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Jul 29, 2009 09:31 PM

I bought a can of Irish Oats-now what?

I love oatmeal, even though it can get a little gluey. But I've heard great things about Irish oatmeal, so I bought a can this afternoon. Is there a trick to making oatmeal that doesn't have the consistency of wallpaper paste, or have I wasted my money ($7.99!!!) on the stuff? any advice? Recipes? Instructions?


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  1. You'll never go back. The only possible drawback is the time it takes to cook them. Here's how I do it:

    Heat a smallish saucepan over medium heat. Put half a cup of oats. Toast them, stirring constantly, until the color starts to change and they become aromatic. Off heat, add a cup and a half of water and a big pinch of salt. Lower heat and simmer slowly for half an hour. Serve with your favorite accompaniments (I'll have the butter, maple syrup, raisins, and cinnamon, please).

    It's hard to go broke buying oatmeal, but $8 strikes me as a little on the high side. If you have Trader Joe's near you, they have store-brand steel-cut oats. Places that have lots of bulk bins sometimes sell them by the pound, too. Once you've used up what's in your tin, you have plenty of options for refilling it at a better price.

    5 Replies
    1. re: alanbarnes

      Trader Joe's has a brand called Country Choice for $2.99 for 30 oz.
      Just bought a cardboard container of Imported McCann's for $2.99 for 30 oz. at the Costco Business Center.

      1. re: alanbarnes

        Dry pan-roasting oats, before cooking them?? I HAVE to try this now! How much a difference does doing it make in the end product? Thanks for the tip!

        1. re: Honeychan

          It's like the difference between toast and plain bread. You're not completely transforming the flavor, but definitely adding significantly to it.

        2. re: alanbarnes

          This recipe has hit the nail on the head. That little bit of roasting really kicks up the flavor.

          1. re: alanbarnes

            I'd skip the salt until the end, from what I've heard and experienced, you get a creamier oatmeal this way.

          2. Irish oats steel cut oats are killer in bread.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Fritter

              Agreed, I add at least a half a cup to a 4 cups of flour bread recipe like the Pepin one-pot technique.

              I also sub them, straight out of the can, for half the rolled oats in oatmeal cookies. They add a nutty crunch. They can go into fruit crisp topping mixture as well.

            2. I get mine in the bulk section of Whole Foods for less than $2 per pound, and I just kept the packaging from my first bunch to refill, like alanbarnes suggested.

              I have two tricks: the first is to make a great big batch on the weekend and then reheat what I need during the week. The stuff reheats like a champ! I do this a lot during the school year (I'm a teacher), or anytime I need a no-brainer 2 minute breakfast for the whole week.

              The second trick is to measure out the water and oats AT NIGHT, bring them to a boil, turn the heat off, cover and let them sit on the stove. The next morning it takes about 60 seconds to bring them back to a boil and voila! Breakfast!

              I'll never be able to eat even regular rolled oatmeal again. Yuck. Steel cut oats have a kind of flavor and personality that rolled oats just do not have, and they're WAY less finicky too -- the likelihood of ending up with wallpaper paste is quite small.


              10 Replies
              1. re: LauraGrace

                I can do it just boiling the oats at night? Very cool, I'm going to try that.

                i also like to cook up a batch for the week, but I will also eat them cold.

                If I cook them with fruit juice, I find that I don't need to add any sugar. If I cook them with cranberry juice they look pretty funky, though!

                1. re: BeaN

                  Definitely! I tried it once out of desperation and it worked! A friend of mine soaks his overnight in cold water but it still took too long in the morning for my rushed and half-asleep scheduling.

                2. re: LauraGrace

                  how do you store/reheat them? I've never made them in advance & would like to try.

                  1. re: pamd

                    store them in the fridge in a sealed container, and when you're ready to eat, scoop out a portion into a bowl and zap in the MW for a couple of minutes.

                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      How do you keep them from blowing like Mount Vesuvius?

                      1. re: kleine mocha

                        oh, come on, you don't like scraping gluey oatmeal mess off the floor & walls of the microwave? where's your sense of adventure? ;)

                        i use a deep bowl, and the "stop & stir" method - once every 30 seconds or so.

                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                          Wow, I toasted them first, so yummy! I made a large batch to try for the reheating as a time saver. Thanks for the tips!

                          1. re: pamd

                            glad it was a success! toasting them does, indeed, make a difference. when you reheat, be sure to use method i mentioned above, otherwise you may end up with an oatmeal volcano erupting in your microwave...and those are NO fun to clean up. a deep bowl is best, and stop the MW every 20-30 seconds to give the oats a quick stir and let them deflate/settle as some of the steam escapes.

                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                              I do the same make-ahead method for the whole week, but never have had a problem with them inflating. When I zap them in MW, I add frozen berries, so that extra liquid and mass from those may help with the inflating issue. It also makes them super delicious.

                  2. re: LauraGrace

                    I use an even easier overnight method. For a single serving, I put the oats in an insulated coffee travel mug (about 12 oz.), fill with the boiling water and close the lid. The next morning, drain off any remaining water (through the slide top), pour the oats into a bowl, add brown sugar and dried fruit, heat in the micro and eat. I take this to work a lot in the winter.

                  3. I follow a combination of Alton Brown's recipe and Cooks Illustrated. Similar to alanbarnes but I toast in a little butter :) and then add water and milk. Cooks Illustrated recommends adding salt after about 20 minutes to avoid toughening the oats. I add honey, vanilla, cinnamon, raisins and fruit.


                    1 Reply
                    1. re: mobirose

                      Thanks to your post and alanbarnes, i'm going to be on an oatmeal making kick this weekend! I just bought a huge box of raisins and it sounds like it's meant to be with that oatmeal goodness.

                      Even IF it's 110 degrees here in Las Vegas. It just sounds too good not to eat!

                    2. I've had steel cut oats but so long ago now I don't remember.

                      What accounts for the difference between steel cut and regular? Why does the steel cut taste better?

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: karykat

                        It's about the texture and taste.
                        Regular quick rolled oats can be like wall paper paste

                        1. re: monku

                          Thank you all so much for your replies! I'm really looking forward to trying these oats. I'm not much of a breakfast eater, but something tells me I might just change my tune once I try the oatmeal!


                        2. re: karykat


                          Basicly, rolled oats are steamed twice durring the processing, which blanches out a lot of the flavor, and develops some of the gluten.

                          Steel-cut oats are just chopped up to expose the inner kernel for cooking.

                          Minimum processing = maximum flavor, as always.