When you’re hungry, the last thing you want is to spend time defrosting vegetables, preparing food from scratch, and slaving in the kitchen. You will want an easy meal or snack to save you from your hunger.
Whether you are a busy college student studying for exams or a working parent who wants to get dinner ready in a jiffy, Hot Pockets can be your lifesaver. But how long do you microwave a Hot Pocket in an oven?
This article will guide you on everything you need about cooking a Hot Pocket. I’ll take you through the right time, temperature, and cooking instructions. This will be helpful advice if you are a first-time Hot Pocket cook or a pro.
How Long To Microwave A Hot Pocket?
The right time for microwaving Hot Pockets depends on the size and variety you are working with. But as a general recommendation, you need 2-3 minutes to cook them, and they’re done. You see why this is a fast and easy go-to food/snack. All Hot Pockets packaging comes with cooking instructions based on the specific variety.
When cooking a Philly cheese steak pocket, you’ll be required to cook longer than others. To err on the side of caution, microwave your Hot Pocket for a bit longer than the instructions say so they don’t end up coming out cold or undercooked.
When microwaving, the temperature should not be too high or too low. A high temperature will make them dry and tough, while a low temperature will make them undercooked and cold.
Guide on How To Microwave Hot Pocket Perfectly
Once you know the right time to microwave your hot pocket, the following guide will help you get the best Hot Pockets ever. Making perfect Hot Pockets is easy, follow these steps;
- On the microwave plate or bowl, place the Hot Pocket. It’ll ensure it cooks evenly.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes at full power or until the Hot Pocket is heated through completely.
- If the Hot Pockets were frozen, you might have to cook them longer than a fresh one.
- Check the packaging for specific cooking instructions ( some varieties require cooking for a bit longer than others e.g. frozen Philly cheese steak pockets).
- If the packaging says 2-3 minutes, I’d advise you to cook for 4-5 minutes to ensure it is well cooked ( a trick I use).
- When it’s done, allow the pockets to cool for some minutes because eating them right away may be too hot and may burn your mouth.
- Enjoy your favorite drink when the temperature is cold enough for you to handle.
How To Make Sure Your Hot Pocket Is Cooked Evenly
When you cook your hot plate evenly, you enjoy it more because it gets cooked and hot throughout. Below are a few steps to ensure you have evenly cooked Hot Pockets.
- Use a microwave bowl or plate to ensure an even distribution of heat
- Placing the Hot Pockets on a microwave bowl or plate will prevent them from sticking to the walls of the microwave.
- Set the power at 50% or lower to avoid them drying up and getting tough.
- Cook them for the recommended time. When in a hurry, you can plate two hot plates separately and cook them together.
Let the Hot Pocket cool for a bit before eating. This will prevent you from burning your mouth and at the same time, the heat will further cook the hot pocket.
How to Store Leftover Hot Pockets
That feeling of wanting a hot pocket but not being able to finish it in one sitting. Instead of throwing them away, save them for some other time. When you store them properly, you can always go back and enjoy them the next day or a day after.
Before storing your leftovers, ensure they’ve cool down to prevent them from getting soggy. Wrap them tight in aluminum foil to keep the bread dry and store them in the fridge. It can last for as long as 3 days. Whenever you’re ready to wait, microwave them for a few minutes to get the heat through and enjoy. You can also store the leftover in a freezer for about 2 months.
What Are The Hot Pockets Alternative?
Although Hot Pockets are popular snacks in town, you may be looking to switch to other alternatives. Below are some of our favorite alternatives that you’ll surely love:
- Egg rolls: They are made with pork, vegetables, and seasoning all wrapped in a pastry dough and then fried most times (other times baked). It is a Chinese-style appetizer.
- Taquitos: These are Mexican-style tacos filled with meat, Cheese then fried or baked till they become crispy
- Pizza pockets: These snacks are portable and similar to Hot Pockets but are filled with pizza toppings like sausages, cheese, and pepperoni.
- Samosas: This is an Indian-style snack made with potatoes, peas, and a load of spices wrapped in a thin pastry dough and fried until crispy.
- Empanadas: This Latin American turnover is filled with vegetables, cheese, and meat.
- Calzones: These are Italian turnovers filled with pizza toppings and then baked.
- Ravioli: They are Italian-style dumplings filled with cheese, potatoes, and sauerkraut, then baked or boiled.
- Turnovers: Turnovers at flaky pastries are mostly filled with either sweet or savory filling. Examples of turnover fillings include cream cheese, chicken, or fruits. They can either be baked or fried.
- Perogies are polished-style dumplings with potatoes, sauerkraut, and cheese fillings, then boiled or baked.
Are Hot Pockets Healthy?
Because of how quick and convenient hot pockets are to prepare, we often wonder if they’re healthy, junk food, or something you could it moderately.
Hot Pockets are no doubt inexpensive and easy to make. Not to forget how yummy every bite can be. It’ll interest you that your delicious hot pockets are filled with processed ingredients like fats and sugar, which are unhealthy.
