Monday, April 22, 2013

What is the difference between rolled oats and steel cut oats?

steel cut oats on the left, rolled oats on the right

This year for Christmas, my husband tucked some steel cut oats into my stocking.  I had never seen steel cut oats before and was surprised by what they look like. I had heard great things about steel cut oats but had never seen them.  Would they taste good?  They looked an awful lot like horse food.   But sure enough, these golden little nubby bits cooked up into a delightfully creamy bowl of oatmeal.

So what is the difference between steel cut oats and rolled oats?

Steel cut oats are cut up pieces of the inner oat kernel (groat).  Unlike rolled oats, they have not been cooked prior to processing so cooking time is longer for steel cut oats.  Sometimes, in the store, you will find steel cut oats labeled as Irish oats or pin head oats.

Rolled oats are oat groats that have been rolled and steamed.  They take less time to cook and are what we traditionally think of as oatmeal.  Instant oats are rolled oats that have been processed further and are in smaller pieces, making the cooking time faster.

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