I went behind the scenes at Shake Shack to see how its critically acclaimed ShackMeister burger is made

Shake Shack is bringing back its ShackMeister burger for a limited time.

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Shake Shack is bringing back its ShackMeister burger for a limited time.
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Irene Jiang / Business Insider

The ShackMeister is back, and it’s as crunchy, greasy, and oozy as ever.

Shake Shack, the fast-casual giant famed for its shakes and burgers, is bringing back its critically acclaimed, shallot-topped burger for a limited time.

The ShackMeister burger, which was first released for a limited time in 2015, will be available nationwide starting Tuesday through March 16.

This is the first time the ShackMeister burger has returned in its original form to the Shake Shack menu. Shake Shack first showed off the burger at the 2014 Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival Burger Bash, where it won the Judge’s Choice award for Best Burger.

I went inside the Shake Shack Innovation Kitchen to see how the ShackMeister burger is made – and ended up making one myself. Here’s what happened:


We were greeted by Shake Shack’s executive chef, John Karangis, who would show us how the ShackMeister burger was made.

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Irene Jiang / Business Insider

Karangis said that the ShackMeister burger was created in 2014 as an answer to fan demand for onion rings.

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Irene Jiang / Business Insider

The burger’s main feature is shallots, a small French bulb vegetable that Karangis described as “halfway between onion and garlic.”

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Irene Jiang / Business Insider

Sliced shallots are then marinated in beer and other spices.

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Irene Jiang / Business Insider

Shake Shack partnered with Brooklyn Brewery to create ShackMeister beer, which perfectly complements the flavor of the shallots, Karangis said.

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Irene Jiang / Business Insider

The marinated shallots are then tossed in the same flour that’s used to bread Chick’n Shack sandwiches.

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Irene Jiang / Business Insider

Finally, they’re fried until golden brown.

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Irene Jiang / Business Insider

They’re salted right out of the fryer because the residual moisture from the frying process helps the salt adhere to the shallots.

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Irene Jiang / Business Insider

Next, it was time to move on to the most important part of the burger: the beef.

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Irene Jiang / Business Insider

ShackMeister burgers are made with the same patties as other Shake Shack burgers. Ground beef and spices are formed into a small puck and tossed on the grill.

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Irene Jiang / Business Insider

Once they’re on the grill, they’re pressed flat to maximize the patty’s caramelized area.

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Irene Jiang / Business Insider

Each patty is then showered in four shakes of salt.

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Irene Jiang / Business Insider

After about a minute and a half, the patties are flipped with a downward scraping motion.

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Irene Jiang / Business Insider

Then a slice of American cheese is added, and the patty sits for another minute and a half on the grill.

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Irene Jiang / Business Insider

By the time the patty leaves the grill, it has shrunk to fit the size of the toasted bun.

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Irene Jiang / Business Insider

Finally, it’s the fried shallots’ time to shine.

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Irene Jiang / Business Insider

Karangis showed us how to grab the delicate shallots in a claw motion and gently place them on the patty.

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Irene Jiang / Business Insider

The burger must be closed carefully so as not to damage the shallots. Everything is about preserving the crisp.

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Irene Jiang / Business Insider

It was finally time for the audience to participate. I was given an apron, some gloves, and a beef puck to toss on the grill.

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Irene Jiang / Business Insider

Karangis told me to push straight down. It required some strength and effort to flatten the patty.

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Nicole Farin / Shake Shack

Then, I was told to slide the flattening instrument off the patty.

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Nicole Farin / Shake Shack

Karangis told me to salt the patty four times, ensuring an even spread of salt.

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Nicole Farin / Shake Shack

He showed me how to hold the scraper at a 45-degree angle. Pushing down instead of horizontally is very important.

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Nicole Farin / Shake Shack

Shake Shack cooks switch spatulas for flipping patties and taking them off the grill. This is to keep dairy-contaminated cookware separate from dairy-free cookware.

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Nicole Farin / Shake Shack

Finally, I plated my burger, smeared on a bit of Shack Sauce, and topped it with a generous grab of fried shallots.

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Nicole Farin / Shake Shack

Voilà! The finished product.

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Irene Jiang / Business Insider

At last, I got to enjoy the fruit of my labor: one delicious burger.

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Irene Jiang / Business Insider

I’d overdone it on the salt, but otherwise, the shallots were a welcome crunchy, flavorful addition to Shake Shack’s juicy patty and soft bun.

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Irene Jiang / Business Insider