REVIEW: Jimmy Dean Meat Lovers Stuffed Hash Browns

Jimmy Dean Meat Lovers Stuffed Hash Browns

Ahhh, the hash brown – a breakfast favorite since the 1890s.

So, who dare mess with this American staple? Even McDonald’s didn’t dare to. Ronald cut hash browns into its recognizable rounded-corner rectangle shape but left the shredded spud relatively true to its roots. But, oh ho ho, in comes Jimmy Dean! While Jimmy Dean does have some breakfast cred, the hash browns heritage deserves so much better than Jimmy Dean Stuffed Hash Browns.

They had so much potential. They remind me of Hot Pockets but with a better carb casing: hash brown > some enriched flour pocket. Like Hot Pockets, Jimmy Dean’s Stuffed Hash Browns are efficient; instead of having all your breakfast components separate, it’s all packaged into one neat potatoey vehicle. Alas, efficiency doesn’t always equate to best tasting.

Of the three flavors – Sausage & Cheese, Meat Lover’s, and Bacon & Veggies – I go for Meat Lover’s for more bang for my buck. From the frozen outside, there is no indication of what the insides are like. It just looks like a really thick McDonald’s hash brown. There are also random pieces of shredded potato pieces as if Jimmy Dean strategically placed them to create the illusion of real potato in the potato mush. Nice try.

Jimmy Dean Meat Lovers Stuffed Hash Browns 2

The prep process is really easy and Hot Pocket-like – place it into its shiny sleeve and microwave for two minutes. I wanted it extra crispy so, per the instructions, I impatiently waited an extra five minutes. It looks the same frozen and heated – maybe a smidge more golden.

Unfortunately, the warm Stuffed Hash Browns also starts to ooze oil from its deep-fried visage. This leads to a greasy mouthfeel and greasy residue on my fingers. The grease on grease on grease is kind of like what you’d expect from fried chicken. Except you expect that amount of oil from fried chicken, not from a hash brown brick.

Jimmy Dean Meat Lovers Stuffed Hash Browns 3

To Jimmy Dean’s credit, the insides are stuffed. But, it all tastes the same – salty and porky. I expect some textural difference between bacon, sausage and ham, but nope, it’s just mush. I can also see the gooey cheese but I somehow can’t taste the mozzarella or cheddar until about half-way through. Moar cheez, plz.

The crispy potato outside definitely helps with texture. The outside is by no means fresh-outta-the-deep-fryer crispy but at least it isn’t just baby food mush. I also appreciate that the insides aren’t scalding hot like the insides of Hot Pockets. Thank you for not burning my taste buds off, Jimmy Dean!

On that disappointing note, I also learned that the “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” saying was coined by a marketer trying to sell more cereal. Our breakfast-centric lives are a lie and so are Jimmy Dean Stuffed Hash Browns.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 Piece – 260 calories, 120 calories from fat, 13 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 25 milligrams of cholesterol, 820 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 9 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $5.49
Size: 4 stuffed hash browns
Purchased at: Kroger
Rating: 2 out of 10
Pros: Like a Hot Pocket with a better casing. One neat hash brown vehicle for breakfast. Crispy-ish hash brown.
Cons: Efficiency ? Better Tasting. Oozing oil. Grease on grease on grease. Salty and porky – all the same mush. Moar cheez, plz.

QUICK REVIEW: Jimmy Dean Delights Garden Blend Breakfast Bowl

Jimmy Dean Delights Garden Blend Breakfast Bowl

Purchased Price: $3.00
Size: 7 oz.
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: As much as I hate the distribution of the cheese in my bowl, its flavor helped this entree from being extremely boring. Potatoes were soft and seasoned nicely. Decent amount of veggies. Nice balanced flavor; I could taste every ingredient. Egg whites provide a lot of protein.
Cons: Egg whites look like they saw a ghost and had Michael Jackson’s skin abnormality. Cheese loves sticking to the bottom of the bowl and to forks. Cheese came in clumps. It’s weird eating a Jimmy Dean product without any meat in it.

Jimmy Dean Delights Garden Blend Breakfast Bowl Closeup

Nutrition Facts: 240 calories, 90 calories from fat, 10 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 30 milligrams of cholesterol, 500 milligrams of sodium, 120 milligrams of potassium, 19 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, 18 grams of protein, 8% vitamin A, 35% calcium, and 2% iron.

QUICK REVIEW: Jimmy Dean Delights Honey Wheat Flatbread Bacon, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Sandwich

Jimmy Dean Delights Honey Wheat Flatbread Bacon, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Sandwich

Purchased Price: $5.99 (on sale)
Size: 4 sandwiches
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: A decent, somewhat tasty way to start your morning. Just 230 calories. Made with real eggs, real cheese, and bacon. Cheesy was melty. Bacon, egg, and cheese in every bite. Good source of fiber. Flatbread had a nice, mild sweetness.
Cons: Jimmy Dean Delights is supposed to be a healthier option, but a sandwich has 5 grams of saturated fat which is 25% of your daily recommended intake. Egg was a bit dry. Most of the bacon’s flavor gets lost within the other ingredients. They look like they’ve been run over by a car. Flatness makes them look smaller than they really are. I wish this line was called Jimmy Dean Deanlights.

