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  5. I ranked 12 fast-food double cheeseburgers from worst to best, and my favorite was also one of the cheapest

I ranked 12 fast-food double cheeseburgers from worst to best, and my favorite was also one of the cheapest

Erin McDowell   

I ranked 12 fast-food double cheeseburgers from worst to best, and my favorite was also one of the cheapest
Double cheeseburgers from In-N-Out. Cook Out, and Sonic.Erin McDowell/Business Insider; Drew Angerer/Getty Images; Don & Melinda Crawford/Education Images/Universal Images Group/Getty Images
  • I ranked double cheeseburgers from 12 different fast-food chains.
  • White Castle surprised me with its small, cheap, and super-flavorful sliders.

A classic double cheeseburger is a fast-food staple, but which chain has the best one?

May 28 marks National Burger Day, but burgers remain one of the most popular foods in the US throughout the rest of the year. A 2023 report by Cargill Meat Solutions Corporation found that 79% of Americans order burgers at restaurants at least once a month, while Forbes reported McDonald's is one of the most valuable brands in the world.

Over the years, I've tried practically every fast-food double cheeseburger on the market. For a definitive ranking, I tried double cheeseburgers from McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger King, Shake Shack, White Castle, Whataburger, P. Terry's, Five Guys, Cook Out, Checkers, Sonic, and In-N-Out.

Here's every fast-food double cheeseburger ranked from worst to best.

My least favorite double cheeseburger was from Burger King. It cost me $3.89.

My least favorite double cheeseburger was from Burger King. It cost me $3.89.
Burger King's double cheeseburger.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

The burger was under $5, but I'm not sure it was worth the price.

It comes with two of the chain's beef patties, American cheese, pickles, mustard, and ketchup on a sesame-seed bun.

It comes with two of the chain
Burger King's double cheeseburger.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

It comes with one slice of cheese.

This burger was super filling, but I liked the other burgers I tried more.

This burger was super filling, but I liked the other burgers I tried more.
Burger King's double cheeseburger.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

Right away, I tasted the thick beef patties. The burger had traveled a little more than 15 minutes from my local Burger King to my apartment, but the meat was still juicy and the cheese nicely melted.

The pickle slices were thick and crunchy, and I enjoyed the sesame-seed bun, which added a nice textural element. But I thought there was just a little too much ketchup, which will likely vary depending on who's making your burger that day.

It was also a little heavy for my liking. It filled me up a little more than I had anticipated before jumping into the rest of the burger comparison. Still, for a burger that costs just under $4, that might be more of an asset than a hindrance if you want a filling, inexpensive lunch.

Next was Wendy's double cheeseburger, which the chain calls a Double Stack. I ordered it for $4.49.

Next was Wendy
Wendy's double cheeseburger.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

It was about the same price as the burgers from McDonald's and Burger King, though it landed squarely in the middle in terms of value.

A Wendy's double cheeseburger comes with two junior-size hamburger patties, American cheese, ketchup, mustard, pickles, and sweet onion.

A Wendy
The Wendy's Double Stack.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

The toppings looked a little stingy, and they were clustered in the middle of the sandwich. I would have liked to see them more spread out.

The burger bun was fluffy and light, and the toppings had a ton of flavor.

The burger bun was fluffy and light, and the toppings had a ton of flavor.
Wendy's double cheeseburger.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

But I had to get a few bites in to reach the toppings in the center.

The toppings themselves were amazing. I thought the pickles were the most flavorful out of the burgers I tried, and I liked the use of an onion ring rather than diced onion, although I would've liked more.

The McDonald's double cheeseburger cost me $5.79.

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

It was slightly more expensive than Wendy's version but had more toppings. It came with an extra slice of American cheese plus chopped onions, and I thought it was still relatively affordable.

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

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

I was interested to see if the added toppings would amp up the flavor.

I thought the ingredients came together well in this burger, but the bun was a little lackluster.

