races. 

The other key, naturally is the beef. We use ground sirloin, but ground chuck – or a hybrid will work just as well. Don’t bother doing too much to the meat, just dry off excess moisture, form into small balls (larger than a golf ball, but smaller than a tennis ball), mould into flat patties with a small thumbprint to prevent excess shrinkage, season liberally with salt and pepper, and slap onto scorching hot pan (we use a heavy cast iron pan, which you really can’t go wrong with). You can of course do this on an outdoor grill for a more flame-grilled flavor.

The bun is also an essential component – we use brioche buns – but any thin, light bun is key to recreating the In-N-Out feel. 

Finally, the cheese — we use sharp cheddar. Not 100% sure this is what they use, but it’s awfully close. Either that or American. Simply place the slices over the patty, once it’s been flipped, cover with lid or other such item (can use a bowl over the pan as well)

In & Out Style Burgers

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American, Burgers


  • Cast Iron Pan


  • 1 lb Ground Beef Sirloin is best, but chuck or hybrid works as well
  • 4 Brioche buns
  • 2 tbsp Ketchup
  • 1 tbsp Cornichorns
  • 1 tbsp Yellow mustard
  • 4 leaves Lettuce
  • 1/2 Yellow Onions thinly sliced
  • 4 slices Cheddar cheese American or any other melty cheese works as well


  • Preheat Cast Iron pan
  • Split meat into 4 and mould into patties
  • Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of patties
  • Mix sauce ingredients together
  • Pour olive oil in pan
  • Add patties to hot pan. Press down to ensure even sear
  • Cook on one side for 5 minutes
  • Flip patty, add sliced cheese to meat
  • Toast buns in toaster or toaster oven (can also do in pan)
  • Spread sauce on toasted buns and start building the burgers! Meat, lettuce, tomatoes and onions are great, but customize to each person's preference


Recipe is for a single 1/4lb burger. It should be enough, but if feeling especially hungry can add two patties to one burger bun to imitate the iconic Double Double! 
Keyword Burgers