Believe it or not, Hot Pockets are 30 years old this year. And if you’ve eaten a Hot Pocket at any point since college, you most likely agree that they were in need of a makeover. The microwaveable pouches of meat, cheese, and sauce stopped being revolutionary years ago, and had largely been relegated to the domain of unhealthy snacks and late-night stoner food. But the brand, which is owned by Nestlé, has revamped its classic lineup of offerings, and has improved upon the old formulas. They’ve also brought on Food Network Star winner and host of Food Network’s Sandwich King Jeff Mauro to help them promote the new releases.
We met up with Mauro and had the opportunity to sample some of the new products, including Pepperoni Pizza, Philly Steak & Cheese, and Ham & Cheese. Other options include Meatballs & Mozzarella, Beef Taco, Chicken Bacon Cheddar Cheese Melt, and a limited-release Cuban-Style, with diced ham, sliced pork, Swiss, mozzarella, and mustard sauce. You could certainly tell that real meat was used, the quality and flavor of the crusts were good, and overall these were tasty little packages of food.
"Hot Pockets have become a part of pop culture; everyone knows what a Hot Pocket is," Mauro told us. "It follows the fundamentals of a great sandwich: the holy trinity of meat, cheese, and bread. And it hits each note perfectly."
As for why the sandwich-like snack has become such a popular staple, Mauro said, "They’re easy to make, delicious, and everyone knows that jingle."
If you haven’t considered eating a Hot Pocket in a while, you might want to give into the guilty pleasure again and pick some up (Lean Pockets are a bit healthier than the full-fat ones). While they're still not exactly healthy meal options, the new releases most likely taste a lot better than you remember.