How Long to Cook Hot Pocket

Hot Pockets are a popular and convenient snack loved by many. These tasty treats are filled with various savory fillings and wrapped in a soft, doughy crust. Whether you’re a fan of the classic pepperoni and cheese or prefer a vegetarian option, cooking your Hot Pocket to perfection is crucial to achieving the best flavor and texture.

In general, we advise baking your hot pocket at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for around 12 minutes in a convection oven and about 28 minutes in a regular oven. This ensures that the dough is well baked and the inside is hot and gooey.

In this article, we’ll discuss the different types of Hot Pockets, provide detailed cooking instructions, and guide you on how long to cook them for optimal results.

Cooking Time for Hot Pockets

The cooking time for Hot Pockets may vary depending on the cooking method and the type of Hot Pocket you’re preparing. Here are the general guidelines for both microwave and oven cooking:

Microwave Cooking Time

The following cooking times are based on an 1100-watt microwave. If your microwave has a different power level, adjust the cooking time accordingly:

  • Regular-sized Hot Pocket: 2-3 minutes
  • Snack-sized Hot Pocket: 1-2 minutes

Oven Cooking Time

For oven cooking, the recommended temperature and cooking time are usually provided on the Hot Pocket packaging. However, as a general guideline:

  • Regular-sized Hot Pocket: 20-25 minutes at 375°F (190°C)
  • Snack-sized Hot Pocket: 16-18 minutes at 375°F (190°C)

Note that these times are approximate and may vary based on your oven’s performance and the specific instructions on the packaging.

What are Hot Pockets?

Hot Pockets are frozen turnovers filled with various ingredients, enclosed in a crusty exterior. They were first introduced in 1983 and have since gained popularity for their convenience and versatility. These quick and easy-to-prepare snacks are perfect for busy individuals or those looking for a tasty bite on the go.

Types of Hot Pockets

Hot Pockets come in a variety of flavors and fillings to suit different tastes and dietary preferences. Here are some common types of Hot Pockets you can find:

Meat-Based Hot Pockets

Meat-based Hot Pockets are a favorite among meat lovers. They feature a combination of meats like pepperoni, ham, sausage, or chicken, paired with cheese and sometimes vegetables. These flavorsome options are packed with protein and are sure to satisfy your cravings.

Vegetarian Hot Pockets

Vegetarian Hot Pockets are a great option for those following a vegetarian diet or looking to reduce their meat consumption. These pockets are filled with a medley of vegetables, cheeses, and flavorful sauces. From spinach and feta to broccoli and cheddar, there’s a vegetarian Hot Pocket to suit every palate.

Breakfast Hot Pockets

Breakfast Hot Pockets offer a delicious way to start your day. These savory treats are filled with breakfast favorites such as eggs, cheese, bacon, or sausage. They provide a convenient and portable option for a quick breakfast on busy mornings.

Cooking Instructions for Hot Pockets

Cooking Hot Pockets can be done using two primary methods: microwave cooking and oven cooking. Each method has its own advantages, and the cooking time may vary depending on your preference.

Microwave Cooking

Microwaving is the quickest way to cook Hot Pockets, making it a popular choice for those in a hurry. To microwave a Hot Pocket, follow these steps:

  1. Remove the Hot Pocket from its packaging.
  2. Place the Hot Pocket on a microwave-safe plate.
  3. Cook the Hot Pocket on high power for the recommended time (refer to the next section for specific cooking times).
  4. Let the Hot Pocket sit for a minute or two to cool down before enjoying it.

Oven Cooking

Oven cooking allows for a crisper crust and more even heating of the filling. While it takes a bit longer than microwaving, the results can be worth the wait. To cook Hot Pockets in the oven, follow these steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to the recommended temperature (refer to the packaging or the next section for specific instructions).
  2. Remove the Hot Pocket from its packaging.
  3. Place the Hot Pocket directly on the oven rack or on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  4. Bake the Hot Pocket for the recommended time (refer to the next section for specific cooking times).
  5. Allow the Hot Pocket to cool slightly before enjoying.

