Quick oats are simple rolled oats that have been processed more.
This extra processing allows them to cook a lot faster, which is desirable for many people.
These quick oats are already steamed, which partially cooks them, and then rolled super thin.
Generally, these quick oats will cook in just a few minutes. Regular rolled oats, or old-fashioned oats, aren’t too different from quick oats.
These oats also cook pretty quickly, but result in a different texture and flavor in dishes.
If you use rolled oats in a dish instead of quick oats, it might come out being a little chewier and have a stronger oat flavor.
Understanding Different Types Of Oats
Before we get into the quick cook oats vs old fashioned oats scenario, it is important to understand the different types of oats.
There are 6 primary types of oats, not including oat bran and oat flour, which we will go through below.
- Whole Oat Groats – everything but the hull is intact and present. Oat groats take very long to cook (between 30-45 minutes), and can be cooked in a variety of ways, including in slow cookers, on stovetops, or in an instant pot. In terms of texture, this form of oats is much like barley or size, which means it works well in a number of cuisines and dishes. The flavor is mildly nutty.
- Steel Cut or Irish Oats – this type of oat is made by cutting a whole groat into 2-4 slices using a steel blade. They have a chewy texture, and usually take between 20-30 minutes to cook fully, using the same options as above. These oats can also be toasted to enhance the flavor before use. Steel cut oats are thick but flavorful.
- Scottish Oats – made by the oat groats being stone ground. These oats are ideal for oatmeal and typically cook within 10 minutes. They can be cooked in a microwave or on a stovetop.
- Rolled Oats or Old Fashioned Oats – the most popular type of oats. They are made by being partially cooked and then rolled flat. They have a slightly chewy texture and take 5-10 minutes to cook. These oats can be used in any kind of cooking, including smoothies, pancakes, and granola bars. These oats are considered to be regular oats.
- Quick Oats – a type of rolled oats, but they are rolled thinner after being partially cooked. These oats take 1-3 minutes to cook, and are also popular. This form of oats can be used in baking and a variety of dishes, including pancakes, smoothies, and overnight oats.
- Instant Oats – the most processed type of oats, this type of oats is pre cooked, dried, then cut into smaller pieces. To cook, it only needs to soak in hot water or go in the microwave for less than one minute. Instant oats are used to make instant oatmeal.
Turning Old Fashioned Oats Into Quick Oats
On rare occasions, you will come across a recipe that specifically calls for quick oats.
When this is the case, it’s best to just go with it and only use quick oats.
However, what do you do if you don’t have any quick oats lying around the house? It would be a waste of money to get a bag from the store only for one recipe, right?
Thankfully, you can easily turn old fashioned oats into quick cook oats with a little help! Let’s take a look at how to do that below.
How To Do It
Turning the oldie oats into quick oats is a lot simpler than you might think! All you need is a food processor, and your oats.
To do this, you will need to transfer a cup or two of old fashioned oats into the food processor, then pulse it a couple of times.
This will result in the oats being broken down bit by bit. Stir the oats, then pulse again as necessary.
It’s important to note that you should be careful not to over do it. If you turn your old fashioned oats into dust, it probably won’t be of much use in the recipe.
Don’t worry if this happens, though! There are plenty of other recipes out there that you can use powdered oats for.
Another important thing to point is this – the oats should only be measured out after it has been processed.
If you measured out the old fashioned oats, which are larger, first, you would end up with the incorrect amount. This would have a devastating impact on the end result of the recipe, so be careful!
What About Substituting?
The most important thing to point out is that while quick and old fashioned oats are often interchangeable, they are not always so.
Some recipes will require one or the other, and if you want to get the best results, follow the directions.
While you can easily turn your rolled oats into quick oats, it does not work the other way around. As such, if a recipe calls for old fashioned oats, and you don’t have any, don’t try to use quick oats.
You probably won’t like the results, and it will just result in a load of wasted ingredients. Overall, trying to substitute rolled oats doesn’t work too well.
Quick oats can easily be made from old fashioned or rolled oats by using a food processor. However, you cannot turn quick oats into rolled oats.
While there are a number of different types of oats, these two are by far the most popular. They are often used in baking and work well in things like cookies, and other baking recipes.
Since everyone loves to bake cookies (or at least eat them), adding some toasted oats on top is always a winning combination.
Rolled oats are great for adding a little extra texture to a dish, even if you want to coarsely chop it (or process it).
Coarsely chopped oats adds a great e=texture and mouthfeel. Any type of oats works well with cinnamon, nuts, and milk.
However, they are very versatile ingredients, and can be used in a range of dishes. You can also use toasted oats to add some extra flavor to dishes!
If you are doing a little baking and come across a recipe that calls for rolled oats, it’s best to not try to use quick oats.
However, if you need quick oats and don’t have any, you can easily remedy that by using a food processor on your old fashioned oats.
Remember, if a recipe called for regular rolled oats, use old fashioned oats!