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Do I need a non-stick pot to make oatmeal???

  • j

I have never been excited about non-stick and I never thought I needed a non-stick pot. BUT today I (for the first time) made oatmeal with milk. Well, it was delicious, but it left my pot (an All-Clad Stainless) a mess! I had to soak the pot all day and then scrub for a while to boot. Do I need to invest in yet another pot or is there a technique that I'm missing out on? Perhaps I let it sit too long without stirring? Maybe it needs to be stirred constantly? I feel a little silly - I actually cook quite a bit, but apparently oatmeal is not my forte...


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  1. No need for nonstick. I imagine you simply had the heat up way too high. Now that your pan is clean again, try cooking another batch on a very low flame, stirring often. Patience is a virtue, esp. when it comes to grains. :)

    1 Reply
    1. re: neighbor

      I use a Le Creuset saucepan because that's what I have, but I also spray it with Pam first and stay with a low heat. Filling the pan immediately after with water helps in clean up too.

    2. By no means an expert here but milk does tend to stick, and so does oatmeal. Perhaps in cooking the two together you have exponentially increased the problem. I guess whether you buy another pot depends on space issues and how much you hate to scrub. Would you be buying it for the one purpose only?

      1. Nope - you didn't do anything wrong. Oatmeal is definitely a nonstick-pot deal. I've got two nonstick saucepans, specifically for oatmeal and mac 'n cheese from the blue box, etc., and they still take a bit of scrubbing with a plastic scrubby thingie. As long as you remember to use a wooden spoon or rubber heat-proof spatula, an inexpensive nonstick saucepan can last a long time and is a handy item.

        1. I use steel cut oats and soak them over night. I then microwave a portion with a bit of salt and some half and half right in my cereal bowl.

          I also gooks grits and polenta, other sticky substances, in the microwave too. After learning to do the grits and polenta I never went back to stove top again and the bowl cleans up beautifully in the dishwasher.

          1. I make oatmeal in a regular stainless All-Clad all the time. Granted, I cook it in half soymilk, half milk, but even when I used cow's milk I didn't have a sticking problem. Just cook it at a bare simmer and don't let it dry out. I never stir, either--just shake the pot once or twice during cooking if I think of it.

            1. My Grandma never had a no stick pot...whatever did we do without them :-)

              If it formed a thick hard type layer on the bottom of the pot, then you had the heat too high. Perhaps a double boiler would work better for you. Or one of those diffuser thingies.

              1. bit of a digression here but I just learned that you can make steel cut oats in a rice cooker. just use the same proportions, give it a stir, push the button and you're done.

                rice cookers are mostly non-stick nowadays...

                i would imagine you could use them for any grain. i've tried barley too. i got the idea from an interview with Roger Ebert in the NYT magazine. he cooks most of his meals in his rice cooker!

                1. Cooking oatmeal in milk compounds the sticking problem, but you really don't need a non-stick pot. I use an All-Clad and have no problems. The secret is to cook it on low heat, then, when you have emptied the pot, immediately fill it with cold tap water and let it soak while you eat. It will then clean up quite easily.

                  1. You don't need a non-stick pot but if you plan to cook oatmeal or any other porridge two or three times a week it sure is worth the money. You can make perfect porridge in any decent pot if you watch it carefully and stir it faithfully but, if your attention wanders for a second, disaster may strike. I have a cheap, store brand, anodized aluminum, non-stick pot that I use for oatmeal, grits and Sunnyboy (it's a western Canadian thing, you wouldn't understand). I can set it to simmer in the morning, shower, shave and come back to perfect oatmeal. And I strongly belive that grains cooked in a pot are vastly superior to grains cooked in the microwave.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: brookmonton

                      Well thank you. I also believe that oatmeal is better from the stove than the microwave. I think I may check out Marshall's later today - they always seem to have quality pots/pans for cheap-ish.

                      1. re: Jellybelly

                        If you live near a Macy's department store check there as well. Their store brand, Tools of the Trade, is great value for its price. I've been particularly pleased with their non-stick frying pans. My basic omelette-when-I-have-the-time/scrambled-eggs-when-I-don't pan, non-stick with heavy triple-ply bottom layer cost me less than $10 including sales tax.