DJ Foodielow-carb, low carb, sugar free, sugar-free, gluten-free, gluten free, primal, paleo

Double-Double: Animal & Protein Style

Prep: 15 min | Cook: 10 mins | Total: 25 mins | Servings:4


Double-Double: Animal & Protein Style
Double-Double: Animal & Protein Style
Double-Double: Animal & Protein Style
There are those of you reading this that ... are in the know. You KNOW what a "Double-Double" is. You've heard the term "Animal Style" and you know what it means to be served "Protein Style". If you're you, and you're in the know ... chances are ... you're grinning, right now.

To In-N-Out Purists ... this is "inspired" by ... not a direct copycat.

To those scratching your noggins, there is a restaurant chain based out of Southern California, called "In-N-Out Burger". There are near 300 of them scattered around California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah and Texas ... with most being in California. It's little more than a burger joint starting as California's first drive-through in 1948, but ... it has grown and it's got a somewhat fanatical (dare I say "cult-like"?) following! As a kid, I remember ALWAYS wanting an In-N-Out Burger, whenever we'd go near Southern California. The burgers aren't particularly mind blowing, but they ARE very good, ESPECIALLY for a fast food burger. It's a clean and happy burger, served from a well treated staff. Their mission, unchanged in 65 years, "Give customers the freshest, highest quality foods you can buy and provide them with friendly service in a sparkling clean environment."

Chefs even love the place! Julia Child was fan and could name ALL the locations between Santa Barbara and San Francisco. Gordon Ramsay? Thomas Keller? Tony Bourdain? Mario Batali? All fans!

To walk into one, you would immediately note the sparking clean and very white interior, with clean white uniforms, red aprons and paper hats. Look up and see a clean uncluttered menu, with barely more than 3 hamburger varieties, French fries, soda and 3 tasty milkshake varieties. Simple. Those "outside the know" ... order a burger and fries and enjoy it for what it is ... They MIGHT notice that their cup reads, "John 3:16" or that their burger wrapper reads, "Revelation 3:20" ... reflections of the Christian beliefs of the family that founded and runs it ... the Snyder family.

Probably the most interesting thing about In-N-Out is ... its secret menu. As stated, the actual menu presented to walk-ins is brief and uncluttered. However, there's a secret lingo that goes into ordering at an In-N-Out, involving terms like "Wish Burger" (bleh), "Four-by-Four", "Animal-Style" and the "Flying Dutchman". A true Atkins die-hard could walk into an In-N-Out burger, straight to the counter and confidently ask for a "Four-by-Four, Flying Dutchman, Animal-Style" and ... LOVE what they get! (four medium-well burgers, fried in onions and mustard, alternated with 4 slices of melted American cheese, and a side of pickles and thousand island dressing ... no bun, no lettuce, just a sloppy pile of glorious goodness)

What we have here is a "Double-Double, Cold Cheese" (two slices of meat, with two slices of American Cheese, unmelted), served "Protein Style" (lettuce replacing the buns) and cooked "Animal Style" (meat is fried in onions and mustard, and served with extra thousand island dressing, and extra pickles), and served with whole grilled onions. YUM!

There is one clear and major flaw with In-N-Outs otherwise sterling reputation and near perfect formula. With all the available secret options (from grilled cheese, to hot chilies) ... each and every one store is strictly BYOB (Bring Your Own Bacon).

Five Guys?

"What's That?" Note: The photo is taken with fried lotus root and sweet potatoes, which have been tossed with a bit of salt, pepper and smoked paprika. Pretend they're not there. The crunchy mixture comes in at about 15 net carbs per "small, yet reasonable" serving. As a result, I've opted not to make them their own recipe ... even though they were super awesome! (I know ... I'm mean) :(

. .
IngredientsCaloriesFatProteinCarbsFiberSA'sNet Carbs
1 1/2 lb (681g)  ground beef1729.5136.2115.770000
1 small (110g)  onion440110208
2 tbsp (30g)  yellow mustard24.751.171.482.921.201.72
1 tbsp (14g)  light oil/fat (such as lard, olive or ghee)1201200000
8 slices (168g)  american cheese63052.3337.182.75002.75
1/4 cup (62.5g)  thousand island dressing231.2522.7510.509.5
1/4 cup (38.75g)  pickle slices4.750.251.500.5
16 large leaves (288g)  iceberg lettuce40048404
salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste0000000
Totals (of 4 Servings):2824.25223.7g160.43g34.67g8.2g0g26.47g
Per Serving:706.0655.93g40.11g8.67g2.05g0g6.62g *


