5 Things You Didn't Know About Hot Pockets

These microwavable turnovers are more than just a snack; they’re a pop culture touchstone

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Hot Pockets were released to the public in 1983. 

Hot Pockets are one of the most divisive foods in the freezer aisle. These little turnovers, which crisp up to melty perfection after a few minutes in the microwave, are certainly “processed” by just about every definition of the term, but they’re also a guilty pleasure that actually tastes good. So whether you’ve sworn off them completely or were super excited to learn about their newly released line of Snack Bites, we bet that there are some things you didn’t know about this legendary snack.

They Were Invented by Two Brothers
Paul and David Merage invented Hot Pockets in 1983, and they released the product under their brand Chef America. Nestlé acquired the company in 2002, paying $2.6 billion for the honor.

The Little Sleeve Is Called a Susceptor
Every Hot Pocket needs to be microwaved inside a little cardboard sleeve that’s called a susceptor. The purpose of it is to absorb microwaves and concentrate more heat onto the Hot Pocket — in a sense “broiling” it so the crust becomes crispier.

There Are 58 Different Hot Pocket Varieties
From Lean Pockets to Breakfast Bites, from limited-edition releases like chicken pot pie to croissant crusts, there are an insane amount of Hot Pockets currently on shelves.

Many Varieties Have Been Discontinued
Even with dozens of varieties currently available, plenty have also been discontinued over the years. Examples of bygone Hot Pockets include Pizza Minis, subs, calzones, panini, fruit pastries, and quesadillas.

They Made Jim Gaffigan a YouTube Star
The comedian’s 2005 stand-up routine is the stuff of legend. Seriously, if you haven’t seen it, go watch it now

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