In-N-Out Burger, Homestyle!

in-n-out burger
Image via Kelly Pugliano

There are some foods that are quite famous and folks will go out of their way – I’m talking driving hours -just to sink their teeth into the deliciousness. One of those dishes is the In-N-Out burger. It makes me crave a bite every time I see a picture or hear someone get lost in their description of the tasty patty between two buns, even though I would have to fly in a plane for hours just to do so. Yes, I must confess, I have never had an In-N-Out burger.

So, you can only imagine my delight when reading the July/August 2012 issue of The Food Network Magazine (one of my all-time favorite reads) and there on page 80 was the glorious burger! They have a special page called “Copy That!” which is dedicated to uncovering “secret” recipes from favorite eateries. Well, not uncovering, but testing this and that until they get pretty close to the real thing. I could finally have an In-N-Out burger!

The process is a bit time consuming, but the results were out of this world! If the homemade version tasted this good, I can’t imagine what the actual burger tastes like. Maybe one day I will find out, but for now, this will do just fine.

Homestyle In-N-Out Burger

  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil (I used Canola oil)
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped (I used sweet Vidalia)
  • Kosher salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 4 burger buns, split
  • ¼ cup sliced dill pickles
  • ¾ cup iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • 4-8 thin slices of tomato
  • ¼ cup yellow mustard
  • 8 slices American cheese
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp. ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp. sweet pickle relish
  • ½ tsp. white vinegar

To Make:

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat; add onions and ¾ tsp. of kosher salt. Cover with lid and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until onions are soft and golden brown. If they are cooking too quickly – burning to the bottom – reduce heat to low. Remove lid after the 30 minutes, cook at medium-high heat until onions caramelize. Add ¼ cup of water and scrape up any brown bits that have stuck to pan – this is where all the flavor is! Simmer until water evaporates and then set aside in a glass bowl to cool. 

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In a separate bowl, prepare the special sauce. Mix mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, and vinegar. Set aside.

Shape beef into 8 burgers, ½ inch thick. Set aside.

Heat a griddle or fry pan to medium heat with a light coating of oil. Toast buns split-side down. Remove and set on platter. Spread each side of bun with 1 Tbsp. special sauce mixture. Top with a few sliced pickles, lettuce, and tomato. Add another tablespoon of sauce mixture.

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Season both sides of burger patty with salt & pepper. Place in hot pan or griddle and cook 3 minutes. Spread 1 ½ tsp. of mustard on uncooked side of each patty. Flip burger and when burger reaches a safe temp of 160 degrees, top with more mustard and slice of American cheese.

Top burgers with caramelized onions and transfer to buns cheese/onion side up. Top with other side of bun. Take a big bite!

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This burger was so incredible! Well worth the process of putting it together. Have you ever had an In-N-Out burger? Does this recipe come close? I would love to know!

*recipe adapted from “Copy That!” Food Network Magazine, July/August 2012, pg.80

What do you think?

In-N-Out Burger, Homestyle!

Kelly Pugliano is a wife, mom to a soon-to-be-college student and one-not- far- behind, freelance writer, photographer and a lifelong foodie who shares her love of cooking and baking through photographs good enough to eat. Seeming to be a permanent fixture in her Upstate NY kitchen, you will often find her creating tried & true recipes from family archives or testing out new delights found by reading countless cooking magazines, watching Food Network or scouring Pinterest. If not behind the ... More

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1 comment

  1. Kahalewai says:

    I’ve had and LOVE In N Out burgers, so I’ll definitely give this a try! If I get a free moment to try soon I’ll let youknow if it’s similar. I would crave them all the time when I was pregnant but couldn’t get to the restaurants… too far away. But they really are the best.

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