In-N-Out Style Double-Double Burger

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America’s first Drive Thru opened at In-n-Out in 1948

For those of you living outside California, parts of Utah, Oregon, Nevada or Texas, you might not be familiar with In-N-Out Burgers. These are simple burgers, grilled up with fresh ingredients and topped with a whole slice of raw onion, their “signature”. The Snyder Family opened their very first In-N-Out Burger stand in Baldwin Park, California in 1948. In post-World War II America, car hops were the way people got their burger fix. The Snyders introduced America to the concept of drive-thru restaurants, allowing the diner to order via a speaker system and take the food home without ever getting out of their car. Harry Snyder installed the intercom system at his first restaurant to allow is customers to “get in and out” of his burger shack quickly. While most Fast Food restaurants are franchised, In-N-Out remains a family owned and operated establishment. It is very popular, and has even been praised by famous Chefs including Julia Child. Drive passed an In-N-Out anytime of the day or night and you’ll be amazed by the long line of cars waiting to pick up their burgers. The drive-up menu is very simple – Hamburger, Cheeseburger, Double (two patties) imagesand a Double-Double (two cheese burgers on a single bun); fries, fountain sodas and Shakes (Chocolate, Vanilla and Strawberry). While people are asked if they want the onion, I cannot imagine anyone going to In-N-Out and forgoing the onion. The aroma of fresh onions fills the air. Cars driving by cannot help but smell that wonderful scent of sliced onions. I should know, since we drive by an In-N-Out on our way home from work every night.

Just a few quick non-food related notes about In-N-Out Burgers. As a is family owned chain, In-N-Out is famous for its employee-friendly policies. The starting wage is above minimum wage, and as minimum wage increase, so do the earnings of their employees, remaining above the minimum. In-N-Out offered their employees benefits, including health insurance, long before it became the law. In Lathrop, California at one of their processing plants, they throw a huge Christmas Party every year for their employees complete with a mountain made of snow and a visit from Santa. (I would assume the same “party” is held at their other plants as well). The Snyders are a Christian family, and as such include Bible verses on the beverage cups and paper wraps for their burgers. These verses are inconspicuous, in small print and you would have to know to look for them.

In-N-Out Style Double-Double Burgers
4 plain hamburger bun
2 lbs ground beef, divided into 8 patties
Dash salt & pepper
8 tablespoon Thousand Island dressing
1 large tomato,  sliced
4 large lettuce leaf
8 slices American cheese (for cheeseburger)
1 whole onion, sliced into rounds (do no break apart onion)

Slice onion and tomato into rounds, set aside until ready to use.

Divide the beef into 4 even portions, divide each portion into half again and form into a quarter-pound patty slightly larger than the bun. You should have 8 hamburger patties. Season with salt & pepper

Preheat a large griddle over medium heat. Lightly toast the both halves of the hamburger bun, face down in the pan. Wrap toasted buns in foil. Set aside.

Cook 4 patties until just cooked through, about 5-6 minutes per side. Remove from grill, place on rimmed baking sheet and keep warm in oven.

Cook remaining patties. When cooked through, remove from grill and place in oven. Top patties with cheese. Allow cheese to melt, about 5 minutes.

Assemble Burgers as follows:

  • Bottom Bun
  • 1 tablespoon Thousand Island Dressing
  • Tomato Slice
  • Lettuce Leaf
  • 1 Beef Patty
  • 1 Onion Slice
  • 1 Beef Patty
  • 1 tablespoon Thousand Island Dressing
  • Top Bun

Be sure to wrap your burger in paper and serve with plenty of napkins – it’s a joyful mess to eat.

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