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Do you like your fries "Animal Style" at In-N-Out? Now you can make Animal Style fries at home! In 1948 Harry Snyder introduced California's first drive-thru hamburger stand, In-N-Out, and it has been a staple in California culture ever since! If you are longing for the ultimate fast food fix, we suggest recreating In-N-Out's famous Animal Style Fries at home for yourself. The combination of crispy fries, melted cheese, caramelized onions and secret sauce is pure indulgence at its finest and a perfect pairing for California Sparkling wine or a crisp glass of Sauvignon Blanc.

animal style fries


Caramelized onions 

  • 2 tablespoons (30 g) vegetable oil 
  • 2 large, sweet onions, finely chopped  
  • 1 teaspoon (3 g) coarse kosher salt  
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris (to deglaze pan) 
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) water 

Secret sauce 

  • ½ cup (115 g) mayo 
  • ¼ cup (60 g) ketchup 
  • 2 tablespoons (30 g) dill pickle relish 

To assemble

  • 4-6 slices of American cheese
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) distilled white vinegar 

French Fries 

  • 4 medium russet potatoes (about 700 g) 
  • ½ tablespoon (6 g) coarse kosher salt 
  • High temperature oil for frying 
  • Fine grain sea salt or table salt to taste for seasoning fries 



Prep time: 35 minutes  

Soak time: 1 hour 

Cook time: 35 minutes 

Servings: 4  

Essential equipment: Large heavy-bottomed pot for frying. Sheet pan. 


To make the onions: 

In a large skillet with a lid, heat the vegetable oil over medium-low heat. Add the onions and 1 teaspoon (3 g) salt. Stir to combine, cover and cook, stirring occasionally for 25 min. If browning too quickly reduce heat. 

Uncover, increase heat to medium-high & cook, stirring often until caramelized, 5 min. Add the wine and water to the pan, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom. Cook until the water has evaporated, about 2 more minutes. Set aside. 

To make the sauce: 

Combine the mayo, ketchup, relish, & vinegar. Stir to combine. Set aside. 

To make the fries: 

Peel and cut the potatoes into fries that are thin and long, similar in shape to fast food fries. Take your time and make sure that the fries are all uniform in size and shape. 

Rinse and drain the cut fries, then place in a large pot and cover with cold water until submerged. Season the water with ½ tablespoon (6 g) coarse kosher salt.  

Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour or up to 8 hours in the refrigerator. Drain the water and dry off the fries on a paper towel. 

Heat a heavy-bottomed pot filled with high temperature cooking oil (about 2.5-inches) to 325°F (160°C). 

Fry the fries in batches for 3-4 minutes giving a turn in the middle of the cooking time. Remove to a new paper towel to drain. Season with more salt to taste. Repeat with the remaining fries. 

Increase the heat of the oil to 375°F (190°C). In batches, add the par-cooked fries back into the oil and fry for 2-3 more minutes.  

Remove with a spider or slotted spoon to drain the oil and then transfer to a heatproof bowl. Season with salt immediately, tossing the fries with the salt to coat. Transfer the cooked and seasoned fries to a paper towel lined plate and repeat with the remaining fries. 

To assemble the animal style fries:  

Preheat the oven to broil. Cover a baking sheet with foil. Spread the prepared fries in an even layer. Layer on the American cheese over the top. 

Broil for 3-5 minutes, watching it closely. Once the cheese is melted, quickly spread cooked onions over the top. Smother with the sauce over the top and serve immediately. 

Recipe notes:
This recipe can be made with store-bought frozen fries, prepared per the package instructions instead of homemade if desired.  

The caramelized onions and dressing can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored separately in the fridge.  

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