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Why is In-n-out so damn good?

potbeagle Mar 29, 2011 04:23 PM

There is nothing particularly special about it right? I can hand leaf my own damn lettuce and make patties that were never frozen. But why is that taste so hard to replicate? Could it be the cheese or sauce? I wouldnt be surprised if they sprinkled crack in there

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  1. r
    redips RE: potbeagle Mar 29, 2011 04:30 PM

    Its all the meat.

    1. c
      Clinton RE: potbeagle Apr 2, 2011 09:50 AM

      I for one cannot understand all of the glorified hype of In N Out? I've tried to like it but to me, it tastes like a regular take out hamburger. The fries are nothing spectacular even though it's cut fresh with each order. Good but not good enough to drive out of my way just to have it. I do respect their business philosophy but for now I'll settle for a double whopper or Big Mac and be just as happy. Sorry.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Clinton
        Servorg RE: Clinton Apr 16, 2011 05:13 PM

        One enormous difference comes immediately to my mind. I can't get a double whopper or a big mac cooked my way (medium rare). I can get a double double cooked exactly the way I like it.

        1. re: Servorg
          Steve Green RE: Servorg Apr 18, 2011 12:33 PM

          Another big difference is that (at least at McD's) you're never getting a freshly grilled burger like at InO. Since around '95, McD has been par-grilling and then nuking them. Also, InO doesn't use the usual commodity ground beef, but grinds their own.

          That said, their fries suck unless ordered well-done.

          I consider InO to be the burger of my youth, i.e. what you could get at the average independent drive-in in the 60's, but rarely find these days.

      2. e
        estone888 RE: potbeagle Apr 2, 2011 01:02 PM

        I, too, have tried to get the In N Out thing and just don't get it. It's good, but it's hardly great. It does kick butt over McDonald's, Burger King, Jack In the Box, Wendys - those sort of places, but frankly, I find it on about a par with Carl's Jr. and nowhere near as good or interesting as any number of other independent or small chain burger places. And it's true, it's fries are really not all that good at all - better if you order them "well done" and they follow orders, but still...

        1 Reply
        1. re: estone888
          hobbess RE: estone888 Apr 6, 2011 10:35 PM

          Because there's not a lot of them, and so it feels like a special treat when you go to one.

          If they blanketed the area like McD's and you saw them on every corner, then it wouldn't be the same even if everything was exactly the same.

        2. monku RE: potbeagle Apr 6, 2011 10:56 PM

          Quality you can taste.®.

          1. toodie jane RE: potbeagle Apr 13, 2011 03:06 PM

            ...chain, chain, chain,

            1. t
              Transplanted Texan RE: potbeagle Apr 15, 2011 05:53 PM

              I was so excited to try In N Out and was sorely disappointed. Mediocre burger, limp lettuce, forgettable bun, just okay fries . . . what's the fuss all about?

              If you want a good burger and you're in NYC, go to Bare Burger in Greenwich Village. Now THAT is one astounding burger. The fries are amazing as well.

              8 Replies
              1. re: Transplanted Texan
                mucho gordo RE: Transplanted Texan Apr 16, 2011 11:19 AM

                And if you're here, in the Woodland Hills area, you must go to Boulevard Burger for an unbeatable burger.

                1. re: mucho gordo
                  Transplanted Texan RE: mucho gordo Apr 16, 2011 02:41 PM

                  Thanks for the recommendation! I'll do that my next trip up!

                2. re: Transplanted Texan
                  Chowrin RE: Transplanted Texan Apr 16, 2011 06:38 PM

                  or go to burger joint.
                  for the lulz.

                  1. re: Transplanted Texan
                    josephnl RE: Transplanted Texan Apr 26, 2011 03:32 PM

                    You're not the only one who thinks that InO is nothing special...just an ordinary fast food burger. Many of us can't understand why it seems to be such a cult thing here on the west coast. True they supposedly grind their own meat daily, and hand leaf their lettuce...but as far as taste, I (and many others) find InO no better than most of their fast food competition...but these are fighting words to members of the InO contingent.

