Cheap Eats at Bloglander

[ Currently Eating: Much, Much Needed Coffee ]

Lately, I’ve been suckered in by one too many “frozen aisle” specials at my local supermarket. You know the ones I’m talking about. They have a floor-type freezer in the middle of the area near the milk, meat and/or seafood that’s filled with frozen food impulsive buys that are on sale. These are usually things like frozen dinners, frozen pizzas and of course Frozen Burritos.

I almost caved in and tried out some “mini-pizzas” for a buck each, but instead was waylaid by boxes and boxes of Tina’s brand frozen burritos. Actually, I would have passed but they were going for only twenty cents a piece which was difficult to resist. I picked up 3 “Red Hot Beef”, 1 “Bean and Cheese” and 1 “Spicy Bean and Cheese” for an even dollar for 5 burritos. Come on, tell me that’s not cheap eats.

But as always, you get what you pay for. I remember coming home from high school and microwaving one of these beauties. Part of the fun was trying to get the timing on the microwave correct so they didn’t explode, spilling out their bean contents like nuclear waste. Equally difficult was avoiding the “lukewarm center” phenomenon. I tried poking holes to no avail. But that was before I learned the “30-second and flip” method.

Basically, you just microwave it on high for 30 seconds and then let it rest for about 15 seconds. Then turn it over and repeat. (These instructions were actually on a package of CostCo shredded beef frozen burritos that I meant to write about but haven’t gotten around to.) After about 4-6 iterations (2 to 3 minutes) you get a pretty well done burrito that’s cooked on the inside and hasn’t leaked at all. This had the disadvantage of making you do a lot more work for a 20 cent frozen burrito. But come on – we could all use the exercise.

Anyhow, the 2 “bean and cheese” varieties were nothing home to write about, so I turned to the Red Hot Beef Burrito for inspiration for a review. Well. You wanted a 20 cent frozen burrito, you get a 20 cent frozen burrito. You’ll note the burrito actually looks a little “flat”. I actually had to get down nearly horizontal to the plate to make the picture look like there was more filling than there actually is.

By the way, whatever you think about the taste of these things I wouldn’t recommend eating a dollar’s worth in one sitting. Not unless you want a date with Mrs. Urinal. Let’s be cheap in our eating, not stupid. Though, I’ve been known to test the limit by eating two in a row…

I ate almost the entire Red Hot Beef Burrito before asking myself one pressing question made famous by Clara Peller: “Where’s The Beef???” Truly, where is the beef in this burrito? It seemed mostly beans and sauce. There wasn’t even that nice pureed meat mixture that you get at Jack in the Box or Del Taco. It must be really ground up fine to not be able to tell. Unfortunately, some bits and pieces of what is probably tendon, ligament or some other anatomical cow part seemed to always sneak through. Well, if you eat it fast enough without chewing too much, you don’t notice the bits as much.

As far as spiciness was concerned, I was actually pretty impressed. You won’t call the fire department, but it made the “Spicy Chicken Sandwiches” that every other fast food place sells seem laughable. The taste – well, did I mention again that it costs only 20 cents? They’ll add some variety to your pantry of Cup O Noodles and Ramen. You don’t want to eat this burrito every day, but it could be worth it to have a box of these in the freezer for those late night snack munchies.

Price: $0.20 each
Found At: Albertson’s
Cheap Eats Score: 7/10

25 Responses to “Tina’s Red Hot Beef Burrito”

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  1. Toni Says:

    I buy Tina’s Spicy Beef and Bean almost exclusively. Not really hot, but pleasently spicy for wimps like me. My four year old likes Spicy Beef and Bean, so you know it’s not too hot.

    I occassionally get Beef and Green Chile for myself and Spicy Bean and Cheese (regular Bean and Cheese is nasty). I have like a dozen SB&B in my freezer right now.

  2. HeartofGlass21 Says:

    But the real question is, who is Tina?

    And why is she lukewarm within–unlike Hot Pockets which turn to molten lava within, upon microwaving?

  3. Peggasus Says:

    I agree with Toni- the beef and green chile is not too bad. When I nuke mine, I just cut the end off the wrapper and do it in that: 1 minute per side and flip it over halfway. It seems to keep it moister that way, so the tortilla does not get too hard. Then I pour about 1/2 cup of hot sauce on it. There’s a Patio brand that is pretty much identical in price and taste to the Tina’s.

  4. Marvo Says:

    Oh, microwaveable burritos! They bring back memories of my college on-campus apartment’s freezer, filled to the top with frozen burritos and Hot Pockets.

  5. Ace N. Says:

    I actually don’t mind the exploding burrito since I eat it with a knife and fork anyway. I haven’t had these in a few years, but they weren’t bad to have around.

  6. Ian Says:

    I like to overcook the burritos a tad so that the ends get kinda crunchy/chewy. Also, dump some salsa on top of a Tina’s burrito and have a few tortilla chips to go with, thats not a half bad meal. :-)

  7. NCDave Says:

    Microwave Burritos are tasty but i find i have an allergy to the chicken flavored ones.I personally am having troubles finding microwavable rice and refried beans by themselves.
    Cool post !!

