As soon as you read the words “Hot Pockets” we bet you started singing that snappy 1990s two-word jingle. And now, just like magic, you’re also craving the nostalgic flavor of molten cheese and salty meat, all wrapped in the crispy embrace of a warm pastry. While these pizza, ham-and-cheese or even breakfast-themed cousins of hand pies may not qualify as gourmet dining, Hot pocket style sandwiches certainly are perfect for a quick afternoon snack or if you need to whip up lunch for the grandkids.
But let’s just admit it — they are quite convenient and secretly delicious. So just for kicks, we asked our First For Women test kitchen staff for creative ways to make these frozen favorites even more scrumptious. Not only did they deliver the best way to reheat these tasty turnovers, they went one step further, and added a simple and savory hot pockets style sandwich recipe that you can whip up at home when a craving strikes.
What’s the best way to reheat Hot Pockets?
While we are used to just popping Hot Pockets into that weird sleeve and sticking it in the microwave, sometimes you get a cold mushy middle, and overly cooked ends. On the package, you’ll find instructions for reheating this snack in the oven or microwave. But our preferred method by far is the third option: using an air fryer.
Why should you go to the trouble of putting Hot Pockets in an air fryer? While air fryers do tackle larger jobs from roasting orange slices as a dessert to caramelizing romaine lettuce for salad, they are also perfect for smaller snacks because it’s faster than the oven and the hot air circulation results in super-brown, crispy pastry and fillings that are heated evenly all the way through. Just imagine the perfectly balanced crunchy yet melty texture every time. Yum!
How do I reheat Hot Pockets in an air fryer?
You may notice a small cardboard sleeve included in each individually wrapped Hot Pocket. This sleeve, called a susceptor, directs heat onto the Hot Pocket as it’s cooking in the microwave so it becomes more crispy. Because air fryers already do a great job at evenly distributing heat, you don’t need to use the susceptor when cooking this snack in the appliance.
For best results preheat your air fryer for three minutes — this step ensures the Hot Pockets cook evenly so it doesn’t end up a soggy snack — then simply toss them in frozen.
Cook times for Hot Pockets will vary depending on the flavor and the amount you’re cooking, so check the box for instructions. One of the most popular flavors – Garlic Buttery Crust Pepperoni Pizza Hot Pockets (Buy from Walmart, $4.28) — can be made in 16-18 minutes. Here’s how:
- Unwrap one to two hot pockets from their packaging.
- Place the hot pocket(s) in the basket of a preheated air fryer set at 360 degrees Fahrenheit.
- For one hot pocket: Cook for 16 minutes. For two hot pockets: Cook for 18 minutes.
- Carefully remove the snack from the air fryer, cool slightly and enjoy.
No Hot Pockets in your freezer? Make your own!
Alternatively, you can make these savory snacks from scratch and cook them in the air fryer. Below, you can find our easy recipe for Bean and Chorizo hand pie — aka a homemade “hot pocket”! Bonus: If you can also reheat them in the air fryer and indulge in the pastry’s robust and smoky flavors for days to come.
Bean and Chorizo Hot Pocket Style Sandwich
- 1 (15-ounce) can low-sodium three-bean blend, rinsed, drained
- 1 (3.5-ounce) package dried chorizo sausage, chopped
- 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack
- 2 scallions, chopped
- ½ cup corn kernels, thawed if frozen
- 2 chipotles in adobo sauce, chopped
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 eggs
- 1 (11-ounce) package pie crust mix
- Active: 25 mins
- Total time: 1 hr., 15 mins
- Servings: 10
- In bowl, mash ⅔ cup beans. Stir in chorizo, cheese, scallions, corn, chipotles, cilantro and remaining beans; reserve. In separate bowl, whisk ¼ cup water and one egg until combined. Add pie crust mix; prepare according to package directions for 2 pie crusts. Wrap dough; chill 30 minutes.
- Working with half of dough at a time, on lightly floured surface, roll out to ⅛-inch thick. Using 6-inch round cookie cutter, cut out 5 shapes, rerolling scraps as needed. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Beat remaining egg; brush borders of rounds. Place reserved filling on one side of dough rounds, leaving ½-inch border. Fold dough over filling, pressing ends to seal. Using fingertips or fork, decoratively press edges.
- Place crisper plate in basket of 5.5-quart air fryer; coat with cooking spray. Place basket in air fryer; heat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In batches, air fry empanadas in single layer until golden, 10 to 12 minutes per batch.
- Note: Cooked empanadas can last up to 3 days when stored in an airtight container in the fridge. To reheat, place one empanada in a preheated air fryer set at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 to 10 minutes, or until it’s crispy and warm throughout.
Using these easy tips, you’ll enjoy Hot Pockets with an ultra crunchy exterior and gooey interior. This also goes to show that your trusty air fryer can produce a delicious snack in a pinch. Now it sing with us…”Hot Pockets!”
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