I Ordered the DIY Shake Shack Kit from Goldbelly — and Here’s My Honest Review

updated Jun 15, 2020
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Credit: Photo: Courtesy of Goldbelly, Graphic: Kitchn

The first time I had a burger from Shake Shack it had been built up so much there was no way it could live up to the hype. Right? Wrong. On a trip to New York a few years ago, my husband and I went on a ShackBurger mission to see what all the fuss was about and decided to just share one. (We figured it would be better to save room for all the other eating plans we had.) Ultimately, that was a hilarious miscalculation because we wolfed it down and ordered another one to split immediately. We instantly became diehard Shake Shack fans.

Alas, I live in Louisville, Kentucky, where we somehow do not have a Shake Shack location. To be honest, it’s fine: I’d rather be supporting local restaurants and there’s no dearth of amazing burgers right here at home. But there really is just something about a Shake Shack burger in particular that makes it so legendary.

Recently I saw an Instagram post about ordering a “Shake Shack ShackBurger kit” via Goldbelly, and was taken completely aback. You can make a ShackBurger at home? I was sold. I ordered the kit, which cost $49 plus $25 shipping (ouch), but was able to redeem a $15 first-time purchase coupon for the Shake Shack eight-pack. 

Credit: Dana McMahan

I tracked the shipment obsessively and asked a couple of friends to join us (now that small gatherings are permitted in our community) for the big taste test. When the delivery arrived I don’t know who was more excited: me or my dog, who could clearly smell what was inside the box. Just as I felt before experiencing actual Shake Shack for the first time, I prepared to be underwhelmed. After all, my husband and I are just home cooks with a skillet and a stove. Surely there is some magic symphony of things that come together to make the perfect ShackBurger — things that we wouldn’t be able to orchestrate.

Credit: Dana McMahan

What was in the box? A (reusable) styrofoam cooler loaded with a few likewise reusable ice packs, an instruction sheet that included nutrition information, a pack of Martin’s Potato Rolls, a three-ounce package of Shack Sauce, a packet of American cheese slices, and, the pièce de résistance, eight four-ounce balls of a “custom blend of fresh, 100% Angus beef from Pat LaFrieda.” 

I picked up some green leaf lettuce and the least-sad out-of-season tomatoes I could find at our produce shop, and my husband cooked some bacon, sliced up some onions, and set out some burger pickles. (We love our burger accoutrements!) We were ready.  What we weren’t ready for was the mess we were about to make. Holy wow, you could see the grease and smoke filling the early evening light, permeating our whole house. 

Credit: Dana McMahan

Here’s the thing. That grease overload? It made those burgers gobsmacking good. We sunk our teeth into the squishy buns, down through the slick of sauce and crisp lettuce, through the bright tomato, and the deliriously cheese-caked, crusted edge goodness that is a ShackBurger. Grease ran down my chin and sopped through the bun, dribbling onto my fingers and plate. I couldn’t eat this burger fast enough, pausing only to pop a fried potato into my mouth. 

Credit: Dana McMahan

Our guests all spoke very little, the occasional moan of food bliss punctuating the meal. The first of the burgers were gone in short order, but more patties awaited. Yeah, it had to happen. I headed back to the kitchen to cook off another batch so we could have another half a burger each.

The verdict? I may never have to set foot in another Shake Shack again. The high cost for a fresh food shipment is notably less than booking a trip to New York (or even the closest Shake Shack location!) and it brought us right back to trying a ShackBurger for the first time. Even given the monstrous cleanup required (I’m talking clean the stove, backsplash, walls surrounding the stove, soak the range hood vents, and even de-grease and clean the nearby coffee station and the kitchen shutters), this experience was a 10/10. 

Do you love Shake Shack? Have you tried this new kit yet?