I thought the ingredients came together well in this burger, but the bun was a little lackluster.
McDonald's double cheeseburger.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

The bun held everything together and was a good size, but it was a little too soft and didn't have a lot of flavor on its own. But I enjoyed the amount of condiments and didn't find them overpowering.

The chopped onions added a lot of flavor, and the burger patties were juicy despite being thinner than the Burger King ones. I liked the added cheese but didn't think it was necessary.

In ninth place was the double-meat Whataburger with cheese.

In ninth place was the double-meat Whataburger with cheese.
Whataburger double meat burger with cheese.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

It costs $9 at a Whataburger in Austin, excluding tax and fees.

I ordered it with a large bun, American cheese, grilled peppers and onions, pickles, and ketchup.

I ordered it with a large bun, American cheese, grilled peppers and onions, pickles, and ketchup.
Whataburger double meat burger with cheese.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

The burger was a decent size and I could see the gooey cheese peeking out from underneath the soft potato bun.

Unlike the other double cheeseburgers, this burger had sliced jalapeño peppers that I imagined would add quite the kick.

Unlike the other double cheeseburgers, this burger had sliced jalapeño peppers that I imagined would add quite the kick.
Whataburger double meat burger with cheese.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

The ingredients definitely set this burger apart from the others.

I thought the burgers had a delightfully crispy texture to them, and the toppings added a ton of flavor.

I thought the burgers had a delightfully crispy texture to them, and the toppings added a ton of flavor.
Whataburger double meat burger with cheese.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

The bun was light and fluffy, but I did think the burger patties could have been a little thicker and juicier.

Coming in eighth was the double cheeseburger from P. Terry's Burger Stand, a regional chain I visited in Austin, Texas.

Coming in eighth was the double cheeseburger from P. Terry
P. Terry's double cheeseburger.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

The burger cost only $5, making it one of the cheaper burgers I tried.

Despite being less expensive than the Whataburger double cheeseburger, the P. Terry's burger was larger.

Despite being less expensive than the Whataburger double cheeseburger, the P. Terry
P. Terry's double cheeseburger.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

I ordered it with pickles, onions, ketchup, mustard, and American cheese.

I again thought the cheese could have been more melted, but the size definitely made up for that small detail.

I again thought the cheese could have been more melted, but the size definitely made up for that small detail.
P. Terry's double cheeseburger.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

One of the benefits of ordering from P. Terry's is that you can easily customize your burger and add a number of toppings including grilled onions, the chain's special sauce, tomato, lettuce, and more.

I thought the burgers were juicy and the pickles had a tart crunch to them.

I thought the burgers were juicy and the pickles had a tart crunch to them.
P. Terry's double cheeseburger.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

The bun was slightly underwhelming, but I thought it was an excellent, large burger with tons of flavor, especially for the low price. I also thought the mustard really came through and added a lot to the burger.

The double cheeseburger from Shake Shack was the second most expensive burger I tried.

The double cheeseburger from Shake Shack was the second most expensive burger I tried.
Shake Shack double cheeseburger.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

I paid $12.49 for a double cheeseburger. I could customize my toppings, but I went with pickles, onions, and Shack sauce.

Right away, I thought the burger was massive.

Right away, I thought the burger was massive.
Shake Shack double cheeseburger.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

The burger patties were perfectly crispy on the outside and covered in gooey melted cheese. The pickles also looked large and homemade. It was even heavy to pick up.

The toppings were generous and the chain's signature Shack sauce, which is a mayo-based sauce with a slight mustard flavor, made it really tasty.

The toppings were generous and the chain
Shake Shack double cheeseburger.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

The cheese was thick and perfectly melted.

However, biting into the Shake Shack burger was a little overwhelming, in my opinion.

However, biting into the Shake Shack burger was a little overwhelming, in my opinion.
Shake Shack double cheeseburger.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

The burger was huge, which was both an asset and a hindrance. I struggled to get through more than a few bites.