Jimmy Dean Delights Honey Wheat Flatbread Bacon, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Sandwich Closeup

Nutrition Facts: 1 sandwich – 230 cal, 12 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 135 milligrams of cholesterol, 480 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 3 grams of sugar, and 11 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Jimmy Dean Jimmy D’s Breakfast Minis

Jimmy Dean Jimmy D's Breakfast Minis

Unlike a lot of products reviewed here on TIB, I don’t have a great deal of familiarity with Jimmy Dean.  I’m not one to drop names, but in my time I’ve rubbed elbows with some of the biggest names in the food world.  I’ve swapped drinks and stories with the Burger King, laughed it up with the Jolly Green Giant, stalked villagers with Count Chocula, and keep going back to that tramp Wendy.  (It’s always the redheads.)  And the less said about that bass fishing trip with Charlie Tuna, the better.

Yet for all that, Jimmy Dean and I have just never run in the same social circles.  The closest I’ve come to getting to know the guy is that maybe-fake customer service call that made the internet rounds a while ago, with the irate southerner complaining that the new, smaller sausage size wasn’t enough to feed his two fat sons and his fat daughter and his fat — sorry, “a little plump” — wife.  And that’s just not enough to establish a relationship, so I took a chance and brought home Jimmy Dean Jimmy D’s Breakfast Minis.

You didn’t misread that, by the way: the company name is Jimmy Dean and the product line is Jimmy D’s.  I’m going to give them a pass because we’ve all been in that place, be it college or prison or seminary, where you desperately try to reinvent yourself to seem cooler.  And even though it’s never worked for anyone in the history of ever, you can’t fault Jimmy D for trying.  If he thinks sounding more like a mobster than a farmer is the way to seem more butch, well, just keep those snickers to yourself, mister.

In all seriousness though, I’m told that the “Jimmy D’s” line is specifically marketed toward children.  You can understand my confusion since where I’m from, there are guaranteed to be a minimum of three guys named Jimmy D within any given town, at least two of whom will be in “sanitation” work.  Not exactly kid friendly, is what I’m saying.  This is compounded by the fact that the box contains none of the hallmarks of child-marketed products.  No cartoon character, no zany multicolored lettering, no coupon for a free carton of smokes… what kind of southern children are these being marketed to, anyway?  The only clue is that they’re minis, and really, it’s not like mini products have never been pitched to adults.  But since we’re on the subject of kids, remember when you were young and invited someone over to play, and they brought their absolute crappiest Transformers or G.I. Joes?  Likewise, Jimmy D has repaid my overtures of friendship with turkey sausage.  Not an auspicious start, JD…

Jimmy Dean Jimmy D's Breakfast Minis Closeup

Upon opening a package, you’ll find four shrink-wrapped sets of two minis each.  They’re not joking about the “mini” part either — these things are significantly smaller than a slider.  An exact measurement is impossible because the croissant halves aren’t uniform in size, but they’re roughly an inch and a half in diameter, with the sausage patties just slightly wider.  To be frank, they don’t look very appealing right out of the package, and that doesn’t completely change once you’ve zapped them for a minute or so.  But if the world revolved purely around looks rather than taste, half of us would be living under a bridge somewhere, so let’s delve into the meat (no pun intended) of the review.

My earlier crack about turkey sausage notwithstanding, I’ll happily admit that it’s actually pretty good, non-porcine though it may be.  It has a little bit of spice to it, which I like, but not enough to put off anyone of a more sensitive constitution, plus it’s pretty juicy.  As for the croissant halves, they’re surprisingly soft and flaky for frozen food.  You’re not going to mistake them for having just come out of a Parisian bakery, but let’s be honest: you’ve never been to a Parisian bakery.  You don’t know what you’d do if you ever found yourself in one.  Probably burp, say “merde” twice and fall down.

The only real complaint I have about Jimmy D’s Breakfast Minis lies with the aforementioned volume.  Four bites will put one of these things away, maybe six tops.  That’s okay for those of us accustomed to making do with a bowl of cereal at breakfast, but if the description of the person(s) you’re looking to feed with these includes any of the following adjectives — “hearty,” “solid,” “glandular,” or “600 pounds of man” — Jimmy D’s Breakfast Minis are not going to do it for you.  It’s hard to fault them for that because kids are the target market, but eff it — if they’re not going to put a maze or fun facts on the back, they have to accept that unwitting adults are going to buy a box and shouldn’t be made to feel stupid by their peers or spouses or food blog editors for one simple little mistake, okay?  Because really, we’ve all been there.  But for people of small to medium builds, these are a tasty semi-meal that’s quick to make, and the turkey sausage means they’re — I guess — a little better for you than pork sausage?  Hard to argue with that.  Enjoy!

