You are going to love this tangy burger sauce because it adds that special something-something and makes your hamburgers epic. It tastes exactly like In-N-Out's special sauce and goes so well with all your favorite burger toppings. It’s so much better than anything you could possibly buy in the store. It's perfect for burgers, french fries, onion rings, or anything else you might want some delicious sauce on! And, you need only 6 simple ingredients. It couldn’t be easier. It's my favorite sauce.
- Easy - It's a very beginner-friendly recipe and uses pantry staples only. All you have to do is put all the ingredients in a bowl and stir.
- Customizable - We love it classic with a little tang but feel free to spice it up or add extra flavor. Add ¼ teaspoon crushed paprika flakes, 1 tablespoon freshly chopped Habanero, or add chili powder if you like. You can add additional mix-ins like 1 tablespoon of diced pickles or diced onion if you prefer a chunkier sauce. It's also great to add 1 finely chopped clove of garlic.
- Usage - This sauce is so delicious that we don't just use it in air fryer hamburgers and cheeseburgers, but also in sandwiches, salads, steaks and dip for breaded prawns. It even goes well with air fryer hot dogs.
- Texture - It's medium-thick and super creamy. The chunks of the pickle relish are barely noticeable.
What is it made of?
A good burger sauce is much more than just mixing ketchup and mayonnaise together. A handful of ingredients transform it into a special sauce that you won't be able to resist.
- Mayonnaise – We love Hellmann’s. I only recommend full-fat mayonnaise and no substitute.
- Ketchup – Without a doubt, Heinz is the best choice. It’s taste adds the right amount of acidity to the sauce.
- Dill Pickle Relish – We usually use Heinz Dill Relish, but I found some no-name relishes taste just as good. We prefer dill pickle relish, but you can certainly use sweet pickle relish if you prefer. It’s either way a delicious sauce. If you don't have dill or sweet relish available, you could use finely chopped pickles and spicy pickle juice instead.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – We think that apple cider vinegar is the perfect vinegar for burger sauce. Its flavor is so much more complex than just plain white vinegar and therefore doesn’t serve just the purpose of adding acidity. However, if you prefer white vinegar, feel free to use this one. You could even use lemon or lime juice to add acidity.
- Sugar and Salt – Sugar regulates the acidity and that you don’t end up with a sweet sauce, salt is added to balance the flavors.
Is it spicy?
No. We love it classic, so there are no spicy ingredients used in this creamy sauce.
Is it the same as thousand island dressing?
Thousand island dressing is not exactly the same, but very similar in taste. You can certainly use this delicious, tangy hamburger sauce and use it not only on big macs and smash burgers, but it’s also a great addition to Reuben sandwiches, or use it as a salad dressing. It's also a great dipping sauce for french fries, sweet potato fries, potato wedges, or onion rings.
Where to put sauce on a burger?
The most common practice is to put the sauce directly on burger buns before adding toppings. We love putting it on both halves of the bun for maximum flavor!
Can you freeze it?
No, since there is mayonnaise in the sauce, it doesn’t freeze well. Unfortunately, the fat in mayo doesn't freeze well, so when you thaw it out, your once delicious and smooth spread will be lumpy and curdled.
To make the most epic restaurant-quality cheeseburgers at home, you need to know how to make the best hamburger patties. You will also need a light and fluffy brioche burger bun. By the way, hamburgers go perfectly with chocolate milkshakes or vanilla milkshakes! This sauce also goes very well with Maine Lobster Rolls served on toasted New England Hot Dog Buns.
Recipe and Video
Homemade Burger Sauce (In-N-Out Special Sauce - Copycat)
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoon ketchup
- 2 tablespoon dill pickle or sweet relish
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Add the mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small bowl and mix to combine.
- Store covered in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Then stir and serve.
- You can refrigerate leftovers for up to 1 week.