T Nation

Steel Cut Oats

Does anyone know of a source for steel cut oats as opposed to the rolled oats that are most common? Its my impression that steel cut are more “natural” and therefore possibly better nutritionally. Any input on that?

Steel cut oats are merely rolled oats that have been cut with, uh, steel. It shouldn’t make a difference either way as long as you are eating old-fashioned oatmeal, as opposed to instant.

They don’t cook as well in the microwave as old fashioned Quaker oats. You have to soak them in water overnight. They boil up okay though, still kinda chewy and hard. I get the Irish variety, if that makes any difference. Maybe I just don’t prepare them correctly. I buy steel cut for variety sometimes but prefer old fashioned Quaker oats.

I have read that steel cut oats have a lower GI than rolled oats…like TEK, I get them every now and then for variety (McCann’s Irish Oatmeal), but due to the longer preparation time I usually just stick to old fashioned rolled oats.

Steel cut oats are not rolled oats. Rolled
oats have been “pre-cooked” in the “rolling”
process. Rolled oats are whole oat groats
that have been “heat rolled”. Steel cut oats
are whole oat groats that have been cut with
steel blades, but have not been heated in the
process. (You could learn all this from the
packaging of Bob’s Red Mill oat products. :slight_smile:
The only real benefit that I am aware of for
steel cut over rolled, is that steel cut oats
have a lower GI than rolled oats. There may be
other benefits, but I am not aware of them.

Sources of steel cut oats: McCann's, as mentioned. And also Bob's Red Mill (http://www.bobsredmill.com) makes good steel cut oats.

I also use John Mccann’s. I just prefer the texture to rolled oats (although Silver Palate Thick and Rough oatmeal is really good). Depending on where you buy John McCann’s it can be quite a bit more expensive, if you have Trader Joe’s you can get it for around $4.50/can. The steel cut take alot longer to cook but you can do them on low in a crockpot overnight. I have heard some vague arguements about the nutritional value being a little bit better because they are less processed, and also that the rolling process destroys some of the soluble fiber but I don’t if that is actually true…

I found that steel cut oats are the best source of carbs for the intolerant carb person. Also they are rich in GLA where rolled oats are not. I found that a cup of steel cut oats cooked, and a piece of salmon or beef is the best pre workout or game meal on the planet. The energy will feel like it lasts forever. You can heat them and soak them overnight and cooka bunch at atime so its just as easy as rolled (processed oats).

Thanks for the recommendations. I’m looking at mixing them, uncooked, with protein shakes for a good low GI P+C meal during the days. Looks like that may be the best way to go since it sounds like its hard for them to absorb water, thus preventing the “sludge effect”.

Agree 100% with Scott:


Steel Cuts are RICH in GLA, the precusor to the Ecosinoids that are vital to our overall health. (The production of these beneficial Ecosinoids are one of the primary reasons we should consume a diet rich in Omega-3 EFA’s.


Rolled oats do not contain GLA.


In addition to overnight cooking, Pressure Cooking works great! It’s fast AND effecient! (See…your momma knew what she was doing when she used to do all that canning! You should have been WATCHING!)

Rolled oats have not been cooked, they are simply rolled. Quck oats are oats that have been rolled extra thin for quick cooking. Instant oats are rolled oats that have been pre-cooked, either by heated rollers or toasting. Steel cut oats are when the whole groat, is rough cut by steel blades, and require soaking and/ or long cooking
times. Steel cut oats also have a higher GI than rolled oats. Bobs Red Mill is a great source for all types of whole grains and whole grain products.