How Long to Cook Hot Pockets. Tips and Recipes
Is it a sandwich? Is it a wrap? Or is it a pizza disguised as a breakfast roll? Hot Pockets are all of these rolled into one! We all love to add Hot Pockets to the shopping cart and keep them in the freezer. They can get cooked quickly and act as a filling meal. But have you wondered how long to cook Hot Pockets?
Hot Pockets can take anything between 1 min and 34 min to cook. The time taken to cook a pack of Hot Pockets will depend on several things. It can be the weight of the package, the device you’ll use, and whether or not the package is frozen or defrosted. First, let’s learn more about cooking Hot Pockets.
How Long to Cook Hot Pockets
Hot Pockets are a gift to people who are always late and exhausted. You may wake up late, knowing you have little time before your battle starts. You might return home exhausted and hungry. In such situations, there’s nothing like pulling out something tasty from the freezer and getting a filling meal in a few minutes!
That’s where Hot Pockets come into the scene. They are microwavable turnovers, with a filling of meat, veggies, cheese, sauce, and more tasty goodness inside bread pockets. They are easy to store and quick to cook, and you just cannot put it down once you sink your teeth into a delicious, cheesy, Hot Pocket!
But the whole experience of enjoying Hot Pockets can be ruined if you undercook or overcook the turnovers. When you don’t cook your Hot Pockets long enough, they remain doughy and cold and taste raw. When you overcook them, they become hard and burnt. So, how long should you cook them?
The first thing to note is that Hot Pockets don’t take long to get prepared. After that, you have to put them in the microwave or oven and set the timer. The key is selecting the right time, depending on the weight of the package, whether it’s a defrosted package, and if you want to microwave it or heat it in the oven.
You can cook Hot Pockets in a microwave oven and traditional oven.
Before we understand the timing, you need to note that they come in the following sizes:
- 48 x 3-ounce (pizza sticks)
- 12 x 8 ounces (sandwich wraps)
- 24 x 4 ounces (sandwich wraps)
Now let’s find out the best time duration for each of these:
a) 48 x 3-ounce Pizza Stix
- Microwave (1100 W): 2 min 15 sec if FROZEN, or 1 min 10 sec if THAWED
- Microwave (700 W): 2 min 30 sec if FROZEN, or 2 min if THAWED
- Convection Microwave (350 F): 12 min if FROZEN, or 9 min inf THAWED
- Conventional Oven (350 F): 23 min if FROZEN, or 12 min if THAWED
- Fryer (350 F to 375 F): 5 min of FROZEN, or 2 min 30 sec if THAWED
b) 12 x 8 ounces Sandwiches
- Microwave (1100 W): 3 min 15 sec if FROZEN, or 2 min if REFRIGERATED
- Microwave (700 W): 4 min 15 sec (Frozen)
- Conventional Oven (350 F): 34 min (Frozen)
c) 24 x 4 ounces Sandwiches
- Microwave (1100 W): 2 min of FROZEN, or 1 min if REFRIGERATED
- Microwave (700 W): 2 min 15 sec (Frozen)
- Conventional Oven (350 F): 23 min (Frozen)
If you want to cook thawed or refrigerated Hot Pocket sandwiches in conventional ovens or 700-W microwave ovens, you must adjust the timing. First, keep an eye on the outer covering and wait for the crust to become brown and crispy. Then, use a digital thermometer to see if the internal temperature is 165 F.
You can cook Hot Pockets in an Air Fryer, as well. For that, you have to preheat the appliance at 350-400 F for about a minute. After that, cook the sandwich for 11-13 min. If you want to lower the time, microwave the Hot Pocket for a minute before popping the turnover into the fryer for another 5 min.
Hot Pockets are supposed to be a quick meal option. That’s why the fastest and the best option is to microwave them. However, cooking them in the oven or air fryer is time-consuming. Therefore, you can try a hybrid method by microwaving the Hot Pockets first and then cooking for half of the duration mentioned above.
A Few Tips about Storing and Cooking Hot Pockets
There’s always a chance that you will find each bite at a different temperature. One way to avoid this is by cooking Hot Pockets for 75% of the suggested time and pulling them out to shake them. This will redistribute the sauce inside. Then, nuke them for the time remaining to get the perfect Hot Pockets.
Hot Pockets are the easiest way to grab a bite, whether it’s breakfast on the go or a midnight meal. But you have to make sure that you store the packages properly. To get the most out of these ready-to-eat microwavable sandwiches and extend their shelf life, you should keep them in the freezer at 32 F or less.
