Copy-Cat In-N-Out Burger and Special Sauce

Grilling season is hear and I am thrilled about it!  My hubby and I got a new grill for Christmas last year and have been LOVING it!

I grew up in California and went back every month for a few weeks to visit once we moved to Utah.  One of the things we loved about going to California was In-N-Out!  Recently, Utah has gotten a couple of their own… but the closest one to us, really isn’t all that close.  I saw this recipe for a Copy-Cat In-N-Out and I immediatly wanted to try it out, especially for the sauce! … To me, it tastes pretty darn close to the real thing!


Copy-Cat In-N-Out Burger

This burger is absolutely delicious and tastes pretty darn close to the real thing!


Special Sauce

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tablespoons Ketchup
  • 1 Tablespoon white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pickle relish
  • 2 teaspoons onion finely minced

remaining ingredients

  • hamburger buns
  • grilled hamburger patties
  • American sliced cheese
  • lettuce
  • tomato sliced
  • onion finely sliced


  • Stir sauce ingredients together until well combined.
  • For the bun, I butter both sides and toast it until butter melts and edges get a little crispy.
  • Smother some sauce on bottom bun.
  • Put on tomato slice.
  • Place lettuce on top on top of tomato.
  • Place patty on top of lettuce.
  • Top the patty with onion and a little more sauce.
  • Place on the bun top and dig in!
Tried this recipe?Tag @nikki_chefintraining in your picture on Instagram so we can see what you have been up to in your kitchen!


recipe from: Jason’s BBQ Adventures

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #chefintraining and/or #chefintrainingblog. I would love to see how these recipes take shape in your kitchens.

Filed under: beef, dinner, ground-beef, sauce

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  1. Nicki

    My husband is from Thousand Oaks, CA and were in IN. All he talks about are In and Out Burgers, Surfing, and Andy Dumps. Took me forever to figure out part of that. LOL He will be very excited over this. Thanks Bunches!!

  2. Mary

    I just had the copy cat In and Out Burger. It was delicious! Thank you so much for posting this up :)

  3. Crystal

    Oh My!!!!! This looks to die for, my mouth is watering! I'm grilling tomorrow!

  4. JH

    Looks good, looks easy. Just wish that there was more info on making a good meat patty.

  5. kaley

    We live in Central America, and one of the things I miss most is In-n-Out!! The first thing I do when I come back to CA for a visit is go get a burger - on the way home from the airport. :) I can't wait to try this recipe!

  6. Tori

    This sounds and sure looks good...what a lovely family you have really enjoy your website.

  7. Lydia

    We're making these for Fathers Day today. Three generations of Dads will be here in a few hrs to enjoy a family favorite! We live in Seattle and all of us wish there was an In-n-Out in the state. Everything is good to go ( I tried the sauce and it's spot on) . Thanks for sharing!

  8. Karen Rinas

    Is there a special way to make the burger?

  9. Carrie R.

    I have always heard how good In-N-Out burgers are, but living in Florida, they are unavailable to us. So when I came across this recipe on Pinterest, I was curious enough to try to it out. Wow, if the real In-N-Out burgers taste anything like these do, I can see what all the hype is about. They were delicious! Not only did my picky, Cuban husband love them, but my 5 AND 3 year old did too. Thanks for a great recipe!!

  10. Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel

    Yum, I love In N Out and both fortunately and unfortunately, I live within 2 miles of one! I can't wait to try this copycat sauce at home 'cause it looks amazing! Did you ever get their animal fries? I LOVE them!

  11. Lin

    Thanks so much! I too grew up in California and truly wish they would build here soon! Enjoy, I can't wait to try this. Lin

  12. metta

    I really have trouble believing that there is mayonnaise in the actual recipe. I have always disliked mayonnaise and it tends to over power any recipe with it in it. I grew up on In-N-Out and I have never tasted the mayo flavor in their sauce. I could be wrong, but I have a feeling that it is actually something other than mayo...but I don't know what it might be. i think that people assume that it is mayo because they compare it to thousand island dressing.

    1. Decade

      Actually, there is mayo in the sauce. I've worked there for over two years now and know for sure there is mayo in there. It's just masked with so many other flavors that you don't notice it.

