Which is Better, Shake Shack or In-N-Out? Slideshow

In-N-Out's Double-Double Animal-Style: The Bun

Arthur Bovino

Give credit where it's due: sauce and cheese ratio. There's no dearth of sauce or cheese on the respective top and bottom buns at In-N-Out (typically separated). But what of the bun? As fast food hamburger buns go they're fine, but when it comes down to it, they're exactly that: fast food hamburger buns. A little spongy, a little less soft, a little less... well, good.

Shake Shack's Double ShackBurger: The Bun

Arthur Bovino

Ah, the grilled potato bun. For how enjoyable In-N-Out is, the bun still reminds you of McDonald's and Burger King. Not so with Shake Shack. At the Shack, the bun is not spongy, not vaguely reminiscent of something that would resist nature's course of decomposition. Shake Shack's potato bun is soft, pliable, fresh tasting and feeling.

 

Victor: Shake Shack

In-N-Out's Double-Double Animal-Style: The Patties

Arthur Bovino

In-N-Out's site declares their patties are made from "fresh, 100% pure beef. They are free of additives, fillers and preservatives of any kind." The company has their own patty making facility, using "only whole chucks from premium cattle," and they grind their meat. And guess what, there's absolutely nothing for In-N-Out to be ashamed of. They make a mighty fine burger. Still, take a look at them closely. They're a little thin, don't you think? Especially when looked at next to Shake Shack burger patties.

Shake Shack's Double ShackBurger: The Patties

Arthur Bovino

Shake Shack famously uses a proprietary blend of LaFrieda meat for their craved-after, hand-formed patties. Observe them: They're plumper than anything you'll ever find at In-N-Out. In-N-Out's are flat discs, like something you'd expect to find at McDonald's. Shake Shack's patties are juicier — wetter, and when put up against In-N-Out, tastier.

 

Victor: Shake Shack

In-N-Out's Double-Double Animal-Style: The Tomato

Arthur Bovino

"We use the plumpest, juiciest tomatoes we can find," In-N-Out's site declares. Indeed, they're wide and juicy. No complaints.

Shake Shack's Double ShackBurger: The Tomatoes

Arthur Bovino

Those plum tomatoes may not be as wide as the ones on the In-N-Out burgers, but there are two of them, and they're pretty juicy.

 

Victor: Shake Shack

In-N-Out's Double-Double Animal-Style: The Lettuce

Arthur Bovino

"Our lettuce is hand-leafed," reads In-N-Out's site. That may be. And it's better than most fast food lettuce. Look at it. Still... it's iceberg lettuce.

Shake Shack's Double ShackBurger: The Lettuce

Arthur Bovino

There are those who will say that lettuce doesn't belong on a burger. Good for you. Take it out of the equation then. Still, I'll take green leaf lettuce over iceberg anyday. Wouldn't you? Thought so.

 

Victor: Shake Shack

The Pickles

Arthur Bovino

Pickle-lovers will appreciate the healthy pile of vinegary, ridged slices on an In-Out burger (left). Truth be told, the Shake Shack pickles are better (right), but they don't come automatically on the Shake Shack burger. You also have to request onions at Shake Shack. Then again, you also have to request onions when you get your animal-style at In-N-Out. And it's been documented that there are also pickles in the Shake Shack sauce, so you have pickles there. Speaking of sauce, you can get extra sauce at both places, in packets at In-N-Out (for free), and in a small plastic container for a small charge at Shake Shack. It all comes down to taste... and that juicy overall flavor betrays what might have been a tie. Shake Shack's flavor is better all things considered.

 

Victor: Shake Shack

 

 

Winner: Shake Shack's Double ShackBurger

Arthur Bovino

Bun, patties, lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion, sauce, flavor — all things considered, there's really not much to consider. The answer is obvious. Shake Shack beats In-N-Out. Now, if only we could get them both in the same city and truly get the debate started...