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Old 03-12-2008, 03:29 PM   #9
Working My Way Back Down
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Alaska
Posts: 4,982


most steel-cut oatmeal is the "natural" instead of the "instant" variety, and it typically has more fiber in it. Quaker's "Old Fashioned" oats are steel cut, I believe.
Steel-cut, old-fashioned, and instant are 3 totally different kinds of oatmeal. As someone above mention, steel-cut is the whole grain, it looks like grains of sand, takes longer to cook, and is "chewier." Old-fashioned is large flakes, and cooks more quickly (2-3 minutes in the microwave), and while not as "natural" as steel-cut, is much more nutritious than instant. Instant oatmeal bears very little resemblence to the other two types. The grain has been pulverized so it mixes quickly with hot water, but to me (and this is just my opinion) it's dreadful. And then when you add artifical flavoring..... ewwww.

And unless you're in a place where's there's not a microwave, why not just use old-fashioned - it cooks just as fast. I use a 2 parts water to 1 part oats (usually 2/3 cup water, 1/3 cup oats) a shake of salt, in a good-sized bowl, and nuke it for 2.5 minutes (might be faster if you have a newer microwave - mine is ancient ), add milk, and whatever else you like, and you've got a great bowl of cereal!

I had steel-cut this morning, and while you can cook them in the microwave, be aware that not only do they take longer, they WILL boil over unless you use a small mixing bowl. Easier for me on the stove. I know that other people here do them in a slow-cooker in larger batches and reheat for breakfast. If you do a search for threads on oatmeal you'll find a lot of info.

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