  1. Form 8 thin 3-oz hamburger patties from the ground beef.
  2. Cut the onion into 4 wedges. Chop one of the wedges into fairly fine chopped onions and set aside. Slice the other 3 wedges into thin slices of onion. Also set aside.
  3. Combine the finely chopped onions and mustard and blend together. Season the outside of the burgers with salt and pepper, then liberally coat with the onion/mustard mixture.
  4. Heat a flat-top griddle (or two large skillets) over medium heat. Once hot, spread some light oil or lard around the griddle and quickly place your 8 burgers down onto the hot greased surface. Let them sear.
  5. Also, add the sliced onions to the griddle, with a little bit of salt and pepper. Stir them, occasionally.
  6. While the burgers sear, lay down 4 piles of lettuce leaves, each consisting of two thick heavy lettuce leaves.
  7. When the burgers are seared, flip them over and sear the other side. Allow them to sear until they are just under medium-well. If you'd like, you can add the cheese while on the grill and melt it over the hot burger (I don't like melted cheese on my griddle ... it's harder to clean and I'm lazy ... so I add it cold).
  8. Place a burger on each small pile of lettuce. Place a slice of cheese, then another burger patty, then another slice of cheese. Top with a hefty smattering of thousand island dressing, pickle slices and hot grilled onions.
  9. Place the final lettuce leaves on top, call a friend and ... EAT UP!

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* Learn More: More about this recipe and nutrition ...


swoon! I normally eat my burgers on lettuce or what's called 'flat out' wraps. Heck no...gonna try this with the mustard/onion deal as I like both. Never been to an 'In an Out' joint but have heard of them (sighing dramatically).

I think the key is to sear at a high temp the room temp meat on each side. I have a circulon 12" round pan that will work perfectly. Or my cast iron fry pan. Either way...I'm doing this soon. I'm totally salivating just reading this. Thanks DJ. 

 Trish  10/26/2016


Sounds like a yummy recipe.  I'm allergic to onions, though.  Would it still be worth coating the patties without the onions, or can you suggest alternatives?  Definitely leaving off the caramelized onions at the end, though!

 AW  12/24/2014


I will give that a try! Mmmm...carmelized onions - yum! Thanks for the suggestion~and for all the delicious recipes!

 LS  7/24/2014


Hi LS ... my best suggestion would be to dribble a small amount of white or cider vinegar onto the onions, with a touch of salt and then just press them into the surface of the burger. This should help maintain most of the flavor, while still keeping the onions on the outside to be seared and caramelized. I think this is a very reasonable alternative. I hope this helps! :)

 DJ  7/24/2014


DJ - this looks delicious! I have ordered the "bun-less" burger in other restaurants too and works well. However, I am not a fan of mustard in any way, shape or form. Is there anything else I could coat the burgers with? Obviously, the onions need something to hold them together, but for me, it can't be mustard. Or should I just skip that part?

 LS  7/23/2014


Debbie, let me know how close it "hits home"!</br></br> Pam, yep, it's always amazing to me how once you're deep into this thing how it suppresses appetite so well. Don't get me wrong ... I can still eat like a big machine, but ... I have SIGNIFICANTLY less desire to do so! :D

 DJ  7/22/2014


This is a man size burger! With eating low carb high fat lately...I would only eat about half that and be full. Also for those who are not use to this kind of eating...I have days that I end up eating under 1300 calories because I'm just not that hungry. I never was able to do that on weight watchers!!

 Pam Hoffman  7/22/2014


I grew up in Baldwin Park which is the home of In-N-Out. Now I live far away from them. I will definitely try this recipe and relive my youth!

 debbie  7/21/2014


Fantastic, Sharon! I'm glad you enjoyed it! :)

 DJ  3/12/2014


Tried the Double Double Animal Style yesterday and was very impressed. Since In-n-Out is about a six hour drive, just imagine the money we will save on gas alone. This one is definitely a keeper!

 Sharon  3/11/2014


Calories for people eating a low-fat, high carb diet (which is what conventional "wisdom" still seems to perpetuate) still really matter. If you were to wrap this 700+ calories in a high carb bun, then ... all that extra energy will be stored ... on your buns ... because the carbs in those buns will release the insulin, who will run around and save that stash for later. However, without the carbs and without that insulin, the calories suddenly become FAR FAR less of an issue has the food and nutrients take different metabolic pathways ... resulting in weight loss off of far more nutrient and calorie dense foods! Even for low-carbers, calories become somewhat important as many near their goals, but for the most part ... calories aren't much of a factor. It's true. ;)

 DJ  1/11/2014


If people are worried about the calories, they must not be professional low carbers LOL

 unknown  1/11/2014


Yep! It's less because there's no 150 calorie bun! ;)

 DJ  12/23/2013


706 calories per serving??? Oh MY!!!!

 unknown  12/23/2013