Recreating In-N-Out’s Famous Animal Style Fries – The Cavalier Daily
Last summer I visited Arizona to see the Grand Canyon. While I was there I couldn’t resist visiting Burger In-N-Out, a fast food chain primarily located on the West Coast. Although they are known for their burgers, the dish I was most looking forward to trying was their famous “Animal Style Fries”.
For those who don’t know, In-N-Out’s Animal Style fries are part of their secret menu. The dish is a platter of hot fries topped with cheese, In-N-Out’s “secret spread,” and caramelized onions on top.
Despite the cold after the 15 minute drive from the restaurant to the hotel, I savored every bite. The cheese was cold, but all the spiciness of the sauce mixed with the flavor of the soft cheese was irresistible.
Over a year later, once in a while, I still crave a warm, cheesy order of animal style fries. However, it’s hard to satisfy my cravings here in Charlottesville since the chain is mostly located on the west coast.
Since the first time I ate this meal, I’ve seen countless videos on TikTok of mimicked recipes for the infamous animal style fries. My roommates, a few friends, and I finally decided to try one of these recipes last weekend to spice up our simple dinners and bring the flavors of the West Coast to Charlottesville.
We decided to follow @mizzerybelltiktokand modified it slightly to feed four people, as follows:
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
- 2 large McDonald’s fries
- 4-6 slices of American cheese
- 1 white onion
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons ketchup
- 2 tablespoons pickle relish
- 1 ½ teaspoons of sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons vinegar
- ½ tablespoon of butter
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Heat a frying pan and add the butter, onions and salt. Continue to stir until the onions are caramelized.
- Once heated, place the fries on a baking tray and place in the oven for five to 10 minutes until crispy.
- In a mixing bowl, combine mayonnaise, ketchup, pickle relish, sugar and vinegar. It’s the “secret sauce” to use later.
- Once all the components are cooked, lay out the fries, cheese, secret sauce and onions in that order.
- Serve and enjoy.
The end product was exactly as I remembered. The fries were crispy and tasty. The gooey cheese melted in my mouth as it was topped off with the tangy secret sauce with slightly sour undertones. The flavor combination was complemented by the sweet and crunchy onions, creating a unique and contrasting taste.
College sophomore Anisha Ponugupati tried the Animal Style Imitation Fries and really enjoyed tasting them. She rated the fries 9/10 and sees herself making and eating them again.
“I thought they were really tasty and delicious,” Ponugupati said. “The secret sauce had a really nice sweet flavor and the onions were the star of the dish – they really brought the flavors together. As someone who likes to cook myself, I really enjoyed the variety of flavors and the spicy, salty notes of the secret sauce.
Sophomore in College, Saahiti Tammisetty echoed her enjoyment of Animal Style French Fries Sauce. She rated the fries 8/10.
“I can tell there are a lot of different notes of different flavors in the sauce,” Tammisetty said. “I also really liked the texture of the fries. I felt like they were really crispy which made them super tasty and I also thought the cheese in the fries was the perfect complement under the secret sauce, and it really brought all the flavors together really well – it was really consistent.
College sophomore Asmita Kadam found she just couldn’t put them down, noting how each component of the dish enriches each other. She rated the fries 10/10.
“I really liked that the fries had so many different textures incorporated,” Kadam said. “When they were put together I think they just had the perfect consistency. Crispy fries, hot gooey cheese and tangy sauce complement each other really well and mix together perfectly.
These fries would be a fantastic weekday treat. They were not only deliciously delicious, but simple to prepare. There are several “trades” a student could make to speed up the process, such as buying fries from another fast food restaurant or buying frozen fries. A student could also purchase pre-diced onions to save even more prep time. It wasn’t just a fun activity for friends, but the product was a fun new dish that could be made over and over again whenever I was craving my favorite fries.