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Nov 23, 2007 11:37 AM

Steel cut oats

I see these mentioned frequently as the ultimate in oatmeal. How are they different from, say Quaker oats? Does it really make a difference in how the oats are cut or chopped?
Thanks.....I love oatmeal in the morning and may be on to something new.

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  1. Oh yes a big difference! They are larger in cut, not rolled into flat bits. They take longer to cook and have much better tooth and taste! I go for the MaCann's myself and cook a larger batch and reheat a bit as I want, each time.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Quine

      We also love McCanns.... the cooked meal is much heartier (I guess chewier). We add dried cranberries. My wife hates regular oatmeal but loves McCanns.

    2. My favorite oatmeal is McCann's Quick Cooking Irish Oatmeal. I note that nowhere on the package does is say "steelcut". However they look different from Quaker oats; I have always assumed they were steel cut. They cook up heartier, not as gluey. I encourage you to try Mc Cann's.

      Somwhere I have read to use Quaker oats for oatmeal cookies; but to use Irish oatmeal for eating.

      5 Replies
      1. re: sueatmo

        Quick cooking is not steel cut. It's rolled oats. Steel cut oats are chopped whole grains, not flattened by rolling.

        You can get steel cut oats more cheaply than McCanns - TJs, Bob's Red Mill, et cet.

        1. re: sueatmo

          You can quicker cooking steel cut McCann's:

          I find it easier to make a large portion, refrigerate and microwave when I want some. I've used steal cut for baking but I soak it in milk first for half an hour and then put it in the food processor. It gives the cookie/muffins a nice nuttiness.

          As people have said, it's hard to eat regular oatmeal once you've had steel cut. The regular has a mushy gumminess to it, like paste.

          1. re: chowser

            Interesting! Thanks for the link...I'll look for these...I wonder if that wonderful chewy texture is retained...have you tried them yet?

            1. re: ChowFun_derek

              Yes--they taste the same to me with the hearty nuttiness. I still make the long cooking ones for the most part but these are great in a pinch. They do cost more than buying a large can.

        2. I much prefer to eat steel cut oats in the morning instead of rolled oats. I think that because it is less processed, it takes longer for the body to digest, and thus keeps the stomach feeling full for longer.
          Because steel cuts oats take so long to cook, I typically cook up a batch once a week and get 3 to 4 breakfasts out of 1 cup of oats. I cook them overnight in a crock pot. 1 cup oats: 4 to 4.5 cups of water. On low for 6 to 7 hours. I store leftovers in the fridge and reheat a portion in the microwave in the morning. Once you start eating steel cut oats, it hard to eat the rolled oats again. Total different texture and mouthfeel.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mightycheesehead

            The STEEL CUT OATMEAL does taste better and takes longer to cook.
            But the best part is it takes LONGER to digest and therefore keeps the Blood Suger level normal longer, and decreases the appetite over a longer period of time with better energy. Also the whole oat called Oat Groats can be cooked the same way with the same benefits!
            Ever notice or did you know a horse can work all day eating a bucket of oats in the morning?
            All instant or quick cooking oats and foods are more processed resulting in rapid digestion and often Hypogycemia or low blood sugar creating hunger.

          2. As you can see by the responses so far, yes, it really makes a difference. A big difference.
            I personally won't touch oatmeal in any other way. I put some honey and cinnamon on mine to taste and away I go.

            Go ahead and buy some and give 'em a try. I guarantee you won't be disappointed.


            1. Oh, steel cut oats are just the best. The best. Really. I use Cook's Illustrated's method, which I highly recommend. Which is, by volume, three parts water to one part oats to one part milk and a pinch of salt. First toast the dry oats in butter for about 30 seconds until they smell wonderous. Then put them into boiling water and cook on low for about 10 minutes, then add the milk and salt and cook for a few minutes more until thick and wonderful. The toasting and the milk really do it for me. I like to put maple syrup and flax seeds in it sometimes... Try it. Really.

              2 Replies
              1. re: rockyraccoon07

                Glad to see you use it too, Rocky, it's the best! In 2001 on a trip to the Scottish Highlands I bought a pound of stone ground oats and made them that way when I got home....the best. Cinnamon and Brown Sugar usually are the adulterants for me.

                1. re: MsDiPesto

                  Cinnamon keeps the blood sugar normal, so there is less hunger over a longer period of time. But I don't understand why they put so much sugar icing on cinnamon buns and other pastry to cause hypoglycemia! The cinnamon helps prevent the lowered blood sugar.
                  I sprinkle cinnamon with a bit of salt on Popcorn! It works nicely.
                  Costco sells excellent Saigon Cinnamon in large shaker bottles, so I use it on fruit, yogurt, toast, etc.