If you’re in a hurry and craving something warm and savory, these microwavable cheese and meat-filled turnovers called Hot Pockets are the perfect snacks. But if you don’t have a microwave, don’t worry; there are other easy and even better ways to warm them up.
In my experience, the best way to cook hot pockets is by using a toaster oven or an air fryer. They will perfectly crisp a hot pocket on the outside and tenderize it on the inside.
If this is your first time cooking hot pockets in the toaster oven, then here are my simple cooking tips to get crispy and melted hot pockets every time. Let’s begin!
Did you know that Hot Pockets were initially called ‘Chunk Stuffers’, and 50 different hot pockets flavors have been launched since the company started in 1983?
Toaster ovens are just like conventional ovens, only they are compact and can fit on your countertop. It works the same as a regular-sized oven and is quite perfect for cooking hot pockets.
Here is a step-by-step instruction on how to cook hot pockets in a toaster oven and other kitchen appliances:
Step 1: Preheat The Toaster Oven
The recommended cooking temperature for hot pockets in a toaster oven is 350°F (176.6°C); make sure to preheat the toaster oven before you put the hot pockets in.
If your toaster oven has a preheating mode, you can set it to the desired temperature. If not, you can either use an oven thermometer or turn on the toaster oven and leave it for 3-5 minutes to warm up. Due to their small size, toaster ovens heat up much faster than regular ovens.
Step 2: Place The Hot Pocket On The Baking Tray
Take out the frozen hot pocket from its box and place it on the lightly greased baking sheet. Discard the crisping sleeve because it is only useful when you use the microwave.
You can line the tray with aluminum foil for ease of cleaning. Don’t use parchment paper in a toaster oven because it might catch fire.
Step 3: Start Baking
Typically, it will take 25-30 minutes to cook a hot pocket thoroughly in a toaster oven.
If the heating element is situated at the bottom, make sure to flip the hot pocket after 10-12 minutes to cook evenly on both sides.
All toaster ovens are different and may vary in heat distribution or insulation. So, check the hot pocket a few minutes before the recommended cooking time to see if it is done.
Step 4: Serve It
The most accurate way to know if the hot pocket is done is to check its internal temperature. Insert a thermometer in the middle of the hot pocket and check the temperature, which should read 165°F (73.8°C).
Once the hot pocket is hot in the center and crispy and golden brown, take it out of the toaster oven and let it sit for 2 minutes. Once it has cooled down so you won’t burn yourself, it is ready to eat.
By following these few simple steps, you can get hot and crispy hot pockets (almost) every time!
How Long To Cook Hot Pockets In Different Appliances
Hot Pockets take, on average, about two minutes to cook in the microwave and up to 30 minutes in a conventional oven. However, it is recommended that you follow the cooking instructions on the Hot Pocket’s packaging, as cooking times may vary slightly depending on the specific product and appliance you are using.
Also, if you are cooking more than one hot pocket at a time, you may need to increase the cooking time by a few minutes .
Here are the cooking instructions for some of the most popular and delicious hot pockets:
Pepperoni Pizza Hot Pocket And Ham & Cheese Cooking Instructions
Here are the heating instructions for the all-time favorite ham and cheese as well as frozen pepperoni pizza hot pocket using different kitchen appliances:
- Microwave – Always use the crisping sleeve when heating hot pockets in the microwave. The cooking time for an 1100-watt microwave oven is 1 minute 50 seconds (1 hot pocket) and 3 minutes 30 seconds for two. For a lower-wattage microwave, heat for 2 minutes and 50 seconds.
- Air fryer – For one turnover, set the temperature at 360°F (182°C) and cook for 16 minutes. Air-frying hot pockets will make them crispy, so you don’t need to use a crisping sleeve.
- Conventional oven – Preheat the oven to 350°F (170.6°C) and bake for 27 minutes. You don’t need to use the crisping sleeve in an oven.
Read Also: Is There An Air Fryer Microwave Combo? Yes, Here Are The 5 Best Ones!
How To Ensure A Hot Pocket Is Cooked Uniformly?
One of the issues with microwave ovens is that they tend to heat food unevenly. This is because microwaves heat food by causing water molecules to vibrate, and these vibrations are not always distributed evenly throughout the food. As a result, you may find that the edges of your food are cooked more than the center, or vice versa.