  8. Andie Says:

    All you guys are brave brave souls. I cannot bring myself to eat products that contain questionable meat in them. That burrito looked mighty scarey to me. LOL

  9. mzappen Says:

    I just picked up over 100 Red Hot Beef Burritos from the local supermarket. Notably, I have paid up to $0.59 for the Red Hot Beef Burrito — and even at that price, it is a worthy purchase (I have found them for as low as 3 for $1 in upstate New York). I think that one very important aspect of the Red Hot Beef Burrito that has been overlooked is its nutritional value. Each Burritio comes packed with 7 grams of fiber, which is roughly one-third of what a high-fiber diet (i.e., 25 grams) would have. So, 3-4 Red Hot Beef Burritos in one day would more than suffice for a high fiber diet. Moreover, one gets Carbohydrates and Protein from the Red Hot Beef Burritio, making the burrito a worthy snack for athletes. As far as the negatives, only one-third of the calories comes from fat, and they are low in cholesterol.
    As far as cooking them, I have success simply cooking them for 3 minutes without flipping them, and I do not notice a difference when I do flip them. One thought is perhaps putting the burrito in the toaster oven prior to consumption to enhance the crispness of the shell.
    All and all, I am very satisfied with this product!

  10. Gabriel Says:

    In our house we cook them for about three minutes, flipping them halfway through… Then for the last minute we sprinkle shredded cheese(typically cheddar) on it. Once out of the mwave we put some salsa on it, topping it with sour cream for a tasty treat. Probably a bit too much work for a $0.20 burrito, but it tastes good.

  11. becky starlucky Says:

    While I wouldn’t recommend eating these on a regular basis for obvious reasons, I used to eat these occasionally when I was in high school. I prepared them using the microwave but to make them a bit more palatable (and also, more fattening), I would fry them in a teeny tiny bit of butter until each side is browned. Not bad for cheap!

  12. Jane Says:

    Microwave burritos are okay, I always add salsa and sour cream to them, makes them a lot better.

  13. Madeeia Says:

    Other than Albertson’s, where can you buy tina’s red hot burritos. I live in the florida panhandle.

  14. Jesse Says:

    We have them in Michigan for .49 cents a piece. I stick mine in the wrapper for two minutes on high. However, the burrito is much better if you leave it in the refrigerator for a while after you buy it, so its thawed, then use the thirty second method. The Chicken variety is F***ing nasty. Same filling as a chicken pot pie. Its butt nasty.

  15. Jesse Says:

    btw, beware of the toll this burrito can take on the digestive system. Tina Farts and Burritto diarreah are not that great. Eat in moderation, or pick up some Immodium on the way out of the store.

  16. Collie Says:

    I love Tina’s burritos. My family has been buying them for years. When no one felt like cooking dinner, my dad would toss this on the skillet to make them a little bit brown and crispy. Now that I’m in college, I do the same thing. I top them with a little bit of sour cream and a splash of sriracha (a very spicy hot sauce, a little over $3 for a 17 oz bottle, but I use so little at a time that one bottle lasts a long time!)

  17. Alina Says:

    Where could I find “Tina’s brand frozen burritos” in the New York City area.

    Thank you.

  18. Walter Solis Gallegos Says:

    Dear Friend
    My whole family enjoys your variety of Tina’s Burritos
    I recently read a very strong statistic report about the chemical element Aluminum
    This element no matter in which state of composition it may be, it represents a health hazard on the long run
    Please reconsider the loyalty of your customers and possibly subsitute the aluminun of a none health threatening source so we can continue to endulge in such delight of foods
    Thank You for your immediate concern to this brief in health
    Thank You Again
    Walter Solis Gallegos

  19. Jughead Says:

    I love the Chicken ones, but my favorite is Pizza. These are part of the second tier of flavors, so not every store carries them.

    One time they were six for a dollar and I about shit my pants (and then I ate one…). Nowadays, you have to be happy with a quarter. Damn that inflation.

    I haven’t bought them in a few years, but I would if I had the chance. I just have too much other crap to eat, now that we are in the era of $1.50 cereal boxes.

  20. StabMasterArson Says:

    Grew up on the beef and bean variety. I like to scrape out the filling with a Lays potato chip or a Fire Hot Cheeto or something and then eat the ‘shell’. Tapatio goes very good with these as well. As was mentioned before you can also deep fry them to make a chimichanga…add a little guacamole, shredded cheddar, sour cream and salsa. Much better than Taco Bell or La Salsa!!

  21. Mordred Says:

    Tina’s Burritos actually taste very good when heated in a regular oven. However, it seems that Tina has decided to reduce the size of her burritos by about an inch. We’re getting screwed and it pisses me off to no end.


  22. Mordred Says:

    Can anyone find the address for the manufacturer of Tina’s Burritos? They’ve just recently shrunk them by over an inch and haven’t changed the price. I’d like to voice my opinion.

  23. bob miller Says:

    tinas burritoes are the sh*t. omg i fell in love with the spicy beef and bean, and the chilli ones are good to. i eat them every day!!

  24. Davey Says:

    Ive been eatting around 2-3 red hot beef tinas everyday for a good 3 months haha

  25. DP Says:

    I had one of these in my gym bag for more than 3 weeks and warmed it up for 1 minute and 11 seconds. Still tasted great! They have shrunk in size over the past year and become more seasoned than necessary…



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