Animal Style Burger

Animal Style Burger

What is an Animal Style Burger you ask? If you’ve ever been to an In-N-Out burger joint (locations in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, and Utah) you’ve likely had one. If you haven’t, it’s possible you’ve heard of it, as I have.

This recipe came across my Facebook newsfeed one day and I immediately said “I must make that” and I did. I wanted to find out for myself what the fuss was all about. And I did. Honestly, the ingredients to this burger are all basic ingredients usually or sometimes added to burgers. I think it’s the sauce that makes the difference and the way the burger is cooked (can’t beat that mustard crust) and then there is the assembly.

It seems backwards to me as I’m used to having the lettuce and tomato layered on top of the beef patties. Their way, you layer those items on the bottom. In the end, it doesn’t really matter as it all winds up in the same place, right?

But there is something truly different and wonderful about this burger. Not something you want to have all the time but definitely a treat when you have dinner guests and burgers are warranted. This recipe will set your burgers apart from the one’s next door, for sure.

Bon appétit!

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Animal Style Burger


  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 cup onions, finely chopped
  • kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 4 thin ground beef patties, about 1/2-in thick
  • 2 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 4 slices American cheese
  • 2 white hamburger buns
  • Lettuce, for serving
  • 4 pickle chips
  • cooked frozen french fries, for serving (optional)


  1. Heat 2 tbsp. of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until caramelized, about 20 minutes. If the onions are browning too quickly, turn down the heat and add a splash of water. Set aside onions and wipe the skillet clean.
  2. Meanwhile, make the special sauce. Mix together mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, sugar and vinegar in a small bowl. Season to taste and set aside.
  3. Heat the remaining vegetable oil in the pan over medium-high heat. Season both sides of the hamburger patties with salt and pepper before adding them to the pan. Cook for about 2-3 minutes, until the bottoms have developed a nice seared crust. Spread about 1/2 tsp of yellow mustard on the top (uncooked) side of each patty before flipping. Flip the patties and cook for another minute. Add the cheese slices on top of each patty and cook until the cheese melts.
  4. Top each bottom bun with a heaping tablespoon of the sauce, a tomato slice, pickles and a piece of lettuce. Add a cooked patty to each bun and top each with caramelized onions. Top the onions with another patty each, then top with top bun. Serve with fries (garnished with extra sauce and onions).
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
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