Although we all love the mouthwatering pepperoni, ham, and cheddar flavors, no one will appreciate eating 630 milligrams of sodium, 14 grams of processed fat, and food coloring. Because hot pockets contain sodium citrate, Gold coloring, textured vegetable protein, and imitation cheese, it will be detrimental to your health if you eat it every day.
And If you are trying to stick to a well-rounded or all-natural ingredients diet, you should avoid hot pockets entirely. But despite their lack of nutrition, it’s okay to have one occasionally because that wouldn’t end the world.
Nutritional Information of Hot Pocket vs. Lean Pocket
Many people consider using hot pockets for their lazy girl weight loss, but lean pockets may be a smart substitute. It is important to understand the nutritional facts of these snacks, which can influence you in deciding what to go for. Although Hot pockets claims that its products are healthy, their ingredients tell a different story.
|Nutritional contents||Hot Pockets||Lean Pocket|
|Serving||1 pack (127 grams)||1 pack (127 grams)|
|Protein||11 grams||12 grams|
|Carbohydrates||37 grams||40 grams|
|Fats||13 grams||7 grams|
|Calories||7 grams||3.5 grams|
|Saturated fats||6 grams||3.5 grams|
|Sodium||630 milligrams||560 milligrams|
|Sugar||9 grams||12 grams|
|Dietary Fiber||2 grams||3 grams|
Both Lean and Hot Pockets contain dextrose, which can cause an individual’s sugar level to rise. This can cause internal swelling and the building of fluids in the lungs. They both contain Trans fats which raise LDL (bad cholesterol) and decrease good cholesterol (HDL).
Both Pockets are made with enriched flour, which can increase cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart disease.
Can Hot Pockets Help you Lose weight?
Although they are easy to make, I promise they’re not worth the risk of the ingredients. Moreover, there are a lot of other tasty alternatives. When trying to lose weight, your diet should focus more on nutrient-dense foods than nutrient-poor and energy-dense foods. Plan your snacks accordingly and occasionally because they can be a good source of energy in the middle of the day or to reduce hunger and avoid over-eating meals.
There are a lot of Hot Pocket alternatives for weight loss. Examples are white egg sandwiches, multigrain English muffins, vegetable wraps, feta sandwiches, low-fat lean turkey and so many more.
Other snacks that help fill you up and provide great nutritional needs include;
- Sweet: When going for a sweet taste, chop a bowl of mixed fruits like berries, apples, and melons (add other fruits of your choice, and add a few squares of the dark chocolate bar, Greek yogurt, and chia seed. This will fill your stomach and also give you loads of nutrients (vitamins, protein, antioxidants, and many more).
- Savory: Get a handful of nuts (almonds), cubes of natural cheese, and nut butter for a savory option. Place them on a rice cake and enjoy.
- Creamy: Greet yogurt, cottage cheese, hummus, and carrot sticks
- Crunchy: Sometimes, we crave a crunchy meal that can satisfy our hunger. You can opt for some vegetable sticks or mixed nuts.
Hot pockets are not the snack you need for weight loss because they contain numerous processed preservatives, additives, and potentially toxic ingredients. You should avoid them at all costs.
Are Hot Pockets A Good Source of Protein?
Protein is an essential nutrient we all need to have a balanced diet. Hot Pocket is not too healthy, but it contains meat and is a good protein source. A hot pocket contains about 18 grams of protein per piece (226 grams). 18 grams of protein will make up about 26% of most people’s daily protein requirements. The Norman daily recommendation of protein intake is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
To further redeem this point, the meat in the hot pocket is an animal protein which is considered a superior quality protein. Other animal proteins include eggs and milk. But on the contrary, these ingredients are low-quality sources.
Are Hot Pockets Considered Junk Food?
While we’ve established that hot pockets are not healthy for you, are they considered junk food? Are they bad for you?
The list of ingredients on Hot Pocket contains many processed ingredients, unhealthy substitutes, and extremely high fats, sodium, and saturated fats. These types of ingredients should be considered junk food. Not to mention the preservatives and additives included in the snack, which makes them unhealthy.
In 2021, there was a Nationwide call on the manufacturers (Nestle) on the prevalence of glass and hard plastics in their products. This speaks loudly of the dangers to consumers and poor food quality control.
Also, in 2014, Nestle USA recorded over 200,000 cases of unsound beef products in Hot Pockets. The U.S Inspection Service and Department of Agriculture Food Safety stated the meat in Hot pockets is from “diseased” animals.
Hot pockets not only contain a low nutritional value but also have unsafe ingredients that lack quality which should raise the alarm to you as a consumer. Rather than taking a risk with Hot pockets, there are many healthier options or alternatives that taste better and contain all-natural ingredients without any safety risks.
You can never go wrong with Hot Pockets for an easy, convenient lunch option. However, you should microwave them for 2-3 minutes for a hot, fresh Hot Pocket. Microwaving your Hot Pockets for the right time with the right time will give you that crispy outside and melted cheese inside pockets that will satisfy your hunger.
However, it is important to note that microwaves vary, and Hot Pockets also come in different varieties. The time needed for microwaving may differ depending on these factors. Always check the packaging label for specific instructions; with all that, you will enjoy your snack confidently.