If you follow me on InstagramFacebook or Twitter, then you’ve seen several pictures and references I’ve made to steel cut oats.  Steel cut oats (as an alternative to rolled oats) is a gem of a discovery I’ve made over the last few weeks.  Discovery may actually not be the proper word to use as I’m way late catching the steel cut oats train.  Many other health & fitness bloggers I follow have been eating steel cut oats for well, as long as I’ve been reading their blogs and I finally made the decision to hop aboard and give them a try, too {and I’m so glad I did}!

What's the difference between steel cut and rolled oats?


According to Wikipedia,

Steel-cut oats are golden in color, whole grain groats (the inner portion of the oat kernel) which have been cut into pieces. They are commonly used in Scotland and Ireland to make porridge, whereas rolled oats are used in England, other English-speaking countries, and Scandinavia. They are sometimes named after the grade of cut, e.g. pinhead oats; steel-cut oats from Ireland are sometimes called Irish oats.

In other words, rolled oats are steamed, rolled, re-steamed and toasted and steel cut oats are actually cut into pieces instead of being rolled which does not take them through this additional processing that cause them to lose flavor.  Steel cut oats maintain their natural flavor and texture. 

What's the difference between steel cut and rolled oats?


Here are a the nutritional stats of each:

[Tweet “Do you know the difference in rolled oats and steel cut oats? @BobsRedMill”]

Now on a personal level, there is an obvious taste difference between the two.  I only thought I loved rolled oats (when I didn’t know there was a difference) until I tasted the steel cut.  The steel cut is so much more nuttier in flavor and in texture.  I recently ran out of steel cut and had to go back to the rolled oats which left me disappointed after getting used to the new flavor and texture of the steel cut. Another thing I’m finding is that I can’t eat the full serving size because it’s so filling and it keeps me fuller longer.  <3

What exactly are steel cut oats?


The one and only con of steel cut oats is that they take a good 25 minutes to cook (unlike the quick 2-3 minutes of the rolled oats).  You also can’t used steel cut oats in your Oats in a Jar…they must be cooked. But this is something I’ve also gotten used to.  I simply put them on to cook when I brew my morning coffee and reading over my morning emails and it seems they are ready to eat in no time.

It’s well worth the wait!  My typical toppings are:  brown sugar, pecans, dried cranberries, peanut butter and chia seeds = The Perfect Breakfast!

The perfect breakfast of steel cut oats.



Which do you prefer and what are your favorite toppings?

11 Comments on Steel Cut Oats vs Rolled Oats

  1. I would love to try steel cut oats please!!!

  2. ashlee gonzalez says:

    I would love to try steel cut oats!

  3. Kelly Johnson says:

    I would love to try some steel cut oats, please!

  4. Hi!
    I’m new to your blog…don’t remember the route I took when I stumbled on it, but I really enjoy it! I’m new to running…well, at this point I can’t call myself a runner yet. I’m working my way through the Couch to 5k program and am in the middle of week 3. But my goal is to become one…if this 48 yr old body can handle it.

    I “discovered” steel cut oats a few months ago & I LOVE them!!! I eat them every single morning unless I’m away from home. I make a full pot of them and then just dish out my serving for the day & reheat them. There are so many toppings to add…it’s a tough decision some mornings! 🙂 My usual is peanut flour, brown sugar, some sort of fruit (apple, banana, berries) and/or now I’m adding in a tablespoon of flax meal, just to get more nutrition in this body! Will have to check out chia seeds too! 🙂


    • Hi Lois! Thanks so much for stopping by and I’m so glad you found me! Don’t worry, ’cause I still have trouble calling myself a ‘real runner’ too. 🙂 The C25K is a great place to start! I also love steel cut oats-my hubby keeps telling me I’m going to turn into them because I eat them so much! I look forward to my breakfast every morning! 🙂 Oh and definitely try the chia seeds—they are an awesome addition!

  5. Coreyanne Armstrong says:

    Hi Samantha! Not sure if you remember me but I was the matron of honor at Stacy and Seth’s wedding ever-so-long ago 🙂 I saw she had posted your blog entry on fb one day and was intrigued by the title of the blog so I checked it out 🙂 I just wanted to say hello and that I tried out the steel cut oats just yesterday for the first time – in an effort to get away from packets of instant oatmeal for the kids since they’re so full of sugar – and it was a hit with all five children from the 8 year old on down to the 18 month old 🙂 I liked them, too, and hadn’t thought of putting chia seeds on but will next time 🙂 I recently made my own chia seed gel to use in a baggie on longer runs instead of the commercial sports gels using a recipe I found online, and it is quite yummy 🙂 I add a little to a piece of whole wheat toast and pb before a longer run usually and then have used it at about 6 miles for a boost. I recently became addicted to running as well (about 2 1/2 years ago) and am currently 22 weeks pregnant with baby number 6 and still running! (I was only able to run til 16 weeks pregnant with the last one due to some complications – also I lived in Hawaii then, and it was much hotter than jolly old England where we live now :)) I am going to try to do my first half marathon in two weeks – signed up as motivation for me to keep up my mileage (I’ve been doing about 20 miles a week in three workouts) but wasn’t certain I’d be up to it when the time came. So far so good!! Will let you know how it turns out! 🙂

    • Hi Coreyanne! I do remember you and I’m so glad you took time to let me know how you’re doing! I seriously love steel cut oats—once you get a taste for them, it’s hard to try anything else! 🙂 I also like the chia seed gel instead of the energy gels. I haven’t thought of that before so I’ll definitely have to give that a try! Congrats on baby #6 and all the best! 🙂

  6. Pat Dixon says:

    I would love to try these. Where did you get them? I’ve seen this brand of flour recommended for several recipes.

    • Hi Pat! The first bag I bought at Whole Foods, but I’ve since ordered from Amazon. 🙂 You can also go directly to Bob’s Red Mill website and order specific products from there, too.

  7. I love steal cut oats and use them all the time. I make them in my slow cooker so they are ready for me in the morning. I didn’t realize there was such a difference from a nutritional perspective. Thanks!

  8. I’d love to try them-sound yummy!

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