The Scientific Reason Every Bite Of Hot Pockets Is A Different Temperature

The comedian Jim Gaffigan became a household name largely because of his jokes about Hot Pockets. In his breakthrough bit, he asks his audience to imagine a fancy restaurant offering Hot Pockets as a daily special. "Is your Hot Pocket cold in the middle?" the diner asks, to which the waiter responds, "It is frozen, but it can be served boiling-lava hot," adding that the sandwich will destroy his mouth – "everything will taste like rubber for a month."

So, that's not exactly a ringing endorsement for this popular supermarket snack, but to millions of purveyors of the snackable meat pies, it sure rings true. People frequently complain about Hot Pockets not cooking evenly, explained Our Everyday Life. The microwave often leaves them partly half-frozen on the inside and hot on the outside. But, why, though? As it turns out, there's a scientific explanation. As ScienceBlogs spells it out, it all has to do with how microwaves heat up frozen molecules at a different rate of intensity compared to things that are not frozen. This is why the Hot Pocket crust, which is less frozen than what's inside, gets so hot, while the innards stay frozen.

This is the best way to heat a Hot Pocket in the microwave

So what do you do if you want to enjoy a Hot Pocket for lunch, without scalding the roof of your mouth as your throat grabbles with arctic chunks of diced meat? Following the directions on the box will only get you so far, according to Lifehacker. Instead, nuke the frozen item for about three-quarters of the time suggested, and then remove it from the microwave, and, carefully holding it on each end, give it a good shake, so the still-frozen ingredients will get a chance to mingle with the ones that have already become scorching hot. Then, stick it back in the microwave and let it cook for the remaining quarter of the recommended cook time.

Another tried-and-true technique from Our Everyday Life is to cook the Hot Pocket in its sleeve for two minutes, then set it aside for three to five minutes before eating it, during which time anything that's still icy will have a chance to mingle with the overheated ingredients. If these hacks don't yield Hot Pocket perfection, Redditors suggest defrosting the sandwich first, then cooking it in a toaster oven.