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Old-fashioned oats vs. quick-cooking oats

  • k

I understand what the difference between old-fashioned oats and quick-cooking oats is, but don't know when to use what? When a recipe calls for just oats or rolled oats, what is it referring to? Can you substitute one for the other? What do recipes like No-bake Cookies and Oatmeal Cookies want you to use? Thanks!

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  1. I find no redeeming value in using quick cooking oats in anything. I once mistakenly bought Quaker Quick Oats and they tasted awful and I'm a big fan of Quaker Oatmeal products.

    1. Quick oats are more processed than old-fashioned oats, so they cook up a bit quicker and are mushier in texture. (Instant oats take this one step further, require no cooking, and also have the texture of glue.)

      If a recipe doesn't specify you can probably use either, though I would assume old-fashioned oats over quick oats. In oatmeal cookies, old-fashioned oats will give you a chewier texture, and quick oats will taste more like you ground up the oats a bit, i.e. slightly less chew, a more homogenous consistency, but still the same flavor. It's really personal preference which one you like better for baking. But for eating as plain oatmeal I would definitely pick the less processed one (or steel-cut).

      6 Replies
      1. re: Jujubee
        k
        Katie Nell (formerly posting under the name Katie)

        What about for No-Bake Chocolate Cookies... Old-fashioned or Quick Cook? This has to be one of the easiest recipes of all time, but I still love them!

        1. re: Katie Nell (formerly posting under the name Katie)

          Either will work just fine, but the old-fashioned will be considerably chewier than the quick-cooking. It's purely based on your own personal preference. I know I would probably prefer the quick-cooking oats because I like things a bit smoother, but my MIL would pick the old-fashioned because she likes the chew. Really, your no-bake cookies will be just fine either way.

          1. re: Katie Nell (formerly posting under the name Katie)

            I just use the Quaker Old Fashioned Oats for those cookies. (I grew up with them from the elementary school cafeteria!).

          2. re: Jujubee

            I need help!!! I used rolled oats in a no bake recipe. They are bad. Like chewing on pebbles. Can they be fixed??
            Tks jrrr40

            1. re: Jrrr40

              Use quick oats, which are rolled thinner and partially cooked. Or chop your rolled oats into smaller bits in the food processor. Toasting the dry oats may help. And depending of the recipe, you might be able to soak the oats in the liquid for a while before adding other ingredients.

              1. re: Jrrr40

                You alreeady made the cookies? If so try baking them.... Otherwise you just learned the hard way that you like no bake recipes with quick cooking or instand oats.

            2. A chef once showed me oatmeal cookies make with Quik oats and others mades with old fashioned, the Quik oats cookies were flat and runny, and the old fashioned were fluffy like they should be. She made them at the same time so I don't think there was any other difference.

              1. Rolled oats=Old-fashioned oats.
                I only use these in cooking, even in recipes that specify quick oats. I just make a straight substitution and think the texture is much better.

                1 Reply
                1. re: doctor_mama

                  This has been a burning question for years......... I never buy quick oats, but have been afraid to substitute old fashioned for fear of comprimising the end product. With your endorsement, I will forge ahead with this new risky plan. ;) Thanks for your post Doctor_mama.

                2. I always use old-fashioned oats no matter what. The other kind is too mushy for me.