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Steel cut oats - rancid?

Made steel cut oats for the first time. Used the overnight method -- brought water to a boil, turned off heat, added oats. This morning, added some milk and cooked for another 10 minutes or so. Added sugar -- and found the oats had a off flavor. I'd almost say they tasted slightly rancid -- like oil smells when it's too old. Is this possible? I checked the package (it was brand new and the plastic was sealed) and it hasn't expired. I've been eating/cooking Quaker oats for years and never noticed this taste/smell. Did I get a bad batch or do steel cut oats always smell this way?

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  1. You left half cooked oats out overnight? They probably went bad. I don't know what steel cut oats you are using but it only takes 20 minutes not sure why it would take overnight. Try making them the normal way before throwing them out.

    1. There are oils in the oat that could go rancid. Especially if they where stored (any where along the chain before you got them) in heat or sun light.
      I think that if they had spoiled that you would get a sour or alcoholic taste not rancid.

      2 Replies
      1. re: chefj

        I second this. I myself have detected rancid smells in oat products before (in other people's pantries, not mine). If you know what rancidity smells like, you are probably right about it when you say you smell it. Although for me, I do not think I can taste it.

        1. re: vil

          I third this. I have made Steel Cut Oats (McCann's and Bob's Red Mill) with the "overnight" method many times and have never experienced any rancid flavors. Also, I am curious about the milk, though, I am guessing it was fine.

      2. Try another brand/store. They're over the hill.

        1. I used a brand new package of McCann's brand. The short-cut instructions said to half cook them this way and them leave them, covered, overnight. Now that I'm checking the box again, even the raw oats smell a little rancid.
          I'm going to toss the box and go back to my Quaker Oaks -- never had a problem with them, just that I heard so much about steel-cut and wanted to taste what all the fuss was about! Thanks for your responses....

          1 Reply
          1. re: kavikat

            I like steel cut better myself so I wouldn't give up, try someplace where they have a lot of turnover and are sure to be fresh, I like the binned organic ones at Whole Foods.

          2. Steel-cut oats are definitely far superior to rolled ones- don't know your brand but if it tastes off before the expiration date, try another brand. Maybe one that doesn't come in plastic? McCann's is a good one; check the best-by date stamped on the bottom of each can though.

            It's true that they can be poorly cared for by the time they reach us, but I'd give 'em another try before you give up altogether on real oats. I do agree with the advice to buy somewhere that they have a high turnover.

            For the shortcut method, soak them overnight in COLD water, then heat them in the morning. You can't let any warm food sit overnight and expect it to be good the next day. Except pie or
            other very sweet stuff.

            One other good trick- you can toast the oats in a dry pan before cooking for a wonderful taste boost.