REVIEW: Hot Pockets Limited Edition Chili Sauce Cheese Dog

Hot Pockets Limited Edition Chili Sauce Cheese Dog

Here I go again, reviewing another Hot Pocket. What keeps me coming back to the Hot Pockets product line when I know every pocket will be reminiscent of the last? Do I have a problem? Will my constant attraction to all pockets Hot, Lean, and Pretzeld ultimately be my undoing?

The new Limited Edition Chili Sauce Cheese Dog Hot Pocket may not be the best Hot Pocket Ive ever tasted, but it certainly provides no cure for my stuffed sandwich addiction. In other words, Im hooked on Hot Pockets. Can we make that a slogan and sell it to the Hot Pockets people? I can use the money to pay for treatment.

Psssst…Treatment includes lots and lots of burning the roof of ones mouth.

Lets start with the filling because as we all know, Hot Pockets are like my unattractive friend I want you to ask out: Its whats inside that counts. The name itself spells everything out for you. The Chili Sauce Cheese Dog Hot Pocket contains chili sauce made with beef and chicken pattie crumbles, which is suitably savory.

Hot Pockets Limited Edition Chili Sauce Cheese Dog Innards

It also contains cheese just gooey and flavorful enough to make a good impression. But that dog part? The box claims that the chili sauce contains pork franks. The last time I ate pork frank pieces this tiny was when I was experiencing finger foods for the first time in my high chair. The Chili Sauce Cheese Dog Hot Pocket is filled with more lies than pork franks.

And if youre expecting an awesome exterior to make up for the disappointing interior, youre out of luck. The Limited Edition Chili Sauce Cheese Dog Hot Pocket has an unseasoned, unspectacular crust. In fact, its a lot like a plain ol hot dog bun. (Another thought… just what should I call this outer part of the sandwich if they keep changing the texture? The crust? The bun? WHAT DO I CALL THE POCKET PART OF A HOT POCKET??? Since Chili Sauce Cheese Dog Hot Pockets arent particularly crusty, Im going with “buns.” The quotation marks are in full effect.)

Hot Pockets Limited Edition Chili Sauce Cheese Dog Bun

I tried to remember the last time I ate an unseasoned and unadorned “bun,” and I realized that these are the same “buns” they use for the Sideshots. I guess the approach with the Sideshots was to mimic a hamburger bun, and they go for the same effect here in a hot dog bun way €¦ but when I consider the filling of the Chili Sauce Cheese Dog Hot Pocket (or lack thereof), I wish they had tried something different.

In fact, they should probably have gone back to the drawing board entirely with this sandwich, starting with the ridiculous name: “Hot Pockets Limited Edition Chili Sauce Cheese Dog.” Its like theyre saying Cheese Dog when they really mean Chili Dog, but they forgot to include the dog. Have the creators of this Hot Pocket never had a chili dog before in their lives? Why not just call it “Hot Pockets Limited Edition Chili Cheese?” Eliminate the weird “Sauce” part and any reference to HOT DOGS altogether. With the scanty amount of pork franks in this Hot Pocket, it wouldve been better to let us make the pleasant discovery of pork frank pieces in our chili-infused sandwich, and then wed be happy instead of incensed.

Okay, I just went on a long rant about a microwaveable sandwich. Maybe I do have a problem.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 sandwich – 280 calories, fat calories, 13 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 30 milligrams of cholesterol, 620 milligrams of sodium, 31 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 6 grams of sugar, 9 grams of protein, 15% Calcium, 10% Iron, 0% Vitamin C, 6% Vitamin A.)

Item:  Hot Pockets Limited Edition Chili Sauce Cheese Dog
Price: $2.49 (on sale)
Size:  2 sandwich
Purchased at: Ralphs
Rating:  5 out of 10
Pros:  Suitably savory chili with beef and chicken pattie crumbles. Hooked on Hot Pockets. Gooey cheese. Will not negatively affect my Hot Pockets addiction.
Cons: Filled with more lies than pork franks. Burning the roof of your mouth. Unseasoned bun. Quotation marks.

REVIEW: Hot Pockets SideShots Sloppy Joes

Marvo covered Hot Pockets SideShots Mini Cheeseburgers back in January, and now I’m here to tell you about the other SideShots: Sloppy Joes.

If you’re anything like me, and most people in this country probably are, the majority of your sloppy joe experiences have come from a pound of ground beef, a can of Manwich, and some cheap generic hamburger buns. In other words, you were a poor college student or a stoner. Or both.

I haven’t had sloppy joes in at least a few years, but I remember them being messy and guiltily tasty. As your bun falls apart two seconds after you ladle on the Manwich mixture and your face and hands get covered in tangy tomato sauce, you get the feeling that you are a little too old for eating something this cheap and messy. Messy ribs at a great barbecue joint? Acceptable. Messy $1 can of tomato mix? Unacceptable. Growing up sucks.

According to the official SideShots website, “Thanks to the mini soft-baked bun, Sloppy Joes no longer requires [sic] a fork for spillage.” Bad grammar aside, perhaps Hot Pockets has come up with a solution for us adults to enjoy sloppy joes without the sloppy. Microwaving two SideShots only takes a minute and 45 seconds, perfect for a rushed lunch at the office. Of course, there’s still the fact that you’re eating Hot Pockets. I don’t know if you noticed, but all the other grown-ups brought Lean Cuisines. You better hope they don’t find out about your adult Underoos.

The SideShots come in two packages of two. I found that two of them worked well for me as a sort of half-snack half-meal, but someone with a less delicate, feminine appetite could probably eat the whole box and call it a day.

