There is a lot of confusion out there about the IN-N-OUT secret menu chile peppers. First let’s talk about the secret menu in general.
From the IN-N-OUT website “Urban myth or just plain excellent customer service? Ok, you’ve heard the rumors, wondered what was on it, maybe even felt a little left out of the loop. But in reality, we don’t have any secrets at all. It’s just the way some of our customers like their burgers prepared, and we’re all about making our customers happy. So here are some of the most popular items on our not-so-secret menu.”
They go on to list a few ways to customize your burgers such as Double Meat (obvious), 4×4 (4 patties with 4 slices of cheese), animal style (grilled onions and add pickle), etc. But, there is no mention of the yellow chile peppers here either.
We at Texas Tito’s happen to have some insight into what kind of peppers are featured on the IN-N-OUT “secret menu.” A lot of websites out there talk about the secret menu and many speculate that these peppers are pepperoncinis or sport peppers both of which are incorrect.
The yellow chile peppers carried by IN-IN-OUT burger are in fact cascabella peppers. Cascabella peppers are cone shaped and produce a chile pepper that is approximately 1 ¾” long by ¾” wide. Cascabellas turn from yellow, to orange, to red when mature. The plant has green stems, green leaves and white flowers. This variety is thick fleshed and not to be confused with the “Cascabel”, a thin skinned pepper that is round and usually dried. Cascabellas are spicy peppers, much spicier than pepperoncinis. They typically range anywhere from 1,500 – 4,000 Scoville units whereas a typical jalapeno is 2,500 – 10,000 Scoville units. So, some cascabellas are hotter than jalapenos and some aren’t.
The cascabella peppers you will get at IN-N-OUT used to come packaged with two cascabellas per package. You could ask for these to go and they would give you a package or two. The cascabellas in the packages had the stems on which is typical as it gives the diner something to hold onto while taking bites of these delicious little yellow chiles. As already mentioned cascabellas will change from yellow to orange to red as they mature but you will only find the brightest, most yellow cascabella peppers at IN-N-OUT.
Another option that it seems even less people know about is that IN-N-OUT will actually dice the peppers up and put them on your burger for you. As more and more people began discovering the cascabella peppers IN-N-OUT moved to a different format and now has these peppers in bulk on their line with the other condiments so that they can add them to customer burgers upon request even faster than before. Now when you request chile peppers to go they come in a little plastic cup without any labeling further adding to their mystique and confusion over what type of chile peppers these actually are. Rest assured that these are in fact cascabella peppers and if you live in Texas that this is likely one of the only restaurants where you will find these peppers because in Texas the jalapeno is king. Cascabellas are big in California especially in the Los Angeles area where IN-N-OUT has its corporate headquarters.