Hot Pockets can last for up to 420 days in the freezer. You can thaw it in the refrigerator at 40 F or less. Thawed Pizza Stix will last for up to 7 days, and thawed sandwiches stay good for 12 days in the fridge. It is recommended not to store Hot Pockets in the fridge as their texture and safety may be compromised.
You can thaw Hot Pockets in the fridge or microwave. But it would be best if you did not refreeze them after that. But what do you do with the extra turnovers after cooking them? Cooked food usually lasts for 3-4 days in the fridge without going bad. But refrigerating cooked Hot Pockets for too long can ruin their quality.
Hot Pockets should be frozen in the original package. So if you want to thaw them in the fridge, there is no need to remove the original package. But at the time of cooking, make sure to remove the wrapper. You should also follow the step and remove the wrapper if you want to thaw the turnover in the microwave.
It is recommended that you let a Hot Pocket wait for at least 2 min after cooking it and pulling it out of the microwave, oven, or fryer. That’s because these stuffed pizza sticks or sandwiches can get scalding inside. So giving in to the temptation of digging into a just cooked Hot Pocket will burn your mouth.
More about Hot Pockets
Did you know that Hot Pockets have been around for 38 years? Paul Merage developed this product with his brother David. They did so for their company Chef America with the hope of creating a portable sandwich. But, instead, they worked to craft something that would turn crisp within a few minutes in the microwave.
Initially, the Jewish Iranian immigrant brothers launched their creation with the name Tastywich in 1983. However, this difficult name did not last long. So it was soon replaced with a new, catchier title, i.e., Hot Pockets before it hit the market. Nevertheless, it became popular because of its deliciousness and quality.
Later, in 2002, Nestlé purchased Chef America. There are many different varieties of the product. People enjoy eating Hot Pockets for breakfast or as a filling meal. The original product, i.e., Pizza Stix, is a pizza roll that brings you the tangy, cheesy goodness of a pizza. It is the most popular product in the range.
Another popular variant of Hot Pockets is the Breakfast Scramble Stix, filled with cheese, scrambled eggs, potatoes, and bell peppers. It’s the most delicious thing with which you can start your day. Then there are delicious sandwiches in different flavors like steak, pepperoni, meatball, and more, with real cheese!
Hot Pockets are a part of American pop culture. From Jim Gaffigan taking a dig at them to Jason Segel gaining 40 pounds for The End of the Tour by eating these sandwiches, Hot Pockets are all around us. It has been through several ups and downs but continues to be a favorite among the people of the US.
How Healthy are Hot Pockets?
One of the reasons people avoid frozen food is the presence of harmful additives, such as flavoring agents, cheese substitutes, and more. However, Nestle clearly mentions that their Hot Pockets do not contain anything of that kind. Instead, the flavors come from the delicious ingredients of high quality used in them.
Your favorite Hot Pockets contain nothing but real cheese, premium meat, and freshly made bread and sauce. As a result, you can enjoy the turnovers without worrying about health concerns. As long as you ensure that your Hot Pockets are stored properly and aren’t raw inside, you will surely not experience health issues.
You have to remember that Hot Pockets are probably not for you if you are a calorie counter. Each Hot Pocket piece may contain anything between 210 calories and 530 calories, depending on the weight and the fillings. It’s a combo of refined carbohydrates and saturated fat. In addition, it often contains processed meat.
The good thing is that Nestle is a brand that wants to maintain clarity regarding what goes into its products. So if you look at the label of Hot Pockets or the product website, you will find all the details. For example, hot Pockets contain allergens like wheat, soy, milk, and eggs. The brand clearly reveals this.
Health-conscious people like to know about the levels of sodium, fat, cholesterol, carbohydrates, and other nutrients. If you belong to that list, you can check the product details. It’s fine to allow yourself a cheat meal every once in a while, especially if you know you can burn off the extra calories in the gym.
While it may not be a good idea to use Hot Pockets as meal replacements regularly, they are perfect every once in a while. With all allergens listed properly, you can decide if it’s right for you if you have any food allergies. You can also lure fussy kids into eating by bribing them with Hot Pockets sometimes.
When you eat Hot Pockets, you’ll know that it’s loaded with protein. What’s even better is that every component of Hot Pockets is of high quality. Back in 2013, Nestle started a healthy drive to improve the recipes and the ingredients for Hot Pockets.
Don’t underestimate it as regular, unhealthy frozen food.