However, despite being the second most expensive burger, I thought it was worth the price. The burger patties were much thicker than the other burgers I tried, and the toppings took it over the edge in terms of flavor.

Overall, I was impressed ... but stuffed.

In sixth place was the double-decker burger with cheese from Checkers.

In sixth place was the double-decker burger with cheese from Checkers.
Checkers double cheeseburger.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

The burger has since been replaced with the Big Buford, which has all the same ingredients but a bakery-style bun instead of a sesame-seed bun. The burger costs $7.69 at my local Checkers in Brooklyn.

I thought this burger was a little pricey for the size.

I thought this burger was a little pricey for the size.
Checkers double cheeseburger.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

It was smaller than my hand, though it did include a variety of toppings like tomato, lettuce, and red onion. The burger also comes with American cheese, dill pickles, ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise on a toasted bun.

The burger patties were very juicy and the toppings tasted fresh.

The burger patties were very juicy and the toppings tasted fresh.
Checkers double cheeseburger.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

I also thought the American cheese was very tangy and flavorful. Overall, I enjoyed the combination of flavors. However, the price prevented this burger from ranking higher.

I also tried the double cheese slider from White Castle.

I also tried the double cheese slider from White Castle.
White Castle double cheeseburger.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

White Castle sliders tend to be eaten in pairs, so I ordered two. Each burger cost me $3.55, so I ended up paying $7.10.

The burgers were small but packed with flavor.

The burgers were small but packed with flavor.
White Castle double cheeseburger.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

The burgers smelled strongly of onions and condiments the second I removed them from the bag.

The amount of toppings on each burger was generous.

The amount of toppings on each burger was generous.
White Castle double cheeseburger.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

The pickles were crunchy and flavorful. Though the burgers each had a bun sandwiched in the middle of the burger, it wasn't too bready — instead, it allowed the flavors to really come together while still being filling.

I was blown away by the cheeseburgers from White Castle, a result I admittedly wasn't expecting.

I was blown away by the cheeseburgers from White Castle, a result I admittedly wasn
White Castle double cheeseburger.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

As the cheapest and smallest burgers, I was expecting them to be a little lackluster. However, I found that good things definitely come in small packages. The onions, condiments, and pickles were flavorful, but it was the beef that really impressed me.

The small-but-mighty burger was one of the most flavorful out of the ones I tried, easy to eat, and perfectly priced.

My fourth-favorite double cheeseburger was from Five Guys.

My fourth-favorite double cheeseburger was from Five Guys.
Five Guys cheeseburger.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

Five Guys doesn't technically have a "double cheeseburger" — its regular cheeseburgers already come with two slices of cheese and two beef patties.

My burger cost $13.55, excluding taxes and fees, making it the most expensive burger I tried.

I was able to customize my toppings, but I ordered the burger with pickles, grilled onions, ketchup, and mustard.

I was able to customize my toppings, but I ordered the burger with pickles, grilled onions, ketchup, and mustard.
Five Guys cheeseburger.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

Right away, I noticed that the toppings were generous. The pickle slices were large, and none of the toppings cost extra to add.

The burger was large without being too intimidating.

The burger was large without being too intimidating.
Five Guys cheeseburger.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

I thought it was a perfect size. It required two hands to pick up and eat, but it wasn't as heavy as the burger from Shake Shack. Slices of melted American cheese coated each burger, and there wasn't so much sauce that it dripped out from underneath the sesame-seed buns.

The burger patties were crispy on the outside but juicy on the inside.

The burger patties were crispy on the outside but juicy on the inside.
Five Guys cheeseburger.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

I thought the pickle slices were thick, crunchy, and tart. I also really enjoyed the choice of a sesame-seed bun — it added a bit of texture to each and every bite.

The grilled onions also really impressed me. They were soft and almost caramelized, adding a lot of flavor that I didn't get from any other burger.