Tips for Cooking Hot Pockets

To ensure your Hot Pockets turn out perfectly cooked and delicious, consider the following tips:

Poking Holes in the Crust

Before cooking, it’s a good idea to gently poke a few holes in the top crust of the Hot Pocket. This helps to release steam during the cooking process and prevents the crust from becoming soggy.

Letting the Hot Pocket Rest

After cooking, allow the Hot Pocket to rest for a minute or two. This helps the filling to cool down slightly and prevents any potential burns from the hot filling.

Checking the Internal Temperature

For food safety, it’s important to check the internal temperature of the Hot Pocket before consuming. The internal temperature should reach at least 165°F (74°C) to ensure the filling is fully heated.

Achieving the Best Results

To achieve the best results when cooking Hot Pockets, consider the following additional recommendations:

Properly Thawing Hot Pockets

If your Hot Pockets are frozen solid, it’s recommended to thaw them slightly before cooking. Thawing allows for more even heating and reduces the risk of an undercooked center.

Using a Crisping Sleeve

Some Hot Pockets come with a crisping sleeve, which helps to create a crispier crust. Follow the instructions on the packaging to use the crisping sleeve effectively.

Choosing the Right Power Level (Microwave)

If your microwave has adjustable power levels, consider using 50% power instead of full power. This can help prevent the crust from becoming too tough or chewy.

Preheating the Oven

When cooking Hot Pockets in the oven, preheating the oven ensures a more consistent and even cooking process. Always preheat the oven as per the instructions provided.


Hot Pockets are a delicious and convenient snack option that can be enjoyed in various flavors and fillings. By following the appropriate cooking instructions and considering the cooking time, you can ensure that your Hot Pockets are cooked to perfection. Whether you prefer microwaving or oven baking, these tips and tricks will help you achieve the best results for a satisfying Hot Pocket experience.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I cook Hot Pockets in a toaster?

It’s not recommended to cook Hot Pockets in a toaster as they can become too crispy or may not cook evenly. Stick to the microwave or oven for best results.

Can I air fry Hot Pockets?

Yes, you can air fry Hot Pockets. Follow the air fryer manufacturer’s instructions for cooking time and temperature, and adjust as needed.

Can I cook multiple Hot Pockets at once?

Yes, you can cook multiple Hot Pockets at once, but be sure to leave enough space for air circulation to ensure even cooking. Adjust the cooking time accordingly.

What is the best way to reheat a hot pocket?

The best way to reheat a Hot Pocket is to preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C), place the Hot Pocket on a baking sheet, and bake for 15-20 minutes until it is heated through and the crust is crispy.

Can you make hot pockets ahead of time?

Yes, you can make Hot Pockets ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator or freezer until you’re ready to heat and eat them.

How long do hot pockets last?

The shelf life of Hot Pockets varies depending on the storage conditions, but typically they can last in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks and in the freezer for up to 3 months. It’s important to check the expiration date and follow the storage instructions on the packaging for the most accurate information.

Do hot pockets have a shelf life?

Yes, Hot Pockets have a shelf life. The specific duration can vary, but generally, they have an expiration date printed on the packaging, indicating how long they are expected to remain fresh and safe for consumption. It’s important to check the expiration date and consume Hot Pockets before that date for optimal quality.

What are the healthier options with hot pockets?

Hot Pockets offers some healthier options, such as those with whole grain crust, lean protein fillings like chicken or turkey, and added vegetables. Checking the nutritional information on the packaging can help identify lower calorie, lower fat, and higher fiber options. However, it’s worth noting that homemade alternatives using fresh ingredients would generally provide greater control over the nutritional content.

Can I add extra toppings to my hot pocket?

Yes, you can add extra toppings to your Hot Pocket. Adding toppings like shredded cheese, sliced vegetables, or herbs can enhance the flavor and customize your Hot Pocket to your liking. Just be mindful not to overload it with too many toppings, as it may affect the cooking time and texture.

Do hot pockets need to be refrigerated?

Hot Pockets should be stored in the freezer or refrigerator, depending on whether they are uncooked or cooked. Uncooked Hot Pockets should be kept frozen until ready to cook. Once cooked, any leftovers should be refrigerated promptly to maintain their freshness and prevent spoilage. Follow the storage instructions on the packaging for the best results.

