Can you keep hot pockets in the fridge? Yes, you can keep hot pockets in the fridge for about 3 to 4 days max. Ideally, Hot Pockets should always be kept in the freezer. Only when you’re ready to consume one should you put it in the fridge to defrost (3-4 days max).
Keeping it in the fridge for an extended time may cause it to begin housing food-borne pathogens because many hot pockets contain meat and dairy. You should also note that hot pockets shouldn’t be left out of the freezer for too long, even if they contain a lot of preservatives.
According to the product’s manufacturers, the only time you should store hot pockets in the fridge is when you defrost them, else they must always be kept in the freezer to preserve their quality.
You can double or triple-wrap it in an airtight package or container to prevent freezer burn and preserve its quality.
Keep on reading to find out how long you can keep Hot Pockets in the fridge, how to properly defrost them, and a few other frequently asked questions.
How long can Hot Pockets be stored in the fridge?
Hot Pockets can be kept in the fridge for no more than 3 or 4 days. However, like most foods, they should be disposed of if kept in the fridge for more than that time.
You put Hot Pockets in the fridge to thaw for consumption in a few hours. Cooking Hot Pockets from a frozen state gives the best results.
Generally, however, compared to other foods such as meat, poultry, and pork, that require a significant amount of time to defrost properly, Hot Pockets can be defrosted far more quickly. The time required to defrost your Hot Pocket will depend on what type of technique or medium you’re using.
Defrosting hot pockets using a microwave will take just a few minutes, using a fridge will take about 3 hours, while your countertop will only take an hour or 2 at most to do this.
Do Hot Pockets need to be defrosted?
You don’t necessarily need to defrost Hot Pockets. But depending on your preferences, if needed, you can defrost them by putting them in the fridge, and leaving them there for a little time before cooking them.
Also, remember that cooking Hot Pockets in their frozen state produces the tastiest results.
That said, is thawing the same as defrosting? Thawing is the same as defrosting. This is because thawing is the process of taking frozen food from its frozen state to a temperature above 0°C where there is no residual ice on it anymore or simply bringing food from a frozen state to room temperature.
Thawing like defrosting is simply a reversal of the freezing process.
How to defrost Hot Pockets quickly
Wondering how to quickly defrost your Hot Pockets? Well, there are a few ways you can use to defrost your hot pockets quickly and efficiently.
1. Defrost in the microwave
Using the microwave is the fastest and most effective method available to defrost your Hot Pockets.
It is completely safe to use with hot pockets, and the intense heat generated by the microwave will defrost it in just minutes.
To reheat the frozen hot pockets, simply remove them from the freezer and put them in a microwave-safe baking dish, then you can either reduce the microwave heat or choose the defrost option from the settings to prevent your hot pockets from being burned or overheated.
To check if it has been properly defrosted, microwave your Hot Pocket for a minute at a high microwave temperature setting, if it’s not properly defrosted then microwave again for a few more seconds and then check it again.
2. Defrost with your fridge
Although a little slower compared to using a microwave, defrosting Hot Pockets in the fridge is a convenient and ideal method.
Simply put the frozen hot pockets into your fridge immediately after you remove them from the freezer. Decreasing your fridge’s temperature settings can actually fasten the process a little, but you must make sure Hot Pockets are kept in the fridge until they are completely defrosted.
Meanwhile, although you can easily defrost other foods, such as vegetables, fruits, and meat, in a short time by soaking them in cold water, defrosting or thawing Hot Pockets in water is not advisable.
How do I know when a Hot Pocket has gone bad?
When a Hot Pocket is going bad, it will exhibit some indicators like an odd taste, poor flavor, and smell.
A Hot Pocket that has gone bad will definitely show signs of discoloration, a change in appearance, a change in texture, and, in extreme cases, contain mold growth and be sticky or slimy.
That said, will eating bad Hot Pockets make you sick? Yes, eating bad Hot Pockets can definitely make you sick due to the presence of food-borne pathogens and bacteria inside them when they go bad.
These pathogens are actually capable of causing illnesses and infections if not kept in check.
Although Hot Pockets have a long shelf life if kept frozen, remember that you should avoid keeping them in the fridge and only do so briefly if necessary to preserve their quality.
If you have accidentally eaten a bad Hot Pocket, there are things you can do to take care of yourself. But you must keep in mind that food poisoning symptoms have to run their course and also make sure someone is around to keep an eye on you in case you need medical attention.
When do Hot Pockets go bad?
Ideally, Hot Pockets should remain fresh for 6 to 12 months or more if kept in a freezer. But just like other foods, they will eventually start to lose some of their quality and taste over time.
So yes, Hot Pockets will go bad if:
- kept at room temperature for about 4 hours or more;
- left out of the freezer; or
- kept in the fridge for more than 3 to 4 days.
By law, Hot Pockets have expiration dates on them. However, they can live much longer than this date if properly stored.
When do Hot Pockets expire?
As previously mentioned, Hot Pockets do have expiration dates printed on them as one of the legal regulations governing the production and sale of food compels companies to place expiration dates on their products.
In the actual sense, Hot Pockets have a shelf life of 14 months from the date of manufacture, after which they can no longer be sold or consumed.
However, if they are properly stored in the freezer, they are still eligible for consumption for quite some time even after their expiration date has passed.
Can Hot Pockets be reheated?
The best way to reheat a hot pocket is by using an oven or microwave. If using the oven, cook it at 350° F until it’s hot and gooey all the way through. If using a microwave, heat it at a high temperature for a minute or two.
Can you refreeze defrosted Hot Pockets?
Although moisture lost through defrosting might cause a loss of quality, you can safely refreeze frozen food that has thawed—raw or cooked. To safely refreeze defrosted Hot Pockets, they must have been kept at a cold temperature of 40° F or below for no more than 3-4 days in the fridge.
Are Hot Pockets already cooked?
No, Hot Pockets are not already cooked. You must cook them before eating to ensure food safety. Microwaving is the fastest cooking method, but you can also cook your Hot Pockets using an oven or air fryer.
What makes Hot Pockets unhealthy?
Hot Pockets are actually considered junk food because they contain numerous processed ingredients, unhealthy substitutions, sodium, and extremely high levels of saturated fats.
I hope this article has been able to provide an answer to the question “Can you keep Hot Pockets in the fridge?” You shouldn’t store Hot Pockets in the refrigerator for more than 3 to 4 days since they are designed to be frozen and then immediately cooked.
Hot Pockets typically remain fresh and palatable for quite some time after their expiration date when properly stored in a freezer (here’s how long to keep Hot Pockets in freezer). However, these meat and cheese dishes will go bad in the fridge after 3 to 4 days.
A freezer is the best means of storage, but you should only put them in the fridge if you wish to thaw them, and then they must be cooked right away.