Another problem with using microwaves is that you don’t get the Maillard reaction that creates crispy surfaces.
This is where the crisping sleeve comes in! The crisping sleeve is also called a susceptor because it absorbs electromagnetic energy and converts it into regular heat. It helps to make the hot pockets crisp and cook them thoroughly.
To enjoy the optimal Hot Pocket experience, Nestle suggests using a paper plate during the heating process along with the crisping sleeve. They say this will help to ensure the pocket is crisp and evenly heated.
Another hack for heating a hot pocket is to microwave for up to 75% of the suggested time. Then, take it out and give it a good shake.
This will cause the hot filling from the edges to mix with the cold filling so that it is heated more evenly. Then microwave it for the remaining time, still keeping the crisping sleeve on for extra crispiness.
Here are some tips and tricks I have learned from cooking hot pockets over the years.
- Often the edges of the hot pocket are not closed properly, and the high heat can cause the fillings to ooze out. To avoid this, seal the edges by pinching them with a fork.
- Hot pockets might explode inside the oven or microwave because of the steam build-up inside it. The solution is to poke holes into them with a fork to release the steam.
- Microwaving a hot pocket is fast, but the result is not always the best, even with the crisping sleeve. So you can heat it in the microwave first and then toss it in the toaster oven for the remaining time for extra crispiness.
Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about hot pockets and how to cook them.
Are Thawed Hot Pockets Safe To Eat?
You can thaw the hot pockets before cooking, but cooking them from frozen for the best results is recommended. It is not safe to eat raw, uncooked hot pockets. You should always cook them according to the instructions stated on the packaging.
Are Hot Pockets Already Cooked?
The majority of hot pockets sold in supermarkets are not cooked and therefore require the consumer to cook them. To avoid foodborne illness, it is important to ensure that they are fully cooked before consumption.
Can You Reheat Hot Pockets?
Yes, you can reheat hot pockets even after you have cooked them once. If you cooked a hot pocket but couldn’t consume it right away, keep it in the refrigerator within 2 hours of cooking them. You can reheat them for about 30 seconds in the microwave or 10 minutes in the oven. It takes much less time since they are not frozen anymore.
Are Hot Pockets Healthy?
Hot pockets are a guilty pleasure and not particularly healthy, but they are not all bad! They are made of 100% real cheese, there are no added artificial flavors, and each serving packs about 10g of protein. For a slightly healthier option, you could try Amy’s Pocket Sandwiches.
Do Hot Pockets Deliwich Need To Be Cooked?
The new Hot Pockets Deliwich sandwich is a thaw-and-eat product and does not require heating. Thaw for 2 hours at room temperature, or if you like it warm, microwave on high for 45-60 seconds or heat it in the toaster oven at 350°F (176.6°) for 10 minutes.
How Long Do You Need To Cook Big And Bold Hot Pockets?
Big And Bold Hot Pockets are 50 percent larger than the regular 4.5oz ones and therefore take slightly longer to cook. Bake it in the conventional oven or toaster oven for 35 minutes at 400°F (204°C) or heat it in the microwave for 3 minutes and 15 seconds at the high setting.
Are Hot Pockets Gluten-Free?
While original Hot Pockets are not gluten-free, there are a few other companies that make gluten-free versions, like Mikey’s gluten-free pizza pockets or GeeFree gluten-free cheese pizza pocket sandwich.
Can You Deep Fry Hot Pockets?
It seems that nowadays, anything can be deep-fried, so you can deep-fry hot pockets also. Heat the oil to 350°F (176°C) using a skillet or deep fryer. Carefully place the frozen hot pocket into the hot oil and deep fry for about 5 minutes. The result is a thoroughly hot filling and extra crispy dough.
Toaster ovens are just as effective as conventional ovens or microwaves when it comes to cooking hot pockets. Toaster ovens also have the ability to brown and crisp food, which microwaves are not that good at, even with a crisping sleeve.
But finally, I must say, it does not matter what appliance you use or how carefully you follow the instruction above; hot pockets just don’t heat up evenly. It is always either the right temperature on the outside and cold on the inside or vice versa. So, good luck, and I hope it works out better for you.
-  Hot Pocket cook time guide – retrieved from: https://www.goodnes.com/hot-pockets/cook-time/