General Question

asmonet's avatar

Steel-cut Oatmeal?

Asked by asmonet (21330points) September 21st, 2008

I hear a lot about this when health food lovers talk. I have no idea what it is. The only time I asked I was told:

It’s better.

Anyone care to elaborate for me? I assume it’s a process done to the oats, what are the pros? Are there any cons? Is it usually more expensive? And is the taste significantly different? I’m curious.

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11 Answers

Nimis's avatar

– full of this stuff
– the brand I get comes in this nifty can
– less preservatives and who-knows-what-else than instant oatmeal
– supposedly tastier, according to some

– usually more expensive
– usually harder to find at your local chain grocery
– takes more effort than instant oatmeal
– supposedly less tastier, according to some

asmonet's avatar

@Nimis: But why is it called steel-cut?

OMG, my grandfather had a bunch of cans from the forties in his apartment when he died….don’t ask. Haha, and that’s the brand. I saved them cause I dunno. I like old cans?

Nimis's avatar

Not sure. Though I’d probably guess the same…how it is (or used to be) processed?

Also, according to the McCann’s site, they’re full of B-Vitamins, calcium, protein
and fiber while low in salt and unsaturated fat.
Supposedly they can also help to lower cholesterol too.

Kind of tangential, but did you see this thread?

SpatzieLover's avatar

It’s steel cut, not rolled as cheap oatmeal is made. With steel cut, you are eating the hulled oat that is cut in pieces with most of the bran still attached (thus the HIGH fiber you get to ingest)

With rolled oats you are getting oats that are hulled and have the bran layer removed – now you eat a lower fiber oat that has been pressed between rollers.

kevbo's avatar

A real oat is like a rice grain only thicker and tougher. For humans, eating a whole oat is a very tough job, which is partly why the English for so long scoffed at societies (the Scots) who fed it to anyone but animals.

Steel cut oats are basically whole oats (as pictured) that have been cut into smaller pieces by a knife. Cutting the oat makes it reasonable for humans to cook and eat. The alternative is “rolling” the oat, which squishes the oat flat and gets rid of the tougher parts and less preservable parts of the oat in the process. Most oatmeal consumed by Americans is made from rolled oats.

IMHO, steel cut oats are more filling, tastier (they have a nutty taste), and are better for you fiber-wise.

shockvalue's avatar

Om nom nom nom nom.

they go crunch, yum. In my mouth

I love steel cut oats

A haiku for you

gailcalled's avatar

I just switched from my summer breakfast (lo-fat cottage cheese and fresh fruit) to my winter one (steel-cut oats with various nuts and dried fruits.) Check the link that Nimis left; as you scroll down, it becomes less tangential (love that word) and more steel- cut oats obsessive.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

The best way to find out about the taste differences is to:
—go to the grocery store, and buy some steel cut oats. You can find McCann’s at most chain grocery stores these days (really!) It’s often on the top or bottom shelf though.
—cook them, and
—eat them!

XrayGirl's avatar

it is delicious. it costs more, it takes 45 minutes to cook, it is creamy and fantastic and if you like oatmeal, you must try it, I love it.

gailcalled's avatar

It does take at least 35 minutes to cook; but you can prepare several days’ worth, refrigerate it and microwave each morning. I agree that, when one is hungry, stirring that watched pot for over half-an-hour is a bad thing.

erniefernandez's avatar

Whole Oats: Will take many hours of low-heat cooking to soften. Full of nutrients and fiber.

Steel Cut Oats: Whole oats, cut with strong blades into smaller, faster-cooking portions. Full of nutrients and fiber. Cooks fastest if you soak it overnight first.

Rolled Oats: Oats, stripped of fiberous outer skin, cooked, flattened under wheels, and dried into cardboard-like flakes. Most of the nutrition is washed out in the water that gets pressed out of the cooked oats. Cooks in under a minute.

More On Cooking Steel Oats: Soak them in milk (I cook mine in milk) the night or day before in a jar. They’ll cook in much less than 45 minutes after the long soak. Also, you can set a Crock Pot nice and low and cook an impressive amount of chewy, nutty, oaty oatmeal.

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