What I didn’t expect when I opened the box is that the two SideShots per pack come attached to each other. My immediate thought was, of course, “BOOBS!” Then I read through Marvo’s review and saw that he’d already made a bra joke, totally destroying my bun pun.

Okay then.

Hot Pockets SideShots are in late telophase of the microwaveable snack mitosis cycle, wherein each individual SideShot has developed its own distinct sloppy joe nucleus and a bready cell plate has formed between the two. Cytokinesis occurs after the brief heating period has been completed, when the consumer of the SideShots separates the two distinct meaty cells by means of some type of knife or other device capable of cutting them in twain.

Now don’t you wish I’d just shouted “BOOBS!” instead?

My SideShots smelled pretty good when they got out of the microwave. The bread was aromatic, and the innards had a generic sloppy joe smell to them. The enjoyment pretty much ended there, though. While the bread was really soft and had a texture I didn’t think any Hot Pockets product could achieve, the sloppy joe mixture itself left much to be desired. The tomato sauce tasted like a mixture of ketchup and Chef Boyardee Spaghetti-Os sauce. The little bits of meat looked like rabbit pellets and were incredibly mushy. When I isolated one and tried it without the sauce, it had absolutely no flavor, which is disturbing, since there was a taste of beef when I took a bite of the whole thing. Must be something they hid in the sauce.

I decided to take a look at the ingredient list, and found some unsettling phrases, like “cooked beef patty crumble” (contains 13 sub-ingredients), “dough conditioner” (I did notice the silky smooth surface of the bread!), and “dried egg yolks” (that just sounds wrong). There were promising ingredients in there, like green peppers, onions, and garlic powder (the former two were listed under the “contains less than 2% of” section), but very little of the spices and flavorings like these that you would expect to find in a sloppy joe actually came though.

When I said earlier that “I found that two of them worked well for me as a sort of half-snack half-meal,” I was speaking strictly from a fullness standpoint, not a flavor perspective. Hot Pockets SideShots Sloppy Joe aren’t awful, they’re just substandard and, frankly, taste juvenile. It seems like the same type of person who would glean enjoyment out of a cup of Easy Mac would enjoy this product. Maybe I underestimated Manwich after all.

(Nutrition Facts – 2 buns – 270 calories, 70 calories from fat, 7 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 710 milligrams of sodium, 39 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 15 grams of sugar, 10 grams of protein, 4% vitamin A, 8% calcium, 20% thiamine, 8% vitamin B12, 20% folic acid, 15% iron, 10% riboflavin, 15% niacin and 10% phosphorus.)

Item: Hot Pockets SideShots Sloppy Joes
Price: $2.49
Size: 4 pack
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 3 out of 10
Pros: Bun was soft. Mitosis. Cooks up fast. Boobs. Bun contains the filling without spillage. Kids would probably love the taste.
Cons: Beef was mushy, flavorless and looked like rabbit pellets. Adult Underoos. Sauce was disappointing and lacked sloppy joe flavors. Growing up. “Dried egg yolks.”

REVIEW: Hot Pockets SideShots Mini Cheeseburgers

Hot Pockets Cheeseburger Side Shots

Like Lucky Charms marshmallows, bongs and Kardashian sisters, Hot Pockets come in an array of shapes.

There’s the regular rectangular Hot Pocket, the triangular Panini Hot Pocket, the circular Deep Dish Pizzeria Hot Pocket and you can now add the strapless bra-shaped Hot Pockets SideShots Mini Cheeseburgers.

Unlike most Hot Pockets, these SideShots don’t involve a crisping sleeve. But just like all Hot Pockets, utensils aren’t necessary and they make me say to myself, “What wrong turn have I taken in my life that has led me to eating Hot Pockets?”

The Hot Pockets SideShots Mini Cheeseburgers are made up of bits of seasoned ground beef, cubes of cheese and some kind of sauce enclosed in a soft bun. They come attached in pairs, hence the strapless bra shape, and each pair is as long as a normal rectangular Hot Pocket.

While warming up a pair in the microwave for the recommended time of 1 minute 45 seconds, they made my apartment smell like a bakery, something no other Hot Pocket has ever accomplished. I took that as a sign of good things to come.

Hot Pockets Cheeseburger Side Shots Innards

The buns turned out surprisingly well for something that came out of a microwave oven. They were mostly soft and only a little chewy. But what was even more astonishing to me was that they tasted just like a McDonald’s Double Cheeseburger (or McDouble) — pickles and all.

While the Hot Pockets SideShots Mini Cheeseburgers do taste great, I didn’t think they were very filling and, at three dollars a box, they seem kind of pricey since one can get three heartier McDoubles for the same price. But then again, I guess they shouldn’t be as hearty since I consider consumption of a Hot Pocket as settling for something less than the real thing.

(Nutrition Facts – 2 buns – 300 calories, 10 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 640 milligrams of sodium, 40 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 9 grams of sugar, 12 grams of protein, 10% calcium, 20% thiamine, 10% vitamin B12, 20% folic acid, 15% iron, 15% riboflavin, 15% niacin and 10% phosphorus.)

Item: Hot Pockets SideShots Mini Cheeseburgers
Price: $3.00
Size: 4 pack
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Tastes like a McDonald’s Double Cheeseburger — pickles and all. Buns came out surprisingly well. No trans fat. Contains vitamins and minerals. Made my apartment smell like a bakery. Shaped like a strapless bra.
Cons: Not very filling. Kind of pricey. Taking a wrong turn in your life, which leads you to eating a Hot Pocket. Shaped like a strapless bra.