Letter Re: Rolled Oats Versus Steel Cut Oats for Storage

Hello Mr. Rawles,
I recently discovered something called ‘steel-cut’ oats which are healthier than rolled oats. Are you familiar with this and how do they differ when it comes to long term storage. I did find a small container in the store that was about 2-1/2 times the cost of regular rolled oats.

I have enjoyed reading your daily tips and the blog. Thank you, – Margo

JWR Replies: The advantages of steel cut oats are marginal. They do have slightly more nutritive value than rolled oats, but certainly not enough to justify their substantially higher price! Rolled oats are typically steamed, rolled, and then re-steamed and finally toasted dry. The steel cut variety are less heavy processed, so they have just a bit more nutritive value. They also supposedly are a bit more flavorful, but I guess my “Fresh Off the Turnip Truck” palate is not very sophisticated, because I can’t taste much difference. Oh yes, I should also mention that when cooked steel cut oats also swell up more than rolled oats.

All in all, I recommend buying rolled oats for storage. If it means the difference between supplying one family versus supplying two families for the same money, then I’m all for quantity! With rolled oats, you typically get more twice as much for your money. And BTW, from what I’ve read, there is no significant difference in shelf life between the two.