College is hard for people who like to eat well or, for that matter, consistently. Many a night goes by that I realize, between studying for that big test tomorrow or just idling by in the common room with friends, that I have forgotten dinner. It is for that explicit purpose that Nestle has sent forth down unto us that sweet dorm room ambrosia – Hot Pockets. 

Long have many wondered, what is the best Hot Pocket? Fear not friends, for I have tested out a sampling of seven popular flavors and have found the truth.

7. Applewood Bacon, Egg and Cheese

Friends. Dear friends. I have a very simple philosophy in this life, albeit not a very popular one among the kids, however it has kept me alive to this day so it must be working. Never, and I mean never, ever consume an egg you didn’t personally witness the cracking of.

The egg was an unpleasant texture which reminded me a lot of wadded chewing gum. It was hardly complemented by the feeble, plasticky bacon, which is the same kind that every hotel has for their complimentary breakfast. It is the most important meal of the day, but if it comes down to going to the dining hall before class or this microwavable sandwich, you might want to set that alarm a little earlier.

6. Pepperoni and Sausage Pizza

This one also had a bit of an unsavory texture. The balls of sausage meat were rubbery, offset only by the layers and layers of less palatable, disturbingly chewy pepperoni. The aroma was reminiscent to that of a dog food stromboli. If you are thinking about picking up this sandwich, you are better off springing for the frozen mini pizzas instead, or trying out this pizza recipe, or calling up your local pizzeria.

5. Philly Cheesesteak

My school is located outside of Philly. There are a zillion and one places to get my hand on a real Philly cheesesteak, so I am spoiled. Some people are not so lucky and will do anything to get that fix. THIS HOT POCKET IS NOT WORTH IT. It would be lower on the list if it was not so fascinating.

By far the least reminiscent of its source dish, this hot pocket leaked a molten grey goo. It was the runniest substance I had ever seen. It did not contain any steak, peppers, onions, mushrooms, or any solid matter as far as I could tell. Not dis jawn friends, the city of brotherly love could not possibly begin to love this.

4. Chicken, Broccoli, and Cheddar

Welcome to the arena – a vegetable. This bland, dough-wrapped Sunday dinner wannabe is a passable excuse for a meal. It left a lot to be desired in the flavor department but the texture, aside from some congealed cheddar pockets, was excusable. The chicken and broccoli texture was kind of the same, but it was fine. The green was refreshing.

Fun fact, this Hot Pocket was not cooked through all the way but I ate it anyway, so I could have the full experience. Is it Mom’s cooking? No, but it will do in a pinch.

3. Cheddar Cheeseburger

Speaking of cooked through, this one was molten hot and beautiful. Is it really good? Not at all, but I love it anyway. It’s the guilty pleasure Hot Pocket. The cheddar cooled and turned to cement immediately, confirming my suspicion that cheddar should not be allowed in Hot Pockets, but the burger meat was chewy yet oddly tasty. I don’t think I can truly justify liking this flavor, I just do. I’ve grown accustomed to its face. Is it Hamburger Helper shoved in a croissant? Yes. Do I care? No. Should you? Probably, but this is college, time to make some beautiful mistakes.

2. Four Cheese Pizza

The four cheese Hot Pocket. The classic. The crust is garlicky and aromatic (much like these garlic knots). The cheese filling is gooey and fulfilling. Is it perfect? No, but you are eating a Hot Pocket – you missed the boat on perfection. But it’s fine, at least you are getting a fake meal. And what could possibly top the four cheese pizza Hot Pocket?

1. Five Cheese Pizza

Love is all you need. What makes this better than the four cheese one? Why, friends, it is the fifth cheese. The flaky buttery crust. It’s the only Hot Pocket on this list that I would actually seriously recommend. And I do recommend it – not as a meal, but as a small snack. It is ooey-gooey good.