I never met a cheeseburger I didn’t like. Of all the wonderful foods in this world, I think cheeseburgers are one thing I could probably eat everyday. (In a world with no calories, that is.) However, not all cheeseburgers are created equal.
I took a recent survey amongst some of my Facebook friends and was surprised to find a pretty even division between In-N-Out and Five Guys lovers. I thought it might be interesting to compare them and see which cheeseburger reigns supreme. I’ve graded the burgers according to five categories: meat, bun, toppings, sauce, and overall taste. I think that pretty much covers the important stuff. Here we go…
Meat is probably the most important component to any good burger. It gives the burger its uniqueness and character. Above all things, quality and care for the hamburger patty are the two most important components to having a delicious cheeseburger. In-N-Out and Five Guys both use hamburger that is never frozen and is delivered fresh a couple times a week, so you know the meat is fresh and you can taste the quality. Both grill their meat to a perfect “medium well” on a flat surface, which creates a nice crust on the outside. The big difference here is the amount of meat on the burger. Five Guys has a considerably larger patty, which, in my opinion, gives them an edge. Winner: Five Guys
If the meat is the most important component, then the bun is the second most important — it serves as the foundation. Five Guys has fresh sesame seed buns that hold up pretty well to the large amount of toppings that can sometimes be found on a typical Five Guys burger. As long as you eat the burger pretty quickly, you shouldn’t have too big of a mess. However, I’ve noticed that the bun begins to disintegrate if you wait too long before eating, and nobody likes a soggy bun. In-N-Out’s buns are soft, chewy, and in perfect ratio to the rest of the burger. They also hold up really well. They put a light toast on the bun with butter, which gives them extra richness in flavor and slightly crispy texture. You can’t beat In-N-Out’s buns. Winner: In-N-Out
In-N-Out has a very limited number of options when it comes to toppings. They are your typical old-school burger joint. “Burger purists,” you might call them: no bacon, no guacamole, and no flashiness — just pure burger deliciousness. Five Guys, on the other hand, has a long list of toppings for their burgers — everything from grilled mushrooms and onions to raw jalapeños. This was an easy decision: more toppings equal a win for Five Guys. Winner: Five Guys
Five Guys gives you the choice of mayo, mustard, ketchup, barbecue, and even A1 steak sauce to put on your burger. A lot of options are always a good thing, but In-N-Out gives you something better… much better. I’m talking about a sauce straight from heaven called “Spread.” Spread is basically a delicious combination of mayo, ketchup, spices, and pickle relish that makes the most perfect condiment. In short, Five Guys never stood a chance. Winner: In-N-Out
Both burgers are delicious, that much is true. But when it comes to making a choice between the two, I have to go with In-N-Out. When you put the bun, spread and toppings all together, you pretty much have the perfect burger. That’s why you don’t need a bunch of different options to customize your burger. There’s a reason why Californians are so proud to call their state home (annoyingly so, at times), and that reason is In-N-Out Burger. Winner: In-N-Out
Final Score: In-N-Out 3, Five Guys 2
Fries: Five Guys wins this one by a landslide. Five Guys’ fries are thick-cut, cooked in peanut oil, and even come in regular or “Cajun” style. These are quite possibly the most delicious fries on earth. Winner: Five Guys
Price: Five Guys’ Cheeseburger (Two Patties) for $5.79. In-N-Out’s Double Double Cheeseburger for $2.99. Winner: In-N-Out
Whether you’re an In-N-Out fan or a Five Guys lover, one thing is certain — these two burgers are some of the best out there. Thank goodness they both decided to come to Utah.
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