These burgers are so good, they will haunt your thoughts… no doubt about it! As the title suggests, they’re inspired by the famous In and Out burger chain in California.
I’ve heard nothing but how awesome their burgers are, but I’d never had one before this year. And I’ll have to say, they’re everything a fast food burger should be.
I got mine as a lettuce wrap without the bun, so I thought I’d make an at home version the same way. According to the locals, you definitely need to order your burger animal style. From what I’ve worked out, this means with caramelized onions, and of course the secret sauce.
Personally I love the caramelized onions in there because they add so much flavor! Of course the secret sauce doesn’t hurt either as it enhances every bite with drippy amazingness.
I wrote down 2 versions of the secret sauce so you could choose between the two. The first recipe is easier and more authentic to the way it’s actually made, with both pickle relish and ketchup in it. However, I know I like keep the amount of sugar I eat on the low side, so I have another version with tomato paste and diced pickles that’s slightly different in flavor, but still 100% delish!
For this recipe, you want to prepare all your ingredients before grilling the burgers. That way everything is ready to go when those juicy burgers are done. The caramelized onions take the longest, 20-30 minutes, so when I’m in a hurry I skip those. The other way to save some time, is to make double the amount of caramelized onions, and have burgers twice in one week.
The secret sauce is a simple mix of mayonnaise, ketchup, pickle relish, and white wine vinegar. If you avoid all cane sugar, see my alternative recipe for this sauce.
Once the burgers are done…
… pile everything onto 2-3 lettuce leaves.
Then be brave…
… dare to pick it up, take a bite, and let the mess begin!
- 2 yellow onions
- 1 Tablespoon avocado or olive oil
- Sea salt to taste
- 1 pound ground beef, shaped into 4 patties about 1½" thick
- Optional: 4 slices cheese, see notes, omit for dairy free and Paleo
- 8 leaves green leaf lettuce, washed and dried, or iceberg if preferred
- 2 slicing tomatoes, sliced, 10 ounces
- 4 dill pickles thinly sliced
- 2 Teaspoons yellow mustard
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 2 Tablespoons ketchup
- 1 Tablespoon pickle relish
- ½ Teaspoon white wine vinegar
- ¼ cup avocado oil mayonnaise
- 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
- ½ Teaspoon apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 Tablespoon minced dill pickle
- Start by heating a 9" cast iron skillet over medium heat, and while it heats prepare the onions. Cut off both ends, and peel away the tough outer layers. Then cut them in half from the top to the bottom, and lay the halves flat side down on the cutting board. Thinly slice across the rounded top of the onion halves.
- Add the oil to the heated pan along with the sliced onions, and cook over medium or medium-low until the onions become softened and browned, about 20-30 minutes. Season to taste with sea salt and set the onions aside. You will have about 1 cup of caramelized onions.
- Preheat the grill over medium heat until it reaches a steady temperature of 350-400ºF. While the grill heats prepare the burger ingredients and mix together your choice of secret sauce recipes. For the burgers, divide the yellow mustard equally between the 4 patties, about ½ Teaspoon per patty and spread it in a thin layer over one side of the burgers. You want to grill the mustard side down first.
- Grill the burgers for 6-10 minutes per side depending on desired doneness, adding the optional cheese slices halfway through the cooking time when you flip the burgers.
- When the burgers are done to your liking, serve them right away with all the toppings and secret sauce.
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