How to be ruined for rolled oats

By Mir
November 2, 2008

Once upon a time we ate instant oatmeal and liked it. And then one day I bought some “conventional” rolled oats, because it was cheaper, and really not that hard to cook, and we liked it.

And then one day I made a huge mistake. On the suggestion of a foodie friend, I tried steel-cut oats. And now I can’t eat “regular” oatmeal anymore, because steel-cut is ohmygosh so much better. If you’re a hot cereal fan and you’ve never had steel-cut, you must. (They are less processed and have more fiber, too, if you’re needing a “health” reason to switch.)

The problem is, steel-cut is a lot more expensive. Usually. Which is why I’m so excited by this new Amazon grocery promo for November: Buy any qualifying McCann’s oatmeal product (they make the best steel-cut oats!) and use coupon code OATMEL98 for an instant 15% off. Of course, most of those items are already 25% off, plus you can always sign up for Subscribe & Save to save another 15% (you can cancel after your order ships). When all is said and done, you’re getting the far-superior steel-cut oats for not much more than you’d pay for the vastly inferior rolled oats.

And you’ll want to be stocking up, because you’ll never go back after you eat these.


  1. Hmmm, I like the sound of this. I’m a big oatmeal fan (and I also like that whole “healthy” high-fiber thing). We also make a lot of oatmeal cookies around here so what do you think: is it worth it to sacrifice the holy steel-cut to the cookies too, or should we just use the cheaper plain-old oats?

  2. Yum. I’ll stock up now and make it last through the winter. the c-c-c-cold Northern winter.

  3. Yeah, I got hooked when they did this last year and you told us about it. My husband thought I was insane buying oatmeal, online, in bulk. Now we are like crazy steel cut fanatics looking for our next hit anywhere we can.

  4. Interesting. I’ve never tried them (and we love oats in our house) because I’ve always thought “gosh, how much better could they be? I mean oats are oats, right?”

    You’ve intrigued me…

  5. Okay. I’m getting 96 oz of steel cut oats. I’m going to have to remember to cancel!

  6. Yummy, but they take a long time to cook. Growing up, my mom called it 3 Bears Porridge, which is the only thing that got my brother to eat it!

    Jennifer – I only know the kind in the can, but they kinda resemble Grape Nuts before you cook them. Not good cookie material, if you ask me.

  7. Forget the time commitment – just put them in the night before in your crockpot! Then you’ve got a tasty and immediate breakfast in the morning.

  8. Bkwyrm is right that they can easily be made in the crock, overnight… or (if you don’t want to do that) you can just soak them in water overnight to speed cooking in the morning. Or—another option, and the one I tend to favor—make a big batch at the beginning of the week, then refrigerate and microwave single portions as needed.

    Full disclosure: I’ve never bought the “quick cook” kind because the reviews seem to indicate they’re not as good.

  9. Okay, but are they GOOEY like cooked rolled oats? I love the IDEA of oatmeal, but I always take one bite and think BLERK.

  10. Nope, they do not work in cookies. Tried that and it failed miserably. They just take too long to cook and the cookies are like little bricks. They also sell them much cheaper at places like Sprouts, Sunflower market, etc in the bulk food bins.

  11. I could not help but comment on the usage of the word “BLERK”. (I had to pick myself up off the floor first.) I’m going to have to try to work that into casual conversation and soon. Thanks so much, Swistle!

  12. I was first turned on to the steel-cut kind at a work retreat. The place had it in a crock pot with all kinds of fruit and brown sugar to add to it. Everyone was oohing and aahing over how great the oatmeal was. People were going back for seconds. At the time we didn’t know what was different about it until later on. We all thought it was funny listening to everyone getting so excited about oatmeal!

  13. Soak one cup of your steel cut oats with three cups of water, overnight. In the morning add a pinch or two of salt and and some cinnamon (if that’s your kind of thing), cook on med-high for five minutes. Feeds three to four people.
    I always sprinkle a little raw sugar over mine in the morning. Even my four year old will eat this!

  14. If you really, really, really want to be spoiled with the best tasting oats get a flaker and organic oat groats and flake as needed. I do a batch on the thinnest setting every morning, (takes about 20 seconds to measure and flake 1/4 cup) add water, zap for 1 minute, add some maple sugar or syrup and raw local honey and have fresh, nutritious oatmeal — even better than the steel cut oats.

  15. I like to put boiling water and my steel cut oats in a thermos and leave it overnight. You do have to cut down on the water a little bit, since you don’t lose any to the air, but it’s all done when you wake up in the morning.

    Karen R. – I’d love to get a flaker, but they’re so expensive. Where did you get yours?

  16. I didn’t take the deal because I get steel cut oats pretty cheap at Trader Joe’s. However, mine had been languishing in my fridge for some weeks. Finally cooking some up this morning. We’ll see how my 8 year old likes them. I’m right now convincing him to get dressed while they finish cooking.

  17. Mir have you tried the quick and easy steel cut?

  18. Re: flakers. I got a Marcato manual flaker. From the research I did that appeared to be the best of the manuals. I’m not flaking huge quantities at a time, and even if I am doing several cups for a recipe (freshly flaked oatmeal cookies — yummmmmmm) it only takes a few minutes. Little strength is required — just an ability to turn an easy-moving crank. I did get an electric Nutrimill for milling flour from whole grains. I’m doing up to 9 cups at a time for bread, and I wanted the finer grind an impact mill gives.

    They are expensive, but for the nutrition and taste I was able to justify it. It certainly gets used — especially when hot oatmeal season comes around.

    Look around the web and check the prices with shipping factored in. Unless you get lucky on eBay or in a second hand store, you’ll probably pay somewhere around $100 for it. OTOH, there are no components to wear out or break, so it should last forever. My hot oatmeal loving daughter thinks it is worth it. 🙂

  19. I know this is a silly question, but how do you unsubscribe once you’ve subscribed to the autoship? I signed up back when the Horizon organic milk was on sale, and then I thought I had canceled, when lo and behold, I just got some more milk. I can cancel the shipment, but I can’t seem to cancel the whole deal.

  20. One thing to remember–steel cut may be more expensive by the pound, but it goes farther. 1 cup of steel-cut makes at least half again, if not twice, as much cereal as rolled oats. And is more filling.

  21. Thanks for the excellent information on flakers! Very helpful.

  22. I love Scottish oatmeal – you’ve got to try it.

  23. I buy my steel-cut oats in the bulk section at the health food store…. much cheaper. I will put a pot of oatmeal on in the evening while I am picking up the kitchen, then put them in small containers to reheat in the morning. I finally got my Hubby to try it… now I need more small containers!

  24. I tried once years ago and wasn’t thrilled. Maybe I tried to make it too healthy or something, it tasted kind of like brown rice. I’ll have to glop it up with sugar and cream next time.

  25. well I took advantage of this offer and it arrived today (Thanks for the amazon prime tip last month!) anyway we had it for dinner and the steel cut oatmeal were a HUGE hit with the family. We had never tried them before but I’m glad we did! Thanks Mir!!

  26. Yum. I love steel cut oatmeal, but my husband refuses to make anything that he can’t just pour boiling water into and stir.

  27. Still valid by the way…

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