My third-favorite double cheeseburger came from Sonic Drive-In.

My third-favorite double cheeseburger came from Sonic Drive-In.
SuperSonic double cheeseburger.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

The SuperSonic double cheeseburger was the only burger I tried that came with lettuce and tomato. Since this was the default option, I decided to try it with these toppings rather than specifically remove them.

The burger cost me $9.75, excluding taxes and fees.

The burger came with a hearty serving of shredded lettuce, tomatoes, two slices of cheese, diced onions, pickles, mayonnaise, and ketchup.

The burger came with a hearty serving of shredded lettuce, tomatoes, two slices of cheese, diced onions, pickles, mayonnaise, and ketchup.
Sonic double cheeseburger.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

Unlike Sonic's quarter-pound double cheeseburger, which comes with two junior patties, the full-size burger has a combined half-pound of meat.

The bun was perfectly soft but still held the sauce-covered burger together.

The bun was perfectly soft but still held the sauce-covered burger together.
Sonic double cheeseburger.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

The ingredients tasted fresh and vibrant. The tomato wasn't too watery, the lettuce was crisp, and the burgers tasted well-seasoned and juicy. Plus, the burger was a very generous size.

However, despite all these accolades, I thought the price was a little steep compared to what I got from Cook Out and In-N-Out.

My second-favorite double cheeseburger came from Cook Out, a regional chain I visited in South Carolina.

My second-favorite double cheeseburger came from Cook Out, a regional chain I visited in South Carolina.
Cook Out big double burger.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

You can order a "big double" from Cook Out any way you wish, but I ordered mine with cheese, ketchup, mustard, onions, and pickles. It cost me $4.99, not including tax.

The burger came wrapped in foil and featured two juicy patties.

The burger came wrapped in foil and featured two juicy patties.
Cook Out big double burger.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

It also had thick slices of fresh onion and large pickle spears layered on top of the burger.

For the price, I thought the burger was out of this world.

For the price, I thought the burger was out of this world.
Cook Out big double burger.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

The cheese slices were thick and tangy, and the burger was perfectly moist and medium-rare. It was also very large, and, after already eating dinner, I struggled to get through more than a few bites, though I kept wanting to go back for more.

At an amazingly low price, this burger definitely earned the second-to-top spot on my ranking.

In my opinion, the best double cheeseburger I tried was the famous Double-Double burger from In-N-Out.

In my opinion, the best double cheeseburger I tried was the famous Double-Double burger from In-N-Out.
In-N-Out Double-Double burger.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

It cost me $4.90, which I thought was an excellent deal for the large burger sitting in front of me. One of the first things I noticed was how thick the burger patties were — they were much thicker than other burgers I tried at a similar price point.

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

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

To keep my burger similar to the other burgers I tried, I ordered it with onions, pickles, and spread, which I thought tasted similar to Thousand Island dressing.

The first thing I noticed about the In-N-Out burger was how juicy the burger patties were, followed by the incredible layers of cheese.

The first thing I noticed about the In-N-Out burger was how juicy the burger patties were, followed by the incredible layers of cheese.
In-N-Out Double-Double burger.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

The cheese slices were perfectly melted and coated each part of the burger, something I couldn't say about any other burger I tried.

The bun was perfectly soft and held everything together perfectly, while the special spread had my mouth watering for another bite.

Of all the burgers I tried, I thought the In-N-Out double cheeseburger packed the most flavor for the best price.

Of all the burgers I tried, I thought the In-N-Out double cheeseburger packed the most flavor for the best price.
In-N-Out Double-Double burger.      Erin McDowell/Business Insider

When it came to a double cheeseburger, the West-Coast chain really nailed it. The burger was beyond flavorful, the perfect size, and, in my opinion, very good value for money.

The next time I'm in a state with an In-N-Out, I know where I'll be filling my burger craving.


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