    2. Firstbatwoman

      My husband hates mayo so I never told him that it's an ingredient in the In & Out Burger sauce and now he loves And two of my friends also hated mayo & couldn't believe it was in the sauce... You just have to keep an open mind or you'll miss out on some of the best things in life!! I hated anchovies until I found they were in my favorite Caesar Salad Dressing recipe. I now love anchovies & a ton of other things that I never thought I'd like. Life is so much easier now that I have an open mind! YeeeHaaaa

  13. ashley

    I made these burgers tonight and used your recipe for the sauce... toasted the bun... etc... without telling my husband... when he finished the burger he said "that is the best hamburger you have ever made. It tasted just like I was at In-n-Out." So then I told him my little secret. But he totally called it! Since we live about 6 hours from the closest In-n-Out I am super grateful that you posted this!

  14. cassie

    I worked at In-N-Out for about 2 years, while I lived in CA...miss it a only problem with the recipe is that it's missing the bun! their sweet cinnamon/sugary perfectly toasted bun makes the burger, but this will have to do! thank you for posting!!

  15. Valerie

    I grew up in Ca. and lived there until 2 1/2 yrs ago. My children and I miss In n Out so much. When we have driven back to visit we stop In Salt Lake City, Ut (closest one to us now) and quench our craving. So happy you posted this, I cant wait to try it.

  16. Toni Cosgrove

    Isnt that the same as Thousand Island dressing?

  17. Jeannie

    The sauce is amazing!

    1. sue

      why are" in n out burgers ''fries called animal fries? what is sprinkle on them? i have ionly had them 1 time they are wonderful need a copy cat on that too

    2. Liz

      animal style fries have chopped grilled onions, cheese, and special sauce all over them. they're one of the most amazing things i've ever tasted. we've been living in seattle for almost two years now, and there's nothing I miss more about Ca than In N Out. :(

  18. Bryant

    Great recipe! The sauce is spot on!

  19. robsgal

    Love this!!! I used bison instead of ground beef! The sauce is DELISH!!! I would recommend it!

  20. John

    This was the best recreation of an In-N-Out that I have had! I did a side by side comparison with the sauce recipe and the actual In-N-Out packet and it was pretty close. Main difference is the In-N-Out sauce was saltier and the pickle was more briny than sweet relish. Over all, your sauce was a little sweeter and the In-N-Out sauce was more savory. Next time I am going to not add sugar, and try out dicing up some pickle rather than relish. I may add some salt too. If anyone wants to add cheese, I recommend Velveeta over Kraft. Also, doing it as 1/8 lbs patties helps with the double double feeling. patties will seem small, but it works. I grilled on a flat plate (not over flame)and added a pinch of salt.

  21. Robin

    All the dressing is, is 1000 island. It tastes great, and I love how this recipe shows you how to make it. Once you make thousand island from scratch, you will never ever buy it in a bottle ever again. It is deeeelish.

  22. monique

    Looks delicious!!!

  23. Cara

    I make this everytime we have burgers in lettuce wraps. It's amazing, thank you!

  24. McCall

    Is the pickle relish and onion necessary?

  25. Kim

    Looks like I found this too late. Recipe is nowhere to be found on this site, only where I believe it once was. Bummer.

    1. Chef in Training

      so sorry about that. It should be there now :)

  26. Lara

    I have missed In-n-Out since I moved from California to South Carolina! Thank you for giving me back my In-n-Out!

  27. Jennifer

    Grilling season is HERE!!!

  28. sonny

    are you kidding! sounds like thousand iland or russian dressing

  29. Doug


    The "special sauce" is a typical fry sauce. A person can look up any fry sauce and see the identical ingredients. There are slight variations of fry sauces but this is nearly identical to a particular brand i wont mention.

    In and out burger was never that special to us, our local Big Toms has a better sauce and very original, unlike the fry sauce in and out uses on its burgers.

  30. BOB



  31. Kirk Crane

    If you want to save yourself some work just use Bob's Big Boy 1000 Island Dressing. Close match to In & Out's secret sauce.

  32. Sarah


    Please please people, stop commenting until you actually make the recipe. It makes it hard to scroll through so many comments very few of which are giving there opinion having made the recipe. You are right, it does look great and is probably amazing but the point of the comments is to let people know if the recipe is worth making. With that said, I really enjoyed this recipe and so did my family. Thanks!!