How do I reheat a hot pocket?

To reheat a Hot Pocket, follow these steps:
1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
2. Remove the Hot Pocket from its packaging.
3. Place the Hot Pocket on a baking sheet or toaster oven tray.
4. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes or until the crust is crispy and the filling is heated through.
5. Allow it to cool for a few minutes before enjoying it. Be cautious as the filling may be hot.

Can you heat up hot pockets on the stove?

Yes, you can heat up Hot Pockets on the stove by following these steps:
1. Preheat a non-stick skillet or frying pan on medium heat.
2. Remove the Hot Pocket from its packaging.
3. Place the Hot Pocket in the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side.
4. Flip the Hot Pocket occasionally to ensure even heating and prevent burning.
5. Cook until the crust is crispy and the filling is heated through.
6. Remove from the skillet and let it cool for a few minutes before eating.

Are hot pockets unhealthy?

Hot Pockets are convenient and tasty, but they are generally considered to be a less healthy option. They tend to be high in calories, saturated fats, sodium, and processed ingredients. However, Hot Pockets now offer some healthier options with whole grain crusts, lean proteins, and added vegetables. Moderation and balance in the overall diet are key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Can I freeze cooked Hot Pockets?

Yes, you can freeze cooked Hot Pockets. Allow them to cool completely, wrap them tightly in foil or plastic wrap, and store them in a freezer-safe bag or container.

Are hot pockets already cooked?

Hot Pockets are partially cooked during the manufacturing process, but they are designed to be fully cooked by the consumer before consumption. They should be heated according to the instructions on the packaging to ensure that they are heated through and safe to eat.

How to know if my hot pocket is done?

To know if your Hot Pocket is done, you can follow these indicators:

1. Crust Color: The crust should be golden brown and crispy.
2. Internal Temperature: Insert a food thermometer into the center of the Hot Pocket. It should register at least 165°F (74°C), indicating that the filling is thoroughly heated.
3. Steam: When you cut or bite into the Hot Pocket, steam should escape, indicating that the filling is hot.

By checking these signs, you can ensure that your Hot Pocket is cooked and safe to eat.

How many hot pockets come in a box?

The number of Hot Pockets in a box can vary depending on the specific package size and type. Generally, a standard box of Hot Pockets contains 2 Hot Pockets.

However, there are larger boxes available that may contain more Hot Pockets, such as boxes with 4 or 6 Hot Pockets.

Is there a recall on hot pockets?

In 2014, over 750,000 pounds of pepperoni Hot Pockets were subject to a recall due to the potential presence of plastic, glass, and metal fragments. No injuries or illnesses were reported, and if you have any affected products, it is advised to return them to the store for a refund.

Do hot pockets have eggs in them?

No, Hot Pockets do not typically contain eggs as a standard ingredient. The most common Hot Pockets varieties consist of a crust, meat or cheese filling, and sometimes vegetables. However, it’s essential to check the specific flavor and variant of Hot Pocket you are interested in, as some specialty or breakfast-themed options might include eggs as part of the filling. Always refer to the product packaging or ingredient list to verify the contents of a specific Hot Pocket flavor.

Why do hot pockets always leak?

Hot Pockets may sometimes leak due to various reasons, including improper sealing or handling during the manufacturing process or cooking. The dough may not be sealed tightly enough, or the filling may expand and cause small openings in the crust, leading to leakage. Additionally, overcooking or microwaving Hot Pockets can also cause them to burst and leak. It’s essential to follow the cooking instructions provided on the packaging to minimize the chances of leakage.

Why are hot pockets so hot?

Hot Pockets are designed to be heated and consumed hot. The high temperature comes from the cooking process, whether it’s baking in the oven or microwaving. The filling inside the Hot Pocket gets heated, and the crust becomes crispy, resulting in a hot temperature when ready to eat. The intention is to provide a satisfying and warm eating experience for the consumer. It’s important to allow them to cool for a few minutes before eating to avoid burning your mouth.

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