Quaker Oats explains the difference.

For a food that's so simple in some ways, oats can be strangely confusing when it comes to the different labels you see on packaging and wording found in recipes. Here's what I find most confusing: Many recipes for overnight oats, oatmeal cookies, and oat-topped crisps call for “rolled oats” or “old-fashioned oats.”

Until recently, I had no idea why a recipe might call for one or the other. So I did a little sleuthing on oats and got answers that surprised me. Here's what I learned.

What is the difference between old fashioned oats and rolled oats?

The good news: If you're about to start a recipe that calls for “rolled oats” and you only have oats labeled “old-fashioned”—or vice versa—then run to the grocery store or No need to give up your recipe.

Because Rolled oats and old-fashioned oats are the same thing.According to the Quaker Oats website. So you should feel free for each other.

Rolled oats get their name from being flattened with rollers. They cook quickly—in about 10 to 15 minutes—and retain some texture and bite. These are the reasons why old-fashioned oats are great for oatmeal bowls and overnight oats, as well as all kinds of baked goods, including cookies, muffins, and granola bars. If you see a recipe that just calls for “oats,” it likely means old-fashioned/rolled oats.

However, before you start substituting other types of oats in recipes, it's important to understand the difference between rolled and old-fashioned oats versus other types of oats—because steel-cut or instant oats require them to be unprocessed. Changing the order can cause a mess. Your instruction

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Other types of oats

Here are the other types of oats you'll find at the store, as well as the best uses for each.

Instant Oats: Instant oats are often sold in individual serving packets in plain and flavored varieties. These are a type of rolled oats, but even thinner and more finely cut. You cook them by pouring boiling water or hot milk over them and waiting about a minute, or by cooking them in the microwave with water or milk for a minute or two.

While instant oats are convenient, some people find them unappealingly bland, and their fine texture means they shouldn't be used in baked goods. However, if a recipe specifically calls for instant oats, go ahead and use them!

Quick Cook Oats: Between instant and old-fashioned oats are quick oats, or quick-cooking oats, which are a type of rolled oats that you can cook on the stove or in the microwave for a minute or three. They have a smoother, finer texture than regular rolled oats but are not as fine as instant oats. In addition to making oatmeal with instant oats, you can also use them as a binder in meatloaf and meatballs.

Steel Cut Oats: At the opposite end of the spectrum from instant oats are steel cut oats. Instead of being rolled, they're made by cutting whole oats into small pieces with — you guessed it — a steel blade. They take 20 to 30 minutes or so to cook, and make a delicious chewy porridge with brown sugar, maple syrup, or molasses and milk, cream, crème fraîche, or buttermilk along with nuts and dried fruits. Great with toppings like fruit. You may find them labeled Irish oats or pinhead oats.

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take away

Rolled oats—also known as old-fashioned oats—are a versatile ingredient that can be used in oatmeal and all kinds of recipes. If you want something that cooks in one to three minutes, choose quick or instant oats. However, if you want a toothsome and tasty porridge and you have time to spare, opt for steel cut oats.

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