Quick Cook Oats vs. Instant Oats, Quaker Oats Explains the Difference

It's all about speed and convenience.

<p>Simply Recipes / Getty Images</p>

Simply Recipes / Getty Images

When I was a kid, my mom cooked oats on the stovetop with tons of honey and milk, which felt like dessert for breakfast. These days, I play around with all sorts of oatmeal-based meals, from baked oatmeal to savory oats with kimchi and spinach… you name it, I've tried it and likely loved it. I love a good bowl of oatmeal—they’re such a good, fibrous, and versatile base to start the day with.

When I went to the store to restock my oats recently, I realized I’d been reaching for the quick-cook option for years without even considering instant oats. This led me to a further realization that I didn’t know the difference between the two. So I set off to learn and here's what I found out.

What Is the Difference Between Quick Cook Oats and Instant Oats?

The various kinds of oats you find at the grocery store are processed differently to cater to how you cook them. The main difference between quick cook and instant oats is the thinness to which the oats are rolled. Instant oats are rolled thinner than quick oats. And because instant oats are pre-cooked, they are speedier to prepare and softer after they've been cooked.

According to Quaker Oats, there is no nutritional difference between quick cook and instant oats. When it comes down to it, whichever you opt for is based on personal preference and how quickly you'd like to enjoy your oatmeal.

Megan Gordon
Megan Gordon

Instant Oats Are Often Flavored

Instant oats are most often sold in individual packets with added flavorings, which require a quick jaunt in the microwave or boiled water. For example, Quaker Oats offers a bunch of fun flavors like apple and cinnamon, maple and brown sugar, and cinnamon and spice. Some have added fiber and protein—it's easy to find a reliable and tasty option that you enjoy.

For quick oats, you’ll need to add the flavorings and toppings, which can be a plus or a minus depending on your preference, how creative you like to get in the morning, and how much time you have.

The Takeaway

Instant oats are pre-cooked, thinner, and therefore faster to cook. They come packaged in individual portions with added flavors. Quick cook oats are still a great option for when you need oats that cook in one minute. You'll have to add the flavorings and toppings to them.

I’m going to stick to quick cook oats because I love to spice up my oatmeal to my liking. However, I might grab a few packets of instant oats to have on hand for when I’m short on time in the morning.

Read the original article on Simply Recipes.