Do Hot Pockets Expire? [Everything You Need to Know]

Hot pockets are an excellent snack for any meal, but how long can they be left out? Do hot pockets expire? We wanted to find out!

Hot pockets typically stay good well after their expiry date. You can safely eat them 6-12 months after their expiry, or even further on if stored properly. There are different storage methods to extend your hot pocket shelf life. 

Let’s dive into more detail.

Hot pockets are meant to be stored in the freezer, so being in the fridge would deteriorate the shelf life significantly.

Hot pockets will go bad within one week if stored in a fridge. We do not recommend you keep your hot pockets in the fridge unless you are getting ready to eat your hot pockets soon after.

Hot pockets spoil very fast in non-freezer environments and can potentially be toxic if eaten spoiled. This may lead to health problems, so it’s important to pay attention to the expiry signs.

Do Hot Pockets Expire in the Pantry?

Hot Pockets expire extremely fast in the pantry – unless your home is 0F, which would be bad,  the hot pockets will expire in the pantry.

You would only want to keep it in the pantry if you were to eat it within the next day or so.

Hot pockets can survive a few hours in a hot environment. Like the back of the car during summer, but it won’t last over a day outside.

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Can You Eat Hot Pockets After They Expire?

Yes, you can typically eat hot pockets after the printed expiration date, given that you stored your Hot Pockets in the freezer.

If you stored them in the fridge or pantry, expect your Hot Pockets to be inedible. Spoiled meat and cheese is the perfect recipe for a night in the bathroom.

But, if you store them in the freezer, you can eat them 6-12 months after the printed expiry date or even longer.

It should be good if the hot pockets don’t show any signs of expiry. I have eaten 5-year-old hot pockets before without any problems. But, I only ate the hot pockets after a rigorous review of its quality.

Note that if you eat expired Hot Pockets, get prepared for a different texture and smell that you’re used to.

If they have been in the freezer for a few years and haven’t gone bad, chances are they have freezer burn. This means it will have a dehydrated exterior texture and some discoloration. 

How to Store Hot Pockets

Store your hot pockets in the freezer. Generally speaking, the colder your freezer is, the longer the food will last.

Although, this may cause deterioration of the quality of the food with freezer burns. So, it’s best just to keep your freezer at 0F.

Hot pockets will eventually expire no matter what since home freezers are not strong enough to stop biological decomposition.

Hot Pocket Expiry Signs

There are several ways to tell that a Hot Pocket has gone bad.

If the Hot Pocket smells bad (most common), is slimy on the outside, has mold on it, is flakey, or has a broken package, it has probably gone bad.

If you eat a hot pocket in this condition, you will have food poisoning to the fullest extent. So, throw it away and find some other food.

How to Thaw Hot Pockets

So, the day has come when you can eat your hot pockets. Depending on how long it’s been in the freezer will dictate how much flavor it still has left.

To thaw your Hot Pockets, you need to remove the wrapper and let it thaw for 1-2 hours. To thaw them faster, you can also do microwave thawing – which takes a few minutes.

After you thaw them, you can now get ready to cook them.

How to Cook Hot Pockets

After thawing your Hot Pockets, you can cook your hot pockets in a microwave, air fryer, or oven.

It’s recommended to cook one hot pocket at a time. Let it sit in the microwave, air fryer, or oven for 2 minutes after thawing.

The only downside of a microwave I’ve noticed is that is comes out soggy.

Then, you just have to wait for your hot pockets to cool down, and then you can eat!

Why Does my Hot Pocket Taste Sour?

If your Hot Pocket tastes really sour, that means it has gone bad, and you should throw it away.

If it’s just a little sour, odds are, that’s just the result of leaving it in the freezer for too long, and you can continue eating the Hot Pockets safely.

Final Words

If you store your Hot Pockets in the freezer, they should be good for an extended amount of time – generally over 2 years if stored correctly.

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