Skip to content

How to cook grains: Oats

raw oatmeal flakes on wood spoon on wooden table

Still have questions on how to cook grains? Let’s talk about cooking and using oats! Oats can be used in many different foods, cereals and baked goods. Oats can also be used as a filler in meatballs or meatloaf or added to soups!

Oats have a relatively high-fat content and can go rancid if on the shelf for too long. Buy oats in small amounts and store them in a tightly covered container in a cool, dry place.

All oats start off as a whole grain called oat groats. Groats are oat seeds that have had the shell or outside hull removed. From there they are processed into 4 types of commonly used oats we use for basked goods and oatmeal! Groats still include the cereal germ, the bran, and the endosperm of the grain, so all the following cuts of oats are whole grain. They are very nutritious and nutritionally there is very little difference between the four.

Cooking kinds of oats

Steel-cut oats

Steel-cut oats are oat groats that are cut into 2 or 3 pieces with a sharp blade. They cook more quickly than whole oats and retain a nice, chewy texture.

Rolled oats (old-fashioned)

Rolled or old-fashioned oats are the oat groats that are steamed and then rolled flat into flakes. This means the oils are removed, and the oats stay fresh longer thus extending their shelf life. The larger surface area means they will cook more quickly than steel-cut oats.

Quick oats

Quick oats are cut into more pieces, rolled thinner, and steamed longer. They will not have as much texture as the rolled oats or steel-cut but will cook much more quickly than steel-cut or rolled.

Instant oats

Instant oats are usually very similar to (if not the same as) quick oats but might be pressed even thinner and cut even smaller. They have a very soft texture when cooked but generally, need very little cooking time.

#TrainWithGrainsTip: For baking, rolled oats and quick-cooking are usually interchangeable in a recipe. If your recipe calls for quick-cooking oats and you only have rolled oats, add the old-fashioned oats in the food processor for a few quick pulses. If quick-cooking oats are used in a recipe in place of rolled oats, the texture will be different, but it shouldn’t affect the recipe.

golden mature oats with heads full of oat seed tipped down

How to cook

Oats are done when all water has been absorbed and oats are tender with a bit of chewy texture.  The time for this varies between the types of oats cuts:

Steel-cut

Steel oats take the longest to cook about 20-30 minutes, but can also be made overnight in a slow cooker. If you are making steel cut oats on the stove, boil water (or milk!), add your oats and let simmer on medium heat for between 20 – 30 mins. In a slow cooker combine, oats, water and cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4 hours.

Rolled oats (old fashioned)

They absorb more water and cook faster than steel-cut oats. Add oats to boiling water or milk, stir and let simmer on medium heat for roughly 15 mixtures or until oats have reached the desired texture.

Quick oats

Add hot water to a bowl of quick oats and let sit for 5 minutes. Quick oats can also be made in the microwave very quickly- add oats to a bowl of hot water and add to microwave for 30 seconds.

Instant oats

Instant oats are probably the fastest way to make oats, and most times can be made in the microwave for those busy mornings! On the stove, add oats to a pot of boiling water, stir, remove from heat and let stand for 2-3 minutes. Or, you can add oats to a bowl of water and put in the microwave for 1 minute or until desires texture is reached.

Oats!

Good for you and good for the environment

Read more here
Sun shining through oats

Where to use each oat?

Steel cut

  • Oatmeal
  • Baking
  • Muffins
  • Granola bars

Rolled oats (old fashioned)

  • Baking
  • Granola bars
  • Muffins
  • Cookies
  • Overnight Oats

Quick oats

  • Fast oatmeal
  • Cookies
  • Muffins
  • Meatloaf or meatball filler

Instant oats

  • Oatmeal
  • Not recommended for baking as it is too fine.  

Check out these great oat recipes!  

Copy link
Powered by Social Snap