Weather: 54 degrees, clear
What I’m listening to:
Beach Boys, Greatest Hits

If this looks or sounds familiar to you, then you’ve been to In-n-Out Burger. When I was young, the only place you could get these was in Southern California. People (myself included) would drive hundreds of miles for these hamburgers. They’re sort of a big deal.

Now you can find them all over California and in several other states. I remember being thrilled when we lived in Arizona and an In-n-Out Burger was built in our town. Although the In-n-Out Burger love grows every year and new stores keep popping up, there aren’t any in Alaska (In-n-Out, if you’re reading this, Alaskans would adore you. Promise.).

I’ve made this tempting homemade version of the only thing I ever order there: Cheeseburger, Animal Style. By the way, it’s not on the menu; it’s on the secret menu. Animal Style is the classic cheeseburger, but with grilled onions instead of raw, and some hidden mustard grilled on the patty.  Amazingness on a bun.

Cheeseburgers Animal Style


Adapted from [Serious Eats|]

Yields: 2 burgers

  • For the Sauce:
  • 2T + 2t mayonnaise
  • 1T ketchup
  • 2t sweet pickle relish
  • 1/2t distilled vinegar
  • 1/2t sugar
  • For the Onions:
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • oil
  • salt
  • water
  • For the Burgers:
  • 1/2lb ground beef, formed into two 1/4lb patties
  • 2T yellow mustard
  • 2 slices American cheese
  • 8 dill pickle chips
  • 1 tomato, thickly sliced
  • Iceburg Lettuce leaves, torn into bun size pieces
  • Hamburger Buns, no seeds, toasted

!To Make the Sauce:

Mix all the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside (or cover and refrigerate until ready to use).

!To Make the Onions:

Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add onions, coat with oil and salt generously. Cook, stirring and tossing often, adding small amounts of water (1T at a time) whenever onions appear to be dried out (you'll need to add water several times). Cook 10-15 minutes until onions are very soft and browned. Set aside.

!To Make the Burgers:

Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Toast the interior of the buns. Place the toasted buns into a 200 degree oven to keep warm.

Season the patties with salt and pepper. Place into hot pan. While they cook on the first side, spread 1T of mustard onto the raw sides of the patties. Flip. Place a cheese slice on each patty. Remove patties from pan when cheese is well melted and burgers are cooked through.

!To Assemble Burgers:

On the bottom bun, spread a generous amount of the sauce. Top with 4 pickle chips followed by tomato and lettuce, then patty. Place the grilled onions directly on top of the cheese. Complete with top bun and serve.


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