Steel-cut oats

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Spoonful of uncooked steel-cut oats.

Steel-cut oats (US), also called pinhead oats, coarse oatmeal (UK),[1][2] or Irish oatmeal are groats (the inner kernel with the inedible hull removed) of whole oats which have been chopped into two or three pinhead-sized pieces (hence the names; "steel-cut" comes from the steel blades)[3]. The pieces can then be sold, or processed further to make rolled oat flakes, of smaller size than flakes of whole groats.[4] Steel-cutting produces oatmeal with a chewier and coarser texture than other processes.

Irish oatmeal is not necessarily the same as pinhead oatmeal. For example, Irish firm Flavahan's produce both "Irish Porridge Oats", said to use a "unique way of milling",[5] and a different "Pinhead Oatmeal", a "chopped wholegrain oat".[6]

Steel-cut oats, and other types, are traditionally used to make porridge. They take longer to cook than instant, ground, or rolled oats, typically 15–30 minutes for porridge (or about half this time if pre-soaked). Steel-cut oats are described as being more nuttily flavoured and chewier than other types of oats.[7] They can be used to make oatcakes and for other culinary purposes.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ All About Oats
  2. ^ A Scots manufacturer's Web site: Pinhead Oatmeal is the most traditional oatmeal. It is made from the whole grain, with just the outer husk removed, before the inner groat is cut into three pieces.
  3. ^ "What are Steel Cut Oats?". wiseGEEK.
  4. ^ "North American Millers' Association - Oat Milling Process". Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  5. ^ "Irish Porridge Oats Original". Flahavan's. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  6. ^ "Pinhead Oatmeal". Flahavan's. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  7. ^ "For best oatmeal taste, be patient". Consumer Reports. November 2008. Archived from the original on 10 April 2012. Retrieved 3 April 2013.