Do Hot Pockets Expire? 


Hot Pockets are an easy snack, lunch, or dinner that have been around since the ’80s. When they were first released and placed on store shelves, they were originally called Chunk Stuffers. 

Thankfully, they have since been renamed to the more appetizing name of Hot Pockets. 

Since its creation, Hot Pockets have gained much popularity as an easy, go-to food. They are fast to make and are like a meal wrapped in a flakey crust. The most popular flavors that have lasted for years are Pepperoni Pizza and Five Cheese. 

There are countless other flavors of Hot Pockets that you can try and that they are constantly creating new ones as well. You can even have Hot Pockets for breakfast. 

If you have had a few boxes of Hot Pockets hanging around in your freezer, have they gone bad? Do Hot Pockets expire? How do you know if the Hot Pockets in the freezer are still any good to eat? 

Hot Pockets can be frozen almost indefinitely. As long as the Hot Pockets have remained frozen, they are safe to eat; however, the outside crust might not taste as great if they are more than 6-12 months old. You can remove the Hot Pockets from their box and place the plastic-wrapped Hot Pockets into an air-tight container to prevent any form of freezer burn from happening and keep them fresh for longer. 

Hot Pockets should only ever be stored in the freezer and never in the fridge. If you decide to defrost some Hot Pockets overnight, that is fine, but the defrosted Hot Pockets should not go back in the freezer. Additionally, a Hot Pocket will last in the fridge for about three days. 

Since Hot Pockets contain meat and dairy, they will begin to go bad within a few days in the fridge. To see the most popular Hot Pocket flavors just click here. 

How Long Do Hot Pockets Go In The Microwave For? 

Have you ever heated up a Hot Pocket and found that halfway through eating it the center wasn’t fully cooked? You have the outsides that are perfectly cooked, maybe even a little too hot. Then you have the middle which still has some ice crystals! 

Is there a way to prevent a frozen middle of your Hot Pocket? 

The best way to heat a Hot Pocket is to follow the instructions on the package. It may be tempting to forgo the crisping sleeve since it creates a crusty mess when placing it on, but it is important. It is also important to place the Hot Pocket in the crisping sleeve onto a microwave-safe plate. 

Cook on high for two minutes; if your microwave is less than 1100 Watts, you’ll need to cook it for three minutes. To help make sure the middle is cooked, around the minute and a half mark, you can take out the Hot Pocket and shake it. This allows the warm ends to mix in with the still cold middle. Once shaken, you can place it back in the microwave for the remaining thirty seconds. 

Another way to experience Hot Pockets is by baking them in the oven. Unwrap the Hot Pockets and place them onto a baking tray. There is no need for a crisping sleeve when you are using the oven. 

Preheat your oven to 350ºF and bake for 28 minutes. 

Are Hot Pockets Unhealthy? 

Hot Pockets used to have a “healthier” version, called Lean Pockets. Lean Pockets were designed to have fewer calories and fats than a regular Hot Pocket. Lean Pockets’ original flavors consisted of Philly Cheese Steak and Chicken Jalepeño and Cheese. 

However, Lean Pockets were eventually discontinued due to a lack of sales. 

Since Lean Pockets were discontinued, did they try to change up the recipe for Hot Pockets to make them a little bit healthier? If you eat two Hot Pockets in one sitting, is that healthy? Are the breakfast Hot Pockets a good choice for a healthy breakfast? 

Hot Pockets are not considered healthy. The ingredients that go into making them take up the entire side of the box. There is a lot of sugar and saturated fats in them that make the calorie count per Hot Pocket up to 300 calories. 

However, there are a lot of foods on our shelves that are not considered healthy to eat. If a Hot Pocket is all you have to eat, then it is the healthiest food you have. It is better to eat than to starve. 

If you do have Hot Pockets for dinner, it is probably best to limit it to just one pocket. 

You can eat Hot Pockets for breakfast, but it might not be the healthiest option. Again, if it’s quick and easy and it means you’ll actually eat something, then yes, eating that Hot Pocket is much better than eating nothing at all. 

Do Hot Pockets Have Real Meat? 

A box of Hot Pockets should be a staple food item in your freezer. If you are in a hurry or have had a long day, you can open your freezer, pull out a few Hot Pockets, heat them up, and enjoy some dinner. 

However, if you are feeding your family Hot Pockets a little more than normal, are they getting any real protein? Is the meat in Hot Pockets real or is it manufactured? 

Nestle, the makers of Hot Pockets, have assured consumers that Hot Pockets are made with real, premium cuts of meat and also real cheese.  The meat in Hot Pockets is safe to eat and contains real protein. 

Can Vegans Eat Hot Pockets? 

If you grew up eating Hot Pockets because that’s all that was in the house but are now an adult who chose a vegan lifestyle, can you still enjoy your childhood favorite snack? Now that you can make your own decision about what you do and do not put in your body, does that mean Hot Pockets can no longer be a go-to snack? 

Are there any options for Vegan Hot Pockets? 

Unfortunately, at this time, there are no Vegan Hot Pockets on the shelves. Every option of Hot Pockets includes cheese. There are a few without meat, but all Hot Pockets have cheese inside. 

Final Thoughts

Next time you go to your freezer, see Hot Pockets, and think to yourself, how long ago did I buy these? You can rest assured and know that they are still safe to eat no matter your purchase date. 

You can enjoy your Hot Pockets knowing that your freezer has kept them safe. They might be a little freezer burnt, but that’s nothing the oven and microwave can’t help to fix and they are still edible, even if they won’t taste the best if they have been in the freezer for a long time. 

Hannah R.

Hey, I'm Hannah and I'm the founder of Get Eatin'.

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