Homemade Hot Pocket Recipes
Hot Pockets are delicious, but you might still feel a little apprehensive about feeding store-bought frozen food to yourself or your family. However, that doesn’t mean you have to stay away from the goodness of Hot Pockets! All you need to do is prepare one from scratch at home. We have a few delicious recipes!
The good thing about homemade Hot Pockets is that they are freezable turnovers with the goodness of home-cooked food. Let’s start with the elementary dough recipes first. As long as you have that, you can add anything to fill and have fun with it. We have two dough recipes for you today.
Regular Dough Recipe for Hot Pockets
- Milk (warm) – 2 cups
- Instant dry yeast – 2 tbsp
- Sugar – 1/4 cup
- Salt – 2 tsp
- Butter (soft) – 1/3 cup
- Egg – 1 piece (large)
- All-purpose flour – 5 to 5½ cups
- Take a large bowl and put warm milk in it. Add yeast and sugar and combine everything.
- Add butter, egg, and salt. Stir it.
- Next, slowly stir in 5 cups of flour and knead well to form a smooth dough. If it’s too sticky, add another half cup of flour.
- Take another large mixing bowl and spray it with cooking oil. Transfer the dough to this bowl and cover it with a kitchen towel. Let it sit for 60-90 min till the dough rises and doubles in size.
Your dough for Hot Pockets is ready!
Vegan, Gluten-Free Dough Recipe for Hot Pockets
- White rice flour – 1 cup
- Tapioca flour – 1/2 cup
- Cornstarch – 1/3 cup
- Psyllium husk powder – 2 tsp
- Sea salt – 1/3 tsp
- Plant-based milk (warm) – 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp
- Active dry yeast – 1½ tsp
- Olive oil – 1 tsp
- Maple/agave syrup – 1/2 tsp
- Heat the plant-based milk until it’s slightly warm. Add maple/agave syrup, olive oil, and yeast to it, mix, and set it aside for 5-10 min till it becomes frothy.
- In a bowl, put the rice flour, tapioca flour, cornstarch, and psyllium husk powder and combine.
- Put the frothy yeast mixture into the dry mix and stir till the wetness goes away and everything starts to come together. Knead the dough after that using your hand.
- Transfer the dough to another bowl that’s sprayed with cooking oil. Cover it with a wet towel and set it aside for 60-90 min, till the dough rises.
Your vegan, gluten-free Hot Pocket dough is now ready.
Cooking Homemade Hot Pockets:
- Divide the dough into 4 equal parts using a large knife. Take one-quarter of the dough to make three Hot Pockets, and refrigerate the rest, covered in a cling wrap.
- Roll the dough that you have taken into a large rectangle. It should be about 17 inches in width, and the thickness should be 1/4 inches.
- Cut the rectangle into 3 equal parts and roll them properly again.
- Place the Hot Pocket filling of your choice on one half of this rectangle, keeping it away from the edges. Next, fold the empty half of the rectangle over and, using a fork, press down on the edges to seal them. Repeat the process for each rectangle.
Your pockets are ready to be stored in the freezer or refrigerator. You can bake them in the oven for 15 min at 375 F. They will take 30 sec in the microwave if refrigerated and 60 sec if frozen.
Hot Pocket Marinara Sauce Filling
Your Hot Pockets can be as versatile as a pizza. You can add anything as a filling. The simplest way to go about this would be to load the pocket with cheese and protein. Then, shred your favorite cheese and put it on the dough. Next, add meatballs, sausages, salami, pepperoni, or any leftover meat to it, and continue to cook.
If you don’t want to add meat, you can choose other options like sauteed mushrooms, roasted broccoli, scrambled eggs, avocado, corn, olive, and more. You can add the feel of a pizza to the pockets by adding multiple cheese types. Don’t be afraid to play with flavors by adding basil, sage, and other fresh herbs.
To add another dimension of flavor to the Hot Pockets, you can add a few spoonfuls of homemade marinara sauce to the filling. A batch of marinara sauce is easy to make at home. First, you have to slow-cook tomatoes with chopped onions and garlic in olive oil for 45-60 min, and flavor it with oregano.
Hot Pockets by Nestle can be a great way to fix a quick meal. Since they are microwavable, they can be cooked within a few minutes. Always check the package for details regarding the weight of the turnovers to select the ideal duration of cooking.
Microwaving Hot Pockets is the quickest way to cook them. Use a thermometer to check if the internal temperature is 165 F. It’s best not to cook the Hot Pockets in one go. Instead, pause the cooking a short while before the suggested time.
Shake the turnovers to redistribute the sauce inside. Then, continue with the cooking process to get the perfect Hot Pockets.
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