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Old 12-02-2007, 10:14 AM   #1
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Cooking oatmeal on the stovetop:

I am making oatmeal on the stovetop and the container says to mix 1 cup of oats with 4 cups of boiling water and simmer for 30 minutes (steel cut oats in this case). Question: if I halve the ingredients and do just 1/2 cup oats and 2 cups water, do I also halve the cooking time to 15 minutes or does it still need the full 30 minutes?

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Old 12-02-2007, 10:18 AM   #2
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I would imagine it will still need most of the thirty minutes, if not all. You are really trying to get them to a certain consistency - soft and edible without being mushy (unless that's how you like your porridge!).

Not sure what steel cut oats are but when I do traditional oats - which I admit is not very often - I soak them in water to soften them a bit before cooking. Also reduces cooking time. My mum likes to cook hers in hot milk. I like to have toast!!
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Old 12-02-2007, 10:44 AM   #3
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I would not think you would change the cooking time either, but with steel cut oatmeal there is a range of doneness. If you like them a little on the crunchy side then you would cook then less. If you like them softer then you would cook them longer. Give them a taste every once in a while and when they seem done to you then they are done.
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Old 12-02-2007, 10:48 AM   #4
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I would not cut the cooking time

I would not cut the cooking time, or not in the same ratio. In this case the cooking time is not a factor of the amount, it is a factor of the product. Steel Cut Oat from my understanding, mind you I have never cooked them my self, take a while to cook. Also, just like most grain products you will get a gritty cereal taste if you do not cook them long enough.
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Old 12-02-2007, 10:50 AM   #5
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I gave it a try and you guys are correct, it needs the same amount of time. At fifteen minutes they were still too firm.
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Old 12-02-2007, 10:52 AM   #6
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Taste them again at 20 and 25 minutes just to get a good idea to see how much it really takes.
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Old 12-02-2007, 11:07 AM   #7
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I've never tried the steel-cut (whole grain) oatmeal, but if I did, I'd probably go for the quicker cooking product. McCann's makes a "Quick and Easy Irish Oatmeal" that reduces the cooking time from 30 to 5 minutes.

I'll take the loss in nutritional value for the sake of convenience, provided of course that the stuff is noticeably more satisfying than rolled oats. Anyone tried it?
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Old 12-02-2007, 11:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robgrave View Post
I've never tried the steel-cut (whole grain) oatmeal, but if I did, I'd probably go for the quicker cooking product. McCann's makes a "Quick and Easy Irish Oatmeal" that reduces the cooking time from 30 to 5 minutes.

I'll take the loss in nutritional value for the sake of convenience, provided of course that the stuff is noticeably more satisfying than rolled oats. Anyone tried it?
I too use the McCann's 5 minute oatmeal and love it. I prefer my oatmeal on the creamy side so I use half water, half milk to cook.

I learned something from Martha Stewart a couple of years ago about toasting the oats before cooking them. She said the flavor was wonderfully nutty and the toasting brings out the flavor of the nuts and makes it more intense and interesting. She was right. I toast the oatmeal in a skillet for about 5 minutes, tossing often just til they turn a nice golden brown. Then proceed as directed. The flavor is just like eating a bowl of toasted nuts. Much better.
I add 2 tsp. of brown sugar and a few shakes of cinnamon along with some dried cranberries. Awesome! Who knew oatmeal could taste so good?
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Old 12-02-2007, 11:48 AM   #9
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Strong endorsement, DramaQueen. I'm bound to try it now.
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Old 12-02-2007, 11:49 AM   #10
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I love steel-cut oats and prefer the longer cooking version. What I do is to put the oats in the required amount of water the night before, cover the pan and cook as directed in the morning. It helps to reduce the cooking time a bit.

I've tried McCann's quick-cooking oats and feel they lack flavor and I don't care for the texture.
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