IN-N-OUT BURGER’S | Animal Style Fries

Crispy French Fries topped with American Cheese, Caramelized Onions, and Animal Sauce

by RRR
A basket of Animal Style fries from In-N-Out, featuring a heap of crispy French fries topped with melted cheese, caramelized onions, and a drizzle of creamy sauce, served in a red and white checkered paper tray.

Buns and Beats: The Delicious Drama of East vs. West

The age-old battle between the East Coast and the West Coast. It’s a rivalry that’s as American as apple pie, or should I say, as American as a burger from Shake Shack or In-N-Out? This epic feud stretches from the hip-hop beats of Tupac and Notorious B.I.G. all the way to the fast-food lanes of our favorite burger joints.

Let’s start with the legendary rap rivalry. On one side, you have Tupac Shakur, the poetic powerhouse from the West Coast, known for his sharp lyrics and charismatic presence. On the other side stands the Notorious B.I.G., aka Biggie Smalls, the East Coast’s lyrical genius with a flow smoother than a fresh jar of Skippy. Their feud in the mid-90s defined a generation and, sadly, ended in tragedy, reminding everyone that words and music hold power beyond the speakers.

Shake Shack vs. In-N-Out: More Than Just Burgers

Fast forward to today, and although the coasts have cooled their beef in the hip-hop scene, the grill is still hot in the burger world. Enter Shake Shack from the East, with its modern “roadside” burger stand vibe, cranking out crispy crinkle-cuts and shakes that could make a grown man cry. Then there’s the West Coast champion, In-N-Out, a place so iconic, even its secret menu isn’t a secret anymore. Their classic burgers, fresh ingredients, and palm-tree views give you that Cali vibe without even trying.

Animal Instincts: How In-N-Out’s Fries Became Iconic

Now, speaking of secrets, let’s dive into the lore of In-N-Out’s notorious “Animal Style” fries. For those who haven’t had the pleasure, imagine a bed of freshly-made fries, a mountain of melted cheese, a liberal ladle of grilled onions, and a lavish scoop of that signature house spread. It’s a dish that’s messy, indulgent, and utterly delicious. But what’s the story behind this secret menu superstar?

Legend has it, back in the ’60s, when rebellious teens frequented In-N-Outs (because where else would you hang out?), they’d order their burgers and fries with “everything on them,” which the cooks interpreted as cooking the patties with mustard before topping them with extra spread, pickles, grilled onions, and lettuce. They called it “Animal Style” because, well, it was a wild mess that only the cool kids knew about. Fast forward a few decades, and this not-so-secret menu has taken on a life of its own, becoming a must-try for anyone visiting the West Coast.

East vs. West: Who Reigns Supreme in the Ultimate Showdown of Beats and Burgers?

So, who wins this coast-to-coast rivalry? In the world of rap, we lost two legends too soon to ever declare a victor. In the world of burgers? Well, it might just depend on whether you’re in the mood for a ShackBurger with a concrete (oh, those dense, frozen custard delights) or an Animal Style double-double that’s drippy, cheesy, and oh-so satisfying.

In the end, whether you’re team Tupac or Biggie, Shake Shack or In-N-Out, it’s all about great flavors and fierce loyalty. And isn’t that what makes a rivalry so much fun? It gives us something to talk about, a reason to defend our favorites, and a way to connect with each other—over beats or eats. So, pick a side, or better yet, enjoy both! After all, who says you can’t have your burger and eat it too?

A basket of Animal Style fries from In-N-Out, featuring a heap of crispy French fries topped with melted cheese, caramelized onions, and a drizzle of creamy sauce, served in a red and white checkered paper tray.

In-N-Out's Animal Style Fries

Serves: 6-8 large Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 750 calories 42 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )


  • 1 32 oz. (2lb) bag of regular cut, frozen fries
  • 1 cup Duke’s mayonnaise
  • 6 tablespoons ketchup
  • 4 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • 2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
  • 1 large, sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter-divided
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 8 slices chopped American cheese (about 6 ounces); Kraft Deli Deluxe pref.
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • Salt and cracked black pepper to taste
  • Canola or peanut oil for frying


Prepare the Animal Sauce:

In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise, ketchup, sweet pickle relish, vinegar, yellow mustard, and a pinch of kosher salt. Stir until all the ingredients are well blended. Refrigerate until use.

Caramelize the Onions:

In a large skillet or frying pan, heat the 4 TBL. Of the butter over medium-high heat until the butter is melted and sizzling.

Add the onions to the pan, stirring to coat them in the butter. Sprinkle a little salt over the onions to help draw out moisture and speed up the caramelization process.  Season with cracked black pepper.

Reduce the heat to low or medium-low. The key to caramelizing onions is slow cooking; they should gently simmer and sizzle without burning. Stir the onions occasionally, especially as they begin to brown, to prevent them from sticking to the pan.

If the onions start to stick or burn, add a splash of water to the pan and stir. This will lift the caramelized bits off the bottom of the pan and into the onions. If you like, you can add a pinch of sugar to enhance the natural sweetness of the onions.

Continue cooking the onions for about 15-20 minutes, or until they are deeply browned and caramelized. The longer you cook them, the sweeter and more intense their flavor will be. Remove from heat and set aside.

Make the American Cheese Sauce:

In a medium saucepan, melt 2 TBL. Of the butter over medium heat.

Once the butter is melted, add the flour. Stir continuously for about 1-2 minutes until the mixture is well combined and starts to bubble. This is called a roux and will help thicken the sauce.

Gradually pour in the milk while continuously whisking to avoid lumps. Continue to cook and whisk until the mixture thickens and comes to a simmer. This should take about 3-5 minutes.

Reduce the heat to low. Gradually add the chopped American cheese, a little at a time, stirring continuously until the cheese is completely melted and the sauce is smooth.

Stir in the white pepper and mustard powder. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning if needed.  Keep warm on low heat until use.

Fry the French Fries:

In a deep skillet, add 2 inches of canola oil.  Once the oil comes up to 375F (using a meat thermometer), add the French fries to the fry oil.  Use a kitchen spider or slotted spoon to lower the fries into the oil.  Work in small batches.

Once the fries are golden brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes, remove the fries from the oil and set aside on a drainage rack to drain.  Once the oil comes back up to 375F, drop another small batch of fries into the oil.  Repeat this process until all fries have been fried and are golden brown and crispy.

Assemble the Animal Fries:

On a parchment lined 1/4 sheet tray (or platter), scatter the fries.  Sprinkle with kosher salt.  Generously spoon the cheese sauce over the fries, sprinkle the caramelized onions over the top and drizzle the Animal Sauce over the top.  Serve immediately

For more super fun recipes, try Red Robin’s Classic Patty Melt & Bennigan’s Monte Cristo


Related Posts

Leave a Comment

Welcome to the official website of Restaurant Recipe Recreations. "Triple R" is a Youtube Channel dedicated to teaching you how to prepare your favorite, signature dishes from the most popular restaurants.