Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Feb 20, 2010 01:48 PM

Rolled oats

I just bought more than I need to keep on hand for baking. Is it a good idea to freeze them?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. absolutely. oats can get rancid pretty easily, but keep extremely well in the freezer.

    7 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      I've NEVER had oats go rancid...there's no fat in them, so they pretty much can't. What you do have to worry about (as you hvae to with any grain), is bugs. You can freeze them, but it's really not necessary. They'll stay fine for a while, although cooler temps will prevent (the low chance unless you're planning on keeping them for YEARS) of bugs.

      1. re: lyntc10

        actually, oats DO contain fat. in fact, the fat content of oats is higher than that of other common cereal grains. and i've had them go rancid on me more than once.

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          Okay, you're right about the fat. But I don't believe that they went rancid unless you were keeping them for over a year (and even then I'm skeptical). I found a canister of rolled oats that had a sell by date of august 2007 and I just opened it a month ago and have been eating it without any problems. It doesn't even taste any different. I didnt store them in the fridge or anything either.

          1. re: lyntc10

            you're free to "believe" whatever you want. it happened. just last summer i had to throw out two unopened bags that had been purchased within a couple of months - i had them stored on a closet shelf, opened them to whip up a big batch of granola, and helloooo nasty rancid odor. as accurate as my sense of smell is, i still tasted them to be sure. big mistake as they had absolutely spoiled. i checked the dates on the bags - still good.

            unfortunately there's no way to ensure that products are always handled and stored properly *before* we purchase them, and i think that's what often contributes to unexpected spoilage or shortened shelf life. i suspect that was the case in this particular experience - for all i know the store had them sitting in a hot, stuffy storage room too long before stocking the shelves. but one can at least take precautions after purchasing to try and prevent further deterioration if they have any concerns.

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              That's kind of what I was thinking. I was just worried that they would get soggy if I freeze. Thanks for the info ghg.

              1. re: millygirl

                my pleasure. just wrap them well to prevent freezer burn - don't worry about them getting soggy, they should stay relatively dry. if they're a bit moist when you remove them from the freezer, you can always dry them out or give them a quick toast in the oven or in a dry pan on the stove top.

          2. re: goodhealthgourmet

            Flour goes off too. Just about all flour (except for unbleached white) should be stored in the freezer if you're not going to use it up within 3-4 months.

      2. I eat a lot of oats, about a pound a week, and I regularly store them for 6 months at room temperature and have never had them go bad.

        1. I accidentally opened a cardboard canister of steel-cut oats when I already had an opened one. That meant about two years at room temp for both opened one, and they are still fine. I've got opened canisters of quick-cooking and old-fashioned rolled oats too - both are fine after at least a year. I refrigerate/freeze a lot of grains/nuts/flours, but have never needed to with oats. No bugs, either.

          1. I've never had oats go bad either. I was thinking maybe good health had hers go bad because of the climate she lives in. I've lived in humid climates and dry climates and been able to store mine at least a year. We use them up pretty fast in the winter but tend to turn to other grains in summer unless on a granola kick. Oats while higher in fat contain antioxidants that naturally slow spoilage. I guess if you live in a hot, humid climate you may need to freeze them but you really should be fine as long as they are sealed in a cool, dark place.

            1 Reply
            1. re: ankm2

              actually, i'm pretty sure it was the way they were stored BEFORE i bought them because i was living in Jersey at the time :)