In-N-Out Animal Style Fries

All fast food joints respond differently when they hear about the secret menus that customers have created out of their ingredients. Some just ignore it, some refuse to make what’s on it, and others completely embrace it – In-N-Out is one of those. Rather than keeping the secret menu under wraps, In-N-Out has actually published the menu on its website for everyone to see. From Double meat to 3×3 to Animal Style, all of the cats are out of the bag, which brings us to our topic of the day: Animal Style Fries. If you live on the west coast, you’ve likely heard of “animal style,” and no – you don’t need to cover your kids’ eyes. It’s completely PG and delicious. Here’s the scoop.

What Does Animal Style Mean?

In N Out Animal Style Fries
Photo by punctuated under the license CC BY 2.0

Animal Style at In-N-Out is slang for one thing and one thing only. It originates from the secret menu Animal Style Burger that contains a beef patty grilled with mustard, loaded with extra spread (thousand island sauce), pickles, and caramelized onions. A regular burger at In-N-Out is topped with just lettuce and tomato, so you can see the difference. It’s messy, uber high in calories, and downright delicious, just how we like it.

However, Animal Style is not limited to burgers. Consumers quickly learned how tasty the saucy mix was and started applying it to other items on the menu. Animal Style Fries are one of the most popular dishes at In-N-Out, even though they aren’t technically on the menu at all.

How To Order Animal Style Fries

Animal Style Fries are quite similar to the secret menu burger, but instead of the mustard and beef situation, you’ll get fries topped with In-N-Out’s famous thousand island spread, a slice of melted American cheese, and chopped grilled onions. Nine times out of 10 (at least), you’ll be able to ask for Animal Style Fries, and the worker will know just what you’re talking about. The term is extremely well-known, so we’d be shocked if you came across an In-N-Out staff person who’s never heard of it. However, you may order from a new employee who isn’t sure what goes on the fries. In that case, you can always explain it to them or show them this blog post.

DIY Animal Style Fries

Many of us around the US don’t live near an In-N-Out, but that doesn’t mean you need to travel cross-country to get your hands on an order of these bad boys. You can make them at home with a handful of basic ingredients.

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil,
  • 2 medium yellow onions, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 32 ounces frozen french fries
  • 6 slices American cheese

Here’s how to prep them:

  1. Start preparing your french fries, whether that’s baking them in an oven or frying them in an air or deep fryer.
  2. Use a large skillet to heat oil. Add chopped onions and sauté covered for 45 minutes until brown.
  3. Meanwhile, add ingredients for the spread together in a mixing bowl: mayo, ketchup, sweet pickle relish, mustard, and vinegar.
  4. When the fries are done, add the cheese slices on top of them and pop them back in the oven until cheese is melted.
  5. Top the cheese with the grilled onions and finish off with the spread.
  6. Enjoy!


Oh – and yes, Animal Style Fries can be soggy whether you make them from home or order them at your local burger joint. But they may be one of the most-ordered secret menu items of all time, so we can’t hate on them. For more secret menu items, check out our Fast Food Secret Menu page.

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