The Fake Shack (or the Shack Burger at Home) Recipe

The Fake Shack (Shack Burger copycat)

Serious Eats / Andrew Janjigian

Note: Read my breakdown of the burger's components to see how I came up with this recipe.

Recipe Facts



Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Chill: 10 mins
Total: 50 mins
Serves: 4 servings

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For the Shack Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup (120ml) mayonnaise

  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) ketchup

  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) yellow mustard

  • 4 slices kosher dill pickle, finely chopped

  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika

  • Pinch cayenne pepper

For the Burgers:

  • 8 ounces (225g) beef sirloin, trimmed of gristle, and cut into 1-inch cubes

  • 4 ounces (115g) well-marbled beef chuck, trimmed of gristle, and cut into 1-inch cubes

  • 4 ounces (115g) well-marbled beef brisket, fat cap intact, trimmed of gristle, and cut into 1-inch cubes

  • 4 Martin's Sandwich Rolls

  • 2 tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter, melted

  • 4 tablespoons (60ml) Shack Sauce, divided

  • 4 leaves green leaf lettuce

  • 8 center-cut slices ripe plum tomatoes

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, divided

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 slices yellow American cheese


  1. For the Shack Sauce: Combine all ingredients in a countertop blender jar and blend on high until smooth, scraping down sides of blender with rubber spatula as necessary, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Transfer sauce to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use (sauce can be refrigerated for up to 5 days).

    collage: before and after of blending sauce for Shack Burger

    Andrew Janjigian

  2. For the Burgers: Place feed shaft, blade, and 1/4-inch die of meat grinder in freezer until well-chilled. Meanwhile, place meat chunks on rimmed baking sheet, leaving space between each piece and place in freezer for 10 minutes until meat is firm, but not frozen.

    chunks of meat on a parchment-lined baking sheet

    Andrew Janjigian

  3. Combine meat in large bowl and toss to combine. Pass meat through grinder twice. Form into four disks, about 2 inches tall, and 2 1/2 inches wide. Refrigerate until ready to use.

    collage: grinding beef; ground beef; beef formed into patties

    Andrew Janjigian

  4. Open buns but do not split hinge. Brush lightly with butter, then toast under broiler or in toaster oven until golden brown, about 1 minute. Spread 1 tablespoon (15ml) Shack Sauce on top half of each bun (for true authenticity, squirt out of squeeze bottle into three lines, three passes on each line). Place 1 leaf lettuce and 2 slices tomato on top half of each bun.

    assembling the buns with lettuce, tomato, and shack sauce

    Andrew Janjigian

  5. Using wadded-up paper towel, rub inside of heavy-bottomed 12-inch skillet with 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil, then place over medium-high heat until just beginning to smoke. Season 2 beef pucks on top side with salt and pepper, then place, seasoned side down, in skillet. Using back of heavy, flat spatula, press down on beef pucks firmly to form 4-inch round patties. Season top side with salt and pepper. Cook until crisp brown crust has formed, about 2 minutes.

    two beef patties in a skillet; smashing with a flat spatula

    Andrew Janjigian

  6. Carefully scrape patties from skillet, and flip. Immediately top each patty with 1 slice American cheese. Cook until cheese is melted, about 1 minute longer. Transfer patties to burger bun bottoms, and close sandwiches. Wipe out skillet and repeat cooking process with remaining 2 beef pucks. Serve immediately.

    burgers flipped, nicely browned

    Andrew Janjigian

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
662 Calories
36g Fat
38g Carbs
45g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 662
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 36g 47%
Saturated Fat 14g 70%
Cholesterol 146mg 49%
Sodium 1128mg 49%
Total Carbohydrate 38g 14%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 45g
Vitamin C 8mg 38%
Calcium 406mg 31%
Iron 5mg 30%
Potassium 770mg 16%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)