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  4. I ordered the same meal at In-N-Out and McDonald's, and I preferred the juicier, cheese-coated burger

I ordered the same meal at In-N-Out and McDonald's, and I preferred the juicier, cheese-coated burger

Erin McDowell   

I ordered the same meal at In-N-Out and McDonald's, and I preferred the juicier, cheese-coated burger
In-N-Out had a thicker, better double cheeseburger, but McDonald's crispy fries beat the West Coast chain by a long shot.Drew Angerer/Getty Images; Erin McDowell/Business Insider

McDonald's may be the biggest fast-food burger chain in the US, but In-N-Out — with its vast array of celebrity fans and mouthwatering burgers — could give the chain a run for its money in terms of taste and value.

While In-N-Out is slowly expanding, it's still largely a West Coast chain, with around 400 locations in eight states and territories. The chain also has no immediate plans to come to the East Coast anytime soon, much to the chagrin of many fast-food fans.

McDonald's, on the other hand, is both nationwide and global, with about 34,000 McDonald's locations around the world.

I tried the same order from In-N-Out and McDonald's — a double cheeseburger, fries, and a soft drink — to see which was the better meal.

Here's which fast-food burger meal I'd order again.

I ordered a Double-Double burger, regular fries, and a soft drink from In-N-Out.

I ordered a Double-Double burger, regular fries, and a soft drink from In-N-Out.
In-N-Out double-double burger, fries, and a drink.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

My meal cost $9.15, not including tax, which I thought was a good deal considering the amount of food I received.

Most Double-Double burgers come with lettuce, tomato, onions, and spread.

Most Double-Double burgers come with lettuce, tomato, onions, and spread.
An In-N-Out Double-Double burger.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

To keep my burger similar to the burger I tried from McDonald's, I ordered it with onions, pickles, and spread. It cost me $4.90, which I thought was an excellent deal for the large burger sitting in front of me.

The burger patties were much thicker than other burgers I've tried at a similar price point, including the McDonald's burger.

The cheese slices were perfectly melted and enveloped the burger patties in a thick layer of gooey cheese.

The cheese slices were perfectly melted and enveloped the burger patties in a thick layer of gooey cheese.
An In-N-Out Double-Double burger.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

The bun on the burger was pillow-soft. I also enjoyed the special sauce, which had a creamy yet tangy flavor.

In-N-Out's double cheeseburger had a lot of flavor for a low price.

In-N-Out
An In-N-Out Double-Double burger.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

I thought the West Coast chain really nailed the double cheeseburger, and of all the burgers on In-N-Out's menu, this is the one I'd probably order again. The burger's toppings made it very flavorful, it was large but not too big, and it was shockingly inexpensive.

But the fries were a tad underwhelming, in my opinion.

But the fries were a tad underwhelming, in my opinion.
In-N-Out fries.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

That said, the regular fry cost me only $2.15, which I thought was a good deal.

The fries were crispy but could have used a touch more salt.

The fries were crispy but could have used a touch more salt.
In-N-Out fries.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

The inside was also not fluffy at all, which I thought gave them an odd texture. Overall, I was just slightly underwhelmed by the regular fries, an opinion that I happen to share with other In-N-Out diners.

I also ordered a double cheeseburger, medium fries, and a medium soft drink from McDonald's.

I also ordered a double cheeseburger, medium fries, and a medium soft drink from McDonald
The meal from McDonald's.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

The meal from McDonald's came to $14.37, not including tax, making it over $5 more expensive than the In-N-Out meal.

The McDonald's double cheeseburger cost me $5.79.

The McDonald
McDonald's double cheeseburger.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

The double cheeseburger from McDonald's comes with two beef patties, pickles, chopped onions, ketchup, mustard, and two slices of American cheese.

I thought this burger's ingredients came together well, but I thought the bun was a little dry.

I thought this burger
McDonald's double cheeseburger.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

The bun held everything together and was a good size, but it wasn't as fluffy as the bun from In-N-Out.

The burger was covered in a generous amount of condiments, and the pickles were tart and crunchy, though thinly sliced.

The burger was covered in a generous amount of condiments, and the pickles were tart and crunchy, though thinly sliced.
McDonald's double cheeseburger.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

The chopped onions added a lot of flavor, and the burger patties were juicy despite being much thinner than the In-N-Out ones.

The fries were crispy and well-salted. I preferred them to the In-N-Out fries.

The fries were crispy and well-salted. I preferred them to the In-N-Out fries.
McDonald's fries.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

While the In-N-Out fries were slightly bland, in my opinion, the McDonald's fries were flavorful and perfectly crispy. They were also slightly more expensive at $6.09, which I thought was high, even for New York City prices — keep in mind that McDonald's menu prices vary by location.

Since In-N-Out doesn't serve many condiments besides ketchup, I decided to eat both fries plain. While the In-N-Out fries were underwhelming without any sauces, the fries from McDonald's held up on their own.

Overall, I had to give the win to In-N-Out.

Overall, I had to give the win to In-N-Out.
Me standing in front of In-N-Out.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

While I enjoyed both burgers, the double cheeseburger from In-N-Out simply blew me away. It impressed me so much that I forgot all about the fries. Frankly, the burger was filling enough without them, anyway.

I also thought that In-N-Out was an excellent value, even compared with a larger chain like McDonald's. If I were to eat one meal again, I would definitely go for In-N-Out.

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