(Nutrition facts — 1 package (two sandwiches) — 230 calories, 90 calories from fat, 10 grams of total fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 30 milligrams of cholesterol, 440 milligrams of sodium, 25 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 4 grams of sugars, and 11 grams of protein.)

Item: Jimmy Dean Jimmy D’s Breakfast Minis
Price: $4.79
Size: 8 sandwiches/12.8 ounces
Purchased at: Giant
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: The Burger King has some GREAT stories.  Rebranding your Texan country singer founder as a forgotten Sopranos character.  Tastes better than it looks.  Fairly flaky croissant.  Turkey sausage strongly reminiscent of actual sausage (good).  Really not that bad for you, comparatively.
Cons: Lack of visual appeal.  Small portions.  “Friends” who would bring over Wheelie or Snow Job.  Marketing to kids in ways that involve nothing that actually appeals to kids.  Some egg or cheese would’ve made these even better.  Parisian bakeries.

REVIEW: Jimmy Dean Jimmy D’s French Toast Griddlers

Jimmy Dean describes their Jimmy D’s breakfast entrees, which consist of french toast sticks with sausage, something that looks like a corn dog and these French Toast Griddlers, as “Satisfying, hearty breakfast to help kids do their best.”

Really?

I thought threats of taking away their Xbox 360; punishment in the form of them having to put on a clown costume and entertain the rest of the family; and using toys, candy and cold hard cash as bribes were the only ways to help kids do their best.

If all it takes is a microwaveable breakfast sandwich made from cinnamon glazed french toast and a Jimmy Dean turkey sausage patty to help children achieve their goals, then I’ve got parenting down pat. Bring on the women who wish to bear my children and I shall provide them with an ample supply of Jimmy D’s products and a standalone freezer.

If I fed my future illegitimate children these Jimmy D’s French Toast Griddlers and they helped my children do their best, I can imagine how successful they’ll become. With my genes, I’m sure they’ll accomplish amazing things, like become Walmart greeters, carnival game attendants, unemployed writers or repressive dictators of uninhabited islands.

Like the use of comic book fonts on the packaging, it appears Jimmy Dean used turkey sausage, instead of pork sausage, in their French Toast Griddlers for the children, who probably don’t need to consume twice the fat and saturated fat the pork sausages would’ve provided. But even if the sausages were made out of pork, the children probably wouldn’t notice as they stuff it down their gullets as they get ready for school to be the best that they can be.

Most children would probably enjoy the sweet and salty combination of the cinnamon flavored French toast with the turkey sausage. It’s like a poor child’s McDonald’s McGriddle. It’s also a healthier child’s McDonald’s McGriddle, since it has three times less fat, saturated fat, sodium and sugar than a Sausage McGriddle.

However, I’m not a child, I’m just a man who watches Ni Hao, Kai-Lan on Nick Jr. to help me start conversations with the workers at the Chinese restaurants and shady places I frequent, and I think the French Toast Griddlers are bland. The turkey sausage doesn’t have the same quality flavor and spice as Jimmy Dean’s pork sausage and the cinnamon glaze on the French toast isn’t pronounced.

The sausage patty is slightly smaller than the French toast buns and both are easy to bite through after being microwaved for 85 seconds. There’s also an egginess to the French toast, which makes me wish there was also a layer of scrambled eggs in this sandwich.

If Jimmy Dean wanted to make their French Toast Griddlers better, they could use Jimmy Dean’s flavorful pork sausage and, perhaps, sweeten the French toast with syrup, but, of course, adding all of that would create a satisfying, hearty breakfast to help kids do their best…to get fat.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 sandwich/102 g – 210 calories, 70 calories from fat, 8 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat*, 60 milligrams of cholesterol, 390 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 6 grams of sugar, 8 grams of protein, 2% vitamin A, 2% calcium and 10% iron.)

*contains interesterified soybean oil and hydrogenated soybean oil

Item: Jimmy Dean Jimmy D’s French Toast Griddlers
Price: $7.49
Size: 4 pack
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Individually wrapped. Ready in 85 seconds. Uses healthier turkey sausage. Eight grams of protein. Helps kids do their best. Learning Chinese via Ni Hao, Kai-Lan.
Cons: Bland. Turkey sausage is less flavorful than Jimmy Dean’s pork sausage. Cinnamon flavor is too light. My future illegitimate children becoming Walmart greeters, carnival game attendants, unemployed writers or repressive dictators of uninhabited islands.