Why In-N-Out Burger Is Overrated, According To Andrew Zimmern - Exclusive

With its secret sauce, "not-so-secret" menu, and a legendary cult following, In-N-Out Burger would seem to be the foodie's choice among fast food burger joints. Yet, one of the world's most beloved foodies, none other than Andrew Zimmern of "Bizarre Foods" fame, feels pretty "meh" about the chain.

In an exclusive interview with Mashed, Zimmern explained why you can count him out the next time you offer to do an In-N-Out Burger run. The Emmy Award-winning culinary guru just doesn't think In-N-Out lives up to the hype. "I'm big on Culver's," Zimmern said, "which is a burger place that is five times as good as In-N-Out ever hopes to be. [It's] very confusing to me why In-N-Out is so popular, and Culver's, which has a much better product, is the ultimate smash burger." That being said, Zimmern noted that he doesn't partake in fast food all that often — mainly when he's traveling with his teenage son. "We will roll into a small town somewhere," Zimmern explained. "And there is no other food option, unless I want to microwave a pizza in the rec room of the hotel, which I definitely do not [prefer to] fast food."

Zimmern said it's a myth that frozen meat tastes worse

Part of the appeal of an In-N-Out burger, if you believe the brand's messaging, is that cooking burgers from fresh meat rather than from frozen makes them superior to other fast food burgers. "We don't freeze, pre-package or microwave our food," the website boasts. "We make things the old-fashioned way." But according to Zimmern, in most cases, there's no taste difference between previously frozen and fresh-cooked meat dishes. "I find no difference with many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, most, many, many, many products!" he emphasized.

So fond is Zimmern of freezing food — which he sees as a great way to combat the global problem of food waste — that his family has committed to eating pre-frozen food as much as possible. "So in our house, we have a rule, which is three meals a week out of the freezer," he explained. "I'm what's called an 'advanced freezer.' So if I go away on vacation for a week, I'll process all the fruit in my bowls and do a freezer jam. I'll take all the garlic and ginger, and I'll puree it in my mini prep and freeze it flat with a little oil in Ziploc bags so that I can cut pieces of it for soups and stews and braisings, right? So, I'm at that level of braising."

Check out Andrew Zimmern's recipes on the Hillshire Farm website and to keep up with Zimmern's culinary travels, follow him on Instagram.