REVIEW: White Castle Frozen Jalapeño Cheeseburgers

White Castle Frozen Jalapeno Cheeseburgers

I’ve never lived on the East Coast, which means I’ve never had the pleasure of eating at White Castle. I can’t decide if I just used the word “pleasure” sarcastically, because, while having never been there, I have heard much about the establishment. I’ve heard White Castle burgers are magical, like crack.

Wait, calling crack magical isn’t a good idea. I’ve heard White Castle burgers are magical, like unicorns. It’s said they’re the ultimate hangover cure. I’ve also been told they’re the ultimate hangover cure because you will eat them, and then immediately blast all of last night’s alcohol consumption into your toilet bowl.

They’ve also been called the ultimate drunk food, presumably because anything tastes good while you’re drunk, and you’re already going to be full of regrets in the morning, so why not add the fullness of White Castle sliders on top of that?

So basically, White Castle is just like Taco Bell, except with burgers instead of…whatever you want to call what Taco Bell serves.

I’ve seen White Castle burgers in the frozen food aisle before, but never picked any up. I felt as though they wouldn’t be truly representing the White Castle experience. But then I saw their new Jalapeño Cheeseburgers and I thought, well, hell. I’m not heading to the East Coast any time soon. What better time than now, and what better place than here, on the Internet?

There were both microwave and stovetop cooking instructions on the back of the box. My first instinct was to head straight for the microwave, but then I saw that the stovetop instructions were “for steaming of burgers”. That seemed to indicate that that would be the more authentic way to go, so I decided to give it a shot.

…Except one of the first directions involved using the “steamer insert”. I looked in the box. I looked at the box. I saw absolutely nothing that looked like a steamer insert.

Was I going mad? Had there been a mistake, where the insert was not included? Or had I been somehow bested by White Castle frozen cheeseburgers, which should seemingly be one of the easiest foods to prepare on the planet? Either way, I was lost. Without my steamer insert, I could not cook them on the stovetop.

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So, I moved on to the microwave, which had instructions that I could actually follow without questioning my sanity. The burgers (sliders, technically) come in packs of two – open the side of the package, break the connected sandwiches apart, and nuke. Mission accomplished.

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The first thing I noticed was that the buns are both soft and chewy. They don’t have much by way of flavor, but they’re generally inoffensive – fluffy, but not intrusive.

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Next came the onions. They actually gave a little bit of a crunch, which is impressive for a frozen, microwaved burger. It tasted almost like there was onion flavor in the meat itself. I was impressed by how much flavor they added to the party.

The burger patty had White Castle’s signature punched-out holes in it, which made it look like I just rolled a meaty five. Not bad if you’re playing a 2d6 game. Wow, that took a turn towards nerd super fast.

The meat itself was sub-par. The package claims that it’s 100 percent beef, to which I’ll give the benefit of the doubt, but it had about 5 percent flavor. I get the idea that White Castle is pretty much supposed to be shittyburgers, but it was almost like the meat was an afterthought. They didn’t taste bad, they just didn’t taste like much of anything, besides some grease.

The cheese, which was pepper jack, melted nicely in the microwave and added a creaminess that complimented the crunch and flavor of the onions.

The real selling point here was the jalapeños, and they didn’t disappoint. They didn’t set my mouth on fire, but there was a nice jalapeño flavor and heat that built as I made my way through my two sliders in eight bites.

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I was surprised that the flavor was so bold for such a seemingly cheap burger. I have to wonder, though: where were the peppers? I didn’t see any when I flipped the top bun off to take pictures. There wasn’t any pepper texture, unless it was mixed in with the onions. The only other source would be in the pepper jack cheese, which is not really that hot. Mysterious.

White Castle Frozen Jalapeño Cheeseburgers come in three packs per box, which means the serving size is two sliders. This is a very odd serving size. As I mentioned, I was able to eat two burgers in eight bites, which is equivalent to quite a small snack. You microwave them inside the bag, so having three would be awkward, and eating four at once leaves you with two stragglers. Perhaps this is some cunning plan by White Castle to get you to buy more than one box at a time.