                    1. re: josephnl
                      silence9 RE: josephnl Apr 27, 2011 09:03 AM

                      Your opinion has value, as does everyone's, in this discussion. But I don't understand the need to append the "supposedly" to "grind their own meat daily". Are you implying the company is being disingenuous, or the posters providing the information?

                      1. re: silence9
                        Servorg RE: silence9 Apr 27, 2011 09:16 AM

                        He's still waiting for them to release the "long form" grinding certificate... ;-D>

                        1. re: Servorg
                          Transplanted Texan RE: Servorg Apr 28, 2011 08:50 PM

                          Very clever! :-)

                        2. re: silence9
                          josephnl RE: silence9 Apr 27, 2011 09:19 AM

                          Not at all...I've not personally researched whether or not they grind their own meat daily, but am assuming that what others have said on this site is true. I have no reason at all to doubt what the company says.

                    2. RetiredChef RE: potbeagle Apr 19, 2011 08:58 AM

                      It's NOT!!!!!

                      Do yourself a favor and do a "real" blind taste test. We have conducted it three different times and each time In-N-Out burger came out in the bottom half, this is surprising since most people who rated the burgers were In-N-Out aficionados. Even they had to admit that it must have been mostly psychological but as far as I know, none of them gave up going to In-N-Out.

                      In-N-Out get's a A+ for marketing hype and for value which is what sucks in most teenagers to them and keeps the name going and breeds a whole generation of followers.


                      4 Replies
                      1. re: RetiredChef
                        silence9 RE: RetiredChef Apr 19, 2011 10:40 AM

                        Hi RetiredChef... My experiences have been the opposite of yours, but I respect many differing (even diametrically opposed) opinions. To each his own... As for one of your comments above (regarding 'real' blind taste tests), you mention "even they (afficianados) had to admit it (their preference of In N Out) must have been mostly psychological". Where would are enjoyment of many-if-not-most-things in life be, without the blessing of a psychological component? For example, in general, most folks do not become empirically more physically attractive (by purely exterior standards) as they age, yet our love and even lust for our partners can grow and blossom until the end of our terrestrial days. Thank God for the assistance of 'the psychological' in keeping the flame alive. Thank God we do not make enduring choices as to preferences in those things we truly enjoy and even love, based purely on the outcome of 'real' blind taste testing. I hope you get my drift. And i hope I have not unintentionally offended anyone by stating this...

                        1. re: silence9
                          Chowrin RE: silence9 May 2, 2011 04:11 PM

                          because the food you eat has to be all about sex. Marketing is one thing, but some might consider it rather distasteful to conflate such desires. apparently not chocolate manufacturers though.

                        2. re: RetiredChef
                          AdamD RE: RetiredChef Apr 19, 2011 01:02 PM

                          What other burgers were included in the blind taste tests?

                          1. re: RetiredChef
                            pushslice RE: RetiredChef Apr 19, 2011 10:36 PM

                            please post up some examples of In-N-Out's alleged 'marketing hype'. other than their occasional billboard, their website, and in-store swag-for-purchase, I don't really see much marketing going on with them. that's considered pretty bare-bones for most customer-facing enterprises of their size & scale these days...

                          2. k
                            klyeoh RE: potbeagle Apr 26, 2011 11:07 PM

                            It's all purely psychological. Didn't like their fries especially.

                            1. hill food RE: potbeagle Apr 26, 2011 11:14 PM

                              fries are not great, but as Steve Queen put it "grinds their own" that and the limited distribution from the plant(s) beats any mainstream chain. freshiness.

                              1. h
                                HBGigi RE: potbeagle Apr 27, 2011 09:25 AM

                                The meat isn't a mystery, the lettuce is fresh, but the best thing about In-n-Out is it comes out HOT. Almost every time we get a burger from any of the other chains it's not hot. Half the time it's been sitting under a heat lamp or in a heat box. Perhaps Carl's Jr., Jack in the Box, or BK start out well prepared but a cold hamburger is just plain gross.

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