While neither drunk nor hungover while eating my sliders, I found myself enjoying the White Castle Frozen Jalapeño Cheeseburger experience. In this case, the whole was more than the sum of its parts. With an unremarkable bun and meat patty, it seems like these burgers would disappoint, but the large presence of the onions and invisible jalapeños added lots of flavor and texture, and the cheese melted nicely and smoothly. While it would make for an awkward meal, a pack of these sliders would be perfectly acceptable as a quick snack or desperate hangover fix.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 package (2 cheeseburgers) – 310 calories, 150 calories from fat, 17 grams of total fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 1 gram of trans fat, 40 milligrams of cholesterol, 560 milligrams of sodium, 26 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 3 grams of sugars, 14 grams of protein, 4% vitamin A, 10% calcium, 10% iron..)

Item: White Castle Frozen Jalapeño Cheeseburgers
Purchased Price: $4.49
Size: 6 cheeseburgers
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Unicorns. Definite jalapeño presence, despite lack of evidence. Nerd jokes about meat patties. Creamy cheese melts nicely. Onions added lots of flavor and crunch.
Cons: Crack. Bun was flavorless. Where’s my steamer insert? Meat patty offered little. Hangovers. Serving size too small, with odd quantity in box.

8 thoughts on “REVIEW: White Castle Frozen Jalapeño Cheeseburgers

  1. I’ve had the regular frozen White Castle and imo they taste very close to the real thing even if you microwave them.

    Used to eat at White Castle late at night while in college, it’s not that the burgers are particularly good, it’s that when it’s late and night and have been drinking heavily the prospect of eating 12 cheeseburgers is very appealing.

  2. Re: steamer insert — that’s not something that would fit in the box, nor would it be cheap enough; it’s something that some people already own. A steamer insert is a metal tool that works in conjunction with a pot.

    This is how it usually works: you take a pot, fill it with some water, and get it boiling. Then you put the food you want to steam into the insert and place the whole thing into/on top of the pot. Cover with the pot lid and wait for however long you’re supposed to (veggies around 5-7 minutes; fish and the like take twice as long). Presumably the box mentions the steam time.

  3. If you’re wondering, original sliders are 69¢ & the cheese ones range from 86¢ to 93¢. I reheat my frozen sliders (be it from the grocery store or WC itself) by first dabbing a little water on the edges, then put them back into the slider boxes or wrap them in paper towels & nuke. It’s pretty close to the real experience. The meat is gritty & not much to shake a stick at. Also wisdom learned with age, is I only eat 2 or 3 sliders in a meal along with other food & only once in a while. I’d recommend their chicken rings. My slider record stands at 13.

  4. I have 2 large cheese 16-packs in my deep freeze and 2 jalapeno 6 packs in my frig freezer at all times. These are so good in a time pinch or for general convenience.

  5. Please, please tell me where I can find them, the jalapeno ones, I love them and apparently you have quit making them..Why????

  6. We’re from IL where we would go to White Castle and get the Jalapeño burgers.
    Since moving to Tampa, Florida, we cannot find them anywhere in any stores.
    A manufacturer coupon ran in the paper, and I was happy to see the picture of
    the Jalapeño burgers also. I’ve checked Walmart and Publix out here, and they
    only carry the frozen plain burgers and regular cheese burgers. Where oh where
    can I buy frozen Jalapeño burgers out here.
    We miss our White Castle in Orland Park, IL !!

  7. This is an excellent review! Moved to Texas from Illinois 13 years ago. Miss White Castle late night. Love when family buys a crave case, freezes them and brings them in a flight. Nothing like the flavor of being cooked on their grill. Saw the frozen jalapeño burgers ando can’t wait ton try. Especially after this review. I will occasionally buy the cheeseburgers but just ok. Once I saw these I am sure I am in!! Thanks for your review, hope I feel the same way you do.

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